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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 underlying cause.

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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