This is an infectious skin condition that is quite common in goats and sheep. However, it has also been noted in dogs that have consumed the carcasses of goats and sheep that have been infected. Apart from this scenario, the disease is not commonly found among pets.
The mode of infection of contagious ecthyma (Pustular Dermatitis) in dogs is via contact, and the pathogen responsible is known as a parapoxvirus. The condition is found throughout the world. It commonly occurs during late summer, autumn, and winter; on pasture and in feedlots.
The main symptoms of the disease are wounds that develop on the skin of the lips and often extend to the inner parts of the mouth. In some instances, they also develop on the feet. Lasting about 1 to 4 weeks, the scabs often fall off, leaving the tissues to heal without scarring.
Most veterinarians usually recommend antibacterial drugs in order to manage the secondary infections, not the parapoxvirus infection.
It is also possible for humans to contract the disease from contact with infected sheep, with veterinarians and sheep handlers being the most vulnerable. In human cases, the sores tend to be limited to the face and hands, causing the infected person to undergo distress.