Treatment of Canine Mucocutaneous Pyoderma

by Quentin Coleman
    Pyoderma is considered mucocutaneous when it develops on skin near mucuous membranes.

    Pyoderma is considered mucocutaneous when it develops on skin near mucuous membranes.

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    Mucocutaneous pyoderma is a local disorder that often develops alongside other dermatological health issues in dogs. Your veterinarian will develop a course of treatment depending on the results of her diagnosis. Superficial bacterial infections are usually to blame, but many additional sources of skin irritation should be considered.

    Identifying the Cause

    Diagnosing your dog's pyoderma may require a little laboratory work, but it's usually worth the effort. Veterinarians implement stain tests to identify common bacterial culprits so they can prescribe a tailored treatment for the infection. A small scraping of skin is all a vet needs to check for pathogens. Pinpointing the bacterial species responsible for your pet's skin issue is a priority, but your vet may also check for other health problems that could be complicating the inflammation.

    Pills for the Pup

    Oral or systemic antibiotics are a basic treatment measure for canine pyoderma. The vet will prescribe the medication he believes is best suited for your pet's case. Targeted antibiotics are administered to kill specific bacteria when the lab tests reveal the strain responsible for the infection. General or "broad spectrum" antibiotics, like cephalosporins, are prescribed when the bacterial agent is unknown or if it does not respond to other medication. Dosage is determined based on your dog's weight. Follow your vet's schedule for the antibiotics, even if your pet's symptoms disappear before the treatment's conclusion.

    Only Skin Deep

    Mucocutaneous pyoderma is considered a surface condition, so topical treatments can be applied to most or all of the affected area. Vets often supplement systemic antibiotics with ointments and shampoos to expedite recovery. Mucocutaneous pyoderma creates crusted lesions and fissures in sensitive areas, so bathing helps reduce the unsightly skin damage, odor and greasy fur associated with the disorder, according to the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference. Your vet may instruct you to apply antiseptic to the infected area or recommend a bathing routine, depending on the location of the lesions. Consult with the vet before cleaning the area or applying any other substance to your pet's skin.

    Addressing Other Concerns

    If antibiotic treatment does not produce tangible results within two to three weeks, then your vet may focus his management strategy on other health problems. The presence of allergic dermatitis, parasites or other sources of skin irritation increase the severity of pyoderma and allow it to resurface even after effective treatment. Poor nutrition, high stress levels and other general health factors can also leave your pet vulnerable to skin infections. Your vet will check for parasites and other alternate causes of skin disease. Follow his recommendations for managing other ailments as you continue to administer the prescribed treatment for your pet's pyoderma.

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    About the Author

    Quentin Coleman has written for several news publications as well as the University of Delaware's public relations department. He also spent more than 10 years working with a local animal shelter to help nurse kittens, treat sick cats and domesticate feral animals. Coleman graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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