Pet insurance companies call it a pre-existing condition. I call it pyoderma.

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Dog Insurance

Canine Pyoderma

Pyoderma is a bacterial skin infection that affects dogs with underlying skin problems.


Underlying skin conditions that leave skin more susceptible to and cause pyoderma include:

  • Allergic diseases: pyoderma can develop where the dog is constantly scratching
  • Hormonal imbalance: often from a thyroid disease
  • Skin infections: yeast, fungal
  • Parasites: fleas, ticks
  • Seborrhea: a skin disease

Dogs with any of the above problems commonly have pyoderma.

Pyoderma may occur when:

  • The skin's surface has been broken
  • The skin is injured from constant exposure to moisture
  • The blood flow to the skin is affected
  • The immune system is compromised


The most common and noticeable symptom is red, raised pimples with white pus.

Othersigns may include:

  • Scabs
  • Flaky skin patches
  • Itching
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive shedding
  • Greasy hair


Your veterinarian will examine your dog's signs and medical history and perform some tests, including:

  • Skin scraping
  • Skin biopsy
  • Fungal culture
  • Bacterial culture
  • Blood tests to check for hormonal diseases
  • Allergy testing


Most veterinarians will recommend the following treatments:

  • Topical and oral antibiotics: the length of time for medication depends on the depth of the infection, and must be completed in full, even if the skin improves
  • Follow-up visits: required because your dog may need changes in medication as the condition improves
  • Medicated shampoo: use to bathe your dog
  • Bedding: provide padded bedding that is dry and clean


The underlying problem must be treated to prevent recurrence.


There is a great prognosis for pyoderma if you give medication properly and treat the underlying cause.

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