What Is Pyoderma in Dogs?
Pyoderma is an infection of the hair follicles and the skin around it caused by bacteria. In dogs, pyoderma occurs when bacteria and yeast that normally live on the skin overgrow and compromise the skin barrier.
Pyoderma in dogs is a serious skin infection caused by bacteria or fungi that shows up suddenly, with symptoms ranging from minor irritation to a large, painful wound. A “pyoderma” is pus, and a “derma” is skin. The most common causes of pyoderma in dogs are:
- Parasites (demodicosis, scabies, fleas)
- Alterations in keratinization (seborrhea)
- Getting grass seeds under the skin
- Trauma or bite wounds
- An allergy to fleas, food, or environmental factors
- A hormonal disorder, such as Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, or an autoimmune disease
- administered through chemotherapy or steroids
- Nutritional deficiencies
Dogs with Pyoderma Symptoms :
A dog can suffer from pyoderma at any age, a fairly common disorder. The most common symptoms are similar to those of many other skin disorders:
- Inflammation of the skin or pustules
- Smelling foul
- Losing hair
- Touch Sensitivity
- Papules of Yellow
Pyoderma can occur in puppies, which is referred to as puppy pyoderma. If you see red bumps on your dog’s armpits, groins, or abdomen, your dog may have puppy pyoderma. Usually, these red bumps scab over and start to scale. Dogs with puppy pyoderma are usually in good health, although they may be slightly itchy.
How Can Pet Food Cause Pyodermis?
A healthy coat depends on adequate nutrition. The body of a malnourished animal sends all available resources to the vital organs, leaving the skin and fur to deteriorate. The best way to prevent and treat pyoderma in dogs is to feed them a healthy, vet-approved diet.
Your dog may also be allergic to any ingredient in his food. To confirm or rule this out, your vet may recommend hydrolyzed dog food or new protein-containing dog food to see if your skin condition improves. In addition to changing your dog’s diet, your vet may also prescribe food allergy medications and blood tests to determine what your dog is allergic to.
Suppose you have other health issues that make your dog more susceptible to pyodermas, such as hormonal disorders or autoimmune diseases. It may be helpful to choose foods prescribed for dogs with sensitive skin in that case.
You can consult your veterinarian to find a product that will meet the needs of your four-legged friend.
How to Diagnosis Pyoderma in Dogs?
Pyoderma can be diagnosed by observing characteristic lesions, confirming that bacteria are present, and ruling out other possible folliculitis causes such as demodicosis and dermatophytosis.
If you suspect dermatophytosis, use a Wood’s lamp, examine your hair for hyphae or spores, or do a fungal culture; negative skin scrapings rule out follicular infection.
Skin cytopathology is one of the most valuable tools in diagnosing pyoderma and allows the identification of inflammatory cells and bacteria. Cutaneous cytopathology can also help identify a common coinfection, Malassezia dermatitis.
Bacterial cultures and susceptibility testing are significant in the case of recurrent pyoderma due to the high incidence of resistant infections and are essential in selecting systemic antibacterial therapy.
Skin cytopathology should be performed from the culture area to confirm the presence of bacteria. The technique used to collect the sample depends on the type and location of the lesion. Impression smears collect samples after a pustule or papule has been opened or after the crust has been removed.
Transparent adhesive tape can collect samples from dry, oily, or hard-to-reach lesions with a microscope slide, such as the interdigital space. Swabs collect samples from the ear canal, drainage tract, nail folds, and moist skin lesions.
Diagnostic testing and treatment of underlying triggers are necessary for treating pyodermas because underlying problems cause them.
Failure to identify a trigger for recurrent bacterial pyoderma, antibiotic undertreatment (low dosage or short duration), concurrent use of glucocorticoids or another immunosuppressive therapy, wrong antibiotic choice, or incorrect dosage are among the most common causes.
Types of Pyoderma in dogs
Treatment choices are influenced by classification. There are 3 types of pyoderma:
- Surface Pyoderma
- Superficial Pyoderma
- Deep Pyoderma
The epidermis is affected by surface pyoderma, specifically the tissue between follicles. Surface pyoderma forms are acute moist dermatitis (hot spots), skin-fold pyoderma (intertrigo), and microbial overgrowth.
Most acute moist dermatitis cases are self-inflicted and due to underlying pruritic problems (i.e., flea allergies, anal sac irritation, otitis, foreign bodies, arthritis). It is common to see erythematous papules, erosions, and ulcers upon clipping an affected area. Moisturizing dermatitis is not considered an infection unless one has been caused by self-harm.
During friction between the skin and the outermost stratum corneum, skin-fold pyoderma is caused. As a result of inflammation, moisture and heat are increased. Therefore, bacteria and yeast can grow in an ideal environment.
epidermal pyoderma involves the epidermis and hair follicles. Superficial types of pyoderma include impetigo (puppy pyoderma), folliculitis, superficial dilated pyoderma, and mucosal cutaneous pyoderma.
Impetigo is found in pre-pubescent dogs. Non-follicular pustules are often found in the armpits and groin, and itching is rare.
Folliculitis is common in dogs and is often secondary to the underlying allergy. Also known as “short-haired canine pyoderma,” folliculitis creates the appearance of moth-eaten hair. Folliculitis may be present with superficial spreading pyoderma presenting as papules, pustules, and epidermal follicles.
Pyoderma is an infection of the dermis that can cause localized folliculitis or cellulitis, generalized deep folliculitis, bacteria, or acral lick dermatitis. During furunculosis, hair follicles rupture, allowing bacteria and keratin into the surrounding tissues.
Pyoderma Deep localized
A deep pyoderma can be localized, usually to the chin, muzzle, paws, or pressure points. The most common cause is folliculitis and furunculosis on the chin and muzzle of young dogs.
These conditions often persist, particularly in Doberman pinschers, boxers, bulldogs, mastiffs, Weimaraners, and German shorthaired pointers. Deep pyoderma can also progress to cellulitis.
Pyoderma Deep Generalized
Generalized deep pyoderma causes boils, nodules, and drainage tracts that can affect most of the body. Patients may initially respond to treatment but may relapse later. Due to the overestimation of the German Shepherd, deep pyoderma may have a genetic predisposition6. However, in the author’s experience, this predisposition was several years earlier than it is now and likely reflected reproduction benefits. Other possible underlying conditions include allergies, endocrine disorders, demodicosis, ehrlichiosis, and immunodeficiency.
What are risk factors?
Several factors can predispose a dog to bacterial skin infections. Consequently, a dog’s immune system has to fight continuously to defend against the growth of staphylococcal bacteria, and any weakness in the immune system makes the dog vulnerable to infection.
A dog with allergies is very likely to develop canine pyoderma since its immune systems malfunction. Itching and scratching are common symptoms of allergies.
The scratching creates self-inflicted breaks in the skin barrier, enabling bacteria to penetrate and cause infection. The constant scratching makes the condition even worse, causing more damage to the skin.
Many varieties of this plant develop folds and wrinkles in the skin and are more prone to recurrent pyoderma. These can be normal fluctuations like bulldogs and Shar Pei, or they can be weight-related.
When this occurs, the affected area of the skin is prone to problems caused by friction, heat, and trapped water. They provide a warm, moist environment that can lead to the growth of bacteria.
Dryness and antibacterial cleansing may help, but they do not treat the underlying problem.
How Is Pyoderma Treated in Dogs?
Antibiotics are a cure-all for pyoderma, but the type prescribed depends on the type of pyoderma in the dog.
If you notice pyoderma in your dog, see a veterinarian. They will evaluate your dog and do the necessary tests. Diagnosis is usually straightforward, but veterinarians may wish to send swabs of skin abrasions or pus to the lab for bacterial culture. This will help you choose the right antibiotic.
Many previously very effective antibiotics, such as penicillin and ampicillin, are no longer used. Dogs with bacterial pyoderma are often resistant to antibiotics against Staphylococcus pseudintermedius.
Veterinarians usually prescribe first-generation cephalosporins, clindamycin, amoxicillin, and clavulanate. Pyoderma in dogs can be treated with these antibiotics more effectively. Treatment takes several weeks.
If your dog is not getting better after two weeks or is developing new boils or lesions, it is possible that the treatment is not working. Consult your veterinarian immediately. You may need to have the pus from your dog’s skin cultured to determine the next step in treatment.
To achieve a complete cure, you must continue treatment for a long time. Your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotic therapy for 7 to 10 days after your dog’s superficial pyoderma is gone. When deep pyoderma appears to be cured, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics for 14 to 20 days.
A topical application of chlorhexidine, benzoyl peroxide, or ethyl lactate can be used to treat superficial and superficial pyodermas. A variety of medications are available, including shampoo, spray, gel, ointment, and cream.
Such treatments are faster and more effective, have fewer side effects, and shorten the treatment time required. Treatment with medicated shampoo removes the crust and cleans the dog’s fur.
If your dog has pyoderma over a large skin area, your vet will likely decide to give antibiotics by mouth.
Long-term administration of antibiotics is also necessary for deep pyoderma and recurrent pyoderma.
How important is nutrition?
Skin health is influenced heavily by nutrition and the food your dog eats. Protein and amino acids lead to hair growth, while fatty acids play a role in the quality of the coat and reduce water loss.
Pyoderma may occur in dogs with ingredient sensitivities or food allergies. Veterinarians first treat your dog’s skin infection, and then recommend feeding him a therapeutic diet to see if the infection goes away.
A food specially formulated for dogs with sensitive skin might be a good choice if your dog doesn’t have food allergies but has pyoderma secondary to other health concerns, like a hormonal disorder. Speak with your veterinarian about the ideal food for your dog because it’s essential to ensure he gets the best nutrition possible.
Pyoderma is a pain, but it can be resolved with a bit of knowledge and care. If your dog develops pyoderma significantly more than once, understand that you’re dealing with an underlying issue that needs resolution.
When you notice any signs of infection, call your vet so that you can work together to get your pup back to feeling like its best self.
Recovery of Pyoderma in Dogs
You should provide a comfortable and quiet environment for your companion to recuperate in and ample access to food and water. The best way to eliminate the infection is to follow the instructions regarding oral and topical medication and adhere closely to bathing requirements.
Even after the symptoms have subsided, rehabilitation measures must still be continued since pyoderma can easily recur if treatment is not continued. Generally, the prognosis for pyoderma without underlying conditions is excellent.
However, allergies and immunocompromised diseases may prolong recovery.
What is the best way to prevent Pyoderma in dogs?
The key to improving your pet’s health when they suffer from chronic or recurrent pyoderma is managing the underlying cause. Clean the folds in your dog’s skin every day. Clean cloths or medicated wipes can be used depending on the location and depth of the folds.
By managing your pet’s allergies, the number of skin infections he gets will drastically decrease. Your veterinarian can help determine the best treatment plan for your pet’s allergies, including over-the-counter or prescription pet medication, diet changes, various prescription flea and tick prevention, and prescription shampoo.