What is Bacterial Infection (Pyoderma) of the Skin?
Staphylococcus is the name of a group of bacteria commonly found on the skin. Dermatitis is a term that means inflammation of the skin. Pyoderma is a medical term for bacterial skin infection and it is an “opportunistic” infection, meaning that even though Staphylococcus bacteria normally are on the skin, if there is a weakened system, a serious infection can occur.
Pyoderma in dogs is an infection of the skin caused by bacteria. Bacteria in the skin proliferate when the dog’s epidermal barrier of the skin breaks down. This natural defense of the skin keeps bacteria out, even the bacteria that do not normally grow on the skin, and when it doesn’t do its job, pyoderma can occur. Fungal infections, yeast infections, and other bacteria can attack the vulnerable skin and become very bothersome. Pyoderma is very similar to the human form of impetigo, as it can leak pus and become crusted over. It is very uncomfortable and needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Pyoderma is an uncomfortable skin infection that causes the dog to have very red, itchy skin with pustules. It is caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus that has entered the skin.
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Symptoms of Bacterial Infection (Pyoderma) of the Skin in Dogs
Pyoderma has noticeable signs and as soon as you notice any of these symptoms, a trip the veterinarian is necessary. The clinical signs of pyoderma may include:
- Crusts that contain pus
- Scales on the skin
- Blistering (pustules)
- Loss of hair
Pyoderma has two different types of lesions from the Staphylococcal bacteria. Both are very itchy and uncomfortable to the dog. They can be confused with other skin irritations or infections, such as ringworm or yeast infections. A biopsy will confirm pyoderma once given. These two types are:
- Redness on the skin with a pus-filled “pimple”
- Redness that is circular with a crust
Causes of Bacterial Infection (Pyoderma) of the Skin in Dogs
The entrance of bacteria into the skin has several distinct causes. Causes include:
- A broken skin surface
- Skin exposure to a great deal of moisture
- Suppressed immune system
- Allergic dermatitis
- Flea and tick bites or infestation
- Thyroid disease
- Hormonal imbalances
Diagnosis of Bacterial Infection (Pyoderma) of the Skin in Dogs
If you notice that your dog has the symptoms of pyoderma, it is important to see your veterinarian. The veterinarian will ask you to further explain your dog’s condition and symptoms. The veterinarian will first perform blood tests to rule out any type of endocrine abnormality.
The veterinarian will do a skin culture and possibly culture for fungal infections to see if the bacteria matches up to Staphylococcus bacteria. The veterinarian will also perform tests to rule out allergic dermatitis and to see if your dog has any skin allergies that are specific. When the veterinarian performs the skin testing, he will take a look for specific skin diseases and disorders such as the bacteria, yeast, cancer, parasites, and other skin disorders.
Treatment of Bacterial Infection (Pyoderma) of the Skin in Dogs
If your dog is diagnosed with pyoderma, the treatment may vary depending on the severity of the skin disease. Treatment can include:
For pyoderma, the main course of treatment is antibiotics. The veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics in several different choices of forms, such as antibiotic creams, foams, conditioners, sprays, or anything applied topically to the dog’s skin and coat. The antibiotics may also be prescribed in pill form or by an injection.
Treatment of Underlying Disorder
Any underlying causes of this skin infection must be treated as well. For example, if the dog is suffering from a weakened immune system, hormone imbalance, thyroid disease, or even if the bacteria entered from a flea and tick infestation, these need to be treated as much as possible so another round of pyoderma doesn’t occur in the future.
Recovery of Bacterial Infection (Pyoderma) of the Skin in Dogs
Pyoderma is manageable and curable, but proper steps must be taken to ensure the dog is healing properly at home, along with prevention techniques so he doesn’t become infected again. Giving your dog routine baths with a special shampoo recommended by your medical professional can minimize the chances of pyoderma occurring in the future. It is also very important that your canine has clean and dry bedding. Sanitary living conditions of your dog will prevent the skin from becoming vulnerable from any future infections.
Flea and tick control is also a way to keep your dog’s skin “sealed” as well as any other medications he needs for any underlying disorder that may have caused the skin to be weakened and exposed to the bacteria. The prognosis of pyoderma, with proper care, is excellent.
Bacterial Infection (Pyoderma) of the Skin Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Wanted to know what kind of skin condition my dog has. He's always itching everywhere. He now has a scab pus spot on the back of his neck. He chews on his paws all the time. He doesn't have fleas anymore. Sometimes it seems like he can't sit still.
There are numerous different skin conditions, many presenting the same; atopy, food allergies, parasites, seborrhoea as well as bacterial or fungal infections; it would be best to visit your Veterinarian to have a look at the skin (shape, size and height of nodules are a good indicator) as well as taking a scraping for microscopic analysis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
Due to bacteria he lossing his hair frequently is he recovers from that after treatment
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