If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of having a skin infection, you know how painful and downright pleasant they can be. And just like us, dogs can also develop skin infections – often with similar symptoms. Read on for a complete guide on how to recognize and treat a skin infection in your dog.
What are Skin Infections?
Skin infections are caused by either yeast or bacteria. Yeast infections are quite common in the warmer months and can sometimes be misdiagnosed as regular allergies. Bacterial infections are typically caused by secondary infection from allergies. This type of infection occurs when the dog cuts open their skin from excessive itching.
Thankfully, both yeast and bacteria infections are treatable.
A skin infection often appears in dogs that are already suffering from allergies or pups that lick or scratch their skin a lot. They are also found in dogs with floppy ears and breeds with a lot of skin folds like Bulldogs or Shar-Peis.
Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors or enjoys swimming tend to be more at risk for bacterial or fungal skin infections as they spend more time being dirty and damp.
Symptoms of a bacterial skin infection including open sores, yeast, pimples, or bumps as well as constant licking at the infection. It also causes head shaking, ear scratching, and holding the head to one side. Dogs may also exhibit green or yellow discharge from their ears.
Yeast infection symptoms include greasy and smelly skin as well as head shaking, ear scratching, and holding the head to a particular side. These infections are often in moist areas on the dog like the armpits, ears, feeds, or skin folds. Dogs may also exhibit a brown, waxy discharge in the ears.
One form of treatment for skin infections is a bath with medicated shampoo. Just make sure the medicated shampoo contains an antibacterial agent as they are most effective.
Veterinarians may also prescribe antibiotics or ear-drops if the skin infection is more severe.
Although skin infections can be painful and quite simply annoying, they are treatable. If you suspect your dog is showing any of these symptoms, make sure to contact your veterinarian immediately.