Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet's symptoms or health.
Pet Assure allows pet owners to save on their pet's veterinary care, even pre-existing conditions. Click here to learn more.
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 includes:
- 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.
Other signs may include:
- Flaky skin patches
- 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 a recurrence.
There is a great prognosis for pyoderma if you give medication properly and treat the underlying cause.
Medically Reviewed by Sara Ochoa, DVM