Common Dog Skin Problems and Their Treatments

Dog Skin Problems

From dry, itchy dog skin to external parasites, expect a number of dog skin problems to crop up. Puppies and adult dogs deal with skin issues. Proactive care of your dog’s skin is the best prevention. If your dog is scratching, licking or biting itself, you have a pet with skin problems. Don’t ignore it. Rarely do skin problems in dogs disappear. Additionally, your pet’s excessive licking and biting might lead to a serious infection. Six key categories classify the many canine skin problems: • Allergies • Environmental conditions • Infectious diseases • Neurogenic (Self-inflicted) • Nutritional • Parasites When dog skin problems are linked to allergies, expect plenty of trial and error. There are many potential allergens making it impossible to quickly diagnose the main allergen. Of all the allergens out there, the most common are food ingredients, cleaning products (especially in carpeting, dog beds and blankets), mold spores, dust mites, pollen and dust. If you suspect allergens, see your veterinarian for antihistamines, ointments and sprays to help relieve the itching. Hot Spots are a perfect example of environmental factors causing dog skin infection. Hot Spots are a form of eczema that appear most often after a dog has gotten wet from rain or while swimming in a lake, river or pond. Wet matted fur traps bacteria causing an infection. Hot Spots require cortisone creams to clear up. Proper dog skin care is essential to preventing Hot Spots. Three types of infectious dermatitis cause dog skin problems: bacterial, fungal and yeast. Ringworm is a fungal infection that is passed to humans. Yeast infections are noticeable because the skin turns red and smells sour. Bacterial dermatitis is less common but occurs when the skin is exposed to bacteria, often from a dog’s mouth. Your vet will suggest cortisone creams to prevent the redness and itching. Oral antihistamines are also helpful. Neurogenic skin conditions typically follow a wound or injury. Some dogs lick or bite areas of their body to prevent boredom. It’s important to see your vet to ensure there is no underlying issue. Keeping the area clean and dry is important for healing. Dog skin disorders are commonly caused by the food they eat. Corn, corn gluten, wheat and other unnecessary grains cause allergic reactions in many dogs. Feed your pet foods that avoid meat by-products, grains and fillers. Always pick foods that are high in proteins like pure chicken, lamb and beef. A raw meat diet helps to eliminate food related skin issues. Finally, parasites are a leading cause of dog skin diseases. Fleas, ticks and mites cause bites that become itchy and swell. Mange, caused by certain mites, kills if left untreated! If your dog is balding and itching excessively, see a veterinarian immediately. These parasites require special care, including soothing, medicinal baths to get rid of.