Skin disease is a common problem among dogs. It often results in changes in the dog’s coat, which, over time, can start to look unsightly. These skin problems can make your dog uncomfortable and unhappy. It may also be a sign of an underlying problem, which may be worse.
So, if you are a dog owner, it is imperative to learn about the possible skin problems in dogs. Even if you can get your hands on the best skin and coat supplement for dogs, having a sound knowledge can help you attack the problem head-on.
So, let’s take a look at some dog skin disease issues and the best ways you can tackle them.
The word “skin allergies” should not be new to anyone. Even if your dog hasn’t had such a case, you may have likely had a skin allergy yourself or know someone who has. This skin allergy that dog suffers from is not different from the usual definition.
A skin allergy is the body’s way of reacting to a stimulant. It is one of the skin problems that usually send many dog owners and their pets to the vet. What makes skin allergies tricky is that you and your pet might not understand what could have warranted the allergic reaction.
Furthermore, skin allergies cause a myriad of symptoms. These include scratching, excessive itching, grooming, watery eyes, skin inflammation, paw chewing, and sneezing.
What causes skin allergies in dogs?
Many things can cause skin allergies in dogs. Most dogs are also prone to this dreaded skin problem because they were poorly bred.
Let’s focus on the possible causes of skin allergy in a dog. The types of allergies that affect dogs can be broken down into environmental allergies, insect bites, and food or medication.
Environmental allergy (atopy) in dogs is when there is a reaction to the particles in the air. It is also the most common factor responsible for allergies in dogs. Examples of these environmental allergens are pollens, animal dander, dust mites, and molds.
Contact allergy. As the name implies, this type of allergy only affects the part of the dog that came in contact with the allergen. However, the allergens, in question, might be washing powders and carpet fibers.
Food also can cause skin allergies in dogs. In short, a good number of skin allergy cases reported in dogs is caused by food. One of the signs includes itchy skin, but it can create other problems like loose stools, upset stomach, and even gastrointestinal irritation.
Another factor that can cause skin allergy in dogs is insect bites. An example is the flea bite. But different dogs may react differently, and the irritation and itching may also be intense in some canine.
NOTE: Dogs and humans are prone to skin allergy and display symptoms differently. Humans can show signs through watery eyes, sneezing, or coughing, while in dogs, the standard way they display an allergic reaction is via itching of their skin.
What are the possible solutions to skin allergies in dogs?
Firstly, skin allergy in dogs is not a death sentence. It doesn’t mean your dog’s life is winding down. Allergies can make a dog uncomfortable and reduce the dog’s quality of life. But it’s manageable and super easy to treat.
It is super easy to keep skin allergy at bay. Just ensure you give your dog a regular wash, using a top-notch shampoo. The idea is to reduce bacteria and allergens’ build-up.
You should also rinse the dog properly after washing. Ensure there is no soap or chemical left on the dog’s skin. Furthermore, the possibility of allergens build-up in your dog’s bedding is high, so wash regularly and keep it dry to reduce it.
You should also try to visit your vet if you find your dog scratching excessively. Vets do have good eyes and can spot the possible cause of your dog’s skin allergy.
Ringworm is another common skin problem in dogs that can become unsightly. The reason why this skin problem is scary is that it is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can spread from animals to humans.
Ringworm is not that difficult to identify. Even an untrained eye can differentiate it from other skin problems. It often appears as scaly or circular patches on the dog.
What causes ringworm in dogs?
Dogs can develop ringworm when they come in contact with the fungus. Different types of fungus cause ringworm, but Microsporum Canis produces approximately 70% of the cases. Microsporum gypseum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes are responsible for 20 and 10 percent if the cases, respectively.
Another thing you need to know is that the fungus responsible for ringworm can remain dormant, waiting for a dog to infect for as long as 18 months. The symptom also appears in one spot, mainly where the infection started.
Possible symptoms of ringworm include brittle hair, rings of round inflamed lesions. Oozes from the lesion, hair loss, and skin flaking, which looks similar to dandruff, are common symptoms, too.
What are the possible solutions to ringworm in dogs?
Treating a dog for ringworm and getting rid of the fungus-causing organism isn’t the only thing that counts. You also need to ensure the fungus isn’t hanging around your dog’s bedding or the floor.
Vets are aware that the fungus may re-infect a dog treated of ringworm. So, besides managing the fungus, they often prescribe plans on how to eliminate it from the environment where the dog lives.
If the infection is severe, you may have to wash your dog regularly with medicated shampoo. Topical ointments may also be applied to the area where the ringworm is. But you need to prevent your dog from licking the balm.
Mange is another skin problem that affects dogs and one that can make your dog feel incredibly uncomfortable and sore. It is caused by different mites and comes in diverse forms.
Mange can result in scales, lesions, and issues with the dog’s immune system. It can also take diverse forms such as demodectic mange, sarcoptic mange, and notoedric mange. The type of mange a dog has depends mainly on the mite species that is responsible.
What causes mange in dogs?
Different mite species cause mange. The Sarcoptes scabiel mite is responsible for sarcoptic mange; Demodex canis mite causes demodectic mange while the notoedres mite causes the notoedric mange. The notoedres is known as the feline form of the contagious disease, scabies, which is similar to the one that affects dogs.
What are the solutions to mange in dogs?
You need to keep your dog’s immune system in top shape. It can help to keep demodectic mange at bay. In addition to environmental factors, a mange outbreak is usually caused by the general health of the dog. So, do the right thing to prevent this skin problem. Take proper care of your dog by providing the right nutrition and bath your dog occasionally.
If the dog is battling with excess mites, topical ointments containing the active ingredient, benzoyl peroxide, can take care of the parasites. Applying the topical cream and taking proper care of the dog’s coat and skin can help the lesions to start healing and cause the lost hair to re-grow.
NOTE: Whether your dog has mange or not, it is imperative to keep your dog’s bed clean. Doing so will help get rid of any breeding ground for mites and other insects that bites and inflict dogs with diseases.
Before allowing a dog to come into your home, it is expected that you have made up your mind to deal with the shedding. Dogs shed their fur. And the amount of hair you would find lying around your house depends on several factors, such as the period of the year, environmental factors, and dog breed
However, when you suspect the shedding to be abnormal, then your dog may be suffering from alopecia. This skin problem can also be caused by illness or poor nutrition. Tick and flea bites can also create an outbreak of alopecia.
Alopecia is not a deadly skin problem. So, if you discover your dog has it, don’t fret.
Tick and flea control is necessary to prevent an outbreak of alopecia in your dog. Topical treatments may help in this regard. These include shampoos and ointments.
Light therapy also has proven to be effective in the reduction of hair loss. It can also cause the hair re-grow, particularly in areas where the hair follicles are still intact.
Other treatment options include the use of steroids, antifungal, and antibiotics. These can be orally or topically. Incorporating vitamins, particularly vitamin E, Vitamin A, and fish oil in your dog’s food can also help to boost the dog’s skin health.
Folliculitis, as the name implies, is a skin problem that has to do with the hair follicles. It means an inflammation of the dog’s hair follicles. Furthermore, this bacterial infection causes severe discomfort in dogs. It can cause scabs, bumps, and even sores on the dog’s skin.
By and large, it’s super easy to spot this condition on a dog’s skin, particularly canines with short fur. But if an infected dog has long hair, it will be difficult to tell if the underlying skin problem is folliculitis or something else. The only way you can tell if a dog with long fur has it is when the dog sheds excessively. A canine with folliculitis may also display a dull coat.
What are the solutions to folliculitis?
No matter the skin condition you are tackling, you need to take proper care of the dog’s skin. If the dog has folliculitis, for instance, make sure you clean the affected skin before applying your topicals.
You can use topical therapy (antimicrobial shampoos) or oral antibiotics for folliculitis. There are cases where you may have no other choice but to combine both to treat the dog for a while (3-12 weeks).
Pyoderma is another troubling skin problem in dogs. It is also a bacterial infection. Pyoderma is one of the skin conditions that force many dog owners to visit their vets.
You need to know that pyoderma is of two types. These include superficial pyoderma and deep pyoderma. The former implies that the disease developed on the outer layer of the dog’s skin. In contrast, the latter means that the infection developed in bruises or cuts, particularly in the inner regions.
What are the solutions for pyoderma in dogs?
You can tackle pyoderma with the use of antibiotic therapy. Also, this therapy can last for 3-4 weeks. Another treatment option is the use of medicated shampoos or sprays.
NOTE: If you are treating pyoderma in a dog using topicals, then ensure the active ingredients in the product are; salicylic acid, sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, and chlorhexidine.
Skin problems can make dogs uncomfortable and unhappy. So, you must take proper care of your dog’s coat and skin. Additionally, if you notice that your dog has any of these skin issues, you need to take action immediately. Some skin problems in dogs are not deadly, but when left untreated for long, they can become more severe and difficult to treat.
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