Eczema Causes in Dogs

Eczema, also known as moist dermatitis or hot spots, can occur in canines of all ages. The eczema causes may include bacteria of different types or fungi. The eczema is a problematic condition, as it spreads quickly on the entire surface of the dog's skin and it is difficult to control. Moist dermatitis will cause itchy, scaly and crusty skin. Once identified, eczema can be treated with antibiotics and ointments.

Causes of Eczema

Eczema is a condition that is most frequently caused by bacteria and fungi. Moist dermatitis can form when the bacteria or fungi from the dog's environment are contracted and there are areas of skin where these can thrive. This happens mostly when the dog has wet skin. A wet environment is perfect to stimulate the development of bacteria and fungi, and these will spread quickly all over the dog's body.

Eczema is more frequently met during the summer months in dogs with long fur. However, dogs with a lot of excess skin or obese dogs may also develop eczema all through the year in the areas that are under the skin folds, which are often moist.

Factors Facilitating Moist Dermatitis

Moist dermatitis can be contracted from other dogs that carry bacteria or are affected by eczema. Direct contact with the skin is necessary to contract the bacteria.

If the dog has allergies or is infested with different external parasites (such as mites or fleas), eczema is more likely to occur, as the skin is more sensitive and is not properly protected by the immune system.

Certain chemicals may also facilitate the occurrence of eczema.

Symptoms of Eczema

Eczema can be detected judging by a few symptoms such as:

  • Extreme itchiness and fervent scratching
  • Redness of skin
  • Licking the skin
  • Chewing and biting the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Pus caused by bacteria

If the hot spots are not detected and treated, the skin will become thicker and may become scaly. The dog may also develop lick granulomas, which are more difficult to get rid of. A vet can easily detect hot spots by performing a skin scraping test and determining the bacteria or fungi causing the irritation.

Treatment for Eczema

Hot spots can be treated with antibiotics and topical ointments. The antibiotics will be prescribed depending on what type of bacteria causes the eczema. If the hot spots are caused by fungi, anti-fungal medication and creams will be recommended. If the dog has severe skin irritation, steroids (oral or topical) can be prescribed as well.

The dog's skin should be kept clean and dry, so as to speed up the recovery time. Some vets will recommend clipping the hair of the dog to allow the skin to breathe.

The eczema treatment may last for up to three weeks, depending on how extended the infection is. Even after the antibiotics are discontinued, the topical ointments should be used until the eczema is no longer visible.