Dog’s Skin Infection Needs Correct Antibiotic

Advanced cases of pyoderma in dogs can take a while to clear up.


Q. My dog has been dealing with a bacterial infection for a year now: a crusted nose, a sticky substance on his mouth, and pustules on various part of his body. In the past year, he has been treated with various antibiotics with no improvement. I asked my veterinarian to do a culture on his sticky, smelly mouth pustules. My vet then prescribed a new antibiotic (cephalexin). Since then, I have noticed a slight improvement. Is my dog on the correct antibiotic, or is there something else he can be treated with?

A. Your dog has a condition known as pyoderma, or generalized skin infection. If your veterinarian did a culture of the lesions, he or she should have gotten a report that showed which organisms are growing, and which antibiotics would be effective. Cephalexin is a good antibiotic, but not the most powerful. Your veterinarian will want to save the most powerful antibiotics for later if needed. It can take six to eight weeks of antibiotics to clear up an extensive case of pyoderma, so be patient.


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Thomas   Folsom, California

2/26/2015 12:27:34 PM

Did you ever get a response from
I have a 6y/o Neufoundland that has the same issues your Akita is going
We have had no success, and not much help from our vet either.

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Wendy   Marietta, Georgia

10/10/2014 5:16:54 PM

My Akita female was diagnosed with staph skin infection 2 yrs ago. She was treated for it after a culture was sent to the lab. Was put on 6 weeks of Cephalexin, and it cleared. It's back again and Ceph is NOT helping, neither did Clavamox or Clindamycin. She's been on weeks and weeks of all those different meds. I am bathing her 105 lb. body 2 x a week with DermaBen-SS and Sulpha Benzoyl Peroxide shampoo and NOTHING is working, it's spreading all all over. I'm also spraying her skin with Povidone/Iodine in between baths and nothing is helping. She stinks, she's itchy and now hair with crusty scabs is coming out in clumps. I WORK AT A VET HOSPITAL!! All my vets are done and have no further ideas. Anyone???

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lana   Calabasas, CA

4/15/2011 7:39:31 PM

excellent article; my dog has a skin disorder, it is not improving so I was looking up the antibiotice that the vet prescribed to learn if it was for skin disorders. It is cephalexin; I learned a lot from the article.

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8/24/2008 12:09:14 PM

most pyodermas are responsive to broad spectrum antibiotics. If a dog does not respond over a considerable length of time, chances are you might be dealing with other forms of skin infections; dermatomycosis, mange, vitamin deficiency, hormonal imbalance, metabolic disorders, allergies, amongs others. A serial lab test is required for effective diagnosis. Since most skin infections result in secondary bacterial infection, bacterial culture alone is not enough to establish a
Just my own little contribution on the subject matter.

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