Acne is a condition that occurs when the hair follicles get infected. This infection will cause a raised pimple or pustule that breaks to form a small scab. There are two common presentations I see in pets. Cats are prone to chin acne and puppies can get mild skin infections in the tender skin of the groin.
Feline chin acne develops in the glands that surround the base of the hairs of the chin and lips. Just like in people, these follicles can get plugged up with oil and form blackheads. If you look closely, you can see the black spots, but the easiest way to tell is to feel the small bumps. Sometimes these follicles will get a bacteria infection and form a pimple. Occasionally, a larger acne cyst will form. There are different factors that enable a cat to get chin acne. Genetics and stress play a role, as well as any disease that causes the skin to be irritated. Avoid plastic food and water bowls because some cats can react to them. Use stainless steel or ceramic dishes instead. Keep the bowls clean by washing them daily. Too often we just top up the dry food in the same bowl for days. If your cat likes to play with toys, wash or replace them regularly. Management of chin acne involves cleansers, topical preparations and oral antibiotics for deep infections.
Puppy acne is a superficial infection of the skin, usually in the lower belly area. It shows up as little red bumps , scabs or whiteheads. That area of skin is soft and hairless, so it is easily irritated. Most puppy acne is mild, and does not need to be treated. Some cases progress to a rash, especially if the dog starts to lick. These pups tend to respond well to oral antibiotics. When puppy acne does not improve, further testing and investigation is required.