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Can pyoderma in dogs be treated with fewer antibiotics?
  1. Elizabeth A. Layne
  1. Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
  1. email: elizabeth.layne{at}

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Staphylococcal skin infections, generally referred to as pyoderma, are a very common reason for the prescription of antimicrobials for pet dogs.1-3 These infections, usually involving Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, vary in severity based on the depth of infection, the location on the body, the extent of body surface involved, the dog’s general health status and any underlying skin disease.4 Superficial staphylococcal lesions consist of papules, pustules and/or epidermal collarettes (Fig 1), while deep skin infection generally presents with furuncles, draining tracts and/or haemorrhage from erythematous and oedematous skin (Fig 2).

Fig 1: Papules, pustules and epidermal collarettes in the inguinal region of a dog. These lesions are typical of superficial staphylococcal pyoderma
Fig 2: Ruptured interdigital furuncle with oedema and haemorrhage. This is a common location and clinical presentation of deep staphylococcal pyoderma

Topical disinfectant therapies are often sufficient to treat superficial skin infections, but may not be sufficient in cases of severe, widespread or deep infection.5,6 In cases where using a topical disinfectant alone cannot treat the infection, systemic antimicrobial therapy is often required. However, increasing antimicrobial resistance presents a therapeutic challenge to veterinarians around the globe.3,7,8 As such, there is currently much interest in alternatives to antimicrobials to treat canine pyoderma. These alternatives include topical treatments such as ionophores, medical-grade honey, plant-derived oils and even ultraviolet light.9-12

What you need to know

  • Multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius strains are becoming increasingly common in dogs.

  • Aerobic bacterial culture of pyoderma …

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