Skin infections are not usually contagious, as they are the result of excessive growth of bacteria and yeast that are normally present on the skin. This increased bacterial growth could be caused by factors such as change in the skin cells or sebum due to problem with the immune system, or hormonal diseases, puberty or other illnesses.
Bacteria needs heat and moisture to grow, and these internal problems, together with the licking of the area by the dog, provide the two essential factors for bacterial growth. It is very important to identify the root cause of the bacterial infection in order to effectively remove the skin problems.that are causing the dog itching.
Types of Bacterial infection
Bacterial infections are usually very itchy, and there are two main types:
This infection causes small solid rounded bumps on the skin, or bumps that contain pus, similar to acne, and the skin becomes inflammed. When the bump breaks, the result is sores, scaling over into scabs, and leaving small patches of bare skin where the hair has been lost. The condition can range from mild and superficial to very deep infections, which can be quite painful for the dog.
A dog that has a severe case of bacterial infection is also often unwell. This condition is more easily spotted in short-haired dogs. For long-haired dogs, a dull coat, shedding and scaly skin is what to look out for. This is called Folliculitis, and often occurs in conjunction with other skin problems, such as mange, allergies, or injury. Treatment may include oral antibiotics and antibacterial ointments, as well as topical treatments using antibaceterial dog shampoo such as DermOpt Shampoo which relieves the dog itchiness fast and encourages hair growth.
A dog scratching its ear or licking its paws constantly, may be showing signs of yeast infection. Other symptoms include irritated, itchy, or discolored skin on the muzzle, neck or belly.
The infection is caused by Malassezia yeast, which needs a warm cozy place to grow, such as is found in the paws or ears. Dogs with yeast infection often have a musty odour.
Yeast infections are easy to diagnose and mild infections will often respond well to topical treatment. Use a shampoo or wash with good anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, such as DermOpt shampoo and DermOpt Grooming Spray.
In cases of more severe infection, your Vet may have to carry out tests to determine the cause of the dog skin problem, and prescribe antibiotics, vaccines or medicated baths as appropriate.