Can Dogs Get Pimples?


Now, most of the time, cases of acne in dogs are mild and usually disappear by the time the dog is a year old. Mild cases usually don’t need any treatment and clear up on their own in time.

Some dogs develop severe cases or repeated secondary bacterial infections, which can cause pain and itching. Suspect a secondary bacterial infection if your dog frequently paws at his face or rubs it on the carpet or upholstered furniture. In these cases, your veterinarian will usually prescribe an oral or injectable antibiotic.

If your dog’s acne worsens or becomes persistent, your veterinarian will need to dig deep to find the source of the problem. Diagnostics that may be helpful include a bacterial culture and antimicrobial sensitivity testing, skin scraping or biopsy and a fungal culture or Wood’s lamp examination. Your vet may also suggest allergy testing. These tests can help differentiate acne from other conditions that resemble it, such as mange or ringworm, or help determine an underlying cause.

Depending on the cause and severity of the acne, your veterinarian may suggest the following solutions:

  • A change in diet
  • Switching from plastic to stainless steel or ceramic food and water dishes, and washing them daily in hot, soapy water
  • Washing and drying your dog’s face thoroughly after meals
  • Treatment with special cleansers, chlorhexidine wipes or medicated shampoos
  • A multiweek course of oral or topical antibiotics, or both

If necessary, your veterinarian may prescribe gels or shampoos containing benzoyl peroxide, the same thing you might use on your own skin. While it might seem like a simple solution, don’t apply your own acne medication to your dog’s face. The products you use are too strong and can make the situation worse.

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