Folliculitis in Dogs Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Natural Remedies

Folliculitis in dogs image

When the hair follicles on your pooch get infected, your dog suffers folliculitis. Is the condition contagious to humans and should you be worried? This post delves into the symptoms, causes, treatments and natural home remedies for folliculitis in dogs.

Folliculitis in Dogs

Whether it appears on the underbelly or around the eyes, folliculitis in dogs is a condition resulting from dog hair follicle infection. The infection could be caused by yeast or bacteria found their way into the hair follicle. Its occurrence can also be an indication of a compromised immune system or the presence of a skin disorder.

Symptoms of Canine Folliculitis

Folliculitis in dogs mostly affects the abdomen, groin area, and armpits. The symptoms indicative of folliculitis may vary as their appearance is affected by the length of their hair as well as the severity of the condition.

  • When a dog with short hair suffers folliculitis, it will experience clumps of hair raised above their coat’s surface.
  • Dogs with bright coats will show brown or red stains on their hair.
  • For dogs with long hair, the symptoms may be more subtle and clipping off the hair may be necessary to ascertain the condition they are suffering from. Their skin may be scaly, experience excessive shedding and their coats may be dull.
  • Beneath the dog’s hair, more obvious symptoms are likely to be seen. These include small bumps, pimples, crusts or scales. These can be found localized on a specific area or spread over large areas of the skin. These lesions will be surrounded by scaly or circular crusts as well.
  • In cases of mild folliculitis, your dog will bear small pustules. These will have a hair shaft protruding from them. It is also possible to have scales or rings around the puss filled pimples.
  • Where the follicle infection is severe, large boil-like pustules that rupture with time can be seen. These then start discharging pus resulting in the formation of crusts. They could be accompanied by draining sinus tracts.
  • Miniature Schnauzers are prone to a type of folliculitis referred to as Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome. This involves the formation of blackheads on the length of their back.

What Causes Folliculitis in Dogs?

Dog folliculitis can be caused by a number of things. To help deal with the problem, it is important to know its roots. Discussed below are the causes of folliculitis in dogs.

Bacterial Infections

According to, this is the most common cause associated with folliculitis in dogs. In most cases, the condition will occur as a secondary symptom due to bacterial infections. Staphylococcal bacterial infection can set in where there is scabies, mange or seborrhea. This bacteria can easily be spread by fleas.

Fungal Folliculitis

Fungal agents could see your dog experience hair follicle infections. One of these is dermatophytosis which is commonly known as ringworm. Although most common in puppies, it could also be experienced by adult dogs in case there is extreme exposure to the organism.

Demodectic mange

While this is a parasite that lives in adult dogs without causing any harm, a proliferation could occur in cases where the dog has a compromised immune system. When this happens, your dog could develop folliculitis as a result of the mites’ infestation.

Additionally, immune deficiencies, hypersensitivity, allergies, hormonal imbalances and skin injuries could result in folliculitis in dogs.

Folliculitis in Dogs Treatment

For the correct treatment to be adopted, it is necessary for a correct diagnosis to be done. Once it is ascertained that your dog has folliculitis, there are different approaches to treating it. These include topical treatments administered directly on the dog’s skin, an oral medication to treat the condition from the inside out and addressing any conditions that may be causing folliculitis in dogs as a secondary infection. The details of these are seen below.

Medicated Shampoo

Antimicrobial shampoo can help treat folliculitis in your dog. In addition to addressing the infection, it will also eliminate debris and other microorganisms that may be yielding a conducive environment for the development of other skin infections.

Apply the shampoo on your dog’s coat and allow it to rest for 10 minutes or as advised by the manufacturer. Repeat this regularly until the condition clears up. This treatment is most appropriate for widespread infection affecting large parts of the dog’s skin.

Antibacterial Treatment

Another form of topical treatment would be antibacterial medication. This is most appropriate where the infection is localized as the treatment alone may be enough to clear it up. Topical antibacterial treatments are available in the form of ointments, sprays, gels, and lotions. Talk to your veterinarian about the same and so as to get directions on frequency and duration of use. To prevent your dog from licking off the treatment, you may have to put on an E collar.

Treat Underlying Causes

To eliminate folliculitis in dogs permanently, it is necessary to deal with underlying causes. This will ensure the condition does not recur. The treatment for these will vary as they are dependent on individual conditions. Your veterinarian will advise you on the same.

Natural Folliculitis in Dogs Home Remedies – Home Remedy For Folliculitis In Dogs

In addition to the treatments discussed above, you could use natural folliculitis in dogs home remedies. While these may not clear up the underlying causes, a number of beneficial natural remedies can be used to ease the symptoms of folliculitis in dogs. These are mostly topical and help in the soothing irritated skin as well as eliminating the infection.


With this, you can use either black or green tea. Tea contains soothing elements that will eliminate itching. Apply a tea bag directly on the affected part of the skin and hold it on for a few minutes. Repeat as may be necessary.

Witch Hazel

The astringent properties in this natural remedy helps to relieve the itch on your pooch’s skin. It can also help soothe insect bites. Apply lightly on the affected part of the skin and your dog will get relief from the folliculitis symptoms.

Aloe Vera

Where the folliculitis in dogs is accompanied by an irritated and infected skin, aloe vera can be a great remedy. It will not only soothe the skin but also eliminate inflammation. Its medicinal properties will also give it antiseptic properties which aid in getting rid of causative agents.

Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil possesses great properties that are beneficial to a dog’s skin. Its oral consumption helps in boosting the immune system while the topical application can help to treat fungal and bacterial infections. Additionally, coconut oil for dogs acts as a disinfectant for injuries, heals insect bites as well as soothe sore skin. It also clears up skin rashes leaving the skin in good health. All of these are beneficial for a dog with folliculitis.

Simply dab some virgin coconut oil on the skin and leave it on. In case your keeps licking it off and you are concerned, you can make him wear an e collar.


Oatmeal is a great reliever of skin discomforts. It eliminates skin irritations and has anti-itching properties. To soothe your dog, give him an oatmeal bath. This will offer a soothing solution for your dog. Also available in the market are various oatmeal products that can be used on your dog’s skin to ease the symptoms of folliculitis in dogs.

Is Folliculitis in Dogs Contagious to Humans?

A lot of people wonder whether folliculitis is contagious. Folliculitis itself is not considered contagious; not between dogs or to humans. However, it is possible for some conditions causing it to be transmittable to other pets and humans as well. Sarcoptic Mange and ringworm infestation are some of the highly contagious conditions. Staphylococci, on the other hand, is transmittable between dogs and humans.

To avoid recurrence, it is important to know and treat the cause of folliculitis in dogs. Once this has been dealt with, your dog’s coat will resume to being healthy and free of irritation. Talk to your veterinarian whenever you aren’t certain about what to do or make out of a situation.





  1. this is whaBella has. It also says:
    Miniature Schnauzers are prone to a type of folliculitis referred to as Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome. This involves formation of blackheads on the length of their back.
    Look Goose over well to make sure he doesn’t have it too.

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