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Management of pyoderma requires recognition of the type and depth of infection and, in many instances, identification of the pathogenic organism in order to make appropriate treatment recommendations. Antibiotics may be chosen without prior culture and susceptibility in a number of situations. Cultures should be obtained from all cases of deep pyoderma, skin infections that fail to respond to empirical treatment, infections in dogs on immunosuppressive medications, infections in dogs with prior exposure to many classes of antibiotics (eg.
First-line antibiotics are those antibiotics that may be chosen empirically or based on culture and susceptibility that target Staphylococcus spp. Potentiated sulfonamide antibiotics (trimethoprim-sulfonamide; ormetoprim-sulfamethoxine) may also be considered as first-line antibiotic choices but their use should be avoided when long-term administration is required. Many people use first-generation cephalosporins (cephalexin, cefadroxil) as first-line antibiotics.
Two third-generation cephalosporins, cefovecin and cefpodoxime proxetil, have recently been registered in the USA and Europe. Amoxicillin with clavulanate is also a broad-spectrum bactericidal antibiotic that primarily targets Gram-positive bacteria. Amikacin is an aminoglycoside that is not typically considered for treating dogs with skin infections.
Third-line antibiotics should be chosen last because of the pressure they place on bacteria in terms of selecting for antimicrobial resistance. Topical therapy may be used as both an adjunct to systemic therapy or, in some cases, as the sole therapy for cutaneous skin infections. Focal lesions can be treated with chlorhexidine spray, mupirocin ointment, benzoyl peroxide gel, or fusidic acid (not available in the USA). In order to determine if clinical cure is achieved, the dog should be re-examined before the antibiotic course is completed. Pyoderma may fail to respond to treatment if the bacteria are resistant or develop resistance to the chosen antibiotic. An infection caused by methicillin resistant staphylococci is managed similar to management of any pyoderma. Staphylococcus pseudintermedius has been shown to colonize people temporarily, yet human infections with this organism are rarely reported.
It is likely that other pets in the household will be colonized with the same resistant bacteria; therefore, pets with infections from households with known MRSP should always be cultured rather than empirically treated.
Common reasons for recurrent pyodermas include too short a duration of therapy, inappropriate dose of antibiotics, and concurrent glucocorticoids. Management of idiopathic recurrent pyoderma will depend on the frequency and severity of the infections.
In some cases aggressive topical therapy can increase the interval between pyoderma episodes.
In cases where the infection is severe, the goal may be to prevent recurrence of the infection. Immune modulation with bacterins has been used to manage some cases of idiopathic recurrent pyodermas. We have a 2 year old mutt, and about a year ago she started losing hair across her entire body and developed scab like bumps on her legs, head, and neck along with dry skin.She also gets a red rash on her belly intermittently. Disclaimers: The information contained in this web site is provided for general informational purposes only. A Virginia Commonwealth University professor has helped develop an innovative vaccine for dogs that helps protect against the diverse bacterial strains that cause canine Lyme disease. The vaccine, which is designed to help prevent dogs from contracting Lyme disease, stimulates immune responses that help inhibit transmission of the Lyme disease bacteria from ticks to dogs and kill the bacteria that cause the disease. The vaccine aids in the prevention of clinical Lyme disease and subclinical arthritis with Borrelia burgdorferi, which is the causative agent of Lyme disease in dogs.
VANGUARD® crLyme is developed, manufactured and distributed by Zoetis, which is the world’s largest producer of medicine and vaccines for companion animals. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, one in every 16 dogs tested will receive a positive diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the vast majority of cases occurring in the Northeast and upper Midwest.
Marconi’s current research focus is now on developing a human Lyme disease vaccine and new diagnostic tests for Lyme disease. Treatment usually involves the use of systemic antibiotics, often accompanied by topical therapy.
Antibiotic dosage should be based on the body weight of the animal and the full dosage administered. These include the type of infection, depth of infection, the cost of the antibiotic, route and frequency of administration.
Specifically, antibiotics may be empirically chosen in uncomplicated superficial skin infections, in recurrent infections when the previous antibiotic choice successfully cleared the infection, and in deep infections pending culture and susceptibility results.

Potentiated sulfonamides are bactericidal and demonstrate good efficacy against Gram-positive bacteria.
These antibiotics are bactericidal and have a broad spectrum of action but primarily target gram positive bacteria. Cefovecin is a long-acting injectable antibiotic which lasts 14 days and cefpodoxime proxetil is an oral antibiotic that can be administered once daily. It, too, should be reserved for those cases of pyoderma in which culture and susceptibility indicate it is the preferred antibiotic. It has a broad spectrum of activity against many Gram-negative and most Gram-positive microorganisms and is the most active antibiotic known against staphylococci. Topical therapy includes whirlpool baths, especially for dogs with deep pyodermas, and antibacterial shampoos. For superficial infections the average duration of therapy is 3 to 4 weeks with treatment continued 1 week past clinical cure.
Since Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is not a common human pathogen, the primary recommendation to owners involves frequent handwashing after handling their pets.
If lesions recur within 1 week after discontinuing therapy, it is likely that treatment was not long enough. If the infections only occur a few times per year, then each episode should be treated with antibiotics as described above. Owners can bath their dogs with antibacterial shampoos containing chlorhexidine, ethyl lactate, or benzoyl peroxide three times per week at the first sign of the infection returning. Bacterins contain various cellular products of staphylococci or other bacteria and are available commercially as Staphage Lysate (Delmont Laboratories) and ImmunoRegulin (Neogen Vet). But it appears to look like a superficial bacterial infection, especially appearing in the abdominal area.
After multiple vet visits, hours of scouring the Internet and tests for scary diseases, she was finally diagnosed with a skin yeast infection. In many cases that is all it takes to restore health! At this time, I am no longer answering questions online. The unique design of the vaccine suggests it may be the most effective product of its kind on the market. Marconi has been developing the vaccine in his lab at VCU since 2005 and it was exclusively licensed by VCU Innovation Gateway to Zoetis for use in dogs in 2011. Treatment choices vary depending on whether the pyoderma is a first-time infection or whether it is recurrent in nature. Length of antibiotic administration should be 7 days past clinical remission in uncomplicated infections and 10-14 days past clinical remission in complicated infections such as recurrent or deep infections and those associated with immunosuppression. Antibiotics that should be avoided for empirical treatment of pyoderma include penicillin, ampicillin, amoxicillin, and tetracycline. Bacterial resistance to this class of antibiotics is quite variable, ranging from 0 to 33%; therefore, use of this antibiotic based on culture and susceptibility results may be more appropriate. Yet, doxycycline has been used effectively to treat bacterial skin infections caused by susceptible strains.
Resistance to rifampin readily develops with monotherapy; therefore, it is best to use in combination with another antibiotic such as clindamycin or cephalexin. Therefore, use of this antibiotic is only based on culture and susceptibility results when no other antibiotic would be effective. While staphylococci often are susceptible to fluoroquinolones, resistance develops rapidly. Chlorhexidine, benzoyl peroxide, and ethyl lactate containing shampoos all have demonstrated beneficial responses in dogs with infections.
For recurrent superficial infections the average duration of therapy is a bit longer and is continued for 10 to 14 days past clinical cure. A common reason why pyodermas fail to respond to treatment or recur is if the length of therapy is too short. There is a potential increased risk to immunocompromised members of the household, but this is not known.
The antibiotic is administered until the infection is cleared and then is given either at weekly intervals or every other day to prevent the infection from returning. In addition, some microbiology laboratories will make autogenous bacterins from the patient's staphylococci. I would be concerned at her young age, developing hair loss and chronic superficial skin problems plus hot spots, that this could have started after receiving a vaccination.Anything that would affect her immune system could make her more susceptible to these types of problems.
So, if any others find they need help, it would be best to take your dog to a veterinarian or, better yet, find a local holistic veterinarian to help. To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Treatment choices also depend on whether the infection is focal or generalized, surface, superficial or deep. This usually results in 3 to 5 weeks of antibiotics for superficial infections and 6 or more weeks for deep infections.

In addition, the impact that the antibiotic may have on the normal flora may also need to be considered.
These antibiotics have a narrow spectrum of action and are considered bacteriostatic for most bacteria. Side effects in dogs associated with potentiated sulfonamides include hypothyroidism, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, neutropenia, hepatopathy and polyarthritis. Therefore, because of its narrow spectrum of action, doxycycline would be a good first-line antibiotic choice based on culture and susceptibility results.
Ideally, use of these antibiotics should be reserved for those cases in which culture and susceptibility indicate they are the antibiotic of choice. While it meets the criteria to be a first-line antibiotic, it is reserved for treatment of methicillin resistant S. Rifampin is potentially hepatotoxic and this side effect appears to occur more commonly in dogs than in people.
Deep infections require 6 to 12 weeks of antibiotics with treatment continued 2 weeks past clinical cure. As stated before, treatment failure also occurs if the antibiotic course was not long enough.
Because of the increasing incidence of MRSP, pulse therapy is unlikely to be effective because it will select for resistant staphylococci. Bacterins will not clear an existing infection and must be started concurrently with antibiotics. An allergy to something in her dry dog food was what threw off her immune system, allowing the normal levels of yeast on the skin go haywire. Simply click here to return to Ask a Vet Online via My Online Vet (SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED FOR NEW QUESTIONS). They are generally effective when chosen empirically to treat first-time skin infections; however, repeat exposure to these antibiotics results in the development of resistance. Mild increases in alkaline phosphatase activity occur frequently and appear to be benign; however, treatment should be discontinued if there are concurrent increases in other hepatic enzyme activities.
Use of this class of antibiotics should be preserved for cases of deep infections associated with Gram-negative organisms. In a study using topical therapy alone to treat superficial pyodermas, 50% of the cases were treated effectively when bathed three times per week. Typical antibiotic choices may include clindamycin, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, minocycline, amikacin, and rifampin.
Once the infection is cleared, the antibiotics are discontinued while the bacterin is continued. Corticosteroids will mask the clinical response, making the lesions look resolved when they are not.
Therefore, their use has the potential for selection of both methicllin resistance in staphylococci and multi-resistant E. Other rare signs associated with rifampin administration in dogs include thrombocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and death. In cases of recurrent or resistant infections, a topical chlorhexidine spray is very beneficial when used once to twice daily. Unfortunately, antibiotic choices are becoming limited for some of the methicillin resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP). Therefore, I would suggest starting with a treatment plan that seeks the help of a local holistic veterinarian.A hypoallergenic diet would only be beneficial if she did have a dog food allergy (And she would need to be on the food for at least 3-6 weeks to see any improvement).
This may result in discontinuation of the antibiotic too soon, encouraging the development of recurrent infections. Therefore, use of these antibiotics to treat recurrent infections should be based on culture and susceptibility results. In addition to this inconvenient frequency of administration, it often causes gastrointestinal disturbances, is associated with drug interactions, and may cause bone marrow suppression.
Also, a hypoallergenic diet is a very restrictive diet, and not one that would be conducive to producing a thick, shiny, hair coat. In spite of their convenient dosing, these drugs should only be used as first-line antibiotics if compliance is anticipated to be a problem. Use of the antibiotics reserved for MRSA in people, such as vancomycin and linezolid, is ethically questionable. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin.

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