Dog Eczema Treatment Options

Dog eczema is a broad term used for a number of skin problems in dogs. Eczema is an irritation of the skin that is typically red and itchy. The most frequent dog eczema is the atopic dermatitis.

Dog Eczema Symptoms

Most frequently, dog eczema is a rash that is extremely itchy. The dog may also lose hair because of excessive scratching and licking of the affected area. The skin is often dry and crusty.

Other dogs may display symptoms such as bumps on the surface of the skin. In time, the bumps become moist and there might be a liquid discharge from the swellings.

Causes of Eczema

The most likely cause of eczema is a negative response of the immune system to different stimuli. Eczema may be caused by:

  • Chemicals, fragrances or skin products
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Kidney problems
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Smoke
  • High protein dog food or certain foods the dog is allergic to
  • Mold
  • Pollens
  • Parasites and bites
  • Stress
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Sudden changes in temperature

Dogs with a weaker immune system are more likely to develop eczema. Sensitive and allergic dogs may also develop the condition.

Dog Eczema Treatment Options

The first step in treating dog eczema is to identify the irritant and to reduce or avoid your dog's exposure to it. The treatment may vary according to the cause.

  • Eczema may be treated by using potassium permanganate. You can soak the eczema using a solution of potassium permanganate several times a day, until you notice that the eczema is gone. The solution will ease the itchiness.
  • Itchiness may also be relieved by using neem skin oil after each time you bathe your dog. The neem oil is made from the seeds of a tropical tree from the mahogany family. It's mainly used as an insecticide, but can be effective with eczemas as well.
  • Eczema can be treated with topical antibiotic ointments. Apply the ointment twice a day or as indicated by the vet, gently massage it into the skin and cover the area with a bandage to make sure the dog doesn't lick or remove the cream.
  • Another treatment option is a homeopathic treatment. Add neem leaf tea oil to your dog's food to heal the eczema. Alternatively, you may use the evening primrose oil in your dog's food.
  • A special formula medicated shampoo can be used to bathe your dog. Talk to your vet to see if a medicated shampoo is recommended.
  • Talk to your vet about supplements or shots to boost your dog's immune system, to become less sensitive to irritants.
  • Dog eczema is not a contagious condition, but needs to be treated to avoid the infection of the irritated skin. The dog may scratch the itchy spots and cause bleeding, and these areas may get infected.
  • Dogs with eczema are also more susceptible to yeast infections.