In a prospective study involving eight veterinary clinics during 1995 and 1996, samples from first-time and recurrent cases of canine pyoderma were collected by a needle technique. Three hundred and ninety-four staphylococci were isolated and their susceptibility to various antimicrobial drugs was assessed by a microdilution technique. Resistance to macrolides, lincosamides, fusidic acid, tetracycline and streptomycin was significantly more common in isolates from the recurrent cases than from the first-time cases; 20 per cent of the isolates from the first-time cases were resistant to three or more of the antimicrobials tested, compared with 45 per cent of those from the recurrent cases. Coresistance between macrolidelincosamides, tetracyclines and streptomycin was common. No resistance to penicillinase-stable β-lactams was observed. A comparison with earlier studies indicated that there had been a marked increase in resistance during the previous five years.