Pyoderma in dogs

dog at the vet
Written by: Sam Webster (BVetMed MRCVS) Head Vet at Joii

Pyoderma is a skin condition that affects many dogs and is often referred to as “pus in the skin”. Whilst it can look and sound scarier than it actually is, it’s a fairly common condition – perhaps the most common reason that people bring their dog to the vet.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the condition, symptoms to look out for and how to care for your dog with pyoderma.


What is pyoderma in dogs?


Pyoderma is a bacterial skin infection affecting dogs and is sometimes known as impetigo, especially in young puppies. Pyoderma occurs when the dog’s skin’s surface has been broken or injured, and can be caused by allergies, parasites, fleas, anatomical issues, low thyroid levels, diabetes and even some cancers.

Pyoderma is usually caused by an underlying health issue, which means it is not contagious and cannot be passed from one dog to another. However, the cause of the pyoderma can sometimes be contagious.


What are the symptoms of pyoderma?


The most common symptoms of pyoderma are that form on the skin and look very similar to pimples in humans. Other symptoms to look out for include:

  • Itchiness
  • Reddened skin
  • Crusted skin
  • Loss of hair
  • Dried discharge in affected area


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How do you treat pyoderma?


Pyoderma typically responds well to treatment and topical antibacterial products (sometimes also oral antibiotics) are used at home for a minimum of three to four weeks. Your vet may need to investigate any potential underlying causes such as allergies to prevent the problem recurring.


Pyoderma is a common skin condition that affects many dogs – if you spot any of the symptoms in your dog it’s best to get them checked as soon as you can. Whilst pyoderma isn’t really dangerous, it can turn into something more serious if it isn’t treated as early as possible.

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