PHOTOS 1-3: Superficial pyoderma is a superficial bacterial infection of hair follicles and surrounding epidermis. It is usually secondary to an underlying cause such as allergies and endocrine diseases. Superficial pyoderma is characterized by focal to multifocal areas of papules, pustules, crusts, scales and epidermal collarettes. Circumscribed areas of erythema and alopecia with hyperpigmented centres may be present. Short coated dogs often have patchy alopecia giving a moth eaten appearance. In long coated dogs symptoms include a dull lustreless hair coat, scales and excessive shedding. Pruritis ranging from mild to severe may occur. The most common bacteria causing pyoderma in dogs is Staphylococcus intermedius. This type of bacteria is normally not particularly virulent and infection is likely to result from another underlying disorder that includes hypersensitivity, ectoparasites or metabolic /immunological disorders although some cases are idiopathic. Treatment usually consists of systemic antibiotics and bathing with antibacterial shampoo containing chlorhexidine, ethyl lactate or benzoyl peroxide. The underlying cause should be identified and treated.
REFERENCES: PHOTO’S 1-3: 1. Medleau, L & Hnilica, KA 2006, ‘Small animal dermatology : a color atlas and therapeutic guide’, Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, pp. 34-37. 2. Mason, IS 1991, 'Canine pyoderma', Journal of Small Animal Practice, vol. 32, no. 8, pp. 381-386. 3. Scott, DW, Miller, WH, Griffin, CE 2001, 'Muller & Kirk’s small animal dermatology' 6th ed., WB Saunders, Philadelphia, p. 277.
Metadata assigned by Dr. M. van Schoor, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Companion Animal Clinical Studies