Folliculitis in Dogs: Causes, Signs and Treatments

Folliculitis is a prevalent skin condition found in many dogs. It is a bacterial infection that causes loss of skin hair and hair follicle inflammation—the hair follicles mash-up with bacterial growth causing irritation and other skin issues for dogs.

There can be different reasons behind dog folliculitis. However, the best idea is to consult a vet and ease your furry companion.

What Causes Folliculitis in Dogs?

Bacteria are the main reason for folliculitis in dogs. However, there are several other causes behind this painful skin disease, such as local trauma, endocrine issues, immune system disorders, fungal infections, and parasitism. Take a look at some of the major causes of dog folliculitis.

  • Cushing’s disease
  • Callus dermatitis
  • Allergies
  • Acne in dogs
  • “Hot spot,” also known as Pyotraumatic folliculitis
  • Parasites like flies, ear mites, ticks and fleas
  • Immune system disorders
  • Skin-fold pyoderma
  • Acral-lick granuloma
  • Cysts or interdigital pododermatitis
  • Fungus
  • Idiopathic furunculosis
  • Hypothyroidism

If your dog has an infection in the hair follicles, it will probably lead to folliculitis.

How to Identify Folliculitis in Dogs?

No matter what the cause is, the inflammation is flagged in different ways. Abdomen, groin, and armpits are most vulnerable to this condition. A dog with short hair can reveal the problem, but the breeds with dense fur often conceal the signs of folliculitis.

Here are the most common symptoms that confirm that your friend is undergoing severe pain:

  • Hair loss
  • Redness
  • Pimples or pustules
  • Swelling
  • Itching

The above signs are unavoidable, and any pet owner can tell if his/her dog is showing any symptoms. Here are some technical signs that a few dogs show in particular:

  • Epidermal Collarettes (scaling or crusting in a circular pattern around the affected region)
  • Papules (skin swells into red color)
  • Hyperpigmentation (dark skin)
  • Superficial Erosions (strange spots on the surface)
  • Draining tracts
  • Blackheads
  • Pain in the surroundings

It is challenging for new pet owners to detect these symptoms. Excessive shedding, de-coating, removal of luster, itchiness, and dryness are all related to folliculitis. If your dog has any of the above signs, take them to a vet.
Folliculitis in Dog

How is Folliculitis Diagnosed?

The physical examination and medical history are beneficial in diagnosing the real cause of follicle infection in dogs. It is hard to tell with a naked eye, and therefore, suggesting precautionary measures to lessen the disease. The medical tests for diagnosis of folliculitis may include:

  • Fungal culture
  • Histopathology
  • Endocrine disorder tests
  • Skin biopsy
  • Mite detection through skin scraping
  • Sensitivity and bacterial culture
  • Examination of ringworm by wood’s lamp
  • Visual examination for parasites
  • Skin cytology (to diagnose different bacteria)

The examination can be a time taking process. As a responsible owner, you must take extensive care of your friend and find ways to relieve its pain.

How is Folliculitis in Dogs Treated?

The treatment depends upon the severity of the bacterial infection. After careful diagnosis, try to ease the itch of folliculitis in your pooch. Treatments may include

🐾 Bacterial Folliculitis

To remove deeply-rooted pyodermas, you will require comprehensive treatment. This type of treatment includes controlling of ongoing skin issues, oral antibiotics, & topical medications. A lot of creams, shampoos, and sprays are employed to get rid of this inflammation.

🐾 Fungal Folliculitis

This treatment mainly comprises of medicated shampoos and topical medications. Antifungal medicine is prescribed to evacuate infections like blastomycosis.

🐾 Endocrine Disorder Folliculitis

If the infection is controlled in the initial stages, you can treat this disease. However, it is difficult to remove the inflammation if diagnosed late. Even lifetime medication fails to soothe the issue.

🐾 Parasite-Induced Folliculitis

Ticks, mites, and fleas are hindered using preventive and sometimes, shampoos, and oral medications.


Dog folliculitis can become a severe problem for both owners and the pet, if not cared for properly. It can lead to other skin problems, thus making your pet’s life difficult. Make sure you see the vet as soon as you discover any of the causes mentioned above.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top