Dog Skin Infections Treatment: Relief for Pets

As a dog owner, I understand the importance of keeping our furry friends healthy and happy. Unfortunately, skin infections can be a common issue that our dogs may face. These infections can cause discomfort and irritation, resulting in itching, redness, and inflammation. However, with the right treatment, relief for our beloved pets is possible.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bacterial and fungal infections can lead to skin problems in dogs, such as itching and redness.
  • Common skin diseases in dogs include yeast dermatitis and staph infections.
  • Yeast dermatitis is caused by excessive growth of the fungus Malassezia pachydermatis.
  • Staph infections are caused by Staphylococcus bacteria and can be triggered by allergies, medications, or weakened immune systems.
  • Treatment options for these infections include oral antibiotics, topical ointments, and shampoos.

Causes of Bacterial & Fungal Skin Infections in Dogs

Bacterial and fungal skin infections in dogs can occur due to various factors. Understanding these causes can help pet owners take preventive measures and seek appropriate treatment.

Imbalance in the skin’s natural microbiota and changes in the immune system are common contributors to canine skin infections. Immune deficiencies can weaken the body’s ability to fight off infections, leaving dogs more susceptible to bacterial and fungal invaders.

Yeast infections, known as yeast dermatitis, can develop when there is an increase in oil production or an imbalance in the skin’s pH levels. Certain breeds, such as Lhasa Apsos, Poodles, Dachshunds, and more, may be genetically predisposed to yeast infections.

Staphylococcus bacteria, the cause of staph infections in dogs, can enter the skin through breaks or wounds caused by excessive scratching or licking. Allergies, medications, and environmental factors can trigger this behavior. Moreover, chronic debilitating diseases, allergies, fungal infections of the blood, and other secondary infections can also lead to staph infections.

While many bacteria and fungi naturally reside on a dog’s skin without causing issues, changes in skin conditions or a weakened immune system can create an environment where infections can thrive. As responsible pet owners, it’s crucial to be aware of these causes and take steps to minimize the risk of skin infections.

To treat canine skin infections effectively, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian who can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend suitable treatments. Treating dog skin infections promptly can alleviate discomfort, prevent further complications, and promote a healthier skin and coat.

The next section will focus on the diagnosis of fungal dermatitis and bacterial skin infections in dogs, shedding light on the various tests and examinations involved.

Diagnosis of Fungal Dermatitis & Bacterial Skin Infections in Dogs

When it comes to diagnosing skin infections in dogs, veterinarians employ various tests and examinations to accurately identify fungal dermatitis and bacterial infections. For yeast dermatitis, a combination of techniques can be used, including impression smears, skin biopsies, skin scrapings, acetate tape preparations, and cotton swab samples. These tests help to determine the presence of the fungus Malassezia pachydermatis, which is responsible for yeast dermatitis in dogs.

On the other hand, diagnosing bacterial skin infections, particularly staph infections, requires a comprehensive physical examination. This examination may include a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis to identify any underlying health issues or conditions. Additionally, skin tests may be conducted to determine the cause of inflammation, and in some cases, a skin biopsy may be necessary to provide a more accurate diagnosis. Veterinarians have access to advanced imaging and testing equipment in their in-house labs, which enables them to quickly and accurately diagnose these infections.

To better understand the diagnostic process, let’s take a closer look at each of these tests:

Impression Smears:

This test involves taking a sample of the affected skin and spreading it onto a microscope slide. The sample is then stained and examined under a microscope to identify the presence of yeast or bacteria.

Skin Biopsies:

A skin biopsy involves the removal of a small piece of affected skin for further examination. This procedure helps to determine the cause of inflammation and identify any potential underlying conditions or diseases.

Skin Scrapings:

During skin scrapings, a veterinarian will gently scrape the affected area of the skin to collect cells and debris. The collected sample is then examined under a microscope to identify the presence of fungi, mites, or other organisms causing the infection.

Acetate Tape Preparations:

An acetate tape preparation involves placing a piece of clear tape onto the affected skin. The tape is then pressed onto a glass slide, stained, and examined under a microscope to identify any yeast or bacteria present.

Cotton Swab Samples:

Using a sterile cotton swab, a sample is taken from the affected area of the skin and cultured to identify the specific strain of bacteria causing the infection.

These diagnostic tests play a crucial role in accurately identifying fungal dermatitis and bacterial skin infections in dogs. They enable veterinarians to prescribe the appropriate treatment and ensure the best possible care for our furry companions.

Treatment of Fungal Dermatitis & Staph Infection in Dogs

When it comes to treating fungal dermatitis and staph infections in dogs, there are effective options available. In the case of yeast dermatitis, the treatment may involve oral or topical medications, or a combination of both, depending on the severity of the infection. These medications may need to be administered for several months, and it’s important to monitor your dog’s liver function through regular blood tests to ensure there are no adverse side effects.

For staph infections, oral antibiotics are typically prescribed by veterinarians. Additionally, the use of antibacterial shampoo or topical ointments can aid in the healing process. The duration of the treatment will vary depending on the severity of the infection.

It’s crucial to handle and treat your dog carefully during the treatment period to prevent the spread of staph infections. These infections can be transmitted among dogs and even to humans. If your dog is taking any other medications or supplements, be sure to discuss them with your veterinarian to avoid potential interactions with the prescribed treatment.

dog skin infection remedies

Providing the right treatment for your dog’s skin infection is essential for their well-being and comfort. By following the recommended medication protocol and maintaining good hygiene practices, you can help alleviate your dog’s symptoms and promote a speedy recovery.

Key Points:

  • Treatment options for fungal dermatitis and staph infections in dogs include oral and topical medications.
  • Yeast dermatitis may require prolonged treatment with regular blood tests to monitor liver function.
  • Staph infections are typically treated with oral antibiotics, and additional topical treatments may be used.
  • Take precautions to prevent the spread of staph infections, as they can be contagious between dogs and can also affect humans.
  • Discuss any other medications or supplements your dog is taking with your veterinarian to ensure compatibility with the prescribed treatment.

Treating Pyoderma in Dogs: Prompt Identification and Treatment

Pyoderma is a common skin disorder in dogs that can be caused by various underlying factors such as immune disorders, allergies, hormonal conditions, or other internal diseases. It’s important to promptly identify and treat the underlying cause to effectively manage pyoderma in dogs.

Diagnosing pyoderma often involves culture and sensitivity tests, which help guide antibiotic treatment and determine if the infection is caused by a methicillin-resistant strain. With the right diagnosis, veterinarians can tailor the treatment approach for optimal results.

When it comes to treatment, topical therapy is often recommended for surface and superficial pyodermas. This may include the use of antibacterial soaps and shampoos, along with regular bathing to keep the affected area clean and promote healing.

In cases of deep pyodermas, prolonged antibiotic therapy may be necessary to effectively clear the infection. Alongside antibiotics, topical treatments can aid in the healing process and provide relief from discomfort.

Consultation with a veterinarian is essential in diagnosing and treating pyoderma in dogs. Veterinary professionals can provide personalized treatment plans and offer guidance on managing the condition to ensure the best possible outcome for your beloved pet.

Dogs’ Susceptibility to Skin Infections: Underlying Factors

Dogs are more susceptible to bacterial skin infections due to several underlying factors. These factors include the lack of a follicular lipid plug, a fragile skin barrier, and alkaline pH, which make it easier for bacteria to invade the skin and cause infections.

Dogs with underlying skin disorders, such as atopic dermatitis, are particularly vulnerable to bacterial infections. Atopic dogs may have a defective skin barrier and decreased levels of antimicrobial proteins, making them more prone to bacterial infections.

In addition to skin disorders, other factors can predispose dogs to skin infections. Allergies, hormonal conditions like hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease, as well as diseases affecting the liver, kidneys, or immune system, can increase a dog’s susceptibility to skin infections.

Identifying and addressing these underlying factors is crucial in managing and preventing skin infections in dogs. By effectively managing these factors and providing proper care, we can help improve our furry friends’ skin health and overall well-being.


Dog skin infections, including yeast dermatitis and staph infections, can be common and bothersome issues for our furry friends. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options available to alleviate their discomfort and promote healing.

When it comes to treating dog skin infections, prompt identification and accurate diagnosis are crucial. Consulting with a veterinarian is essential in determining the best course of action for your dog’s individual condition. Whether it’s oral or topical medications, or regular bathing with antibacterial products, there are various treatment methods that can effectively manage these infections.

Additionally, addressing any underlying factors, such as allergies or hormonal conditions, can play a key role in preventing future infections. By working closely with your veterinarian and following their recommendations, you can provide your dog with the best possible care and help them enjoy a healthier, happier life.

Remember, each dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s important to tailor the treatment plan to meet your dog’s specific needs. In some cases, natural remedies for dog skin infections, like soothing oatmeal baths or hypoallergenic diets, may also be recommended. Always consult with your veterinarian before trying any home remedies to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your pet.


What are the common symptoms of yeast dermatitis in dogs?

Common symptoms of yeast dermatitis include thickened skin, flaky or scaly skin, redness, itchiness, and a musty odor.

What are the symptoms of staph infections in dogs?

Symptoms of staph infections include excessive itching, hair loss, inflamed or red skin, and pus-filled lesions.

Are yeast infections in dogs contagious?

No, yeast infections are not contagious, but they may recur unless the underlying skin condition is addressed.

What can cause staph infections in dogs?

Staph infections in dogs can be caused by allergies, medications, weakened immune systems, or excessive scratching or licking.

How are fungal dermatitis and bacterial skin infections diagnosed in dogs?

Diagnosis may involve skin tests and samples, such as impression smears, skin biopsies, skin scrapings, and swab samples.

What are the treatment options for yeast dermatitis in dogs?

Treatment options for yeast dermatitis include oral and topical medications, depending on the severity of the infection.

How are staph infections in dogs treated?

Staph infections in dogs are typically treated with oral antibiotics, along with antibacterial shampoo or topical ointments.

What should I do if my dog has pyoderma?

Prompt identification and treatment of the underlying cause is crucial in effectively treating pyoderma in dogs. Consultation with a veterinarian is essential.

Why are dogs more susceptible to bacterial skin infections?

Dogs are more susceptible to bacterial skin infections due to structural features of their skin, certain breeds, underlying skin disorders, and weakened immune systems.

What are the best ways to treat dog skin infections?

Effective treatment options for dog skin infections include oral and topical medications, regular bathing with antibacterial products, and addressing any underlying factors.