Dog’s skin problems: Bacterial and Fungal Infections in Dogs

Dog’s skin problems are most common health problems occurred in the household pets. There are many factors that can cause your dogs suffering skin problems. It should be treated properly before it infects the other pets or even your family members. Actually, if a dog is always treated well with regular grooming and washing as well as having balanced and nutritious diets, the skin problems and coat will happen in very few cases.

Every time you finish clipping your dogs, gently rub their skins with Aloe Vera gel on the shaved area. Some information below is about skin problems that are commonly occurred in dogs. However, you should bring your dog to a Veterinarian to make proper diagnosis and treatment.

Dog’s skin problems, Bacterial and Fungal Infections in Dogs

Dog’s skin problems, Bacterial and Fungal Infections in Dogs

Pyodermas (Bacterial Skin Infections)

This is one of Dog’s skin problems caused by Staphylococci or so-called Staph bacteria. This organism is commonly found in dogs with pyoderma skin disease. Yet, it is not contagious to other pets or humans.

The Signs:

  • Itchy and yellow pustules as the early signs.
  • Reddened and ulcerated skin.
  • In advance condition, the dog’s skin looks dry and crusted with odor and hair loss on the affected areas.

The most common affected area is chin or also called chin acne or deep bacterial infection. Pug-nosed or obese dogs are commonly affected by this skin problem, especially in the vulva, lips and face’s skin folds. Besides, the skin problem is also commonly occurred in the area between calluses of elbow and toes and in the abdominal area in puppies.

The diagnosis is commonly done by looking at the appearance, location, and case history of the lesions. It may also necessary to grow the bacteria or culturing the skin as well as conducting the test of sensitivity to decide the effective antibiotic treatment. Most cases of bacterial infections of dog’s skins are the secondary disease like allergies, parasitism, immune system abnormalities, and endocrine disorders. When the problem is reoccurred, the underlying causes should be searched. Allergy test, blood test or skin biopsies may be necessary to complete the diagnosis.


The first treatment for the Dog’s skin problems of pyoderma may be hair removal around the lesions and then wash the dog with antibiotic shampoo like benzoyl peroxide. Then dry the dog carefully and apply some antibiotic ointment to the lesions. The application of antibiotic is commonly done in 3-4 weeks. The protective collar or bandages may be applied to prevent mutilating in the dog.

If the pyoderma occurred in the dog’s skin folds, corrective surgery may be needed. If the skin problem always reoccurs and the underlying cause isn’t definable, you can try staphylococcal vaccines to become the alternative antibiotic treatment in long term.

If necessary, you can continue the treatments like antibiotic ointment application, antiseptic shampooing and oral antibiotic at home. Most cases of the dog’s skin problem respond positively to the treatment. But the reoccurrence may happen, especially if the dog isn’t followed up by the veterinarian. It cannot be administered to apply Glucocorticoid steroids.

Ringworm (Fungal Skin Infections)

Fungal skin infections are one of Dog’s skin problems that are commonly caused by two fungi species such as Trichophyton and Microsporum. Dog’s skin problem for this fungi is commonly known as Ringworm. The sign for this skin problem is commonly found in young dogs. The fungi grow in hairs, nails and skin tissues that have been dead. Circular patches of hair loss may appear. The patch’s center will look dry and crusty when the fungi infected. Ringworm mostly occurs on head and legs, even to the whole body of the dog if it isn’t treated properly. For the itchy feeling, the dog might scratch the lesions.


The diagnosis of ringworm can be done by examining the lesion appearance, the development history and also the dog’s age. To diagnose the Microsporum species, a wood’s lamp test or ultraviolet light may help. A final diagnosis can be achieved through the fungal culture; fungi that grow on affected hairs.


To treat the fungi, clip the hair around the lesions. Then wash the dog with special fungicidal shampoo. Besides, you can also apply some topical lime sulfur and needed systemic.

The Ringworm Public Health Aspects

Ringworm in dogs is contagious to humans, especially children, and other pets. That is why the dogs that are infected by ringworm should be separated from other pets and children until the infection get well. The curing process will take up to 2-3 months or more after the treatment starts. You should wash your hand carefully after touching the ringworm infected dog. If a human is infected, the ringworm can be controlled through early treatment.

When the Dog’s skin problems happen in your dog, examine the ringworm too in other pets in your home. See your veterinarian to consult about the skin problem in your dog and get the appropriate treatment.