Recognizing the Symptoms of Dog Hair Follicle Infections


Dog owners must know the signs and symptoms of hair follicle infections. Hair follicles are small pockets in the skin that contain a single hair. When these follicles become infected, it can cause irritation, pain, and even hair loss. This article will discuss what symptoms to look for when identifying a potential hair follicle infection in dogs and how to treat it. 

Dog Skin Lesions 

In addition to hair loss and itching/scratching, other symptoms associated with dog hair follicle infections can include dog skin lesions such as papules (small bumps on the skin), nodules (larger lumps under the skin), cysts (fluid-filled sacs under the skin), or abscesses (infected lesions filled with pus). These lesions can be painful and often require medical attention to diagnose and treat the underlying condition causing them.

What Causes Dog Hair Follicle Infections? 

Bacteria, fungi, or parasites typically cause hair follicle infections in dogs. Bacterial infections are most common and can be caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa, while fungal infections are usually caused by Malassezia pachydermatis. In addition, parasites such as Demodex canis or Cheyletiella yasguri may also be responsible for these infections. 

Other causes include allergies, stress, poor grooming habits, underlying skin disorders like mange or seborrhea dermatitis, or an immune system disorder like pemphigus foliaceus. In some cases, the cause may not be known. 

Symptoms of Dog Hair Follicle Infections 

The most common symptom of a hair follicle infection in dogs is hair loss around the affected area. The skin may also become inflamed and red with raised bumps or small lesions that appear as pimples or blisters. In addition, itching and scratching may occur due to irritation from the infection. 

In some cases, the infection may spread to other areas of the body resulting in more extensive hair loss. In addition, the skin may become dry and flaky due to excessive scratching, which can lead to secondary bacterial infections like pyoderma or “hot spots.” If left untreated, these secondary infections can become severe and cause further complications in your dog’s health.  

Diagnosis & Treatment of Hair Follicle Infections 

To properly diagnose a dog’s hair follicle infection, your veterinarian will likely perform a physical examination and take samples from the affected area for culture analysis to determine what type of infection is present: bacterial, fungal, or parasitic. Treatment options vary depending on the current infection type. Still, they typically involve topical medications such as antibiotics for bacterial infections, antifungals for fungal infections, and anti-parasitic medicines if necessary. In some cases, additional treatments such as medicated shampoos or oral medications may also be prescribed to help reduce inflammation associated with the infection. 


Hair follicle infections are common in dogs that require prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment to prevent further complications. Suppose you notice any signs of a possible infection, such as excessive itching/scratching, hair loss around an area of your dog’s body, or raised bumps/lesions on the skin. In that case, you must contact your veterinarian immediately so they can accurately diagnose and treat any underlying issues causing these symptoms before they worsen.

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