The Labrador Brats Dog Blog

Canine Bacterial Skin Infection

The Labrador Retriever dog breed is prone to many healthy problems ranging from hip dysplasia to retinal damage. The most frustrating of all the healthy concerns found in this specific dog breed is Labrador Retriever skin allergies and irritations. After a few bouts of canine infected acne, it should not have surprised us when our youngest Labrador’s lip started to turn red, get inflamed and ooze greenish-yellow liquid.

We assumed it was canine infected acne again and began treating Cheyenne at home. Her dog bowls are stainless steel so we washed those again in the dishwasher on the sanitize mode. We threw out all of her toys just incase one of them was harboring bacteria. Her lip was cleaned with warm water and allergen-free soap after each meal and we even went as far as to clean the area with hydrogen peroxide twice a day. This was everything you would do for canine infected acne.

But it wasn’t.

After 3 weeks, the area kept looking like it was getting better and then it would get worse. It went from oozing small amounts of pus from the pours to small drops of blood. It was at that point we visited the veterinarian.

Cheyenne was poked and prodded to make sure nothing else was going on – nothing systemic. After that clean bill of health, the vet did a mange check (putting tape on the skin and pulling it off to see if mites were present), fungus check (florescent purple light which reflects fungus) and then a biopsy (skin scrapping to check for bacteria and anything else).

Everything came back good except the bacterial test. It was evident that her lip was already infected and the test concluded that oral antibiotics were in order. There was no way to put on topical creams since she would just lick them off so oral was the only way to go.

We walked out of the veterinarian with a bacterial skin infection diagnosis, 2 weeks of prescription antibiotics and $103 less in our pocket.

Was it worth bringing her to vet? Most definitely! We tried to fix Cheyenne at home with the knowledge we had about her earlier skin problems but nothing was working. It wasn’t affecting her behavior, eating habits or energy but you could clearly tell it was infected. If left on its own, it could have made her seriously sick with an infection that could have traveled throughout her entire body and infected her blood or organs.

There comes a point in a dog owner’s life when they just know in their gut that something is wrong and beyond his or her control. This was our moment and although it cost us a good chunk of change, the happiness and laughter that Cheyenne brings into our lives every day was well worth the price to keep her healthy.

Is your dog prone to skin infections? How long do you wait before you seek a vet’s assistance?