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What does skin discharge look like in dogs?

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. 

"Hot spots" are areas of pyoderma, and appear as oozing, wound-like sores that can develop and spread quite rapidly.

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 in detail. The color, consistency, smell and amount of oozing discharge are important details in determining what the actual problem is.

Pro Tip:

Skin issues are very common in dogs, but the causes are varied depending on factors like the breed, living situation/geography and medical history.

Noting all the details about the color, consistency, smell and photos are all helpful for your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause.

References for Discharge from Skin

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