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Bacterial and Fungal Dermatitis Conditions in Dogs

Dermatitis issues can arise due to a number of different causes, such as parasites, environmental allergies or food allergies. However, dermatitis can also be caused by bacterial and fungal infections, some of which are contagious. If you suspect your dog is showing signs of dermatitis, speak to your veterinarian so they can determine whether it is being caused by a bacterial or fungal infection.
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How Do Bacterial Infections in Dogs Arise?

Bacterial infections in dogs may arise when their immune system has been weakened or compromised. Dogs that have recently been ill may be more susceptible to bacterial infections, as well as puppies and older dogs.

Cartoon of Dog Breathing Fungal Spores

What Is a Fungal Infection?

Fungal infections arise when a dog has inhaled or come into contact with fungal spores. If the fungal spores take over a large enough area of the dog's body, it can overwhelm the immune system and result in common dermatitis symptoms, such as inflamed skin, crusting and hair loss.

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Fungal Ringworm Infections in Dogs 

Ringworm in dogs is a fungal infection that is highly contagious. However, it is not life-threatening and can be managed with the support of your veterinarian. Ringworm is caused by a fungus settling in and feeding on the skin cells. It can be spread via animals and contaminated objects. Often, a round-shaped rash will be present on your dog's skin.

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Bacterial Infections in Dogs

Staph is the most common type of bacterial infection and can affect any dog. Staph in dogs is also known as pyoderma. A staph infection can arise from various issues, such as a food allergy, parasites, environmental allergies or a wound. Your veterinarian will look for signs of hair loss with red and inflamed skin.

As staph is a bacterial infection your veterinarian is likely to resolve the infection first and then identify the cause, such as food sensitivity. Once the underlying cause has been identified it will help you to ensure your dog is on the correct long-term management. If relevant, you may need to avoid contributory factors where possible, such as certain ingredients.

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Causes of Chin Acne in Dogs


Chin acne is also known by veterinarians as follicular keratinization and can arise from food allergies. Chin acne occurs when too much keratin, a protein in the skin, is produced. Overproduction of keratin can lead to blocked hair follicles around the chin, resulting in spots, blackheads and whiteheads. Hair loss and redness may also be present in severe cases. 

Speak to your veterinarian for information on diagnosis and treatment options.