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Your Dog's Skin

Bacterial infections

Skin Infections

What's going on?

Bacterial skin infection is very common in dogs. Affected dogs have itchy skin, which may be reddened or have a rash, crusts, and pustules (small pus-filled lesions). 

Your dog has an invisible ecosystem of good and bad microorganisms (bacteria, yeast and fungus) living on the skin.   The skin barrier and skin microbiome work together to help protect the body from external aggressors.  An imbalance in the skin microbiome may lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria, leading to infections.  


Bacterial dermatitis, or a skin infection, is often triggered by an underlying disease, such as:

  • External parasites
  • An endocrine disease
  • Allergies against fleas, environmental allergens or food ingredients

It occurs when the skin’s natural defenses break down, allowing an overgrowth of common skin bacteria, such as staphylococci. Other organisms, such as yeast and fungus, can also take advantage of the skin changes and multiply. 


Bacterial dermatitis may be generalized (all over the body) or restricted to certain areas such as skin folds, acne or hot spots. While the disease can occur in any dog, certain breeds are more prone to bacterial dermatitis, such as German Shepherds and breeds with skin folds (Pug, SharPei, etc.).  


Consult your veterinarian, who will focus on treating the underlying problem to restore the balance of the skin's microbiome.  In some cases, topical therapy alone with the anti-infective product DOUXO® S3 PYO has been shown to be effective.1-3  DOUX0® S3 PYO is an antiseptic product that hydrates and helps support the skin's ecosystem, restoring the delicate balance.  

DOUXO® is the #1 non-prescription topical brand used and recommended by U.S. veterinarians for dogs with skin infections.4

1.  Gatellet, M., Bruet, V., Cadot, P-M., Laffort, C., Noli, C., Ordeix, L., Kesteman, R., & Ollivier, E., De-Jaeger, X. (2020). Performance of two protocols combining Chlorhexidine digluconate 3%- and Ophytrium-based shampoo and mousse applications in the management of bacterial overgrowth in dogs. Proceedings of the 2020 UNISVET National Congress. Milan, Italy.2.  Gatellet, M., Kesteman, R., Baulez, B., Pradies, F., Cadot, P.M., Dropsy, H., Mathet, J.L., Ollivier, E., Billy, C., & De-Jaeger, X. (2020). Performance using a wipe containing Ophytrium and chlorhexidine digluconate 3% daily in dogs with local bacterial and/or Malassezia overgrowth. [Abstract] In Proceedings of the 9th WCVD, Sidney, Australia. 3.  Data on file. 4.  BIO'SAT Quantitative Study: Dermatological products for cats and dogs among 250 U.S. Veterinary Practices. October 2018.

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