What is German Shepherd Pyoderma?
German Shepherd pyoderma is a deep bacterial skin infection that is very difficult to permanently cure. It causes oozing sores, unpleasant odor, and itching. It occurs primarily in German Shepherds.
How does my dog get German Shepherd Pyoderma?
The exact cause is not known, but it is considered to be inherited as a recessive trait in German Shepherds. Recent studies have shown that affected dogs also have a lymphocyte deficiency affecting their immune system. Other causes, such as flea allergies or demodicosis, may set off the condition.
How do I know if my dog has German Shepherd Pyoderma?
Your German Shepherd may start with chewing and scratching at his skin particularly over his rump. If you part the hair you may see small crusted bumps. With time, the bumps increase in size and number and start to discharge pus, which dries on the hair and mats it together in places. The hair also falls out. Because the infection is deep in the skin, deep draining sores or tracts can form, which can be quite painful. The affected area may spread to include the entire lower back, sides and thighs. The dog continues to scratch and chew, and his skin has an unpleasant smell. Your veterinarian can make a diagnosis based on appearance, although she may wish to do additional tests to rule out other possible causes, and to look for inciting causes such as parasites, allergies, or hypothyroidism.
What can I do about German Shepherd Pyoderma?
Your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics which you must faithfully give for several weeks to several months. She will also prescribe any therapy for removing any underlying causes that may have been found. You will need to bathe your dog with special shampoos to relieve itching and remove crusting; whirlpool baths are especially helpful. You may wish to switch dog food to a high quality but lower protein food. Some dogs are never cured completely, but can be maintained comfortably as long as you keep up some forms of therapy, often for the life of the dog.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my dog from getting German Shepherd Pyoderma?
Avoid breeding affected dogs, and avoid buying a puppy from a family with affected dogs. Be diligent about parasite control and have your veterinarian check your dog at the first sign of itching or hair loss.
Are there certain breeds that get German Shepherd Pyoderma more often?
German Shepherds are noted for this condition.