The term folliculitis refers to the inflammation of the hair follicle(s). The most common folliculitis cause in dogs is bacterial infection, so folliculitis generally refers to hair follicle inflammation caused by bacterial infection. There are additional causes of folliculitis in canines, including parasite infestations, hormonal disorders, and fungal infections.

Signs and Symptoms

Pimples and red bumps are often seen along with scabs, sometimes wet skin, and increased pigmentation. In swollen regions, the hair comes out very easily. Sometimes, after the infections heal, there’s a blackened circle that fades over time. These infections can occur anywhere in the body, but the involvement of the head, ears, or legs is rare.

Diagnosed and Treatment

Folliculitis should be diagnosed by a veterinarian. They can do this by the following methods:

  • A skin biopsy or histopathology
  • Bacteria culture
  • Skin cytology
  • Examination for ringworm
  • Fungal culture

Your vet will conduct appropriate rapid tests to assess the exact cause and then be able to formulate a successful method of treatment. VetScan Flex4 canine rapid test kits are also available at drugstores or online, for the detection of these kinds of skin infections. There may be things like medicine, topical cream, or shampoos. Antibacterial remedies are available in ways such as sprays, topical, lotions, and gels. Shampoos would be antimicrobial and must be used on a daily basis.


Folliculitis cannot always be prevented in dogs. Early detection and care is the only way to avoid folliculitis from getting worse. Be sure to call your veterinarian for guidance at the first sign of skin problems.

Dog owners should take precautions to avoid folliculitis in dogs by keeping such skin conditions under control. If your dog is already being treated for any health issues, make sure to continue all treatments as prescribed by your veterinarian.

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