Psoriasis in Dogs

Psoriasis in dogs is a skin disorder that’s characterized by a scaly rash that’s excessively itchy and uncomfortable for your pet. In order to alleviate your pet’s discomfort, it’s essential to seek treatment at the earliest.

Psoriasis in Dogs

Psoriasis in dogs presents on the skin. Treatment depends on the correct identification of the cause of the condition. The most common form of canine psoriasis is scalp psoriasis.

Symptoms of Psoriasis in Dogs

Psoriasis in dogs symptoms include:

  • Patches that are red and scaly in appearance on the sacral areas, the scalp, the legs and the tips of the elbows
  • Excessive itchiness
  • The development of scales that are silvery in color and lessening of the redness 
  • Excessive dandruff and scaling

Causes of Psoriasis in Dogs

There are several causes of canine psoriasis. The main cause is a compromised immune system that attacks normal skin cells, resulting in abnormalities of your pet’s T-cells. The T-cells divide too rapidly. This duplication of the T-cells results in a build-up of these cells as more are manufactured by the body than are required. There is a formation of thick patches of skin cells on the skin’s surface. The body responds with a reaction that causes excessive itching.

Other Causes of Dog Psoriasis

Canine psoriasis can also be caused by genetic factors. However, in most cases, it’s an allergy that compromises the immune system and causes the T-cells to divide rapidly. Your pet could be allergic to an ingredient in his commercial pet diet and a healthy diet may be necessary to control the condition. Your pet might also be sensitive to allergens such as shampoos, insecticides, plants or fabric. Elimination of these allergens from your pet’s environment is essential for treatment.

Diagnosis of Psoriasis in Dogs

If you observe dry, scaly, red or silver patches on your pet’s skin that are extremely itchy or if you observe signs of bleeding due to excessive scratching, you should take your pet to the vet. A physical examination and an evaluation of the pet’s medical history are essential for a correct diagnosis. The vet may also examine a sample of your pet’s skin under the microscope to arrive at a diagnosis.

Treatment of Psoriasis in Dogs

Nutritional supplements to boost your pet’s immune system and a change in diet can prevent a recurrence of the condition. It’s best to feed your pet a BARF diet or food prepared at home that’s free of preservatives and additives. You should avoid feeding your pet over-processed food and his diet should be high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. Raw meat should be included in his diet and meat by-products should be avoided.

Other Treatment Options

Nutrients such as zinc, Vitamin C, omega fatty acids should be included in your daily diet. You should apply ointments and lotions on the patches that contain coal tar or sulfur products. An omega-6 fatty acid such as evening primrose oil may be applied on his skin. Salicylic acid should also be applied topically or administered orally. Bathing your pet with potassium permanganate can help disinfect your pet and provide relief.

It’s best to seek vet care and have your pet’s condition diagnosed correctly before starting any treatment plan to cure your pet of psoriasis.