Juvenile Pyoderma In Puppies

Juvenile pyoderma, known colloquially as puppy pyoderma, is a condition of young dogs characterized by pustules of infection, most notably on the hairless surface of the lower abdomen.

Cousin Ian helps out on Remington's visit.
Cousin Ian helps out on Remington’s visit.

Pyoderma: the Latin prefix “pyo” means “pus,” and “derma” refers to the skin.

Cute little Remington, who goes by “Remi” for short, has a typical case of juvenile pyoderma. There are often multiple pustules, but rarely enough for them to coalesce into larger pustules.

This is usually a self-limiting condition in youngsters, whereas pyoderma in adult animals always requires treatment.

The cause is bacteria that are normal inhabitants of the skin which are allowed by an immature immune system to penetrate into the pores and hair follicles of the skin, causing infection.

Remington's juvenile pyoderma is mild and may not require treatment.
Remington's juvenile pyoderma is mild and may not require treatment.

When treatment is required medicated shampoos may be adequate for the mildest cases. Instructions on using medicated shampoos for your pet may be found here.

Puppy pyoderma that fails to respond to topical therapy, or is already beyond the reach of topical therapy alone, should be treated with systemic antibiotics. A number of broad-spectrum antibiotics can clear these infections, including Convenia. Medicated shampoo therapy is almost always good adjunct treatment, as it speeds the removal of infection from the skin from the outside, while systemic antibiotics are working from inside the body.

As of now we are not treating Remi for his infection, as we expect it to be a typically self-limiting case.  We will evaluate his pyoderma at each visit in the puppy series.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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  1. In desperate need of advice. We just recently put a deposit down on a Goldendoodle puppy for our family. This morning we received a phone call from the breeder explaining that our puppy has been diagnosed with juvenile pyoderma and that the puppy has what looked like pimples and swelling on his face. He is currently on an antiobiotic. She told us the puppy is eating ok and doesn’t seem to act ill. She did send us some pictures and through the pictures we can tell that something is definitely going on with the puppy. She offered to have us pick out another pup but we were so set on this little guy, its breaking our heart. Can you please give me some more info on this skin infection. I have been searching like crazy on the Internet only to find conflicting info on it. Is this something that will be reoccuring or is it a one time thing? We are at a loss, the breeder has offered a very slight discount but I am concerned with the ongoing care and cost. Can you give me any insight to this. Thank you so much.

    Susan Cline
    Burlington, KY

    • The main thing to take home from the article you’ve already read is that juvenile pyoderma is usually a self-limiting disease. Most cases that need treatment respond very quickly. IF the diagnosis is correct (has the puppy been to a doctor or is the breeder self-medicating?) the treatment should be quickly effective and your puppy should be happy and healthy.

  2. My Keeshond has juvenile pyoderma all over her stomach and underarms. I took her to the veterinarian and he gave me an antibiotic named Simplicef 100 mg. She finally slept all night. He also gave me GentaSpray to apply two times a day. I don’t know if it will help but she doesn’t chew on her stomach like she has done. I hope it helps. She is one of nine puppies and none of the others has it.

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