Skin Infections Part 1

bulldog getting a bath

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What’s that smell? Dogs and cats with allergies or hormonal diseases can often develop infections on their skin with bacteria and yeast. These infections can cause itching, redness, scabs, and discomfort. In this episode, veterinary dermatologists Dr. Alicia Webb-Milum and Dr. Brittany Lancellotti talk about why skin infections occur and the types of bacteria and yeast most often involved with the infection. They will also discuss how topical therapy, like medicated bathing, can be an excellent treatment, and what to discuss with your veterinarian if you are having difficulty with topical therapy.

Welcome, Dr. Alicia Webb-Milum

[00:01:06] Dr. Lancellotti: Welcome, everyone, to today’s episode of Your Vet Wants You To Know. I have a very special guest with me today, Dr. Alicia Webb-Milum, who is a veterinary dermatology specialist. She and I are going to be talking about something that we discuss with our clients and pet owners on a daily basis- skin infections. We see a lot of pets that have skin infections when they have some type of skin disease. Today’s episode is going to bring you some information about what we can do to figure out why they’re getting those skin infections and how we can treat them moving forward. Thank you very much for joining us today, Dr. Webb-Milum. 

[00:01:43] Dr. Webb-Milum: I’m very happy to be here. Thank you, Dr. Lancellotti. 

[00:01:46] Dr. Lancellotti: I want to give the listeners a little bit of an introduction because you have a fascinating background. You are a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. You’re also the owner of Redbud Animal Dermatology and Allergy Specialists in Oklahoma City, OK. You grew up in a small town. How many people were in your class when you graduated high school? 

[00:02:07] Dr. Webb-Milum: A massive class of 26? 

[00:02:09] Dr. Lancellotti: Oh gosh. Everybody knew everybody, huh? 

[00:02:12] Dr. Webb-Milum: That’s an understatement. 

[00:02:14] Dr. Lancellotti: And you were the valedictorian when you graduated? 

[00:02:17] Dr. Webb-Milum: I sure was. 

[00:02:18] Dr. Lancellotti: That’s quite an accomplishment. From there, you went to the University of Oklahoma, and you got your degree in Zoology with a minor in English Literature. Tell me about that. 

[00:02:30] Dr. Webb-Milum: I love literature almost more than anything, except (maybe) for dogs. Literature really helps us understand humanity, so it’s something that I still keep up with quite a bit. 

[00:02:40] Dr. Lancellotti: Yeah, you’re one of the most avid book readers that I know. 

[00:02:44] Dr. Webb-Milum: I do keep up with that.

[00:02:46] Dr. Lancellotti: From there you went to Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and then worked in private practice just doing general small animal practice for about five years. After that, you did a residency with Animal Dermatology Clinic in Tustin, California, which is where you and I met, as resident mates. That was a lot of fun, being able to work with you during that time. 

[00:03:08] Dr. Webb-Milum: It was wonderful. I miss those days. 

[00:03:11] Dr. Lancellotti: I know. It was nice and close to the beach- a little bit different from being out in the middle of the country.

[00:03:16] Dr. Webb-Milum: It is, but I’m glad to be here, as well. 

[00:03:18] Dr. Lancellotti: After finishing your residency and passing the dermatology board exam, you then traveled back home to start your private practice, Redbud Animal Dermatology and Allergy Specialists. Tell me a little bit about your practice. 

[00:03:32] Dr. Webb-Milum: I love my practice. I’m back home in Oklahoma City, where I practiced before. It’s really amazing to get to serve the community to which I belong, and also where I saw pets as a primary veterinarian. So occasionally, I will get to see pets that I actually took care of as puppies, now coming to see me as dermatology patients. So that’s really special. It’s always great to be able to provide a service that wasn’t here before I got here, so I’m happy to bring that specialty to the Oklahoma city area. 

[00:04:00] Dr. Lancellotti: Yeah. That’s a really wonderful way to be able to serve your community. 

[00:04:03] Dr. Webb-Milum: Yeah!

Dr. Webb-Milum and her family

Carolina the Bulldog with Skin Infections

[00:04:04] Dr. Lancellotti: So I want to talk today about infections. Do you think there’s ever a day where you don’t talk to pet owners about a skin infection? 

[00:04:13] Dr. Webb-Milum: No! Absolutely not. In fact, I think I talk about it at least 5-6 times per day, minimum. 

[00:04:19] Dr. Lancellotti: Tell me about a special case that you had which comes to mind when you think about really severe skin infections. 

[00:04:28] Dr. Webb-Milum: There are several that I could come up with, but the one that really sticks out in my mind (we’ll call her Carolina) is a six-year-old bulldog who came to me as maybe a third or fourth opinion. She’d had allergies for a long time, but they had been able to be managed relatively well. But over the past several months, she had also developed these really terrible firm skin lesions all over her skin. These lesions were really red and weeping and she was pretty stinky. When that happens, it’s pretty sad because people no longer want them in their beds. They don’t want to touch the dog. It can be pretty sad for all involved. Carolina had been on several medications for itching and they had seemed to stop working. Most recently, she was put on a steroid called Prednisone, as well as multiple rounds of various antibiotics. Nothing really seemed to help anymore. She was really miserable and her last veterinarian offered that maybe putting her to sleep might be an option because she was suffering and she wasn’t seeming to get better. Carolina’s people sought me out as a last option. When I first saw Carolina, she was depressed, but still a really loving dog. She could not stand still in the exam room without scratching her skin. I have a high tolerance for odor as a veterinary dermatologist, but her odor was quite remarkable. 

[00:05:47] Dr. Lancellotti: Aw! Poor girl! It sounds like she was absolutely miserable. 

[00:05:50] Dr. Webb-Milum: Yeah. And I did discover that the lesions of her body were really firm, and those were a side effect of the steroid. But on top of that, I discovered that these lesions were really infected, which can be a major reason for itching. 

[00:06:06] Dr. Lancellotti: And for odor, too. Right? We smell some really bad smells coming from skin infections. 

[00:06:13] Dr. Webb-Milum: Yes, for sure. And I was concerned because, again, this girl had been on a bunch of antibiotics and nothing had cleared her infection before. At that point, you can’t really guess anymore, so I submitted a test called a ‘culture and sensitivity’ to confirm, what type of bacteria was present and what our remaining antibiotic options were. Unfortunately, her infection was really extensively resistant to almost every antibiotic tested. The options that we had left could have caused her considerable harm and could have also cost the owners a lot of money (when it came to monitoring for side effects). So before we reached for one of those, I discussed with Carolina’s owner that, oftentimes, topical therapy can be really effective at treating skin infections, if done diligently and with the correct products. Carolina’s owner was really committed to this process and we were actually able to completely treat Carolina’s infection with an antiseptic shampoo and a spray, avoiding antibiotics altogether. 

[00:07:11] Dr. Lancellotti: Wow. What a relief that must have been, to not have to reach for a medication that could have seriously caused some harm to her.

[00:07:18] Dr. Webb-Milum: Yeah! Today, she is not only alive, but she’s thriving with healthy skin and minimal itching. Now that the infections and the plaques from the steroids have resolved, we can now manage her allergies with safer medications. I have a photo of her which is after one month of treating her infections with secondary topical products.

[00:07:38] Dr. Lancellotti: This picture is absolutely remarkable. I imagine that this dog not only feels better, but has an improved quality of life because now that she’s not stinky anymore, the owners are happier to be around her, pet her, and love her, which is ultimately what our pets want from us. 

[00:08:10] Dr. Webb-Milum: Sure. And in Carolina’s case, this is also resolution of calcinosis cutis as well. It’s not just infection, but that is a major part of her progress. 

[00:08:20] Dr. Lancellotti: If our listeners want to hear more about calcinosis cutis and other side effects that we can see with long-term steroid use, there’s a great episode earlier in the season (with Dr. Curtis Plowgian) where we talk about steroids and their risks versus benefits. That’s something you can certainly listen to if you want more information.

Carolina before and after treatment of infections and calcinosis cutis

What type of skin infections do dogs and cats get?

Dr. Lancellotti: For today’s episode, I have a couple of goals for us. I want to talk a little bit about what types of infections commonly occur on the skin of dogs and cats, what those underlying causes of the infections are, the importance of cytology (one of our diagnostic tools to help guide the treatment), and then the benefits and drawbacks to the different types of treatments. You mentioned topical therapy in treating Carolina’s skin versus some systemic or oral antibiotics, and what the difference between those different treatment processes would entail. So let’s start first by talking about the different types of infections. What kind of infections do dogs and cats commonly develop? And where are those bacteria or yeast coming from? 

[00:09:27] Dr. Webb-Milum: Most commonly, it’s Staphlycoccus pseudintermedius (a type of bacteria) and a yeast called Malassezia are responsible for the bulk of the skin infections that we see in pets. But occasionally, we can see other opportunistic bacteria, such as Pseudomonas or Streptococcus. E-coli can also be involved.

What are Opportunistic Bacteria?

[00:09:45] Dr. Lancellotti: Dr. Webb, when you talk about opportunistic bacteria, tell the listeners a little bit about what that means. 

[00:09:51] Dr. Webb-Milum: There are bacteria in our environment, on the surfaces of our skin, and in our bodies all of the time. It’s important to understand that both humans and pets have a significant amount of these microorganisms. In fact, humans have as many (if not more) bacterial cells in our body, as we do our own cells. Under normal circumstances, these bacteria don’t cause us harm. Sometimes, they can be helpful. This is the thought process behind probiotics. But in conditions where the body is no longer in balance, either in regard to the skin’s barrier function or the immune response, these organisms can really start to cause significant problems. By opportunistic, we mean they are taking the opportunity to really create havoc.

[00:10:34] Dr. Lancellotti: So in normal situations, we don’t have a problem with these bacteria and yeast, but because there’s something going on that’s impairing the body’s protective functions, those bacteria and yeast can then start to overpopulate. And that’s when we see problems. 

[00:10:49] Dr. Webb-Milum: Exactly.

These images show a dog's belly with opportunistic infections from food allergies before and after treatment.

What Diseases Cause Opportunistic Skin Infections?

[00:10:51] Dr. Lancellotti: So let’s talk a little bit about the primary diseases that we see causing these secondary opportunistic infections. 

[00:10:59] Dr. Webb-Milum: Sure. As mentioned, these bacteria and yeast are already there on the surface of the skin. In most cases, these don’t cause an issue. They do tend to cause an issue when there’s a problem with either the barrier function and/or the immune response. So any disease that affects either of these functions can lead to secondary infections, but the most common reason for dogs to develop secondary bacteria and/or yeast infections is allergies. That’s something that you and I see all day long, every day. We can think of normal skin is a nice, solid brick wall. And with the skin cells comprising the bricks, and the mortar in between the bricks composed of various substances (including lipids), this wall keeps the good stuff in and the potentially bad stuff on the outside. When dogs have a disease like allergies, this “mortar” gets disrupted, and now we have holes in the wall. These holes allow pollen in the environment to come into contact with the immune cells that are acting as guards in the deeper layers of the skin, and those guards then go on to trigger an immune response. These holes also allow yeast and bacteria that are already there to really get a foothold, grow in numbers, and spread. This is a huge deal because these organisms can then make itching worse, which can then lead to scratching, which can then lead to further disruptions at the barrier of the skin. It really is a vicious cycle and it’s critical to treat both arms of this process. We can’t just treat the itching. We can’t just treat the infection. We really have to treat both. 

[00:12:30] Dr. Lancellotti: Yeah. So if you’re interested in hearing more about allergies, episodes 1-8 are all about the different kinds of allergies and the different treatments that we have available. But you’re absolutely right about the barrier being so important as far as allergic skin disease and these secondary infections. Not only do these animals with allergies have this really hyperactive immune system, but their genetics are different and that barrier is not a normal barrier, so they don’t have that protection that normal dogs have. That brick and mortar wall is damaged and all those holes in there cause problems, as far as the secondary infection and the pollens triggering that (already hyperactive) immune system. Addressing the infection is important, but also finding some type of therapy that helps to repair that barrier is really important too. Oftentimes, that’s where we use a lot of topical therapy to help to repair that barrier while we’re treating the infection. But allergies aren’t the only thing. What other types of diseases can lead to secondary skin infections? 

[00:13:35] Dr. Webb-Milum: The other major category that we really see a lot in dermatology are hormonal diseases called endocrinopathies. That just means a disruption with the hormonal function of the body. The most common disorders are hypothyroidism, where the body is not making enough thyroid hormone, and Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism), where the body is making too much cortisol or steroid hormone. Both of these disorders can also lead to problems with the barrier as well as a faulty immune response. 

[00:14:05] Dr. Lancellotti: Yeah, absolutely. Even for us treating this disease, it can certainly be complicated. You and I (and our fellow dermatology colleagues) have had many conversations about the complexities of hormonal skin diseases. There are a few episodes on Cushing’s disease, specifically (that I did with Dr. Amy Oberstadt, who is an internal medicine specialist), and oftentimes, they treat hormonal diseases as well. If you’re interested in more information about Cushing’s disease, episodes 9, 10, and 11 are all about how to identify that particular disease and have it treated. But the hormonal skin diseases can cause issues, as far as the immune system not being able to control those normal bacteria and yeast that usually don’t cause a problem. So identifying those underlying hormonal diseases and getting that treated will help the immune system to then work with you to keep the infections under control. 

Skin infection on a dog with Cushing's disease
Skin infection resolved

How Do We Know if a Dog Has a Skin Infection?

Dr. Lancellotti: Let’s talk a little bit about how to figure out if an animal has an infection. And if they do, what type of infection? How do you tell if an infection is bacteria or yeast? I always hear pet owners saying, “It has this really yeasty smell to it.” What’s a way to confirm that the smell is actually yeast?

[00:15:22] Dr. Webb-Milum: That is such a common misconception. Veterinary dermatologists are in love with this simple test called cytology. Cytology is such a simple test involving a glass slide, some basic stains, and a microscope. It is one of (if not) the most important thing that we can do when appropriately managing skin disease. Cytology means the study of cells, and in veterinary dermatology, specifically, we are sampling the surface of the skin or the ears and evaluating what cells are present, and then interpreting what that means to our patient. This can be done with a variety of techniques. It does require practice and experience, but the information is truly invaluable. When I am reading a cytology slide, I’m looking to see if there are white blood cells on the skin. And if there is an excessive amount of yeast and or bacteria, that’s how we can tell- they look different under the microscope. It really is a great misconception that we can reliably smell yeast on a dog’s skin or ears because both yeast and bacteria can look and smell exactly the same. In addition, sometimes it’s both, and we really need to know what we’re treating in order to treat it well. 

[00:16:34] Dr. Lancellotti: Yeah, we can’t just prescribe an antifungal medication because we think we smell yeast. If that animal has bacteria, our treatment is going to be ineffective, which leads to the animal continuing to be uncomfortable and the pet owner and the veterinarian being frustrated that the animal’s not getting better. Cytology is this invaluable tool. If you’re interested in hearing more about cytology, I’ve got a great episode coming up all about cytology with a dermatologist whose name is Dr. Ashley Bourgeois. Essentially, her mantra is ‘cytology everything.’ She’s going to be a great guest to talk about why that’s such an important tool.

image of bacterial skin infection as seen under the microscope

What are Benefits to Treating Infection with Topical Therapy?

Dr. Lancellotti: I want to talk a little bit more about treatment. There are a lot of different ways that we can approach these infections once we know exactly what type of infection that we’re dealing with. Talk to me about your usual approach to skin infections. Why would you pick up a topical treatment versus a systemic treatment? 

[00:17:33] Dr. Webb-Milum: First, we really need to define what we mean by topical and systemic. Topical therapy is pretty straightforward. It’s therapy that is applied directly to the skin. This is one of the most beautiful things about treating skin is that we have direct access to the organ that we are treating. The benefits of topical therapy are that it is generally safer, more cost-effective, and significantly less likely to induce further resistant strains of bacteria. The cons of topical therapy are pretty much directly related to inconvenience. In some cases, it’s physical difficulties of the pet owner or behavioral issues with a pet, as well as access to appropriate facilities. Most active ingredients in products that are effective require contact time, meaning that you have to let it set for an appropriate time before it’s going to be effective. And you don’t realize how long 5-10 minutes really is until you are sitting with your wet dog in the bath tub. 

[00:18:28] Dr. Lancellotti: Yeah, absolutely. Especially, if that dog is not really interested in being in the bathtub for 5-10 minutes, it can be quite a challenge to get that entire contact time done without the pet trying to jump out of the tub and run away from you. There are a lot of ways that we can reduce the barriers to being able to properly accomplish this topical therapy, so I would encourage pet owners who are having difficulty doing these medicated baths for whatever reason (whether it’s the animal’s stress level, not having the appropriate facilities to be able to bathe them, or having physical pain when bathing a large animal) to talk to your family vet about, so that you can problem solve and come up with ways to make the topical therapy more effective.

How to Make Bathing Your Dog Easier

[00:19:18] Dr. Webb-Milum: Absolutely. There are a lot of things that we can do to troubleshoot the process. I know that you do a lot of Fear Free. Are you having pet owners use the licky pads with bathing? 

[00:19:28] Dr. Lancellotti: I love them. The one that I commonly recommend is called the Aquapaw Slow Treater. It’s the silicone sticky mat that you can pop on the side of your bathtub or shower and smear food onto the mat. You can use that as a way to not only create a positive association, so that the animal gets more excited to take a bath, but it’s also a food-based restraint which keeps the animal occupied and in the tub because that’s where the food is. It helps to make that 5-10 minutes go a lot faster. Also, I’m a strong proponent about trying to minimize the anxiety associated with bathing. Sometimes, for those animals that are really anxious in the tub, that may mean reaching for some anti-anxiety medication to make them more comfortable during those first few baths. The more they have a positive association with the bath, the less likely the pet owner will need to use the anti-anxiety medication, long-term. It’s certainly another way to address stress, but it’s something that you need to talk to your veterinarian about if you’re having problems.

[00:20:41] Dr. Webb-Milum: Absolutely. That’s very important. Also, some dogs are undergoing diet trials, so we have to be a little bit careful with the food-based motivation. Just clear that with your veterinarian before you go that route, but if we’re not doing a diet trial, those are fantastic. 

[00:20:57] Dr. Lancellotti: Yeah. I will actually tell some of my clients whose pets are on diet trials that if they’re using a canned food, they can take the canned food and smear it on that Slow Treater. Or if it’s just a kibble that they’re using, they can actually soak that kibble with some water and then pulverize it in the blender and make it into a mushy meal and smear it onto the Slow Treater that way too. Sometimes, sticking that Slow Treater in the freezer with the food on it first can be helpful because it takes the animal a little bit longer to get the food out. After 10 minutes, they’re still working on all of the food. 

[00:21:31] Dr. Webb-Milum: Oh, that’s fantastic. That’s a great idea. 

Technique for Maximizing Topical Therapy

[00:21:34] Dr. Lancellotti: Yeah. Tell me a little bit about some other tips that you have for when an owner is using a medicated shampoo. How would you recommend they do that so that they’re most successful in treating the infections? 

[00:21:46] Dr. Webb-Milum: When using the medicated shampoo, it’s important to pay attention to how and where you are applying the shampoo. A lot of people have this impulse (me included) to just grab the shampoo and just pour it along the back of the dog, but in allergies that tends not to be the area that’s most affected. You really want to focus your efforts and your product to the problem areas (paws, neck, armpits, etc). You want to make sure that you’re applying the product to those areas first. Make sure that you’re getting good contact with the skin, then work your way to the less effected areas. 

[00:22:23] Dr. Lancellotti: You mentioned that paws are an area that can be really affected. I hear so commonly from owners when the paws are being affected, that they don’t quite understand how important it is to spread the toes apart and to really scrub in between each toe and break up any gunk that’s in between the toes, on both the top and the bottom sides of the paws. The other area where pets can really have some hidden infections that we don’t always look for are right at the base of the claws, where the claw comes out from the skin. I see so many animals with big colonies of bacteria and yeast right at their cuticles. I will have owners actually get a soft-bristled nail brush and use that to physically break up those colonies right at the cuticles while they’re in the bathtub, so that the shampoo can better penetrate that skin, helping to clear those infections that are (very commonly) a major cause of that ongoing paw-licking behavior, which doesn’t respond to our regular anti-itch medication because the itch is coming from infection.

[00:23:34] Dr. Webb-Milum: It’s so very important. In fact, it might be helpful to show some photos because when I’m talking to pet owners, sometimes, they have a difficulty picturing what we’re talking about (spreading the toes, looking at the claw fold anatomy, etc). 

[00:23:48] Dr. Lancellotti: Yeah. I think that’s a great idea. I’ll try and get some pictures and video of paws and how to bathe them properly, so that the contact of the shampoo is as effective as possible. 

[00:23:59] Dr. Webb-Milum: Absolutely.

To really help with paw licking, spread the toes and scrub between each one. Colonies of bacteria and yeast can live in the cuticles. A soft nail brush can help to break up infection at the cuticles when bathing.

What Shampoo Will Treat Skin Infections

[00:24:01] Dr. Lancellotti: As far as the medicated shampoos, can they reach for just anything that’s on the counter at the pet store? 

[00:24:08] Dr. Webb-Milum: I strongly caution against that. Certainly there are shampoos labeled “medicated” at most pet stores, but not all medicated shampoos are created equal. It’s really important to choose a product with two important components. One, we want effective ingredients, and two, we want supportive ingredients that will not cause further disruption to the skin barrier. A lot of times when I am talking to pet owners about bathing more frequently, I get this initial pushback as, “Hey, I thought I wasn’t supposed to bathe my dog more because I will dry their skin out.” And if you’re using the wrong product, that’s certainly true. That’s why we need to be really selective about what we’re using.

[00:24:50] Dr. Lancellotti: Yeah, I hear that quite a bit too. The pet owners will say, “Oh, I was told I shouldn’t bathe more than once a month.” If you’re using something that has a really moisturizing and restorative ingredient to help repair that damaged skin barrier that we’ve talked about before, you cannot overbathe with those shampoos. A lot of people will ask, “Do I need to put a conditioner on afterwards if I’m bathing this often?” Again, if you’re using an appropriate product, then no, you shouldn’t need to put on an additional conditioner. But those are great questions to ask your veterinarian, who’s treating the infection, to make sure that they’re selecting an appropriate shampoo for your particular pet.

Can Bathing Help Dog Allergies?

[00:25:31] Dr. Webb-Milum: Certainly. Another benefit of regular bathing, in regard to environmentally allergic pets, is that we are also removing the allergens that are on the surface of their skin. That can be tremendously helpful as well. Sometimes we’ll have pet owners say, “Hey, my dog is feeling better after a bath,” even if it’s not medicated, simply because we’re removing those irritants.

[00:25:51] Dr. Lancellotti: Yeah. I think that’s a big help for dogs with allergies. If they’re not coming in contact with as many pollens or dust mites that they get exposed to during their day to day basis, then their immune system is less likely to be triggered and have an allergic flare. Physically removing that stuff from their paws and their skin is helpful in managing their underlying allergies, in addition to controlling for infections. Sometimes, just the temperature of the water can be nice and soothing for the skin as well. So oftentimes, I will encourage owners to bathe in cool or just lukewarm water instead of warm or hot water, because if you think about inflamed skin- really inflamed skin doesn’t want heat, it wants ‘cool’ to bring down some of that inflammation. So as long as it’s not freezing cold when the animal gets out, oftentimes, a nice cool bath is very soothing for them. 

[00:26:44] Dr. Webb-Milum: Absolutely. That is a very important point. I get a little bit of pushback here in the middle of the country when we have true winters, but it is a very important. 

[00:26:55] Dr. Lancellotti: I still get pushback here in Southern California. When it’s 60 degrees outside, I’ll have pet owners tell me that they haven’t bathed as often because it’s so cold.

[00:27:05] Dr. Webb-Milum: I remember. 

Does My Dog Need Antibiotics for Skin Infections?

[00:27:08] Dr. Lancellotti: So we’ve talked a lot about how to diagnose a skin infection, how to figure out what the underlying disease is and the importance of being able to manage the reason why the animal’s getting infection (so that it doesn’t come back), and we’ve talked about some pointers for increasing the efficacy of topical therapy. When we come back for the next episode, we’ll talk about systemic antibiotics. Those are going to be either oral or injectable antibiotics, which help to treat the infection from the inside of the skin, rather than topically. Make sure that you are subscribed to the podcast, so that you don’t miss the next episode with Dr. Webb-Milum regarding systemic antibiotics for skin infections. 

[00:28:10] A lot of family veterinarians are very comfortable managing pets that have skin infections, but there is a link to the American College of Veterinary Dermatologists, so that you can find a veterinary dermatologist near you, on the website, under the resources section, if you would like to consult with a specialist and you can view the references for today’s show in the show notes on the website as well.

[00:28:31] If your pet has had skin infections and you know that nasty smell that can come when they’re infected, if you’ve had issues with topical therapy and you’ve overcome those issues and want to help other pet owners, or you just want to commiserate with people who have gone through skin infections with their dogs, I would encourage you to join the Facebook group, Your Vet Wants You to Know so that you can talk to other pet owners.

Scratching the Itch

[00:28:54] Dr. Lancellotti: I do like to end each episode with a segment called Scratching the Itch. Scratching the Itch is designed to highlight something, whether it’s a product, a website or a human interest story, that just provides relief or makes you feel good, hence Scratching the Itch. Dr. Webb, do you have a Scratching the Itch for us today? 

[00:29:15] Dr. Webb-Milum: Yes. I thought about this for a long time and I wanted to share something that brings me joy. I am a huge fan of nature and I’m happiest when I’m outside with nature. I’m also fascinated by bears, especially Alaskan brown bears. One of my favorite things to do when I’m stressed is to watch them fishing in Brooks river in Katmai National Park on the webcam, especially in fall when they’re in a race to bulk up. Right now the bears are sleeping because they are hibernating, but fortunately the highlight reels are still available and still bring me a lot of joy.

[00:29:48] Dr. Lancellotti: I remember when you shared this webcam with us, my daughter and I were cackling laughing at these bears and the waterfall for a significantly longer time than I would be comfortable admitting. I will have a link to the Katmai National Park webcam, so that if a pet owners or listeners want to go and take a look at those brown bears and get a really big smile, that would be something that they can check out. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing all of this information about skin infections with us. 

[00:30:22] Dr. Webb-Milum: Thank you so much for having me 

[00:30:23] Dr. Lancellotti: And for everyone who’s listening, I look forward to your next visit with Your Vet Wants You To Know.

Resources:

  1. Banovic, F., Olivry, T., Baumer, W., Paps, J., Stahl, J., Rogers, A., & Jacob, M. (2018). Diluted sodium hypochlorite (bleach) in dogs: antiseptic efficacy, local tolerability and in vitro effect on skin barrier function and inflammation. Vet Dermatol, 29(1), 6-e5. doi:10.1111/vde.12487
  2. Hillier, A., Lloyd, D. H., Weese, J. S., Blondeau, J. M., Boothe, D., Breitschwerdt, E., Sykes, J. E. (2014). Guidelines for the diagnosis and antimicrobial therapy of canine superficial bacterial folliculitis (Antimicrobial Guidelines Working Group of the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases). Vet Dermatol, 25(3), 163-e143. doi:10.1111/vde.12118
  3. Morris, D. O., Loeffler, A., Davis, M. F., Guardabassi, L., & Weese, J. S. (2017). Recommendations for approaches to meticillin-resistant staphylococcal infections of small animals: diagnosis, therapeutic considerations and preventative measures.: Clinical Consensus Guidelines of the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology. Vet Dermatol, 28(3), 304-e369. doi:10.1111/vde.12444
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