Folliculitis is an infection
that begins in the hair follicles. In mild folliculitis you typically will find
many small pustules with a hair shaft protruding through the center of each. Dogs
with mild cases may have rings of scales around the follicles. Once the
follicles become infected, the infection can bore deeply into the dermis,
forming large pustules and furuncles that rupture, discharge pus, and crust over. Draining
sinus tracts develop in cases of deep folliculitis.
Folliculitis usually involves the undersurface of the body, especially the
armpits, abdomen, and groin. A condition called Schnauzer comedo syndrome is
common in Miniature Schnauzers. Dogs suffering from this disease have many
large blackheads running down the middle of their back.
Although the name suggests otherwise, ringworm is not caused by a worm at all-but a fungus. This highly contagious infection can lead to patchy areas of hair loss on a dog, and can spread to other animals-and to humans, too.
Folliculitis often occurs as a secondary complication to scabies, demodectic mange, seborrhea, hormonal skin disease, and other problems.
Some cases are caused by vigorous grooming, which traumatizes the
Treatment: It is important to identify and treat the underlying cause as
well as the folliculitis.
Mild cases should be treated as described for acne. Deep folliculitis
requires vigorous topical and systemic therapy. Clip away the hair from
infected skin on longhaired dogs (don’t clip shorthaired dogs), and bathe the
dog twice a day for 10 days with a povidone-iodine shampoo such as Betadineor
one with chlorhexidine such as Nolvasan.
As the skin infection improves, switch to a benzoyl peroxide shampoo such as
Stiff OxyDex, OxyDex, or Pyoben, used once or twice a week. Continue until
healing is complete.
The dog should also be placed on an oral antibiotic selected on the basis of
culture and sensitivity tests. Continue oral antibiotics for six to eight
weeks, including at least two weeks beyond apparent cure. Treatment failures
occur when antibiotics are stopped too soon or used at too low a dosage. The
prolonged use of corticosteroids should be avoided in dogs with
WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"