Puppy Impetigo in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Puppy Impetigo in Dogs - Signs, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Puppy Impetigo in Dogs - Signs, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Puppy Impetigo?

Skin conditions are common in dogs (and other animals and people) because bacteria naturally live on the skin. It is only due to certain situations that these bacteria cause an infection such as if your puppy is hypersensitive or has another condition that causes the immune or endocrine system to be imbalanced. If your dog has a rash with crusty lesions and blisters with no other signs, it is likely that your puppy has impetigo. There are different classifications of impetigo, which are surface pyoderma, superficial bacterial folliculitis, and deep pyoderma.

Puppy impetigo (pyoderma, juvenile pustular dermatitis) is an infection caused by bacteria such as staphylococcus, also called staph infection. There are many different types of staphylococcus strains which can affect dogs as well as people and may be passed back and forth. Some strains are highly contagious and are resistant to antibiotics, rendering them hard to eliminate. The infection may start as an itchy red rash that can occur on any area without hair on your puppy. When the areas of impetigo are scratched, the blisters break easily and become painful. Although this condition may resolve itself without any treatment, antibiotics can speed up the recovery time and prevent spreading. Without prompt treatment, impetigo can spread to other areas, which can cause hair loss, deep tissue infection, and even weight loss.

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Puppy Impetigo Average Cost

From 312 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

Symptoms of Puppy Impetigo in Dogs

The signs of impetigo may include:

 Types

  • Surface pyoderma is usually mild and only affects the top layer of skin where there is no hair
  • Superficial bacterial folliculitis can also affect areas of skin with hair and the folds of the skin
  • Deep pyoderma is able to get into the deeper layers of tissue through a break in the skin that may be caused by scratching
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Causes of Puppy Impetigo in Dogs

The cause of puppy impetigo is not well understood but may be any damage to the skin, or your dog’s immune or endocrine system. When the body’s system is compromised, the bacteria are able to grow to an uncontrolled amount. Some of the common causes are:

  • Fleas
  • Food allergy
  • Insect bite
  • Mange
  • Urine scalding
  • Compromised immune system
  • Weakened endocrine system
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Diagnosis of Puppy Impetigo in Dogs

Diagnosing your puppy will include a complete physical assessment, medical background, laboratory testing, and imaging. The veterinarian will want to know if your puppy has had any illnesses or injuries recently. Abnormal appetite or behavior will be noted as well. Immunizations, and overall health are important to discuss and at this time you should let the veterinarian know if you have given your puppy any kind of medication (prescription and over the counter) because this can affect the diagnosis. 

The veterinarian will do a complete and thorough examination of your dog from head to tail, which will include a detailed check of the skin and coat. In order to evaluate the skin issue, the veterinarian will take a skin scraping to get a tissue sample for microscopic examination, samples of the fluid or pus from the blisters for cytological analysis and direct impression smears of the lesions. A bacterial and fungal culture, chemical panel, complete blood count, urinalysis, and blood glucose level can rule out infection or conditions such as mite infestation. If the veterinarian suspects an underlying illness, x-rays may be needed for verification.

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Treatment of Puppy Impetigo in Dogs

Treating your puppy for impetigo usually consists of shampoos, creams, and antibiotics. In severe cases, or if your puppy has an underlying disorder that caused the impetigo, further medication or treatment may be needed.

Medicated Shampoo

There are many different medicated shampoos that can be used for this condition, but your veterinarian should be able to tell you which is best for your dog. Some of the choices are benzoyl peroxide, ethyl lactate, and chlorhexidine. You will be instructed how often to use the shampoo, but it is usually once or twice a week for a month.

Topical Antibiotic Ointment

Some of the topical creams or ointments that your veterinarian may prescribe are mupirocin, neomycin, and polymyxin.

Antibiotics

Your veterinarian will probably prescribe a systemic antibiotic such as erythromycin, cephalexin, or clindamycin for 6-8 weeks. In some cases, it may take more than one round of antibiotics due to resistant bacteria.

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Worried about the cost of Puppy Impetigo treatment?

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Recovery of Puppy Impetigo in Dogs

The prognosis for your puppy is excellent once you get treatment. It is extremely rare for any type of impetigo to be fatal in any dog. The underlying condition may be more of an issue, but with treatment, the prognosis is still good when discovered early. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions exactly and call if you have any questions or concerns about the healing of the skin.

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Puppy Impetigo Average Cost

From 312 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

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Puppy Impetigo Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Doberman Pinscher

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7 weeks

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8 found helpful

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8 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Blister

My pet is 7 weeks old and it is affected by pimples on the abdomen

Sept. 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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8 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Puppies are very prone to superficial skin infections, and sometimes you can resolve them by washing the area gently twice a day with a chlorhexidine solution like hibiclens. If you do that, and the pimples are not getting better, then it would be best to mention it to your veterinarian at your next preventive care appointment. I hope that all goes well for your puppy!

Sept. 29, 2020

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German Shepherd

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Twenty Two Weeks

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2 found helpful

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2 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Red Bumps

Hello, I just adopted this puppy from a friend in oklahoma. I live in New mexico. When i first got my puppy he was covered in ticks, from head to toe. I finally got all the ticks removed and under control. I did notice that after removing the ticks he had some bumps left over. However, over the past few weeks he has developed bumps all over, some of them look puss filled and some of them are red and some of them are scabby and bleeding. His head and face have the worst of it and it seems to be now on his belly and legs. My other dog does not seem to be affected, but i am not sure what to do.

Sept. 16, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question, I'm sorry that your dog is having this problem. I'm glad that you were able to help him. Since this seems to be happening over the last few weeks, and doesn't seems to be a sudden problem, having him seen on Monday should be fine. Your veterinarian will be able to look at the lumps and see what medications he needs, as he probably these antibiotics to get rid of some of those infected areas. In the meantime, you can try washing him with a gentle chlorhexidine solution like hibiclens, and see if that helps a little bit. I hope that your veterinarian is able to help clear up this infection, and he feels better soon.

Sept. 16, 2020

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Puppy Impetigo Average Cost

From 312 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

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