Vet with gloves on applying a mupirocin ointment to a pug’s chin

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Quick treatment is essential to alleviate discomfort and promote healing when your pet encounters skin issues. Among the arsenal of medications available for such conditions, mupirocin ointment is a possible option your vet may choose to treat your pet's skin ailment. Mupirocin is used in both veterinary and human medicine and offers a broad spectrum of applications in treating bacterial skin infections. 

Whether your pet suffers from minor cuts, scrapes, or more severe dermatological issues, mupirocin ointment can help your pet recover. Keep reading to learn more about mupirocin, its uses, side effects, and safety considerations to help you and your vet choose the best option for your pet. 

What is Mupirocin?

Mupirocin ointment for dogs and cats, commonly known by its brand name Bactroban, is a topical antibiotic medication used to treat bacterial infections. This ointment works by inhibiting the growth and reproduction of bacteria on the skin's surface, particularly targeting strains such as Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus intermedius, common causes of skin infections.1 

Veterinarians often prescribe mupirocin for dogs to address various skin issues, ranging from minor cuts and scrapes to more serious dermatological conditions.

Mupirocin Ointment Uses for Dogs

Mupirocin ointment for dogs targets and eliminates bacteria on the skin's surface. It's particularly effective against a wide range of bacteria found on the skin and can treat a variety of dermatological conditions in dogs. Mupirocin ointment for dog uses include the following:1,2

  • Pyoderma: Pyoderma is a bacterial skin infection that causes redness and inflammation. Mupirocin is highly effective in treating pyoderma by targeting and eliminating the bacteria responsible for the infection. It can help alleviate itching, irritated skin, and discomfort, promoting faster healing. 
  • Superficial wounds: Superficial wounds are minor cuts, abrasions, or scratches on the skin's surface that can become infected with bacteria. You can apply mupirocin ointment to these wounds to prevent bacterial infection and promote healing. The ointment works by creating a barrier against harmful bacteria, reducing the risk of wound complications and ensuring proper wound healing. 
  • Hot spots: Also known as acute moist dermatitis, hot spots are localized areas of inflamed and infected skin. Mupirocin ointment for dogs' hot spots can eliminate bacterial overgrowth and reduce inflammation, relieving itching and discomfort. 
  • Interdigital cysts: Interdigital cysts are fluid-filled lumps that develop between a dog's toes, often caused by bacterial infection or inflammation. You can use mupirocin ointment to treat these cysts by addressing the underlying bacterial infection. 

Always consult a vet before using mupirocin on your pet. Proper diagnosis helps to identify the specific bacterial infection affecting your dog's skin. A veterinarian can perform a thorough examination and may also recommend diagnostic tests such as skin scrapings or bacterial cultures to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection. This information is vital for developing an effective treatment plan tailored to your dog's needs. 

While mupirocin is effective against certain bacterial infections, it may not be suitable for all dermatological conditions. Different skin issues may require different treatment approaches, and your veterinarian can recommend the most appropriate topical medication based on the diagnosis. For example, fungal infections like ringworm may require antifungal medications instead of antibiotics. 

In some cases, your dog may also require a combination of topical and oral or injectable medications like Baytril to treat their bacterial infection. Oral antibiotics may be necessary for more severe infections that can't be addressed with topical treatment alone. Your vet will assess the severity of the infection and your dog's overall health to determine the most appropriate treatment approach. 

Keep in mind that using mupirocin ointment for dogs or any other medication without veterinary guidance can lead to ineffective treatment or worsen your dog's condition. Improperly using medications can contribute to antibiotic resistance, making it challenging to treat bacterial infections in the future. Therefore, pet parents should always consult a vet before using mupirocin ointment or any other medication to ensure safe and effective treatment for their pet’s skin condition. 

Dosage & Administration

Mupriocin is typically applied twice daily for dogs. It's essential to allow the ointment to remain on the skin for at least ten minutes to ensure effectiveness. 

Veterinary-labeled mupirocin topical products like Muricin contain a 2% concentration and are labeled for use on dogs. They typically come in a 15 g size. On the other hand, human-labeled mupirocin products like Bactroban also come in 2% concentration but may contain different base ingredients.1 

To administer mupirocin to your dog, clean the affected area. Apply enough ointment to cover the area completely twice a day. It's essential not to exceed a maximum treatment duration of 30 days,2 but you should always listen to your vet's instructions for how long to use the ointment on your dog, as treatment durations can vary.

Mupirocin Ointment for Dogs: Side Effects

Is mupirocin ointment safe for dogs? Mupirocin is typically well tolerated in dogs, but contact reactions are possible, though rare.1 Prolonged use can lead to the overgrowth of non-susceptible organisms or superinfection, and anecdotal reports suggest rare cases of renal toxicity.1

In general, there have been no reported side effects associated with the use of mupirocin ointment in dogs.2 However, you should keep an eye out for any potential side effects and consult your vet if you believe your dog is experiencing adverse reactions. While mupirocin is generally safe, monitoring your dog for any signs of discomfort or unusual symptoms during treatment is essential. 

If you notice any redness, swelling, itching, or other concerning reactions at the application site, discontinue use and consult your veterinarian immediately. 

Additionally, seek immediate veterinary attention if your dog shows signs of illness, such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing. Although rare, prolonged use of mupirocin can lead to overgrowth of non-susceptible bacteria or superinfection.1

It's crucial to follow your vet's instructions carefully and avoid prolonged or inappropriate use of mupirocin to minimize the risk of adverse effects. Always consult your vet before using mupirocin ointment for dogs or any other medication to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet. 

Is Mupirocin Ointment Safe for Dogs? Safety Considerations

Mupirocin ointment for dogs is considered safe when used according to veterinary guidelines and under the supervision of a veterinarian. However, as with any medication, there are important safety considerations to keep in mind. 

Before using mupirocin ointment for dogs, it's crucial to consult with a vet. A vet can properly diagnose your dog's condition and determine if mupirocin is appropriate. They can also provide guidance on dosage, application, and potential side effects. 

Mupirocin ointment for dogs shouldn't be used in those with a history of reactions to the medication or any of its components.2 If your dog has experienced an allergic reaction to mupirocin or any other topical antibiotic in the past, alternative treatments should be considered. 

During the course of treatment, it's important to monitor your dog for any side effects or adverse reactions. Consult your vet immediately if you notice any side effects or irritation at the application site. 

Additionally, follow your vet's instructions for applying the medicine. The affected area should be cleansed before applying the ointment, and the ointment should be applied twice daily.1 

Keep in mind that many dogs may try to lick off the ointment. If your dog does this, make sure the ointment stays on them for at least ten minutes to ensure effectiveness; then, you can wipe it off to prevent them from licking it. While it's not toxic, ingesting the ointment can cause GI disturbances in dogs. 

To prevent your dog from licking off their ointment for at least ten minutes, consider feeding them beforehand or giving them an activity to enjoy. For instance, you can take them on a ten-minute walk or give them a treat dispensing toy to ensure the ointment sinks into their skin to start combating the infection. 

man with his dog

Final Notes

Mupirocin ointment for dogs can help treat bacterial skin infections, ranging from minor cuts to more severe issues like hot spots and pyoderma. When used under veterinary guidance, mupirocin can help alleviate discomfort, promote healing, and restore your pet's skin health. However, it's essential to consult a vet before using this topical or any other medication to ensure proper diagnosis, treatment, and safety. 

At Dutch, we understand the importance of accessible and convenient pet care. That's why telemedicine for pets is so important to us. We provide you with access to professional veterinary care from the comfort of your own home. By becoming a Dutch member, you can access virtual consultations with experienced veterinarians, allowing you to address your pet's health concerns quickly. Additionally, our online pet pharmacy offers a wide range of prescription medications delivered directly to your door for added convenience. Try Dutch today.


  1. Veterinary Drug Handbook - Visit Cdnsw.Com,

  2. "Mupirocin Veterinary Ointment for Dogs." Drugs.Com,

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

What is a visit with Dutch like?

When booking a video call with a vet, you'll be asked a few questions about your pet’s health issue. Depending on the issue, you may also be asked to fill out a longer questionnaire about their symptoms and share photographs of them so our veterinarians can better understand what’s going on. You’ll then pick an appointment time that works best for you.

During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

After your video call, the vet will send you a message with a custom treatment plan to help your pet feel better, including a link to buy any recommended prescription or over-the-counter medications. Place your order and we’ll ship it free.

How much will it cost for Dutch to treat my pet?

The Dutch membership starts at $11/mo for unlimited access to the vet. No more long waits for appointments or surprise bills.

In addition to the base membership plan, our veterinarians may also recommend additional medication (Rx and/or OTC) that you will have the option of adding to your plan at an additional cost.