A plethora of bacteria lives on your dog's skin, which can make canine skin infections quite common. If you’ve ever owned a puppy, you may have heard of Impetigo. It's a skin infection most commonly seen in young or adolescent dogs.
Impetigo is usually caused by an overgrowth of Staphylococcus bacteria on your puppy’s skin and is often seen when a puppy lives in unhygienic areas. But again, this type of skin infection is brought on by bacteria that are normally found on your dog's skin, so a puppy with impetigo doesn’t necessarily have to come from a neglectful home.
What are the Symptoms of Impetigo?
Impetigo can cause these types of dermatological responses: papules (small, red, raised bumps), pustules (small, pus-filled bumps), and epidermal collarettes (circular lesions with crusting around the edges). The areas most likely to be affected include your dog's abdomen and chin.
Other symptoms associated with impetigo are: scratching the affected areas of the skin, hair loss in the affected area, and the worst-case scenario, lethargy and lack of appetite. Impetigo isn't a contagious condition, so if your puppy has it, you don't have to worry about your pup passing it to another dog or you.
How Is Impetigo Diagnosed?
Figuring out the cause of impetigo is important to prevent further issues, so your local urgent care vet or emergency vet may run various diagnostic testing based on your pup’s symptoms and medical history. Usually, skin cytology is included, which will let your local urgent care vet or emergency vet know if any bacterial, fungal, or mite infestations are causing the infection.
How Is Impetigo Treated?
Impetigo is a fairly benign condition and is easily treated if needed. Sometimes your puppy's immune system will be able to heal the infection on its own, but if your dog does require treatment, usually all that's needed is a course of antibiotics.
When you bring your dog in to be seen for impetigo, your local urgent care vet or emergency vet will prescribe topical or oral antibiotics depending on the severity of the infection. If needed, your local urgent care vet or emergency vet may also prescribe a medicated shampoo to help heal any lesions.
If you think your puppy may be experiencing any symptoms mentioned above or your dog has already been diagnosed but you have questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call and bring your puppy in for an appointment. Most cases of Impetigo are mild, and if your pup experiences flare-ups, they will grow out of it.