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Classic impetigo in a glabrous (hairless) region of skin on a puppy's abdomen[1]

Impetigo is a skin disease of dogs characterized by non-follicular bacterial micro abscessation[2], usually caused by Staphylococcus pseudintermedius[3].

This condition is usually seen in hairless areas, particularly in young puppies with juvenile pyoderma, and causes pus-filled blisters that may break and crust over.

Impetigo is also seen associated with pyoderma and pyotraumatic dermatitis (hot spots).

Impetigo involves only the superficial layers of the epidermis. The infection is just under the stratum corneum and is characterized by a non-follicular pustules.

A differential diagnosis would include intertrigo (skin-fold dermatitis) and folliculitis (infections of hair follicles) associated with haired-skin.

Similar blister-like bullae are commonly associated drug eruptions, epidermolysis bullosa, toxic epidermal necrolysis and numerous immune-mediated canine skin diseases such as lupus erythematosus and pemphigus[4].


  1. Health enemies
  2. Gortel K (2013) Recognizing pyoderma: more difficult than it may seem. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 43(1):1-18
  3. Iyori K et al (2011) Staphylococcus pseudintermedius exfoliative toxin EXI selectively digests canine desmoglein 1 and causes subcorneal clefts in canine epidermis. Vet Dermatol 22(4):319-326
  4. Scott DW et al (1980) The comparative pathology of non-viral bullous skin diseases in domestic animals. Vet Pathol 17(3):257-281