Q. My dog has been dealing with a bacterial infection for a year now: a crusted nose, a sticky substance on his mouth, and pustules on various part of his body. In the past year, he has been treated with various antibiotics with no improvement. I asked my veterinarian to do a culture on his sticky, smelly mouth pustules. My vet then prescribed a new antibiotic (cephalexin). Since then, I have noticed a slight improvement. Is my dog on the correct antibiotic, or is there something else he can be treated with?
A. Your dog has a condition known as pyoderma, or generalized skin infection. If your veterinarian did a culture of the lesions, he or she should have gotten a report that showed which organisms are growing, and which antibiotics would be effective. Cephalexin is a good antibiotic, but not the most powerful. Your veterinarian will want to save the most powerful antibiotics for later if needed. It can take six to eight weeks of antibiotics to clear up an extensive case of pyoderma, so be patient.