5 Dog Skin Allergies That Require a Dermatologist

Dog skin allergies are usually identified by constant biting, obsessive scratching, compulsive licking, chewing, rashes, hair loss and hot spots (extremely itchy lesions on the skin caused by self-infliction) in a specific area or multiple spots. There could be several causes to your dog's skin predicament, and you should seek a veterinary dermatologist. The following are the five most common dog skin allergies that require a dermatologist.

Fungal and Bacterial Skin Allergies

This allergy can be contagious, transmitted to people and other pets. Typically, these infection-caused allergies are greasy looking and odorous. This kind of allergy is usually easily diagnosed and treated by your veterinarian with topical ointment or antibiotics. Possible infections include:

Skin Allergy Due to Food

Despite the fact that some companies state that their dog foods are "complete" or "well-balanced," their food can still result in a skin allergy in your dog, due your dog being allergic to one or more ingredients and/or due to a lack of healthy, immune-system supporting ingredients. If the first ingredient listed in your dog's food is not a meat, then it's not of good quality.

If your dog continues to experience skin allergies after switching to a high quality dog food, he's probably allergic to certain ingredients. In this case, ask your vet for suggestions on a healthy, (common) allergen-free recipe that will meet your dog's nutrient requirements.

Allergies from Parasites

A highly common allergy is caused by the saliva and droppings of pests that occasionally make dogs their hosts. Some can be easily stopped by flea and tick preventatives. These are usually easily diagnosed and treated by your vet. Possible parasites include:

  • Fleas
  • Chiggers
  • Scabies
  • Lice
  • Cheyletiella Mites
  • Demodex mites (Mange)
  • Environmental Allergies

Dogs can suffer from allergies due to things in the environment, notably dust, mold or pollen. As a result, some dogs are more suspectible to allergies depending on the season and the region.

Neurogenic Allergy

Some canines suffer from an obsessive-compulsive disorder which manifests itself as obsessively licking, biting or chewing an easily reached spot. This is a psychological disorder not attributed to an allergy resulting from any of the above causes. There are plenty of reasons why a dog might self-mutilate. These include:

  • Boredom
  • Confinement
  • Stress
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Frustration

For some dogs, this can be overcome with a combination of regular exercise and exercise and a commanding "No!" when he performs the action; however, many dogs require a trip to both a dermatologist and a behavioral specialist to arrive as a solution.

Other Possibilities

If all of the above have been ruled out, then the skin problem could be caused by an underlying, more serious illness. Examples are:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cancer
  • Cushing's Syndrome
  • Endocrine Abnormalities