A colleague made a fascinating correlation: within 3 to 6 weeks of puppies receiving a distemper vaccine, many puppies break out with a rash on their belly. This rash is usually called “puppy pyoderma.” “Pyo ” means pus or infection, “derma” means skin.

For many puppies this skin rash is itchy. The typical treatment for puppy pyoderma is to put the puppy on antibiotics to treat the rash. The alternative is to treat symptomatically and exercise a bit of patience.

The fascinating, albeit disheartening, connection is that dogs who are treated with antibiotics for their puppy pyoderma are highly predisposed to itchy skin, atopy, for the rest of their lives. Pet owners and/or veterinarians who elect to treat the exterior symptoms, rather than medicate the entire body with antibiotics, provides puppies a tremendous favor – those dogs may be less likely to develop itchy skin disease as they age.

Best options to help puppies recover from puppy pyoderma without antibiotics: vitamin C, probiotics, use a mild, natural shampoo, high quality pet food, real food is even better, and 6 to 12 weeks of patience.

Puppy pyoderma is often a side effect of the distemper vaccine.

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