Pyoderma is a skin infection that can cause itching, inflammation, crusts, pustules, a rash, and/or hair loss at the site of the infection, among other, grosser symptoms. Dogs and cats both can get the condition, which occurs when something has actually occurred to the skin that allows bacteria to grow unattended. Pyoderma can be treated with oral or topical antibiotics and/or shampoos, however the underlying cause needs to be resolved, too.
Causes of Pyoderma in Dogs and Cats
Pyoderma is a bacteria infection of the skin. It happens when the skin’s natural defenses break down, thereby enabling typical skin bacteria to increase. Opportunistic bacteria that don’t normally live on the skin can also colonize when the skin’s defenses have actually been broken down. Other organisms, such as yeast and fungal organisms, can likewise benefit from the skin modifications that occur with pyoderma and establish their own infections.
All pyodermas have a prompting cause. In basic, any disturbance in the immune system’s ability to keep bacteria from overgrowing on the skin can cause pyoderma, consisting of:
Damage to the skin (bite injuries, bug bites, scratching, ringworm, mange, burns, chemical inflammation, urine scalding, growths).
Allergic reactions to fleas, foods, or other irritants.
Immunosuppression triggered by specific medications, viral disease, cancer, liver disease, thyroid disease, or other health problem.
Dogs and cats of any age can be impacted by pyoderma.
Symptoms and Identification
The medical signs of pyoderma might include:
- Loss of hair.
- Exuding sores.
- Pus-filled blisters (called pustules).
- Foul smell.
Diagnostic testing to validate a bacterial infection and identify the main cause may include numerous of the following:
- Adhesive tape prep: Placing a small strip of adhesive tape versus the animal’s skin or hair for a few seconds allows skin cells and other debris to stick to the tape. When your vet examines the tape under a microscope, bacteria, yeast, inflammatory cells, cancer cells, skin parasites, and other problems can typically be seen.
- Skin scrape: Gently scraping the surface area of the skin with a dull scalpel blade or similar instrument can eliminate cells just listed below the skin’s surface area. These cells are then taken a look at under a microscopic lense. Mites that cause mange can be determined using this strategy.
- Bacterial culture: A swab of the skin (or of a pustule) can be sent out to the laboratory to determine what bacteria are present and which antibiotics should be used to treat the infection.
- Fungal culture: Hairs from infected skin can be sent out to the laboratory to be evaluated for ringworm or other fungal infections.
- Biopsy: After an anesthetic or sedation is administered to the patient, a small piece of skin can be gotten rid of and sent out to the lab for evaluation.
- Blood screening: A blood sample can reveal internal disorders that may have affected the skin’s barriers to infection. More substantial screening might be pursued to search for thyroid disease or other specific disorders that can cause or contribute to skin diseases.
- Allergy testing: Along with food trials (for food allergy), blood and/or skin testing can help determine if an allergy exists, identify which allergens are causing a problem, and help your veterinarian determine whether particular treatment for the allergic reaction is possible.
Dogs and cats of any type can experience pyoderma.
Treatment for Pyoderma in Dogs
The infection itself can generally be looked after with a course of antibiotics prescribed by your vet. Antibiotics can be administered by mouth, by injection, or applied topically in a range of formulations (gels, foams, creams, hair shampoos, leave-in conditioners, and sprays). However, the underlying cause—- whether it’s parasites, hormone imbalances, allergies or hygienic issues—- should be particularly dealt with to avoid the problem and keep it from repeating. When a family pet’s primary disease or husbandry problem is under control, chances are good that the animal will recuperate from pyoderma and not suffer a recurrence.
The best way to prevent pyoderma is to attend to any underlying diseases, follow excellent fundamental hygiene strategies, and utilize appropriate animal husbandry practices.