Skin Infections in Dogs

Many skin problems in dogs can be traced back to the condition of their coats. A dog whose fur doesn’t completely dry is more likely to develop skin infections since damp fur limits the amount of air which reaches the skin. As a result, this skin becomes the ideal breeding ground for various skin infections.

In addition, dogs tend to lick their wounds. This can cause small cracks to appear in the skin, where bacteria can spread quickly and eventually lead to inflammation.

Bacterial skin infections in dogs are usually caused by staphylococci or staphylococcal bacteria. Symptoms that occur due to a bacterial infection can include:

Bacterial skin infections can affect the whole body of your dog, but it is usually more concentrated than that. For example, infections often appear in dogs’ ears, or the area between their toes and the calluses on their elbows.

Treating a bacterial infection:

  • Wash the dog with antibiotic shampoos such as those containing benzoyl peroxide.
  • Dry the dog thoroughly and apply an antibiotic ointment to the affected area.
  • Cover the area with bandages and make sure that your dog cannot reach the affected area with his/her tongue. An “e-collar” may be required.
  • Continue to use the antibiotics and take your dog to the veterinarian.

Fungal skin infections in dogs are caused by the fungi Microsporum and Trichophyton. This type of infection can be identified by a circular hair loss as well as a crusty and dry center inside the dog’s bald spots. Most of the dog’s head and legs are affected. However, the disease can spread to the entire body if left untreated.

Fungal diseases are transmissible to humans. Therefore, you should keep the dog away from any other people and wash your hands thoroughly after treating your dog.


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