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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 symptoms, 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.Highly contagious, it is also resistant to antibiotics rendering it hard to eliminate. The infection starts 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.

Puppy Impetigo Average Cost

From 312 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

Symptoms of Puppy Impetigo in Dogs

The symptoms of impetigo may include:

  • Areas of acne or rash
  • Small patches of inflamed skin
  • Skin infections
  • Pus filled blisters
  • Crust and scales
  • Scratching, licking, and biting areas of infection
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Weight loss

 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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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

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Doberman Pinscher

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7 weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Blister

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

yesterday

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 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!

yesterday

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German Shepherd

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Twenty Two Weeks

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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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1 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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Siberian Husky

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Eleven Weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Red Bumps

Hello, Last night I noticed my 11 week old puppy had a small scratch on his tummy where he has no hair, today I noticed he now had some red pus filled bumps on him and I am worried!! My boyfriend and I cant afford to go to the vet until next week so I was hoping theirs something I can do until then

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. You can try cleaning the area gently twice daily with a chlorhexidine solution such as Hibiclens, and see if that helps clear the infection up. If it is worsening, or not improving, then having him seen by a veterinarian as soon as you can would be best. I hope that all goes well for him!

Aug. 1, 2020

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Lab mix

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Three Months

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Unknown severity

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Has Symptoms

Scratching And Rash On Stomach

The puppy keeps scratching and biting paws. He has little sores on his belly area. What is this?

July 25, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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Hello- It sounds like he may have developed a skin infection. The most common underlying cause of skin infections and itchiness is allergies in dogs. Dogs can have both food allergies, allergies to fleas and environmental allergies.I would schedule a visit with your veterinarian to have his skin evaluated. They will be able to provide medication to help with an infection if present and medication for his itchiness.

July 25, 2020

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Maltese

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9 weeks

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Small Bumps Near Private

Hello! My Maltese puppy back two legs are always wet and her private areas always are damp. When she uses the bathroom she always gets a little pee on her legs and now I see she has developed small bumps near her private parts. What should I do?

July 16, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. You can try washing the area gently with a chlorhexidine solution like hibiclens, and see if that keeps it clean and free of bacteria. If things are resolving, great. iI they are not resolving and they are getting worse., then it would be best to ask your veterinarian about it, as she may need a medicated shampoo or wipe. I hope that all goes well for her.

July 16, 2020

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Daisy

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Chihuahua

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5 Months

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Daisy does not seem to be in any pain. Appetite is normal, activity is normal, she cleans herself regularly. No itching present. Scabs are few and small on tips of Daisy’s ears. Thinking there were mites or even deer ticks I inspected, cleaned, and kept an eye on them. No inflammation of skin. No signs of bugs or infections other than few small pus filled spots that come and go on stomach. Should I just bathe her in antibacterial soaps? Could this be a food allergy? Daisy currently eats “Small Paws Puppy” Hills Science Diet...

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Brendal

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Olde English Bulldogge

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8 Weeks

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

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Red Rash Looks Like Scrapes

I just sold one of my females 8 week old pupps to a New home and about a week or so later he has developed a red rash on the under hairless side of his ear flap

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Eli

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Golden Retriever

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4 Months

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Hot Spots
Rashes
Bumps

My 5 month old golden pupper had mites before I got him. He also was not properly taken cared of by his first owner. The first day I got him, I had to administer a quick bath and noticed mites and red spots and rashes all over his body which I thoroughly applied coconut oil with. After a week, we had his first 5-in-1 vaccine shot. We are not quite sure about what the proper dog food for him would be so we had to try different high brands from friends' recommendations and that was a huge mistake on our part. The following week, we gave him a de-wormer and noticed many *dead worms in his poop. We also had rabies vaccine a week after deworming. As of now, we switched to a regular dog food and diet for him, adding veggies and other supplements on his food. During his 3rd week, I noticed rashes, bumps, spreading on his belly and groin area even after giving him a bath. I regularly put coconut oil on the affected area but I see minimal improvement. Could the underlying factors be the poor condition my dog has been before as well as the inconsistency on his diet? We are planning to visit his vet soon on his second 5-in-1 shot.

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Jameson

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Bernese Mountain Dog

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8 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Chewing

My pup is a 8 month old Bernease Mountain Dog. We’ve been feeding him a steady diet of Orijen Large Breed puppy kibble. He’s eaten it regularly without any problems up until a week ago. We had hit the bottom of the bag, and he began not finishing his meals. We picked up a new bag and cannot get him to eat unless we doctor it up with some chicken stock and a scrambled egg. It was about this time we noticed pimple/ in grown hair like sores all over him. Having a very thick coat of fur we didn’t notice them immediately. I’ve taken him to the vet as it’s getting colder I thought it might be fleas- and he is not currently on any fleas/tick medication. The vet examined him and did a swab of one of the pimple/scabs and was able to confirm it wasn’t fleas or ticks- it was his own skin. It’s not a heat rash and was told they haven’t seen anything like it. They gave us a comb and said if he itches to give him Benadryl. Not feeling satisfied with the answer I took a look at one of the sores/scabs and noticed a green like puss coming out of it. I’ve googled it and it sounds like impetigo. As for location it’s all over- his neck, back side, rear end and legs. There’re not grouped together like a rash or the way poison ivy would look - instead like little insect or mosquito bites. I could use any help in determining if I’m on the right track or if I’m just being a worried pet owner- all advice is welcome since I’ve already been to our vet. The Friday prior to noticing this we had given him a bath at a pet store using their natural oatmeal products with de-shedder solution. Jameson is not on any medication other than the interceptor heart worm pill.

Puppy Impetigo Average Cost

From 312 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

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