What causes recurrent pyoderma in dogs? A Step-by-Step Guide

What Causes Recurrent Staph Skin Infection?

Staph infection is caused by staphylococcal bacteria, which is normally found in small numbers on the skin of all dogs. While it is generally harmless, sometimes the staphylococcal bacteria can overgrow and result in infection.

An initial diagnosis of staph infection does not mean that your dog will suffer from recurrent skin staph infections. In fact, it may be an isolated event attributed to a list of treatable conditions including parasites, fungal infection or even an imbalance of endocrine glands. Once the underlying condition is successfully treated and the appropriate course of antibiotics for the staph infection is completed, the staph infection may never return.

However, in many dogs, the underlying cause of the initial bout of skin staph infection cannot be identified or eliminated making them more susceptible to recurrence. This is the case with most environmental and genetic factors including allergies. The circumstances that caused the original skin staph infection still persist and the dog’s immune system is unable to fight off the growth of this bacteria. This becomes a never ending battle that the dog’s immune system cannot handle independently and the infection returns.

“While antibiotic resistant infections once were seen only among humans, they are now seen in dogs as well.”

Infection Progresses.

As the infection progresses, the pustules enlarge and rupture, creating focal crusted lesions and spreading out to form circular “epidermal collarettes.”

What causes recurrent pyoderma in dogs?

Does My Dog have Recurrent Staph Skin Infection?

There are several stages to skin infection The infection often begins on the superficial layers of the dog’s skin, with minor skin irritation and small sores typically seen first. However, symptoms can also include pustules, small raised lesions, crusting, round sores, and hair loss. In a deeper form once the infection has set in, the damage to the dogs wellbeing is also more severe and can including bleeding sores and furuncles (boils).

Veterinary Dermatology: The Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment Of Pyoderma In Dogs

This is the first article in a 3-part series discussing the latest information available regarding canine pyoderma. Future articles will discuss treatment as well as methicillin-resistant infection.

• Canine pyoderma is a bacterial skin disease usually caused by Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (previously known as Staphylococcus intermedius).1 • S pseudintermedius is a gram-positive, coagulase-positive cocci bacteria, which is considered part of the normal canine mucosal flora and cultured from 37% to 41% of normal dogs.2,3 • Less common bacterial species found in canine pyodermas include S aureus (4.7%–8.3% of cases, usually human origin) and S schleiferi (19%–28% of cases).4-6