Skin problems are not uncommon when it comes to dogs. To help you keep your furry friend in tip-top shape, we have highlighted below the most important things you need to know about such issues. While it may take a good USB borescope for veterinary use to identify certain health issues, it takes knowledge and attention to notice skin problems in dogs.
They say a house is not a home without a pet. If you agree and you’ve already turned your home into a cozy place for a dog, this article might be of interest. Dogs can develop various health problems despite getting the right food and care. Skin issues are part of them and, if you are a dog owner, you are highly likely to see and hear your furry friend scratching at some point.
It might be easy to define this as a bad habit yet a skin issue is most probably what causes all that scratching. Parasites, allergies, and various serious health problems are some of the causes behind skin conditions. Check out this list to learn more about identifying skin problems that might require a visit to your vet.
Often listed as one of the most common health problems in dogs, allergic dermatitis can be caused by a variety of allergens. As the name suggests, it is an allergic reaction to some sort of irritant that might be food, a grooming product, an insect bite, or an environmental irritant. It’s usually a rash that reveals such a problem and this reaction can easily be noticed.
Whenever you see your dog scratching and red spots on the pet’s skin, make sure you see your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. Today’s medical industry offers a variety of medicines that can help your dog rid of itchy rashes and there are many tests vets run to identify the allergen.
However, avoiding exposure to the allergen that triggers the reaction is the most effective treatment as it will prevent the allergic reaction. Medicines can only soothe the symptoms; therefore, ask your vet to run the required tests so you can avoid exposing the pet to the allergen.
In case your dog’s skin shows scrabs, sores, or bumps, your pet might have an infection known as superficial bacterial folliculitis. Identifying its symptoms is easy, especially in shorthaired dogs. If you have a long-haired dog, this condition might lead to shedding, scaly skin, and dull coat.
The thing with this infection is that it might occur when there are other skin problems involved including allergies and mange. That’s why it is best to see your vet to rule out other causes and problems, get your pet diagnosed properly, and receive the right treatment. Antibacterial shampoos and ointments and oral antibiotics are usually what such treatments include.
A dog’s skin can also develop pus-filled blisters that can be caused by a bacterial infection known as impetigo. These blisters may break and even develop a crust and they can usually be noticed on the hairless areas of a dog’s abdomen.
The good thing is that this condition can usually be treated with a topical product. However, the infection can sometimes spread and the vet may prescribe other treatments; therefore, have your dog checked by a professional whenever you notice anything unusual.
Another common skin issue is caused by a yeast infection. The symptoms are easy to identify as this type of infection usually affects the ears and paws of a dog. These are the areas where yeast can grow and thrive.
Therefore, when you see that your dog is licking his/her toes or scratching an ear and these areas are discolored and irritated, there are great chances for your pet to have developed a yeast infection.
Even if this health problem can be identified with ease, you still need to see a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. Most treatments include the use of topical creams but, in more severe cases, medicated baths and oral drugs might also be prescribed.
Many of us tend to think that ringworms must be some intestinal worm that causes various health problems but this is not the case. When it comes to dogs and ringworms, this term refers to circular patches that affect the skin of a dog and that are caused by a fungus. These lesions can affect a dog’s paws, head, forelegs, and ears.
You might even notice that the affected area is surrounded by scaly skin, inflammation, and hair loss. Young dogs are more likely to develop this condition and, given the fact that the infection can easily spread to other dogs, it is compulsory to take your pet to the vet as soon as these lesions occur. The doctor will most probably prescribe anti-fungal solutions that should be applied locally.
It’s not uncommon to notice that your dog’s skin is greasy or that it has developed dandruff or scales. When that happens, what you see is the outbreak of seborrhea, a genetic disease that in some cases might last a lifetime.
Hormonal abnormalities and allergies might also lead to seborrhea and, in such cases, this skin problem is just a complication of an underlying medical problem. When it’s just usual seborrhea, the use of medicated shampoos should be enough to eliminate this skin problem.
However, when there is something more serious that leads to seborrhea as a complication, the underlying problem needs to be treated in order for symptoms such as seborrhea to stop from occurring again.
A serious and easy-to-spread skin problem is mange. Caused by mites, this skin condition is divided into two types: sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. The first one leads to red skin, itching, sores, and even hair loss and is known as canine scabies. The areas affected include the dog’s face, legs, and ears.
The thing with this skin disorder is that it can be transmitted to other dogs quite easily and even to humans. The good thing is that the parasites causing it can’t survive on humans. The second type of mange triggers sores, bald spots, and scabbing and does not spread to other dogs or humans.
Whenever you notice such symptoms, make sure you see a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment as the meds prescribed differ depending on the type of mange involved.
Alopecia (Hair Loss)
All dogs shed and some breeds do shed a lot, but there are cases when a lot might actually be a sign of a medical condition. Shedding depends on the breed of your dog. Before getting alarmed, it is best to do your research and see how much shedding is normal.
If you notice that your pet loses hair in unusual quantities and patches of missing hair form, then paying your vet a visit is the next thing to do. An illness, poor nutrition, or stress might trigger excessive shedding, yet to find out the cause, you need a professional to run some tests and get your pet diagnosed. Only after doing so, your vet can prescribe you the right treatment.
These tiny insects are so common in dogs that one can hardly imagine having a pet and not experiencing this issue sooner or later. Despite taking good care of your dog, your pet can still get fleas and it’s probably impossible to avoid them completely since dogs need to exercise and spend time outdoors.
When these unwanted visitors take over your pet, they bite and that leads to hot spots, lots of itching, and scabs. Even if the fleas themselves might not be seen, it’s not difficult to know if this is what causes your dog’s skin problems and itching. You can easily notice the above-mentioned symptoms and even see flea eggs or droppings in the pet’s coat.
Left untreated, this problem can further lead to other health issues such as anemia and blood loss. Not to mention that fleas expose your dog to other harmful parasites. There are many solutions and meds to help you rid of this problem and they range from shampoos and topical products to oral flea killers.
To prevent fleas from getting hold of your dog, you might need to use a flea killer for your home and yard as well. Controlling fleas is almost a constant task yet today’s market offers a variety of effective products that will ease the process.