Differences Between Bacterial and Fungal Infections in Dogs How to Treat Them

Differences Between Bacterial and Fungal Infections in Dogs


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When thinking of bacterial infections and fungal infections in dogs, they seem similar in symptoms and causes at first. Although they may seem similar at first glance, they do have their differences.

There are good and bad bacteria in dogs. When the skin is clean and normal, the good bacteria come through which prevents the bad bacteria from coming through. However, when the skin is not normal or clean, the bad bacteria are able to come through which then causes a bacterial infection.

When these bad bacteria are present in the skin, it can cause yeast or other ailments to grab hold of the skin and cause other illnesses or infections. There are three different categories of organisms that cause skin infections which include bacterial, yeast, and fungal infections. This time we are going to discuss bacterial and fungal infections in dogs and the differences between them and how to treat them.

Bacterial Infection in Dogs

Bacterial infections are very common in dogs and horses but not so common in cats. Many bacterial infections are a secondary cause of another health problem in dogs. This other health problem is usually not clear until the dog is seen by the veterinarian. The symptoms of a bacterial infection include redness of the skin, crusts, hair loss, and pustules. Lesions may also occur and have a central area of hair loss, crusts, and an outline of redness. The lesions are mostly circular. There may also be a bad odor caused by the bacteria in the skin breaking down oils into smelly fats.

The treatment for a bacterial infection includes antibiotics and sometimes topical creams or lotions with antiseptic in them, and more importantly, the unknown health problem diagnosed and treated to prevent any further infection.

Fungal Infection in Dogs

A fungal infection is usually uncommon and rare in dogs but can still happen to them. It is not the cause of itchiness or redness and does not happen because of allergies. Although most fungal infections are rare, one that is more common in dogs and can be contagious to human beings is ringworm. Ringworm is an infection of the top layers of the skin that are dead. It can also become an infection of the hair follicles.

Treating Bacterial Infection in Dogs

Once you think your dog has a bacterial infection, you will need to take him or her to the vet right away to get treated. They will first run tests to determine the cause of the bacterial infection. Once they find out what the cause is, they will treat it and the bacterial infection with antibiotics. In more severe cases of this infection in dogs, they may provide your beloved family dog with IV fluids to replace the fluids he or she lost if they became dehydrated from the infection.

Your vet may also recommend treating bacterial infection using Clavamox for dogs. To treat certain typs of wounds and infections vets may prescribe Simplicef tabs for dogs.

The main cause of a bacterial infection in dogs is feces, undercooked meat, dairy, and even contaminated water. Your dog is more at risk for bacterial infection if you got him or her from a shelter or if he or she was in a boarding kennel with other dogs. If you notice your dog vomiting, suffering from diarrhea, have a fever, lethargic, and cranky from not feeling well, he or she may have a bacterial infection and will need to be treated by a vet immediately.

Treating Fungal Infection in Dogs

Ringworm and yeast infection are the two most common fungal infections dogs can suffer from. Ringworm symptoms include flaking, itching, or crusting skin, hair loss, and brittle and misshapen nails. Once you notice these symptoms occurring in your dog, he or she will need to be taken to the vet right away. This is because the fungus can spread to other animals in the house rather quickly.

Once you get your dog to the vet, they will take a hair and skin culture to test for ringworm. Depending on how severe the ringworm is, he or she may be given medicated baths, antifungal medications they will need to take orally, and cleaning and vacuuming your home will prevent your other animals from getting the infection.

Once you determine whether your dog has a bacterial infection or a fungal infection, you will need to seek professional medication treatment for them right away. Not only will it make them feel better, and you feel better, but it will help prevent other pets in the house getting sick. You should also take preventive measures to avoid your dog getting one or both of these infections again or at all.

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