Impetigo is a contagious bacterial infection that causes small, fluid-filled blisters on the skin of dogs. It can be passed from dog-to-dog and even from dog-to-human, so it’s important to treat it as soon as possible. Here, we’ll discuss effective solutions for treating impetigo in dogs.
What Causes Impetigo in Dogs?
Impetigo is caused by Staphylococcus intermedius bacteria. These bacteria are commonly found on the skin of healthy dogs but can cause an infection when they penetrate the skin through a cut or wound.
Symptoms of Impetigo in Dogs
The symptoms of impetigo in dogs include:
- Small, fluid-filled blisters on the skin
- Scabs and crusts around the blisters
- Itching and scratching
- Redness and inflammation on affected areas
If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
Diagnosing Impetigo in Dogs
To diagnose impetigo, your veterinarian will perform a physical exam of your dog’s skin lesions. They may also conduct a culture test to identify which bacteria are causing the infection.
Treatment Options for Impetigo in Dogs
The treatment options for impetigo depend on the severity of the infection. Mild cases may clear up on their own with good hygiene practices such as keeping affected areas clean and dry. However, more severe cases require medical intervention.
Oral antibiotics are often prescribed for more severe cases of impetigo, such as Clavamox or Cephalexin
Your vet may recommend topical medications such as shampoos or ointments that contain benzoyl peroxide or chlorhexidine gluconate, which can help control bacterial growth and promote healing.
In rare cases where impetigo has caused deep infections or fistulas, surgery may be required to remove affected tissue.
Home Remedies for Impetigo in Dogs
Alongside your veterinarian’s recommendations, there are also some home remedies that can help treat impetigo in dogs.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural antibacterial agent that can be used as a solution to rinse the infected area. Mix equal parts water and ACV and pour this solution over your dog’s affected skin areas twice daily, after washing with mild soap.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another natural antibacterial that can effectively fight against Staphylococcus intermedius bacteria. But it must be diluted before use. Mix one part tea tree oil with ten parts coconut oil and apply topically once per day.
Colloidal silver has antimicrobial properties that make it an effective remedy for impetigo. You can add 1-2 tablespoons of colloidal silver to your dog’s food once per day until the infection clears up, or apply it directly onto the affected area using cotton wool twice daily.
Prevention Tips for Impetigo in Dogs
The best way to prevent impetigo in dogs is by practicing good hygiene habits such as:
- Keeping their living areas clean
- Washing their paws after walks
- Regularly grooming them
- Monitoring them for any signs of skin problems
Additionally, keep your dog away from other infected dogs or animals as much as possible, and ensure they are up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations.
Q: Can I transmit impetego from my dog?
A: Yes, you can get infected by touching areas that lack hair around the dog’s nose, mouth or chin touched by an infected dog.
Q: How fast does impetigo in dogs spread?
A: Impetigo can spread quickly and easily from one part of your dog’s body to another and from one dog to another. It is highly contagious.
Q: Can I use human cream on my dog for impetigo?
A: Please do not make this mistake. Only the recommended medication or home remedies should be used on dogs. Human creams can cause harm or discomfort to pets.
Impetigo in dogs requires attention, diagnosis and prompt treatment as it is a bacterial infection that spreads very fast and will require medical intervention if left untreated. You should always consult with your veterinarian before trying any home remedies. Incorporating some effective strategies in line with great hygiene habits, such as regular grooming, can help prevent further infections.