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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Pyroderma The Piggyback Skin Infection

Pyroderma: The ''Piggyback'' Skin Infection

PetSmart Banfield, The Pet Hospital®

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Pyoderma is a bacterial infection of the skin. Infection may be secondary to, or associated with, other skin abnormalities or damage such as allergies, irritants, skin trauma, fungal infections, external parasites, general poor health or nutrition or hormonal imbalances.
The bacteria involved are usually normal skin organisms that have opportunistically invaded a weakened area of the most external layer of skin. Infections range from superficial with mild discomfort, to deep, severe and in some cases, potentially life threatening. Mild infections can rapidly become severe and cover large areas of the skin.

Signs of pyoderma include:
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Discharge
  • Odor
  • Swelling or abrasions on the skin surface
  • Hair loss
  • Scabbing
  • Sores
  • Pustules
  • Excess chewing or licking
Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms, examination findings, skin or blood testing, and response to treatment. Skin and blood testing are valuable and important tools to diagnose underlying conditions that may have allowed bacterial skin infection in the first place.

Treatment can include antibiotics, medicated shampoos and skin products, antihistamines and steroids.
Any underlying problems must be addressed to prevent recurrence. External parasite control, especially flea control, is essential for good skin health. Routine bathing and coat care are important as well.

  • Use all medications and skin products as prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Control fleas and ticks.
  • Provide routine bathing and grooming of your pet according to the recommendations of your veterinarian. The medical team can offer guidelines specifically tailored to your Pet.
  • Monitor your Pet carefully and have him or her rechecked as recommended by your veterinarian.

If you have questions about this or any medical topic, please contact your vet or Banfield hospital today. 

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