How To Treat Your Dog’s Bacterial Skin Infection
Bacterial skin infections in dogs often result from an underlying immune disorder. The most common predisposing causes include allergies . Hormonal conditions such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s Disease of the adrenal gland, and diseases such as liver disease, kidney disease, and even cancer may predispose many dogs to bacterial skin infections. Symptoms of skin infections include scaling, crustiness, hair loss, and the development of papules, pustules, and pus/discharge on the skin. Your veterinarian can diagnosis pyoderma by visual exam however, definitive diagnosis may require examination of hair and discharge, and skin cultures of the lesions. Follow the steps below to treat your dog’s bacterial skin infection:
Most dogs with bacterial skin infections should have the affected areas flushed and cleaned as often as possible. In cases where the hair is matted, it may be necessary to have the hair clipped in order to allow air to access to the areas and give the infection ample opportunity to heal. Topical antibacterial soaps and shampoos can help such as KetoChlor Shampoo or Malapet Shampoo. It is often necessary to shampoo pets once to twice a week, while also using any prescribed antibiotic therapy for maximal chances of recovery.
Symptoms Of Fungal & Bacterial Skin Infection In Dogs
These are common signs of both fungal and staph infection in dogs.
Common clinical symptoms of yeast dermatitis include:
- Recurring or chronic ear infections
- Itchiness and redness
- Elephant skin or thickened skin
- Crusty, scaly or flaky skin
Common clinical symptoms of staph infection include:
- Pus-filled lesions on the skin
- Excessive licking, itching or chewing
- Patchy fur with peeling, moist or crusty skin
- Systemic infections in the ears, eyes, skin or respiratory system
How Long Should It Take For Antibiotics To Work For A Uti
The appropriate antibiotic for a UTI should help your dog feel better within 2-3 days, but keep giving it to your pup for the entire length of time your vet directed. If you think your dogs UTI antibiotic isnt working, call your vet. Your dog could need a different antibiotic to clear up the infection. Many different kinds of bacteria can cause UTIs in dogs, so its not uncommon for vets to have to switch antibiotics for a UTI.
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How Long Should A Dog Be On Antibiotics
If youre wondering, how long do antibiotics take to work on a dog? It depends on the type of infection. As weve said above, its always best to follow your veterinarians directions. And if your dog doesnt seem to be improving after a week or so, you may want to contact your veterinarian to see if theres a more effective antibiotic available.
What Are Some Of The Risk Factors
Recurrence of staph skin infection in dogs is common, however there are some factors which tend to predispose a dog to this infection. When these risk factors are present, the dogs immune system has to fight continuously to defend against the growth of the staphylococcal bacteria and any weakness in the immune system will make the dog susceptible to infection.
Dog with allergies very frequently suffer from canine pyoderma since they have malfunctioning immune systems. The allergies cause your dog to itch and scratch. The scratching causes self-inflicted breaks in the skin barrier, allowing the bacteria to enter and start infection. In addition, the continual scratching makes the condition even worse, causing even greater damage to the skin.
Some breeds have excessive folds and wrinkles in their skin, and they are also more apt to get recurrent pyoderma. These can be normal variation such as in bulldogs and Shar Peis, although sometimes this can be weight related. In these situations, the affected areas of skin are prone to problems that arise from a combination of rubbing, heat and trapped moisture. They provide a warm and moist environment that can lead to the growth of bacteria. Antibacterial cleansing and drying may help but they do nothing to treat the underlying cause.
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Preventing Bacterial Skin Infections In Dogs
The easiest way to handle dog skin infections is to prevent them from occurring. While you cant avoid all contact with undesirable bacteria, you can take some proactive steps.
- Clean skin folds daily. Dogs with wrinkly faces are more prone to bacterial skin infections. Use a warm, clean washcloth to clean between their skin folds at the end of each day. Ensure the area is completely dry after cleaning.
- Give baths after messy play. Rolling around in the dirt or mud isnt just bad for your carpet. It can also introduce bacteria into small cuts on your dogs skin that you dont even know are there. Giving a bath after every day at the park can help prevent bacterial infections in your dogs skin.
- Manage allergies. Dogs who have skin allergies tend to scratch a lot and can create wounds that are vulnerable to infection. If you can treat the underlying allergy, your dog may experience fewer skin problems in general, including bacterial infections.
- Identify underlying conditions. Beyond allergies, your dog may also have underlying skin conditions that are leading to infection. Fleas, tick bites and other irritants are common culprits. Be sure to keep up with your pets flea and tick prevention plan. Also treat anything that may cause itchiness so you can limit broken skin on your pup.
By Step: Using Clear Tape For Cytologic Evaluation Of Pyoderma
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Treatment For A Bacterial Infection
First, bathe your dog with a good quality medicated shampoo that contains an antibacterial agent.
I found a great medicated shampoo to try is Derma Treat.
Derma-Treat has antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties that treats many skin irritations in dogs.
Derma-Treat is highly regarded by holistic MDs and has even been voted as the professional groomers’ ultimate choice for severe cases of skin problems where nothing else seems to
Baths should be given twice a week for the first 2 weeks, then scale down to once a week for a month and finally just once a month.
Antibiotics and/or ear-drops may be prescribed by your veterinarian for a bacterial skin infection. But be warned, if you just treat the infection with antibiotics alone, and don’t determine the root cause, it may come back time and time again.
Dog Antibiotics For Skin Infections
Bacterial skin infections in dogs, also referred to as pyoderma or bacterial dermatitis, can occur in any breed or age. The most common dog bacterial skin infection is a staph infection. In many cases, veterinarians prescribe an oral antibiotic to treat skin bacterial infections. Your vet may need to do a skin culture and antibiotic sensitivity test to make sure he prescribes the most effective antibiotic. Some common ones include:
In addition to bacterial skin infections, dogs can often develop yeast skin infections, which require different medications.
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Causes Of Bacterial Infection Of The Skin In Dogs
Pyoderma can be associated with many different conditions and veterinarians often struggle to find the exact cause. The following conditions are often related.
- Flea infection
- Any chronic form of dermatitis
- Fungal or yeast infection
- Endocrine imbalance that reduces lymphocyte counts like Cushings disease , and hypothyroidism
Which Antibiotics Can Dogs Or Cats Take
There are four types of microorganisms that can cause infection in or on your pet’s body. These tiny microbials include bacterium, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Your veterinarian typically determines what type of pet antibiotic medication to prescribe only after making a diagnosis and determining what type of organism is causing the problem.
The pet antibiotic you should use to treat your furry companion depends on which organism you’re fighting and how the medication works in your pet’s body.
Bacteria invades your pet’s body in any number of ways: through open wounds, in something your pet eats, or just by cohabiting in the same environment as your pet. They come in different shapes and sizes, and it is those physical characteristics that help your veterinarian determine which bacteria are infecting your animal. Responsible for gastroenteritis, pneumonia, skin infections, urinary tract problems, and a host of other diseases, these tiny, one-celled organisms can multiply unchecked in your pet’s body without the intervention of antibiotics.
Bacterial antibiotics work to destroy the offending cells while leaving your pet’s healthy cells intact. Depending on the medication, an antibiotic might inhibit the bacterium’s ability to construct cell walls, thus destroying its ability to reproduce. An antibiotic can also starve the bacterium by stopping its ability to transform glucose into energy, a major function of all living cells.
Common antibiotic medications for pets include:
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The Best Antibiotics For Dogs
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from bacterial infections as well. These infections can put your dog through a lot of discomfort, and if left untreated, they can become life-threatening.
If your veterinarian suggests it, antibiotics can help your dog fight and recover from a bacterial infection.
In this article, were going to go over some of the best antibiotics that are often given to our canine friends in times of need. Youll also learn what types of infections in pets are treated by antibiotics, the right time to administer antibiotics, and whether these infections can resolve themselves.
Lets get started:
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Common Causes Of A Dog Skin Infection
You may be wondering how on earth your best pal contracted a skin infection, but it’s not that uncommon for them. Especially if they fall into one of the most common categories below:
The most common causes for a dog skin infection are:
Skin infections in dogs are not solely restricted to these causes though, any dog can get one, so learning about the different types, causes, symptoms, and treatment, is always good to know.
You can usually tell which type of infection your dog is suffering from based on the visual symptoms . This is, however, more difficult when the infected area is the ears as the visible signs are the same – shaking the head, scratching the ears, holding the head to one side, etc.
Having said that, if itchy ears are accompanied by lots of biting and licking of the paws, then a yeast infection is more likely the cause.
If your fur-baby is suffering from ear infections, she really will be suffering, it’s painful. That’s why ear infections should always be checked by your veterinarian, who can give quick relief.
You can find more information on Dog Ear Problems.
For skin infections in dogs, your veterinarian will be able to determine the type of infection by taking a swab and analyzing this under a microscope. Once you know the kind, you can treat it accordingly.
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How Do I Choose The Best Antibiotic Ointment
Choosing the best antibiotic ointment depends on whether a brand name is desired, or if a store brand will suffice. In addition, some people prefer ointments that contain pain relievers. An antibiotic ointment is a topical preparation used to prevent infections from minor skin irritations. Typically, this ointment is used for minor abrasions, cuts, insect bites, or burns, and should never be used on deep wounds or wounds that cover a large portion of the skin.
An antibiotic ointment can contain one or more antibiotics such as neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin. The combination of these three antibiotics are often referred to as a triple-antibiotic ointment. Before using the ointment, the area should be thoroughly cleaned with warm water and a mild soap. After the ointment has been applied, the area should be covered with a sterile bandage or dressing. The bandage not only helps keep bacteria out of the wound, it also helps the skin absorb the product better.
Update On Treating Canine Staphylococcal Skin Infections
Recent developments in Staphylococcal skin infections are changing the diagnostic process and treatment.
Patients with staphylococcal skin infections are seen every day in small-animal general practice. However, recent developments in treatment options, along with concerns about emerging antibiotic resistance, are changing the way we diagnose and treat these conditions. These six key points highlight the current principles and practices:
1. Treating a staphylococcal infection is not enough. It is critical to search for the underlying cause of the infection and treat or prevent it.
Coagulase-positive staphylo-cocci are normal organisms on canine and feline skin. Infection occurs only in the presence of an underlying cause. It’s important to explain to clients that the staphylococcal infection is not something that their pet contracted from the environment or another animal. Some physiologic or micro-environmental change had to occur in the skin to allow colonization and infection. Thus, particularly in the case of recurrent infections, it is critical to search for this underlying cause and treat or prevent it.
2. The choice of systemic antibiotic treatment is based on considerations of efficacy, safety, cost, and client compliance.
3. Staphylococcal skin infections should be treated for at least one to two weeks past clinical resolution of the lesions.
4. Increasingly, staphylococcal skin infections may require a culture and sensitivity test prior to treatment.
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Monitoring Response To Therapy
Patients with a simple, uncomplicated UTI may not require rigorous monitoring. However, patients with complicated, relapsing, or recurrent infections should be monitored very closely. The following protocol is recommended to monitor response to therapy in patients with relapsing, recurrent, or refractory UTI.3
No More Pills No More Missed Doses
As a pet owner with a busy schedule, administering medication to your dog or cat several times a day can be a challenge. Just one dose of CONVENIA provides your pet with up to a 14 day course of antibiotic therapy. You enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your pet is receiving its proper dose throughout the treatment period.
CONVENIA is a long-acting injectable antibiotic for treating common bacterial skin infections in cats and dogs. CONVENIA provides consistent dosage over a 14-day treatment period is built into the injection.
A single shot of CONVENIA, delivered by your veterinarian, provides your pet with:
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What Is Bacterial Infection Of The Skin
Many species of bacteria normally reside on the skin of dogs without causing any signs. Infection develops when conditions create an environment where bacteria can proliferate. This could be a flea infestation, an allergic reaction, a wound, or an underlying disease that depletes the immune system. Many different types of bacteria may be involved, but the most common species associated with pyoderma in dogs is staphylococcus pseudointermedius. The name pyoderma comes from the Greek words for pus and skin, so this term refers to any bacterial skin infection that exudes pus. Dogs may have red itchy patches of pustules that seep blood and discharge when they break. Severe infections may develop into painful ulcerations and boils. Bacteria flourish in moist conditions, so many pyoderma infections are caused by another condition that adds oil and moisture to the skin. Signs are more often found in the skin folds, or around areas of broken irritated skin. One-time infections are often treatable with antibiotics, but some dogs may have recurrent symptoms due to an allergy or an endocrine imbalance like hypothyroidism or Cushings disease. In this case, the underlying condition will also need to be treated. Recurrent infections can be more problematic, especially if they lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
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Bacterial Infection of the Skin Average Cost