Amy Cook
Last Updated

Folliculitis is a skin infection that can sometimes be found in dogs. It’s important to get your dog treated right away because it could lead to permanent hair loss, infections, and other problems if left untreated.

The most common symptom of folliculitis is red, inflamed spots filled with pus or hair coming out of them. It will only affect one area for some dogs, while others will have the infection all over their body. There are many different types of folliculitis, but they all share these symptoms, so you need to know what you’re looking for to diagnose and treat the problem properly.

What is folliculitis in dogs, and what are the symptoms?

Folliculitis is a skin infection that can be localized to one area or affect the dog’s entire body. Folliculitis often has visible red, inflamed spots with pus or hair coming out of them. Some dogs may only have folliculitis in one area, and others may have it throughout their body. If left untreated, this infection can lead to permanent hair loss, infections and other problems.

How do dogs get folliculitis?

A bacterial infection typically causes folliculitis in the hair follicle. The bacterium breeds in moist, warm areas of your dog’s body and can be spread to other dogs easily through direct contact or even just by being in the same area at the same time. Dogs who like to spend time at the dog park and those with allergies seem to be more susceptible to developing folliculitis, as these conditions can create a higher risk of infection.

Who is at risk for developing folliculitis?

Any breed of dog can get folliculitis. However, certain breeds seem to be more susceptible. Dogs with allergies, a predisposition toward yeast infections, and those who spend a lot of time outdoors are at an increased risk of developing folliculitis. If your dog already has patchy hair loss or scabs, he may be prone to developing folliculitis as well.

What are the symptoms of folliculitis in dogs?

The type of infection can be identified by looking for red, inflamed spots filled with pus or hair coming out of them. This will only affect one area for some dogs, while others will have the infection all over their body. It is important to get your dog treated right away because it can lead to permanent hair loss, infections, and other problems if left untreated.

Symptoms of Folliculitis in Dogs:

  • Red, puss-filled spots on the skin
  • Hair may be coming out of areas with folliculitis
  • Itchy skin (dominant symptom)
  • The skin may become scaly or dry
  • Temperature change
  • A dog may be lethargic (sleepy) or lose its appetite (not as active)
  • If skin becomes infected, dogs will act like they are in pain and may cry when touched. This is since they can not handle any touch on the body because it hurts from the infection.
  • A dog may lose hair as a result of this condition.
How is folliculitis in dogs diagnosed?

The veterinarian can take a scraping from the skin and have it analyzed to determine what type of infection your dog has, if they have any types of mites or parasites on their body and the best treatment option for your dog.

What causes folliculitis in dogs?

Many factors can cause this condition to occur, such as insect bites, allergies, mites and parasites on the skin, a weakened immune system due to a variety of things (not drinking enough water, eating too much table food, etc.), medications, weakened immune system due to old age, side effects of medication or illness, underlying health conditions or issues that the vet is treating for another reason.

How is folliculitis in dogs treated?

The treatment options vary depending on the cause of your dog’s condition. For example, if it is due to an infection (usually the case), your dog will be given antibiotics. For severe cases, dogs may need medication put directly on their skin. Would you please talk with your vet about what you can do at home to help treat your dog’s condition or make them more comfortable until they feel better?

What should I do if I think my dog has folliculitis?

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, take your dog to their vet as soon as possible so they can be tested and diagnosed by a medical professional. They will be able to give you detailed instructions on what to do next. If this is not an emergency, ask questions about anything you do not understand or want to know more about at your next vet visit.

What is the prognosis for a dog with folliculitis?

The prognosis will depend on various factors, such as what is causing this condition and how long it has been going on. However, most dogs with this condition will recover with the right treatment plan.

How can I learn more about folliculitis in dogs?

You can contact your local veterinarian’s office, an animal hospital or animal clinic to talk with someone experienced with diagnosing and treating this skin infection. Look for reviews of their business online or ask friends and family if they have had a nice experience with them.

Did You Know?
  • There are many types of folliculitis in dogs, the most common being Staphylococcus or Cutaneous Mange.
  • Staphylococcus is an infection that lives on your dog’s skin normally, but when their immune system starts to weaken, it can cause various medical issues.
  • Cutaneous Mange is caused by mites that normally live on animals such as dogs, cats and foxes.
  • Fungal Folliculitis (commonly called Ringworm) is an infection that causes hair loss and red spots all over the body. Dogs that have allergies on their skin are more susceptible to ringworm.
  • Parasitic Folliculitis is caused by parasites on your dog’s skin, such as fleas, ticks and mites. These creatures suck the blood from your pet, causing them to itch more often. It can also lead to anaemia if not treated properly.
  • Dogs that spend time around the ocean, lake or river are more likely to develop this infection due to the bacteria in the water.
  • This condition is often misdiagnosed as “hot spots”, normally caused by allergies and not an infection. Red, inflamed sores filled with pus and hair coming out of them is a sign of folliculitis in dogs.
  • Folliculitis can affect all breeds of dogs, but some are more susceptible than others.
  • There are different treatment options for this condition—the most common being antibiotics and other medications put directly on your pet’s skin.
  • Most dogs with this condition will recover and not have it affect them anymore once fully treated.
  • The prognosis for dogs with this infection depends on the severity of their case and what is causing it.
  • This skin infection can be treated at home if your dog does not need any medications, but you should still seek veterinary help to be safe.
  • Veterinarians can help you learn more about this infection and what you should do next if you think your pet has it.
  • The most common type of this skin infection is Staphylococcus or Cutaneous Mange, but several other types could also be the cause.
  • The prognosis for dogs with this condition will depend on the severity of the case and what is causing it.
Prevention tips for your dog

The most important thing to do for Folliculitis is to make sure your dog is brushed and bathed frequently. This will help prevent the infection from spreading. Bathing also helps with reducing inflammation and makes it easier for them to groom themselves (which is what they need to do). If you find your dog licking any of these areas, it’s a good idea to keep them away from those places, as this could reinstate old wounds or make new ones.

The other steps you can take are notifying your vet as soon as possible if you notice any warning signs and getting your dog checked out as soon as you can. The different breeds of dogs will react differently, but most dogs will show hair loss and inflammation within a few days after getting this condition.

Fortunately, there are many antibiotic treatments for your dog’s folliculitis. Your vet will be able to prescribe medication that will help treat your dog if they have folliculitis. Furthermore, depending on the severity of the case (and how old your dog is), your vet may suggest putting them under “light sedation” so they can be shaved. This will give the veterinarian a better look at their skin, and it’ll make it a lot easier to clean, especially if your dog resists grooming or bath time.

Your vet will also inspect the redness around your dog’s skin for anything abnormal while they’re under sedation. They may find more than folliculitis, and this could lead to a proper diagnosis as well as a treatment plan for your dog.

Remember to always check with your vet before shaving them! If you have any doubts, ask the vet first. Shaving off their fur can cause their skin to be vulnerable to sunburn. It’s also a good idea to check with your vet on how you should have their fur shaved, whether it’s just the infected areas or all of it.

If you can’t get in touch with your vet right away, try using a topical antibiotic ointment on your dog’s skin instead while waiting for a prescription. If you don’t have a pet-specific ointment, triple antibiotic ointment will work fine.

If your dog’s folliculitis is severe and the medicated shampoos or topical treatments aren’t helping, some vets will prescribe an oral antibiotic to get rid of it. As always, be sure to ask your vet what you should do if you can’t get in contact with them.

In some cases, the folliculitis goes away on its own. It will usually disappear within a few weeks as long as your dog is properly groomed and bathed. If it doesn’t go away after a month, you should talk to your vet about treatments.

If the infection has spread, you need to get in touch with your vet ASAP. If it has spread, your dog’s skin could be in danger of getting damaged. This will cause scarring and can also lead to infections that are much harder to treat. Remember that time is significant for this! Even if you think the infection is gone, this could still come back later. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

One of the most important things to remember when treating Folliculitis in dogs is that you have to keep up with grooming and bathing your dog. You need to try and do it as often as possible, so their skin has the most exposure to the water and shampoo possible. You should also try and brush their fur or use a comb with fine-toothed combs every day.

Don’t give up if you don’t see results right away! It could take at least two weeks before you notice any major changes. If it doesn’t start getting better, talk to your vet.

Their skin can also get dry, so it’s a good idea to use moisturizer or aloe vera on their skin after shampooing or bathing them. You should try and do this at least one time per day, every day. You must treat the dog’s skin very gently during this process as well. You can do this by starting with a minimal application, using only a few drops of ointment. If you’re unsure how to apply it, ask your vet to show you the proper way.

Conclusion

Folliculitis in dogs is a skin infection that can lead to permanent hair loss, infections and other issues if not treated. Fortunately, there are many treatments for this condition, depending on the severity of the case (and how old your dog is). Your vet will be able to prescribe medication or topical ointments that will help treat it and diagnose what’s causing it. It’s important to keep up with grooming and bathing so their skin has maximum exposure to water and shampoo, reducing symptoms over time.

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