Contact Us:

Dog Pyoderma Treatment | Impetigo | Folliculitis | Cellulitis


Can be inflammatory, infectious or neoplastic (abnormal or excessive growth of tissue)

Literally meaning ‘pus in the skin’ pyoderma is made up of either :

Superficial Pyodermas :

  • bacterial folliculitis (usually staphylococci), where infection occurs n the hair follicles
  • bacterial overgrowth symptoms (odor, scaling, red skin and pruritis (itching) and
  • impetigo (small areas of infection, usually on hairless areas)

Or Deep Pyodermas comprised of the less common

  • furunculosis; inflammation and infection from a ruptured hair follicle, more often referred to as a boil and
  • cellulitis, usually occurring in young puppies, with a fast onset, after swelling under the jaw (the submandibular lymphadenopathy) and subsequently swelling of the face, often referred to puppy strangles, giving rise to crusting and pustules, that then escalates to lesions that often form fistulae that drain.   

So, deep pyoderma in dogs can also manifest as pain, crusting, bad odor, and exudation of blood and pus. Erythema, swelling, ulcerations, hemorrhagic crusts and bullae, hair loss, and draining tracts with bloody or pus exudate may also be seen. The bridge of the muzzle, chin, elbows, hocks, between the toes, and mid-legs are more prone to deep infections, but any area may be involved. Acral lick granulomas and areas of pyotraumatic dermatitis are also often seen.


Due to methicillin resistance, drug treatment for any of the pyodermas is now challenging to vets. 

Bacterium involved:

Diagnosis will be given after tests confirm the presence of the bacteria Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, Staphylococcus schleiferi, and in a low percentage of dogs, the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus.  This last bacteria has given rise for concern recently, as it is now evident this particular bacteria has also developed resistance to the drug methicillin, often prescribed by vets to treat the condition.   Staphylococcus pseudintermedius has also become resistant to the drug Methicillin, and this bacteria can cause human infection in those who are immune-compromised, very young or very old.  In addition to this list of bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been added.  Staphylococcus schleiferi was actually first identified in humans in 1988 and subsequently was then implicated in canine pyoderma and otitis external (or ear infections) in dogs.