Last Modified on Feb 17, 2014
Pyoderma is not an uncommon condition among dogs. It is a staph or other bacterial infection that targets wounds on your dog's skin, resulting in deep or superficial accumulations of pus beneath the skin.
Symptoms: In addition to the pus-filled reservoirs, pyoderma may initially present as a rash that may or may not itch. The skin may crust over, hair loss may result, and the skin may be inflamed. Pus may accumulate in small pustules, possibly around hair follicules, or may be much larger.
Natural Pet Remedies: Antibiotic treatment is standard for pyoderma in dogs, whether ingested or topical. Any natural antibiotic you trust for use with your pet may be effective. Garlic is one (controversial) option. Ted recommends a paste of borax and baking soda (see below). Frequent bathing is also advised.
[YEA] 06/13/2013: Jackie from Yaxley, Peterborough, United Kingdom: "I have recently spent over £1,500 having surgery on my dog for a lip fold pyoderma. She is 12 years old and I thought it was her last chance. It came back almost straight away and I was so stressed as I didn't want to have her put down, but didn't have the money for procedures that the vet suggested. As a last resort I looked into a natural cure and by chance found this site. People on here seemed to recommend natural coconut oil and/or Allicin. I don't know which cured my dog, but within a week of using both these (relatively cheap alternatives) my dog is not only cured but fitter than she has ever been. Thank you so much to those of you who posted these remedies. Without you my dog would no longer be here."
[YEA] 06/21/2013: Pugsrule from Seabeck, Wa: "Pyoderma: Hi, my pug has had yeast and bacterial infection on most of her body for almost 3 years. Like most of you I tried many things to help her. She had the bumps, black elephant skin, itching and stunk so bad! ACV helps with the itching for sure but what finally helped clear her was Colostrum, and Quecertin. Within 3 days her belly was smooth again and the smell was almost gone. She is raw fed, will always have allergys but is 90% better now."
[YEA] 06/19/2009: Leah from Chicago, IL: "Hello Pyoderma Sufferers!
I writing to help those of you who would like to start a homemade diet in order to cure your pup's pyoderma. I have two healthy happy dogs (ages 1yr and 4 yrs) that have been on the raw diet since birth. It is actually very cost effective in comparison to that expensive kibble, and they have never had a single health problem to speak of.
I don't know if you could call it "preparing" their food, but I do pull it out of the refrigerator or freezer every morning...haha. It's really easy, and with a bit of guidance/education, you'll be on the right path in no time.
Example Day of Meals for my 4-yr-old Shepherd/Lab
1 raw chicken back (yes, with the bones!!! She can easily rip through these in seconds!!)
1 slice of raw beef liver
1 capsule of fish oil
1 large raw turkey neck
4-5 raw gizzards
1/4 lb raw ground bison, beef, or lamb
1 raw chicken leg quarter
You don't have to cut it up, tenderize it, or grind it--you simply hand it to the dog, and that's that.
If you're JUST starting a raw homemade diet today, make sure to start gradually! Start with one protein, like chicken, and feed that only for one week. You could feed raw chicken backs or necks in the morning, and then kibble in the evening--that would be gradual. You need to give your pup time to build up his/her natural enzymes and stomach acids. NEVER EVER mix dry food with raw food--the digestion rates are so different that it would make your pup's tummy unsettled.
Also, if you run into a little bit of diarrhea, don't be discouraged--YOUR PUP WILL ADJUST--I PROMISE! In order to combat loose stool, simply add 1 tablespoon of plain canned pumpkin (not the pie filling) to the food. You can also add a probiotic capsule and a capsule filled with cayenne pepper to help with the adjustment.
Let me know if you have any questions.
03/22/2013: Corey from Oak Hill, Ohio replies: "What type of antibiotic do you use for pyoderma."
11/25/2012: Audra from Spokane, Wa, Usa: "Our beloved Basset Hound has pyoderma. He has been treated for the past 1.5 years with 2 different types of antibiotics (Amoxicillin and Clavamox) along with high dosages of Prednisone. He is 3 years young. During the past 1.5 years, I don't think he has been more than 30 days without antibiotics if you were to add them up and more than 15 days without Prednisone. We have also given him Benedryl to help with the itching. Nothing seems to help though. They are now sending us to a dermatologist.
We have been bathing him with several different shampoos, all of which have been vet recommended. The latest being CortiSoothe, however we have gone though numerous bottles of KetoChlor which has the Chlorhexidine that the vet says "helps cure" this problem.
It started out under his arm pits (as little bumps with no scabs, looked like heat rash) and then went to his groin area. Now it is all over his body. We do comb him and get the scabies, as we call them, off of him and then wash him every 2 days. He is losing hair in patches. We also put hydrocortisone ointment under his arm pits every night. He wears a t-shirt so he doesn't lick his arm pits and the bend of his arm. We also put hydrocortisone ointment in between his toe-webbing when it gets really inflamed and then put socks on him.
I should say that he has been allergy tested. I have spent over $5000 on this pup and he is a rescue dog. We treat him like he is one of the family and want to help him live a very long and happy life.
We cook for him. He gets venison, rice and green beans, twice daily. He also gets a fish oil supplement and olive oil.
He is on 20mg of Prednisone currently but no antibiotics. What can we do that we are not doing to help him? Please help!!!!
As of this typing, we are changing his bowls to metal since they were plastic.
We are up for trying anything, as you can tell from above. Thank you."Replies
01/15/2013: Steph from Fredericksburg, Va replies: "Hello. I wanted to comment about the high dose of Prednisone. Be careful because Prednisone usage can cause pyoderma in some dogs. Ask your vet about reducing the amount of prednisone to see if that helps improve the skin condition. You may also want to ask about adding a medicated wash and a steriod based ointment to apply directly on the infected areas."
01/19/2013: David from Greenwood, Ms replies: "I have been using allicin garlic capsules for my jack russell and it is clearing up his infection. I give one a day, put in a piece of meat."
04/10/2013: Debbie from Riverside, Ca, USA replies: "My German Shepard has Nasal Pyoderma so I have been researching this a lot. Here is a really good link for pyoderma, and it says that cortisone steroids can be bad for pyoderma and cause a rebound effect, which can make it keep coming back. Here is the link: http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/health/pyoderma.htm
I am just starting with the Clindamycin antibibotic and use chlorehexidine to clean it. We shall see how it goes."
08/30/2012: Ann from Eastern, Ma, USA: "Can someone please put this all together for me? The vet just says she has an infection -- which I learned from this site is pyoderma. She's an 11 year old lab schnauzer mix, hair in last 3 weeks out in clumps despite nice shiny coat (from raw egg, avocado, coconut oil & raw diet.) But she has a swollen pinkish-red area in the folds of her lower lip with crusty black stuff that I can pull off. The area is a little sore to the touch but also itches--she's been scratching at it for about 6 weeks. I know that certain human basal cell carcinomas (skin cancers) are crusty and can itch. It worries me that she has small black spots on the swollen area but also on her gums. (Her coat is black.) The vet says these are just freckles but he didn't catch my last dog's cancer and 5 months after being diagnosed by another vet she was dead. A second opinion is clearly in order, but meanwhile any suggestions would be really helpful."Replies
02/16/2014: Sharon from Atlanta, Ga replies: "I have spent thousands treating lower lip infections on my poor dog. They just keep coming back. He is on even stronger antibiotics this time, so I decided to do my own research. Today, I learned through pictures and descriptions that he definitely has lip fold pyoderma.I took photos of his condition and they are a perfect match for the images and descriptions I have found on line. My vet has always said she wasn't sure what causes his infections. She had him on 7 weeks of various antibiotics the first time. I am relieved to have a diagnosis. Now I need to ask: Does the lip fold surgery usually help? Is there a recommended topical preventative, or maybe a diet regimen that will help? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. This poor pup has patiently tolerated so much medicine and vet visits. He deserves some relief."
02/17/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Sharon!
- Does the lip fold surgery usually help?
You don't provide the breed of your dog for the best answer. If you are dealing with a Chinese Shar Pei, then certainly removing the excess skin that creates the folds and pockets for bacteria and yeast to thrive *should* help. Keeping your dog's problem skin folds clean is critical; are you cleaning the folds daily? Lack of daily or twice daily care may be contributing to the problem; if you have not been keeping up on daily cleaning you might try that using some solutions you can mix up [provided below] and see if that works before opting for surgery. I also notice that in my pack skin problems pop up during allergy season; consider if this may be a factor for your dog.
- Is there a recommended topical preventative?
I have had a little bit of luck with any and all of these:
- Powdered turmeric [grocery spice aisle]
- Calamine lotion
- Milk of Magnesia
- Alum powder [baking section of grocery store]
- OTC human vaginal cream for yeast
- Chlorhexadine [bulk from farm and fleet supply]
- Zymox [purchase online, usually used for ears]
- Zinc diaper rash ointment
It usually requires thoroughly washing and drying the area and then applying the remedy of choice into the folds. Products from the vet, ie Dermalone, contain multiple antibiotics and usually have a steroid so they address the intense itching and discomfort very quickly, but the tiny 1 oz tubes are so expensive it makes long term treatment or treating multiple dogs cost prohibitive. One thing to consider is Ted's Mange remedy - provided below.
- Is there a diet regimen that will help?
The question I first have to ask is - what are you currently feeding your dog? If the answer is a well balanced RAW diet, then I would not suggest you change your kibble. If on the other hand you are feeding the cheapest grocery store brand you can buy [usually these kinds are loaded with grains, dyes and lots of sugar] then certainly an upgrade of kibble brands is called for. And if you are already feeding a top notch brand then it might be time to consider RAW. Certainly the addition of probiotics and digestive enzymes to the diet is a good idea, along with alkalizing by adding 1-2 teaspoons of raw, unpasteurized, 'with the Mother' Apple Cider Vinegar mixed into the food, or baking soda to the water [details below].
If this were my dog I would use my allergy plan based on Ted's remedies that I regularly use on my pack during allergy season:
Allergy skin battle plan for allergy flare ups
- Borax laundry booster - the plain stuff with NO scent.
- 1 -16 oz brown bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide
I get both of these from the grocery store.
Empty hydrogen peroxide into larger bottle - I use an empty 1 gallon vinegar jug. Add to this 32 oz filtered or distilled water - I just refill the hydrogen peroxide bottle twice - and dump into the jug. What this does is change your 3% hydrogen peroxide into 1% hydrogen peroxide.
Next add 1 cup of the borax crystals and shake. There should be some un-dissolved crystals in the mixed solution - this is just right. I try to use hot water from the kettle on the stove, that or sit the jug of mixture in the sink full of hot water while I bathe the dog.
Bathe the dog - use whatever shampoo and rinse well. Squeeze out excess water and make sure the tub is drained. I then plug up the tub. Now pour the mixed up solution over the dog. I use a small sponge to soak up the solution from the bottom of the tub and squeeze it out onto the dog again and again, making sure I get the head and underneath. Keep squeezing solution over and over onto the dog for about 15 minutes - 30 minutes is better. Then pull the stopper from the tub and let the excess drain. DO NOT DRY THE DOG OR RINSE THE DOG. The solution has to remain wet as it is still working. Allow the dog to air dry. I just pop mine into their crates and I remove any absorbent bedding.
If you are worried about poisoning your dog keep in mind that borax has the same toxicity as table salt. The solution doesn't seem to hurt the eyes or sting any sores on the skin. Some dogs feel instant relief!
Now, the above remedy is Ted's remedy for mange, but its a good start for troubled skin. I will do this dip 2-3 times the first week when allergies hit and skin starts to get itchy and yeasty. I would treat the entire dog with the mange remedy and only after treating the entire dog for 2-3 baths in the first week would I then shift to the Antifungal/Staph solution, and this can be made in small batches so you can treat only the affected areas and not the whole dog.
Ted's Anti fungal/staph skin solution - you will need:
- Milk of Magnesia [magnesium hydroxide]
- Epsom salts [magnesium sulfate]
- Borax [sodium tetraborate]
- 1% hydrogen peroxide solution
Mix 1 tbsp of MOM with 1 tbsp epsom salt and 1 tbsp borax into 1-1/2 cups of 1% hydrogen peroxide. Apply and do not rinse. This solution should knock out any staph infection or yeast infection going on in the skin. Just apply generously to the affected area and allow to air dry.
Probiotics [as mentioned above] and digestive enzymes are also useful in combating allergies and skin issues - consider adding those to your dog's diet as well.
Lastly, the addition of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in one half liter of non-chlorinated drinking water may also help to calm problem skin by alkalizing and balancing your dog's PH - do this for about a week. Once the skin is under control, for long term maintenance use 1/2 tsp of baking soda per liter of water. If your dog isn't keen on drinking the BS water, scale it back and build it up gradually - when done in this fashion my pack has taken readily to the BS water.
Dogs with skin issues are high maintenance dogs. You may need to thoroughly wash between your dogs folds of skin and treat with the Anti staph solution twice a day, 24/7/365 to keep him healthy."
10/24/2011: Tomcat from Houston, Tx: "Hello.... I have a cat that is my heart and soul. For the past year or so we have been battling a random assortment of symptoms. I am currently in vet school, but have always practiced natural med with my pets. That being said, he is a tough one at the moment. He has chronic allergies/skin issues, he has these sneezing attack/coughing...asthma-ish it seems.... And in the past year he has developed pus in sin claws.... He saw the derm and she wants to do 8 weeks of Ab.... We did 2 weeks earlier this year and no response... So now she wants to try 8 weeks and if no response biopsy him.
Also, I ordered some lysine to try, but saw it has artificial sweetner in it... Again, not sure if I should administer it
Here is my theory... I think he has a herpes virus that flares up periodically (and possibly asthma), and secondarily he is now getting these nasty, nasty bacterial infections. I started the ab a few days ago.... And he just isn't acting the same. I am not sure if the vomiting started before or after--but he has vomited for 3 days (again, not like him at all! ) I guess I am just wondering if you have any experience with this.... I would love some help. Thank you."Replies
10/25/2011: Timh from Louisville, Usa replies: "Tomcat, no expert here but I will say what I do for my kitties as maintenace. A few grains of milled flax seed cleans the colon (about 4 times yr). A filthy colon could be the root of all the symptoms you provided. Also, I use a dropper of Colloidal Silver about once wk to keep infection at bay. Hope this helps."
12/01/2006: Laura from Hartford, WI: "We are having some other problems, she keeps getting pyoderma. The vet puts her on antibiotics and it clears, but when she is done the pyoderma comes back. Any suggestions? Thank you so much for the mange cure. I was so afraid of the dip."Replies
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Laura: Pyoderma infection is a simple bacteria infection a found in the the skin of the dog called Staphylococcus Intermedius. Often changing the diets of dogs from ready made dog food to home cooked food will help. For some reason, the ready made dog foods lowers the dog's natural immunity since there is no natural enzymes in them, while a partially cooked liver and meats will often help.
However, it is necesary to prepare a wet paste of sodium bicarbonate and borax (50:50) using a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution to prepare the paste and apply in area of infection. Four applications per day should stop the staph fairly quickly.
The drinking water of the dog should, for temporarily add 1/4 teaspoon of NATURAL sea salt per liter of water to the dog. Sea salt are quite alkaline forming where its pH is between 7.5 - 8.5, making an ideal addition.
The best kinds of sea salt, amazingly enough is not found for human use but for pet shops that sells aquarium. There are many brands, but they should be natural sea salts and most would be o.k. If this doesn't work of for a week add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per 1 liter of water to the dog's drinking water. It takes about 2 weeks for a noted improvement.
As a warning, dogs on antibiotics will get yeast infections if given too long. If the dogs happens to be eating ready made dog food this will be much worse. In my opinion, giving treating yeast/fungus issue are a lot more difficult then bacteria and viruses. I often call these fungus, the ultimate bioweapons, as it is extremely difficult to contain or rid off. So be on the watch for this. A dog will vomit, when they do get yeast infections and it appears to be like anorexic condition or acid reflux thing. If this symptoms is shown, antibiotics should be stopped and it will give the dogs to recover from additional symptoms faster."
01/14/2012: Sarah from Brooklyn, Ohio replies: "What is the exact mixture required? Do you rinse off the paste or leave it on to dry? My boxer mix's skin is infected and is turing black in spots. I have had her on and off Ketoconozole, but am afraid we are starting to tax her already low immune system due to allergies."
02/03/2012: Jane from Paramus, New Jersey replies: "My Spinone Italiano also keeps getting bacterial infections in the folds of her mouth. She's been on antibiotics throughout the year, it goes away and then comes back. Based upon where the infections are, she is not a candidate for the lip fold surgery. The doctors are looking for other alternatives. Any help is appreciated. She is only 7 years old."
02/24/2012: Nicole from Deerfield Beach, Fl, Usa replies: "Diet is an important factor but clean water is also important when dealing with pyroderma especially in dog where outbreaks are localized to the mouth. The bowl the water is in is also very important. Plastic bowls commonly cause pyroderma. If your dog suffers from pyroderma that reoccurs check the water bowl, if it is plastic replace it with a metal bowl and see if that helps."
05/01/2012: Looneygirl from Houston, Texas, Usa replies: "You might look up more on this info but when I went thru several breast cancer surgeries & antobotics I got the thrush or yeast infections in my mouth so bad and it was painful. The doctor would call in a prescription everytime. My nurse friend got me over the counter Acidophilus/probiotics to start using before my next surgery and then I read somewhere that Povidone-Iodine Solution, 10%. Rince in the mouth does the same thing for mouth yeast infections. I read they use this in poor countries instead of the expesive big pharma cure. It is that purple red stuff that I came home with stains with they use before surgerys. It works. Just don't let your dog drink it it should be for a wash out only. I am a big user now of iodone tinture & the bedidine for many things and also take iodine supplements which is a bit controversal but I take it in limited doses."
01/17/2013: Doll33y from Up, Michigan replies: "Italian vinegar type salad dressing also helps with yeasty mouth infections for both humans and pets. Eat a salad or put it on vegetables or meats. Seems to be a nice easy solution instead of medicines."
[NAY] 09/02/2013: Matthew from Stanwood, Wa replies: "I tried Ted's remedy of Borax and Baking Soda Paste with 1% Hydrogen Peroxide on my dog's Pyroderma. It didn't work. By the second day, my dog had even more redness, and in addition open sores with pus. Prior to staring Ted's remedy he didn't have any of these open sores like this. So tonight, I wiped my dog down with a wash clothe of warm water to clean off the borax paste residual. After that, I dried his groin completely with a towel, and put an antibiotic ointment on the sores and the majority of his groin and inside of his legs.
As for the paste, I was hopeful it would work. I read a lot about it, and watched other people's videos on YouTube. I mixed a 50/50 mix of Borax, and Baking Soda, and then slowly added enough of the 1% Hydrogen Peroxide until it formed a paste like gritty feeling mixture. I then rubbed this gritty paste on his groin. Almost reminded me of an exfoliation. I hope this is how Ted intended the paste to be applied. But if it was as Ted described, I did not see an improvement, I saw the condition get worse after application."
09/03/2013: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Matthew, does your dog suffer from allergies? When this happens to my dogs - applying a treatment and having the skin blow up afterwards - its because I am applying the remedy in an agitative manner to skin that is in [for lack of a better term] 'reaction mode'. It sounds as if your 'exfoliating' while applying the remedy was done when the skin was in reaction mode; the remedy will still be effective on the bacterial skin infection but you should avoid agitating and go for a spritz or a soak instead.
Ted covers several formulas for doggie allergy skin here: http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/allergies_questions.html#Question_688
It is well worth your time to review the questions and remedies to see if one of them is more suited to the conditions your dog is experiencing."
Ted's Remedies Reader Feedback
06/19/2011: Kristin from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada: "Dear Ted,
Our 10 year old chesapeak bay retriever has chronic pyoderma. He used to get it once a year, now it is constant and the antibiotics don't seem to be effective any more. Our last round (the 4th or 5th this year) did not seem to have any effect. Is there a way to cure without antibiotics?"Replies
06/27/2011: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Yes, tannic acid mixed with DMSO 70%, and apply the skin. Tannic acid is prepared 5-15%, preferably 10% in the DMSO 70% (which is 30% water and 70% DMSO). It is applied onto a clean dog externally. It works in 15 minutes. This should help, if it doesn't you can add some Lugol's iodine solution mixed into it, say another 10% of the mix.
Some misinformation correction is needed. MMS or sodium chlorite, or hypochlorite, or any chlorine bleach has exactly the same antibiotic effects (or disinfectant) effects as do the Lugol's solution or iodine solution (PVP-I). The only difference is that chlorine disinfectants or MMS has side effects associated with chlorine overdose. Iodine is needed by the humans and provides less side effects and won't cause severe side effects and its cures are more permanent then MMS or chlorine disinfectants. You can test the presence of chlorine in MMS by "activating" with chlorine paper test with citric acid. So use Lugol's iodine when making such a mixture is better.
11/25/2012: Goddaluvme2 from Ogden, Ut replies: "Get some Neopredef powder and some Malaseb shampoo and use as directed on the bottles. The Neopredef will help dry and soothe the seeping oozy areas of skin, the shampoo works wonders too!"
[SIDE EFFECTS] 02/11/2011: Nicole from Littlehampton, Sa, Australia: "I made the pyoderma treatment just as it said to after trying every shampoo and treatment for our puppy's mange for the past 6 wks which has resulted in pyoderma. I just put her first application on no more than 1-2 hrs ago and she has scratched her head raw to the point of bleeding now. She looks absolutely horrible but physically she doesnt seem to be affected by the mange/pyoderma, nor did she scratch at it. It's obviously made her very itchy, as a result scratching where I applied the paste until it bled... Is this normal? Anyone elses dog have the same reaction?"
04/16/2009: Sharon from Olympia, WA: "I wanted to reply to the cure for Pyroderma. We are currently trying to cure our dog as well. So far with agressive antibiodics. It is now absessed.
So our problem, this Pyroderma is around her eye. Can your recommendations be safely used around her eye?
Also, I don't have a clue on how to make her own food. Is there directions somewhere on the web?
Thanks for considering my e-mail"
05/09/2010: Gabrielle from Brighton, Ontario, Canada replies: "Give you dog Bee Propolis in liquid form from the health food store or from china town herbal store you can use it on the outside and also put it in to the food.
Want to cook, take vegetables from your fridge, whatever you have, take chicken liver, a cup of lentils, cup of rice, cup of noodles cup of millet add sea salt, pepper corn and Kelp buds.
boil cut the chicken liver in small pieces store in the fridge. Gives you 5-6 days' food when you serve heat a portion add fresh vegetables, fish oil, flax seed ground, spirulina, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar ( Glass Bottle ), brewers yeast and digestive enzyms. Don't giveÂ onions or Raisins.
In the morning bake a sweet potato or apple in the micro, add some plain Yogourt, cinnamon ,cloves, cardomon, dab of butter. For a treat give him some real bones he needs the calcium. No bad breath no constipation. he will never eat the take out food again."
08/31/2011: Roxie Ann from Sandwich, Il replies: "Is it safe to use borax and baking soda remedy on cats? My cat has pyroderma and is not responding to multiple natural approaches- essential oils (diluted of course), probiotics, ACV, olive leaf extract, herbs, and a couple other things. I'd like to try the remedy listed for pyroderma and mange. But they are only listed as helping with dogs. Just want to be sure my cat is safe. Thanks!"
09/29/2012: Snocouchs from Berwyn, Illinois replies: "My 16 year old dog got pyoderma on her back. I washed the area off with lavender oil soap, rubbed coconut oil on it, and add a tablespoon of coconut oil to her food twice daily (she is 44 pounds). After the affected area dried up and stopped weeping (about 1 week later) I gave her a bath using coconut oil soap.
I am going to continue to add the oil to her food since she likes it and it also adds important enzymes and fats I believe are lacking in her food. She eats a dry food that is grain free."