Impetigo is a common skin disease in dogs. It is a very common condition especially in prepubertal dogs living in unhygienic conditions. Impetigo, also called puppy pyoderma, is a type of skin infection most commonly seen in puppies and adolescent dogs. In this article, we will talk about the symptoms of impetigo in dogs, its treatment and ways to protect dogs from this health problem.
What Is Puppy Pyoderma or Impetigo?
Pyoderma can be expressed as the clinical term for any type of skin infections. Pyoderma is defined as the appearance of pus from the skin. Impetigo, on the other hand, is commonly caused by the overgrowth and multiplication of staphylococcus bacteria on the dog’s skin, although it is possible that different bacterial strains cause this health problem. Although impetigo is usually seen due to unhygienic living conditions, it is not correct to say that all dogs with this health problem have a neglected living space. Impetigo is not contagious, and no transmission is expected when dogs come into contact with a dog with impetigo.
What Causes Impetigo in Dogs?
The cause of impetigo in dogs is not fully understood. It is possible to talk about some situations that can cause impetigo in dogs and cause the emergence of a risk factor. There is an increased risk of impetigo in dogs in cases such as a problem in the immune or endocrine system or skin damage. In addition, the problem of external parasites, insect bites, ringworm, scabies, food allergy, and damage to the skin also increase the risk of impetigo. Some breeds are predisposed to impetigo. Staffordshires Bull Terrier, Bulldog, Boxer dogs may be prone to impetigo due to their wrinkled skin structure. Although impetigo generally comes to the forefront as a disease of puberty and adolescence, it is seen that it continues until adulthood in some cases.
What Are the Symptoms of Impetigo in Dogs?
The first visible sign of impetigo is acne-like lesions appearing on the skin. These lesions look like red bumps and contain a white substance called pus inside them. Lesions commonly occur on the armpits, chin, and sparsely hairy areas. Lesions can be seen in the inguinal region, in the vetral abdomen, which is hairless.
Hair loss may occur in the area of the lesions. The dog may be scratching the area where the lesions occur more often than usual. In addition to these symptoms, if impetigo worsens, weakness and loss of appetite may also be seen.
How Is Impetigo Diagnosed in Dogs?
Lesions on the skin are the most common symptom, and when these lesions are seen, a veterinarian should be consulted. It is important to evaluate the dog’s living conditions and listen to its medical history. If the dog was rescued from a shelter or on the street, impetigo may have occurred due to past life circumstances. Afterwards, a physical examination is performed, which is important in distinguishing the follicular and non-follicular types of lesions. Non-follicular lesions are sought for the diagnosis of impetigo. With cytological examination, it may be necessary to evacuate one of the pus-filled vesicles, namely pustules. Examining the discharged pus can identify the bacteria causing the problem. The diagnosis can usually be made by history, physical examination, and if the diagnosis is not certain, cytological examination is considered. In rare cases where these are insufficient, histopathological examination, culture and sensitivity tests can also be performed.
It is also important to evaluate the underlying conditions that increase the risk in the diagnosis of impetigo in dogs. Endocrine system or immune system problems must be considered depending on the dog’s history. Finding the underlying cause of impetigo should be prioritized in dogs that live in a hygienic environment and whose vaccinations have been completed.
How to Treat Impetigo in Dogs?
Impetigo in dogs is a health problem that can be treated quite easily. In some cases, it is even possible for the dog to recover on its own. In severe cases where impetigo requires treatment, antibiotic therapy is commonly preferred. Topical applications may also be preferred in cases where impetigo is moderately severe.
Ways to Protect Dogs from Impetigo
As we mentioned at the beginning of our article, the true cause of impetigo is not known exactly. For this reason, what can be done to protect dogs from impetigo is recommended in line with generalizations. First of all, it is important to make regular veterinary checks of the dogs to make sure that they do not have a problem with the immune or endocrine system. The dog needs to be vaccinated regularly to protect it from parasites such as fleas. Even if the dog lives in a home environment, the items he uses need to be cleaned regularly. Items such as bedding, covers, pillows used by the dog should be cleaned regularly with odorless detergents. It is important to disinfect the dog’s toys at certain intervals in terms of protection from impetigo.