Skin Infections in Dogs
Juvenile Pyoderma (Puppy Strangles)
Juvenile pyoderma occurs in puppies 4 to 16 weeks of age and often affects
several puppies in the same litter. It can be recognized by a sudden swelling
of the lips, eyelids, ear flaps, or face, along with the rapid development of
pustules, crusts, skin erosions, and ulcers. The lymph nodes beneath
the chin may become swollen and enlarged. These pups are quite sick and must be
seen promptly by a veterinarian.
Although bacteria have been implicated in some cases of puppy strangles,
this is the exception rather than the rule. Most cases are considered to be an
inflammatory immune process of unknown cause.
Treatment: Apply warm, moist packs for 15 minutes three times a day. Further
treatment involves the use of oral corticosteroids and antibiotics for 14 days.
Antibiotics alone are not effective.
Do not attempt to express the pus from the sores. This increases the
likelihood of scarring.
Interdigital Cysts and Pododermatitis
An interdigital cyst is an inflammatory reaction between the toes, and not a
true cyst. It appears as a swelling that may open and drain pus. The causes are
numerous, and include trauma, contact irritants, foreign bodies such as thorns
and plant awns, and the bites of ticks and other external parasites.
Treatment: Treatment may involve long-term antibiotics. Try to remove any
primary cause, such as a foreign body. Warm compresses may be helpful;
alternatively, soak the affected feet in a medicated solution of betadine or
nolvasan for 5 to 10 minutes. Further diagnostics may be needed to find the