Dog Skin Irritation Treatment

Dog skin irritation comes about for a variety of reasons. Signs of irritation may range from mild scratching to minor redness and swelling all the way up to open sores, lesions and loss of hair. Treating your pet's skin irritation symptoms requires that you first properly identify the source of the problem, as one type of treatment may not be effective at managing all forms of skin irritation. After having your pet examined by a veterinarian, your vet will be able to make a proper diagnosis of the cause of irritation and you can begin the proper treatment program for your pet and his condition.

Treating Skin Allergies

Skin allergies are among the most common causes of dog skin irritation. Your pet may be allergic to various foods, particles in the air or other allergens. While a variety of ointments and shampoos may help to reduce the symptoms of the allergic reaction, the only way to completely eliminate all signs of irritation is to address the allergy at its source by removing the offending allergen from your pet's environment.

With your veterinarian's help, determine the exact allergen that provokes a negative reaction in your dog. This can be accomplished through a variety of allergy tests that can be done at home or in the vet's office. Next, take all steps possible to remove that allergen from your pet's life. In the case of food allergies, select foods that do not contain the particular ingredient that brings about a reaction. For atopic allergies (those related to particles in the air), consider purchasing hypo-allergenic bedding and other materials for your home. An air purifier can also be helpful at reducing the allergen content in a room or home.

Supplement these treatment methods with antihistamine ointments or medicines that help to reduce inflammation and swelling associated with allergies. These medicines can help to provide immediate relief while determining the cause of the reaction itself.

Treating Parasites

Other dog skin irritation is caused by parasites like mites and fleas. Once again, a veterinarian can help to determine the source of your pet's irritation. In most of these cases, a prescription shampoo with a mild insecticide can be helpful in eradicating the pests from your pet's body. Ensure that you follow all necessary precautions and safety measures while treating your pet with any product that contains insecticides, as these chemicals may be harmful to him and you both if used improperly.

Most treatment programs for parasites require at least 2 individual treatments in order to fully eliminate all of the insects.

Treating Infections

Bacterial infections of the skin are a third common cause of skin irritation in dogs. These infections can generally be managed with antibiotic drugs. Consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate medicine and course of action for your pet. Treating your pet's infection promptly is crucial in order to ensure that the bacteria does not spread to other parts of his body.

In all of these cases, a veterinarian can help to determine the source of your dog's skin irritation, as well as the best way of managing the symptoms.