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Health Topics  >  Skin and Coat  >  Discharge from Skin

What does skin discharge look like in dogs?

By Emily Segal, RVT.  Reviewed by Elizabeth Davis, MVB

Discharge from your dog’s skin can present in many ways. Sometimes it’s clear and sticky, sometimes it’s brown and chunky. Sometimes the discharge is even bloody, yellow, and smelly.

Skin discharge is most often caused by bacterial infection on or in the skin. Pyoderma (‘pyo’ meaning pus, ‘derma’ meaning skin) can occur anywhere on the body, but most commonly occurs in warm, moist areas such as within skin folds where the normal bacterial count is higher and more susceptible to overgrowth. Pyoderma can cause many different bodily responses and presents in many different colors and textures. 

Different types of discharge will often mean different things, so it’s important to pay close attention to what is happening on your dog’s body. A useful way to narrow down the cause of your dog’s skin discharge is to be able to describe what it looks like. The colour, consistency, and smell are important details in determining what the actual problem is.

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