Dermatosis in Dogs

Dermatosis in dogs is a disease affecting the skin of dogs, causing inflammation and itching. The condition may be chronic or temporary, and may compromise the health and look of the dog's coat. Read on to learn more about dermatosis in dogs.

Causes of Dermatosis in Dogs

There are several possible causes of dermatosis in dogs, including the following:

  • Infections such as bacterial, yeast, or fungal infections
  • Seborrhea
  • Flea bites
  • Allergies to food
  • Contact with a substance that causes irritation
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Endocrine conditions
  • Exposure to harmful toxins or drugs
  • Predisposition based on breed
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Sunburns
  • Certain cancers of the skin
  • Canine atopy, or an allergic reaction
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Other forms of dermatitis
  • Sarcoptic Mange

Some of these conditions will be explained in detail below.

Common Symptoms of Dermatosis in Dogs

The following signs and symptoms are common among dogs with dermatosis:

  • Scratching
  • Patches of red, scaly, irritated, moist, or crusty sores on the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Oozing areas on the skin
  • Rough patches on the skin

Treating Dermatosis in Dogs

In order to properly treat dermatosis, the underlying cause should be established. Since dermatosis is usually caused by an allergy or an irritant, your pet's general lifestyle, diet and other factors should be evaluated closely and discussed in detail with your veterinarian. If the dermatosis is caused by flea infestations or bites, measures should be taken to get rid of the fleas in the home and surrounding area.

Often, a Corticosteroid such as an injectable dexamethasone will be given to relieve itching and irritation of the skin. Even so, there are more natural treatments available that may be more safe and less harsh for your pet.

If red or painful looking sores have developed on your dog, they should be treated quickly to prevent any further damage or infections. Normally an oral antibiotic can be given for a few days, which should quickly clear up the irritated area of the skin. As mentioned before, there are safer and more natural treatments available that may be more appropriate for your pet.

What Is Canine Atopy?

Canine atopy is one of the most common causes of itching in dogs, and is caused by an allergic reaction to substances of the environment. Grass is a common culprit for canine atopy. The condition normally occurs after the age of one, and your pet's genetic makeup may contribute to his development of the condition. A runny nose may also be present with canine atopy.

What Is Contact Dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a disorder affecting the skin of the dog. It usually develops after contact with materials including the following:

  • Flea collars
  • Carpet cleaners
  • Bleach
  • Corrosive substances
  • Fertilizers
  • Strong acids
  • Alkalis and salts
  • Bedding materials

The condition usually causes persistent itching and scratching, red patches of skin, and inflammation.

What Is Canine Sarcoptic Mange?

Sarcoptic mange is a very irritating disease that is caused by the Sarcoptes mite. The condition can affect any area of the body, but the most common area include the abdomen, legs, ears, chest and paws. The mites are passed on by other dogs or areas where another infected dog has come into contact with. The sarcoptes mite can live for 3 weeks in the environment.