What is Pyoderma in dogs? How is it manifested? How is it treated?
In this article, you will find some answers you may be looking for about pyoderma in dogs in order to understand better this kind of skin disease. Pyoderma is an infection affecting the dog’s skin, although being the skin a mirror of what happens underneath, it may indicate problems derived from other disorders.
It is not enough to eliminate the problem on the surface by using medicines just to cure pyoderma. In this case, it is useful to find out the underlying causes that lead the dog to have this reaction on the skin. Even dogs, like us, have food intolerance or allergies affecting the liver, an integral organ sending this scaling to the skin.
Pyoderma In Dogs: A Type Of Dermatitis
Have you ever noticed red spots on your dog’s skin? Does it continually spend time scratching and licking? It might be pyoderma, a frequent disorder, a type of canine dermatitis.
The skin, besides covering the entire living organism, is also the organ that remains in contact with the external environment, with bacteria, virus, pollution, dirt present in the air, and in direct contact with various weather factors, such as heat, cold, or humidity. Pyoderma may derive from one of the aforementioned factors and cause a cutaneous infection.
Pyoderma In Dogs: Causes And Types
Pyoderma in dogs can be classified according to how deep the infection goes:
- Surface pyoderma: It affects the surface of the skin, the outermost layer of the skin, and adnexal structures (for example, folliculitis, intertrigo, etc.);
- Deep Pyoderma: This classification affects the dermis and may reach the subcutaneous tissue (for example, localized or generalized furunculosis, abscesses).
Many cases of pyoderma in dogs are associated with the bacterial species Staphylococcus, particularly Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and Staphylococcus aureus.
These bacteria live and reproduce typically in the dog’s skin, in areas like the nostrils, throat, or the anal sphincter. Other bacteria that may be connected to pyoderma are the genus Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Pseudomona aeruginosa, and occasionally, we may find Actinomyces, Nocardia, and Mycobacterium.
The most common one is surface pyoderma and the most common causes are:
- Food allergies or intolerances,
- Hormonal imbalances,
- Environmental conditions like humidity or high temperatures,
- Pesticides for ticks and fleas,
- Vaccines and the use of medicines,
- Old age and stress,
- Intestinal yeast overgrowth (or fungal dysbiosis) and gluten intolerance.
Pyoderma In Dogs: Symptoms
Pyoderma in dogs is manifested by small red spots that, in time, get bigger and become pustules, lesions that form crusts.
Deep pyoderma in dogs may be generalized or localized in different areas (between the toes, the chin, the anus, the pads, acral and nasal areas). Deeper pyoderma is responsible for the formation of blood bubbles, pustules, ulcers, and, finally, even infected fistulae. Besides the color, another symptom of pyoderma is itching, which makes it lick and scratch itself continuously in the affected area. Animals may also feel fatigued and fever.
Pyoderma In Dogs: Factors And Diseases That May Make The Dog Prone To This Disorder
There are factors that may predispose our dog to suffer from pyoderma, like primary disorders that favor bacterial cutaneous processes, for example:
- Hypersensitivity symptoms, like canine atopic dermatitis, that causes pruritus or scratching. Our dog will want to scratch itself, which, as a result of these abrasions, cause lesions.
- Seborrhea, since our dog’s skin will contain more bacteria, and the outermost oily layer of the skin will be altered. All this produces inflammation, pruritus, and, occasionally, follicle obstructions.
- Endocrinopathies: hypothyroidism, hypoadrenocorticism, hormonal imbalances, diabetes.
- Neoplasms, like cutaneous lymphoma.
- Parasitic diseases, like Demodicosis and Leishmaniosis.
- Corticoid use-related iatrogenic symptoms.
Pyoderma In Dogs: Treatment and Natural Remedies
Different treatments will be advised depending on the depth and nature of the infection. Before deciding which kind of treatment to provide the dog, it is essential to understand the underlying condition behind this infection, since pyoderma may be secondary, as we explained, to another disease.
Ask your vet to perform the tests he or she considers necessary to determine what the underlying cause is. In order to treat canine pyoderma permanently, it is better to limit the use of antibiotics and to identify the underlying cause.
Treatments include shampoos and topical antiseptics, which also work for preventing the infection. In the most severe stages, creams containing cortisone, antibiotics, and antihistamines are recommended, of course under the advice of a vet.
Undoubtedly, there are some natural remedies to prevent and strengthen the dog’s immune system, like antioxidants, supplements, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids intake. Besides, a natural diet consisting of vegetables and meat is quite adequate, since the food is digested easily and fast, it does not spend too much time in the stomach, and it helps prevent canine pyoderma.
Pyoderma in Dogs: Prevention
In order to prevent this disorder, it is essential the dog is kept healthy, with an adequate diet that keeps it from developing any intolerance. Dog owners should avoid feeding the dog repeatedly with the same foods, this is key for the intestine to work better.
A balanced diet helps to maintain water balance in the skin and the lipid layer, and a good balance of fatty acids is integral to maintaining the skin in good health. An inadequate diet, as well as medicines, may cause toxins to deposit in the tissues.
It is very important to prevent any alteration in the intestinal flora since this also keeps other organs working properly. Breed dogs are prone to have this sort of issue, because they are breastfed for shorter periods of time, substituting this for less healthy food, they are vaccinated earlier when they have not yet built their immune system completely.
The German Shepherd is susceptible to this disorder, as well as the Dalmatian, the Setter, the Boxer, and other breeds with skin folds, like the Shar-Pei and the Pug. With these dogs, the owner must be extra careful and try to prevent pyoderma from developing by following the suggestions mentioned before.
Pyoderma in dogs, as it was explained, is not a serious disease: it is not fatal, it can be cured, but with the required case verification, or we run the risk of recurrences once the treatment is completed. Your dog is not risking its life, it is just feeling pain and discomfort because of the pustules that cause itchiness and pain.
If you have more doubts, you may ask a professional near your house, who will provide great service and answer all your questions.
You may be interested in reading another article related to the health of our friends such as:
- Canine Parvovirus
- Diarrhea in Dogs
- Leptospirosis (Weil’s Disease) in Dogs
- Scabies in Dogs (Sarcoptic Mange)
- Dermatitis in Dogs
- Dog Constipation
- Distemper in Dogs