Does your pup suffer from itchiness, redness, and swelling? If you answered this question with a resounding “yes,” your pup may have folliculitis.
Don’t worry. Folliculitis in dogs is actually pretty common, and this condition can be treated with the help of an experienced vet.
Ready to learn more about this common skin disorder in pups? Here’s everything that you need to know about folliculitis in dogs.
What Is Folliculitis In Pups?
This condition can appear on virtually any part of a pup’s body that has hair follicles such as the face, arms, legs, and back.
A skin condition that affects many dogs around the world, folliculitis is characterized by inflamed hair follicles.
The condition is sometimes referred to as bacterial folliculitis, referring to bacteria transmitting an infection to a healthy hair follicle. The healthy hair follicle will then be infected, causing many pups to develop symptoms.
Although a bacterial infection is the main cause of a dog’s folliculitis, it’s definitely not the only one.
What Causes This Condition?
According to much research, folliculitis in dogs is frequently caused by skin problems. Check out the most common skin problems that can cause this condition:
Severe Skin Irritation: External parasites such as fleas and ticks can severely irritate a pup’s skin. When pups’ skin becomes irritated, they are at risk of developing folliculitis.
Callus Dermatitis: If your dog has callus dermatitis, there’s a good chance that it developed folliculitis too. Callus dermatitis is a skin condition that occurs when pups scratch and bite an irritated region of their body. Over time, calluses will appear on a pup’s feet, elbows, and even chest.
Dog Acne: Have you heard of dog acne before? Dog acne is usually present around the chin and lips. When pups scratch the affected areas, folliculitis is likely to occur.
Hot Spots: As the name of this condition suggests, hot spots typically appear in the hot months. The condition is also referred to as pyotraumatic folliculitis. Pups may develop hot spots by aggressively scratching or licking an affected region of their body.
Acral Lick Granuloma: Pups with acral lick granuloma will constantly lick and suck an area of their body, causing sore spots. Acral lick granuloma will most likely lead to dogs folliculitis.
Skin Fold Dermatitis: In most cases, dogs who have skin fold dermatitis will also suffer from bacterial folliculitis. The condition is basically a bacterial skin infection that results in skin folds.
Skin Allergies: Allergies can also cause folliculitis in pups. If a skin allergy is causing folliculitis, you may notice your dog itching, sneezing, vomiting, and coughing. The most common types of allergies in pups are food allergies, atopic allergic reactions, and food allergies.
Fungal Infections: Just so you know, the following fungal infections can result in a bacterial infection like folliculitis: Yeast infections, dog ringworm, and blastomycosis.
Malassezia Dermatitis: Did you know that Malassezia dermatitis is a risk factor for developing a bacterial infection? The condition is basically a yeast infection, and most dogs with Malassezia dermatitis will suffer from scaly and greasy skin. A yeast infection in pups is actually quite common.
Which Dog Breeds Are More Prone To Folliculitis?
Many people are unaware that folliculitis can affect almost any dog breed, but some breeds are more prone to this condition.
Dogs who suffer from allergies are the most at risk of folliculitis. Such dog breeds include Scottish Terriers, Golden Retrievers, English bulldogs, Boxers, Boston terriers, Labrador Retrievers, and Dalmatians.
What Are The Symptoms Of Folliculitis In Pups?
In order to determine whether or not your pup is suffering from canine folliculitis or hair follicle infection, you definitely need to know the signs of this condition. Wouldn’t you agree? Depending on the specific cause of folliculitis, pups may experience any of the following symptoms:
- Skin lesions
- Darken skin
- Severe itchiness
- Excessive shedding or hair loss
- Red pimples or canine acne
- Pain near affected regions
How Is Folliculitis In Pups Diagnosed?
If you suspect that your pup has folliculitis, you should definitely contact a vet immediately. You’ll want to inform the vet of your dog’s symptoms and medical history during the initial conversation.
After arriving at the clinic, your vet will perform a thorough physical examination, paying extremely close attention to the affected regions.
More often than not, a vet will also conduct several diagnostic tests including a skin biopsy, fungal/bacterial culture, hair pluck, skin cytology, skin scrape, and other important lab work. All of these tests will let the vet know exactly what’s causing the follicle infection.
As soon as the vet confirms that your pup is suffering from folliculitis, a few treatments options will be recommended.
What Are The Best Treatments For Folliculitis In Dogs?
Since folliculitis in dogs can be caused by many different skin diseases, treatments options will not be the same for every pup. A vet will work with you to develop a great treatment plan for your pup.
Oral Medications: Many vets will prescribe antibiotics, especially if the condition is more advanced. Antimicrobial drugs may prolong the treatment time.
Antimicrobial Shampoo: A vet may recommend antimicrobial shampoo to treat this condition . The antimicrobial shampoo has been shown to relieve itchiness and clear up the infection as soon as possible. Specially formulated shampoo can also remove any microorganisms so that other possible infections can’t occur.
Creams, lotions, sprays, and ointments: These topical applications should be applied to the affected area. Flea and tick treatment for dogs might be prescribed to get rid of parasites.
Natural Remedies: If you would like to treat the condition with natural products, you should get your vet’s approval. The most common natural treatments for canine folliculitis are witch hazel, tea, aloe vera, and coconut oil.
Lifestyle Changes: A vet may also suggest lifestyle changes such as feeding your pup a healthy diet, using soft dog bed, and visiting a veterinarian clinic regularly.
Regardless of the treatment, make sure to follow your vet’s specific instructions. A vet should tell you when and how often to give your pup the treatment.
Please note: Depending on the severity of the follicle infection, treatment could last two to six weeks or several months.
How Can You Prevent Your Pup From Getting Folliculitis?
As a pup owner, you should definitely know a thing or two about preventing folliculitis in dogs. While there are ways to ensure that your pup doesn’t develop this condition, folliculitis is not always preventable. Here are some great ways to prevent folliculitis in pups:
- Feed your pup a balanced diet consisting of essential nutrients by understanding dog nutrition
- Boost your pup’s natural defense with daily walks
- Stop your pup from excessively scratching and licking its skin
- Give your dog probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil for dogs
- Check your pup’s hormonal balance every now and then
- Make sure that your pup receives flea prevention medication and/or allergy shots
- Dry the folds of your dog’s skin
- Monitor existing skin problems
- Visit the vet regularly. Don’t forget to ask questions.
When your dog is diagnosed with folliculitis, you may feel hopeless and confused. Just remember that this condition is usually treatable. An experienced vet will gladly recommend some great treatment options.
Has your pup ever been diagnosed with this condition?
What does folliculitis look like on dogs?
Pups who suffer from this condition will display an extensive array of signs including alopecia, redness, swelling, hyperpigmentation, extreme itching, and pain. The symptoms can be exacerbated, depending on the exact cause of this condition.
Please note: Folliculitis is typically the result of a bacterial infection from a hair follicle.
How do you treat folliculitis in dogs?
A vet may recommend any of the following treatments: Antibiotics, ointments, sprays, specifically formulated shampoo, lifestyle changes, lotions, and natural remedies.
The specific treatment that your vet may recommend will largely depend upon the cause and severity of the condition. In some cases, this extremely common condition may be challenging to treat. If the condition is advanced, a vet may prescribe a high dose of antimicrobial drugs.
For the best results, make sure to carefully follow the vet’s instructions.
How did my dog get folliculitis?
The condition is typically caused by skin diseases. The skin diseases that are most likely to cause folliculitis in pups include callus dermatitis, skin irritation from external parasites, skin allergies, dog acne, fungal infections, skin fold dermatitis, hot spot, acral lick granuloma, and Malassezia dermatitis.
In order to determine what specific skin diseases caused this condition, a vet will perform many different tests including a hair follicle pluck, blood work, skin cytology, skin biopsy, fungal culture, skin scrape, and many more. A vet will also conduct a full physical examination.
Once the full physical examination and multiple tests are completed, your vet will be able to tell you how your pup got folliculitis.
Is bacterial folliculitis in dogs contagious to humans?
Many dog owners wonder if they’ll develop folliculitis because of their affected pups.
The good news is that folliculitis in pups is not usually contagious to humans. If your pup is suffering from underlying skin disease such as a ringworm infestation or sarcoptic mange, dogs folliculitis could potentially be transmitted to humans, though.