Canine pyoderma – superficial folliculitis in dogs

Bacterial folliculitis, a type of canine pyoderma, is a dermatitis, ie a skin infection. The causative bacteria belong to the genus Staphylococcus.

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This dermatological problem is very common in dogs, because it is one of the most common dermatopathies. This disease can affect both puppies of breed, mutts, of any age or sex.

In this article from YourCatCareguide we will explain everything you need to know about canine pyoderma – superficial folliculitis in dogs . Keep reading!

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Piodermite canine: causes

Bacterial pyoderma, also called superficial folliculitis, is usually secondary, or is consequent to other problems of the dog. The most commonly involved agent in this infection is Staphylococcus pseudointermedius which is an opportunistic microorganism, that is, it takes advantage of the weakness of the dog’s immune system. This organism is part of the normal flora of the dog, the problem is when the dog’s immune system is compromised and this organism takes advantage of the situation and reproduces more than normal. It is the exaggerated proliferation of this organism that will alter the skin of the dog and originate the bacterial infection.

There is not only superficial folliculitis. In fact, there are three types of pyoderma :

  • Piodemite external
  • Piodermite superficial
  • Deep pyodermite

The classification is given according to the depth of the injury and the veterinarian will prescribe a treatment according to the type of pyoderma that your dog has. That is why it is so important that your dog is seen by a veterinarian if you suspect he has this problem. It is necessary to have a correct diagnosis to make an appropriate treatment.

As we have already mentioned, superficial bacterial folliculitis is the most common in dogs. The most common causes for this disease are :

  • Parasites such as mites, fleas, ticks
  • Endocrine diseases ( hypothyroidism , hyperadrenocorticism)
  • Corticosteroid drugs
  • Fungi (dermatophytosis)
  • Atopic dermatitis.

Canine pyoderma: symptoms

Clinical signs associated with canine pyoderma may vary. In general, we can state that the symptoms of canine pyoderma are :

  • Alopecia areas (hairless areas)
  • Bristly looking hair
  • Crusts
  • Desquamation
  • Papules (small balls)
  • Pustules (pimples look like)
  • Erythema (redness)
  • Itching (itching)

Areas of pus in the follicles are one of the most common clinical signs in dogs with this problem as a consequence of infection. This infection can cause pustules, papules, etc. The regions of alopecia arise as a consequence of the loss of the hair follicles affected by the excessive proliferation of the microorganism.

If your dog has hair faults and yellow scabs, you should be wary of this problem and immediately seek a veterinarian .

Is canine pyoderma is contagious?

As we have already mentioned, this dermatitis is opportunistic, that is, your pet will not transmit this disease to other animal animals, both human and non-human. For this disease to occur, it is necessary that the animal’s immune system is compromised and this favors the exaggerated proliferation of this microorganism. Therefore, do not worry that your pet will not transmit this disease to you or other inhabitants of the house.

Diagnosis of superficial bacterial folliculitis in dogs

Generally, the veterinarian is based on the history and clinical examination of the dog, along with some complementary tests. There are different diseases with a clinical presentation similar to pyoderma, so it is so important to carry out diagnostic tests.

Some of the possible diagnostic tests that your veterinarian can perform are:

  • Skin scraping : this is one of the most common dermatological tests in veterinary dermatology. It is a very quick and easy test and allows the veterinarian to understand which agents are involved in the problem, so that some differential diagnoses can be ruled out.
  • Fungal Culture : One of the main causes of folliculitis is dermatophytes. This examination allows to investigate the presence of fungi in the dermatological process.
  • Cytology : The veterinarian collects a sample of one of the lesions, for example a pustule, and analyzes the material under a microscope. This test allows the determination of the presence of different cell types, whether they are parasites, bacteria, etc.
  • Biopsy : If the veterinarian is suspicious of a neoplastic process (cancer), for example, he may choose to collect a skin sample and analyze histopathologically.
  • Bacterial culture : This test allows to confirm the type of bacteria present in the process. It is especially useful in processes where antibiotic therapy is not working and the veterinarian needs to re-adjust treatment.

How to treat pyodermite canine?

First, it is essential to know the origin of folliculitis. The most common cases are adjacent to other diseases and a treatment must be defined for the initial problem. In addition to the treatment of the original problem that caused the dog’s immune system to change, the veterinarian prescribes appropriate treatment for the clinical signs of pyoderma. This treatment can be topical through shampoo, cream, gel or systemic, usually through antibiotics.

Piodermite canina shampoo

Most pyoderma cases require both topical and systemic treatment. The shampoo is the most common topical treatment for this problem. Topical treatment helps in removing crusts and dirt, relieves itching and, above all, prevents a secondary infection.

In addition to the shampoo, there are drugs in the form of gel , cream , spray , etc. The important thing is to use what your trusted veterinarian recommends.

Piodermite antibiotic canine

The antibiotic is the systemic treatment most used in superficial pyoderma. The most common is that the veterinarian prescribes an antibiotic for a period of 21 days , and may extend its use for another week or two after the symptoms disappear.

We remind that the period of use of the antibiotic can vary according to the type of pyoderma, hence the great importance of a correct diagnosis.

Culture and antibiogram are essential to know what type of bacteria are present and to choose the most appropriate antibiotic. It is common for the veterinarian to initiate a provisional antibiotic therapy while awaiting the results of these tests.

Recurrent pyoderma in dogs

It is not uncommon for the dog to continue to present a picture of pyoderma, even after the treatment recommended by the veterinarian. The most common cause for these relapses is the persistence of the original problem. That is, if the animal has hypoadrenocorticism, for example, and is only treated for pyoderma, it is normal that the problem reappears because it continues with the immune system compromised due to the disease.

So above all you should follow the advice and directions of the veterinarian. It is normal for different tests to be prescribed to detect underlying diseases that are causing changes in the dog’s immune system or some disease that impairs the integrity of the skin.

Reassessment consultations are essential to prevent relapse of the disease. In addition, we can not fail to mention the most common mistake of tutors: stop the treatment ahead of time! Never stop the antibiotic before the time prescribed by the veterinarian. Even if your dog no longer exhibits the symptoms of the disease, you can not stop giving the antibiotic to it. If you stop the antibiotic before the recommended time, the most likely is that your puppy will get resistance to this antibiotic and in case of relapse will be much more difficult to treat the disease.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles the less you may know about Piodermite canina – superficial folliculitis in dogs , we recommend you to enter our Skin Problems section .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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