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Posted on 05-03-2013

Can you believe that your pets can get them too!!! Canine chin acne is best termed folliculitis and/or furunculosis. Folliculitis is an inflammation of a hair follicle. When that hair follicle becomes impacted or infected it will rupture, much like a human. This is called furunculosis. This is most common in short bristle-haired pets and is often associated with their chins or lip area rubbing against different surfaces. Food and water bowls can often be a source of this as ceramic and plastic especially can harbor bacteria. Putting them into the dishwasher daily can help but stainless steel bowls are ideal. This condition can flare or become worse. This can be controlled with daily, long term topical care such as medicated wipes or topical ointments. In some cases antibiotics are necessary to reduce the problem. Failure to respond may be due to a resistant infection and possibly need a bacterial culture and/or antimicrobial sensitivity testing. Other underlying causes may include demodicosis (a skin mite), eosinophilic folliculitis and furunculosis, contact irritation, autoimmune disease, dermatophytosis (fungal diseases) and allergies.

Feline acne is a disorder of follicular keratinization possibly from poor grooming, seborrheic (dry skin) predisposition, stress or other causes. As this condition progresses, dark areas (that look like blackheads) and crusts form on the chin and may cause folliculitis or furuncolsis. Other possibilities other than keratinization can include contact irritation, demodicosis and allergies. In a progressed, severe state you may see bleeding and large crusts in both dogs and cats.

In most cases regardless of the underlying cause, both dogs and cats can be managed with oral and/or topical antibiotics. If a poor response from a 4-6 week course of treatment occurs, then next step would be performing bacterial culture.

If you feel your pet has any of the symptoms noted please call our staff at Eagle Animal Hospital for an appointment. We serve Chester Springs, Downingtown, Exton, Glenmoore, and surrounding areas.

Written by Amy Poole, veterinary technician

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