Embedded hairs as a cause of deep pyoderma in short-haired dogs
This case is an illustration of why some deep pyoderma cases in short-haired breeds can be difficult to fix. Obviously it’s sensible to rule out factors such as hypothyroidism, HAC, demodicosis, immunosuppressive drugs etc.
This particular patient had been through that process quite thoroughly. After months of struggling, we examined the lesions under general anaesthesia. Deep within each sinus we found large bunches of loose hair:
It’s a long job removing these: I spent about 2 hours meticulously picking them out.
It remains a matter of debate exactly how these hairs become embedded. They’re not just in pressure areas where external forces might apply. It seems that with a dynamic process of skin turnover and the inflammatory process they ‘sink’ into the dermis and subcutis.
There aren’t really any good published papers that I’m aware of describing the phenomenon. And even less objective data regarding treatment. In the present case, manually removing hairs led, subjectively, to significant improvement.