Pyoderma in dogs: causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention


Pyoderma is one of the infectious complications different dermatoses in dogs. This skin infection can be superficial, which is the most common form of pyoderma in canines, or deep. This is more serious but fortunately rarer. Let’s find out what are the different causes of pyoderma, the main clinical signs that should alert as well as the possible treatments, and also see if there are effective means of prevention.

Superficial or deep pyoderma in dogs: the causes

The root cause of pyoderma is not currently known. However, we know that many bacteria are involved in its occurrence, the main one being Staphylococcus intermedius. But secondary factors must be taken into consideration because they are not to be neglected. These factors can be:

  • Humidity and heat,
  • Drug treatment with corticosteroids in particular,
  • An irritant such as an unsuitable shampoo or an overly concentrated lotion,
  • A deficiency in essential fatty acids due to an unbalanced or poor quality diet,
  • A parasite such as a flea or other,
  • An infectious skin disease such as scabies,
  • An allergy.

Many causes can therefore trigger pyoderma. Note that the number of cases increases significantly during the summer season, and dogs that bathe in a stream, in a lake or in a pond, are even more exposed, this type of environment accumulating heat and humidity. But we can also note a propensity to develop pyoderma in dogs with allergic conditions.

Pyoderma in dogs: clinical signs

We identify different pyoderma, each causing very specific symptoms, namely:

  • The superficial pyoderma : the dog is scratching, has patches on the skin, wet, ulcerated, inflamed, his coat becomes dull. This pyoderma only affects the surface of the skin. In this category we can find the fold pyoderma mainly in canine breeds with wrinkled skin (Neapolitan Mastiff, Shar Pei…) as well as in dogs which suffer from obesity without distinction of race. The affection is therefore localized at the level of the folds formed by the skin.
  • The deep pyoderma : in addition to the clinical manifestations specific to the superficial form, it is the cause of oozing and a deep infection hence the name of this skin condition. In the medium term, it leads to a weakening of the general condition of the animal.

Sometimes we can also detect in a dog a pseudo-pyoderma of traumatic origin. This is also the pyotraumatic dermatitis. It is usually repetitive licking that triggers this type of problem. It is therefore necessary to identify the cause of the licks which may be due to a skin disease causing itching or else testify to a behavioral disorder in dogs. It deserves a consultation.

Pyoderma: treatments for dogs

It is essential to consult the vet as soon as possible to avoid the risk of superinfection or even the serious consequences for the health of the animal in the event of staphylococcal pyoderma or deep pyoderma. But whatever its form, untreated pyoderma can over time lead to loss of appetite and consequent weight loss in dogs who become listless.

Treatment is prescribed on a case-by-case basis and varies depending on whether the animal has superficial or deep pyoderma, depending on the cause of the problem but also on its anteriority and the level of virulence of the symptoms. It can therefore be based, for example, on the prescription:

  • An antibiotic,
  • An antiseptic,
  • From an antibacterial to local application,
  • Homeopathic products.

The treatment must be scrupulously followed even if it lasts for several weeks. Depending on the seriousness of the case, several veterinary consultations may be essential so that the practitioner can carry out additional examinations if necessary.

Canine pyoderma: prevention

Since pyoderma can be triggered by any type of skin irritation, it is very important to take care of your dog as soon as it presents the slightest skin problem. This avoids complications. In addition, to limit the risk of pyoderma, it is necessary wipe well his dog after swimming, especially in summer, in a lake or river, so that he does not stay wet for too long.

As for the dog’s diet, it must be balanced and meet its needs so that the animal does not suffer from any deficiency in essential fatty acids. Finally, ask the vet to perform a annual health check is the least that the master can do to take care of his faithful companion.

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