Does My Dog Have Impetigo?
How healthy is your animal? Have you noticed him scratching, licking or biting himself? Does he also shed a lot? Many pet owners think this is perfectly normal. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Veterinarians say skin problems are the number one health problem they see in their patients. We should pay close attention to all skin and hair problems, before we dismiss them as merely “normal” scratching.
It’s important to do this because we can tell what a canines’s overall health is by the condition of his skin and hair. We can see his “insides” by looking at his “outside”. Fortunately for us, skin and hair problems are very obvious, easy to see and usually easy to treat.
Examine his belly and groin area to see if there are any red bumps, pimples or crusty scabs there. If there are, it could be impetigo. That’s right, the same thing human babies get! Don’t worry too much, though. It’s very common in puppies, although adults can get it, too. It can also cause excessive shedding, even hair loss. Impetigo is one of several problems categorized as superficial pyoderma. It’s a bacterial infection of the skin and parts of the hair follicle near the surface. Normal bacteria are always there. But when the skin and hair follicle are weakened and unhealthy, the bacteria enter the pore. This causes a white pimple to form, which then becomes filled with fluid. That’s the first stage of the infection. Next, pus accumulates, and finally the pimples rupture and leave thin, itchy brown crusts. Scratching or biting spreads the bacteria. During this stage, others can get infected, so it’s wise to keep Fido isolated. Also, you can keep him from licking or biting this area by using a special collar.
Problems like these need a two-pronged approach. First, ask yourself “Why does my dog have this problem? What’s the root cause?”. Remember, problems on the outside are a symptom of something wrong inside. We can consider a couple different factors that affect our companion’s overall health. One thing to look at is his DIET. Most experts agree that moist food is best. Dry food is the worst diet for maintaining health. For one thing, it doesn’t provide enough moisture to keep the skin healthy. Also, it’s been found that most pups (about 90%) have a zinc deficiency. Zinc is essential for healthy skin. So fortify your friend from the inside out by providing a good diet. Another internal factor may be PARASITES. Parasites (worms and others) are most attracted to breeds with poor overall health and can further debilitate him.
But let’s get back to the surface problem: What can we do to relieve his discomfort immediately? Topical treatments can kill the bacteria and speed up the healing process. It’s important to keep the area with the rash clean. You can use hydrogen peroxide or an antibiotic ointment. This will help it to heal faster.
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In a puppy, this will usually clear up in a few days. If he is older, or the infection has gone beyond the first stage, then bathe him with a benzoyl peroxide shampoo twice every day. Do this for 2 – 3 weeks. Make certain the shampoo doesn’t get into his ears, eyes, nose or mouth. And keep that no-bite collar on so he doesn’t spread the infection.
You can take three steps that will fortify him against this bacterial invasion happening again. Many veterinarians and satisfied dog owners recommend a group of products called ShedPlex, because that’s exactly what these products will help to do.
1) Bathe them regularly with ShedPlex Shampoo. This is a very soothing wash that will get rid of any skin irritation, build up and strengthen hair follicles and roots and eliminate bacteria growth!
2) After washing, use ShedPlex Conditioner. It’s a leave-in spray conditioner that actually treats and heals your pooch’s skin in between baths.
3) ShedPlex Enzymes and Nutrients can easily be sprinkled on your animal’s food. It provides protein and nutrients that they need to repair damaged hair and oil glands. This product has a zinc complex in it to build strong healthy fur that can ward off future problems. It also contains minerals that allow him to fully absorb the nutrients in his food. Lack of digestive enzymes can cause hair loss and excessive shedding.
This is the best defense you can give your buddy; so make him happy and make yourself content with these products. They’ll even help prevent shedding!