Skin Inflammation in Dogs

Canine skin inflammation can occur as a result of a wide variety of medical conditions, ranging from mild infections up to cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Inflammation rarely occurs by itself, and is typically accompanied by other symptoms. If your pet's skin appears to be inflamed, watch out for any related or concurrent symptoms that he presents and be prepared to take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. The following information outlines some of the potential causes and treatments used to address skin inflammation in dogs.

Skin Infections

Perhaps the most common cause of skin inflammation in dogs is infection. Bacterial infections occur when harmful bacteria enter your pet's body and proliferate. To combat the bacteria, your dog's body produces histamines and other chemicals that may lead to irritation and inflammation.

Bacterial infections are generally relatively easy to treat, although they will require a veterinarian's attention. If your vet diagnoses your dog with a bacterial infection, speak with him about the best course of action to eliminate the spread of bacteria and to return your pet to normal health. Generally, antibiotics are the best treatment method in these cases. An antibiotic kills bacteria or prevents them from multiplying, reducing your pet's infection and eliminating the symptoms, including inflammation of the skin.


Parasites like mites and lice are also relatively common causes of skin inflammation in dogs. When a harmful parasite attaches to your dog's body, it lives on the surface of his skin and survives by consuming dead skin cells or by feeding off of your dog's blood. Parasites typically cause a variety of skin-related symptoms, including inflammation, irritation, redness and loss of hair.

A parasitic infestation can be treated in a few different ways. The leading treatment is a combination of insecticide shampoos and oral medications. There are also topical ointments and other methods that you may use to rid your pet of these harmful pests. Consult with your veterinarian for further information regarding your pet's specific condition.


Injuries can lead to inflammation. If your pet has sprained or broken a bone, the affected area may become inflamed. Watch out for other signs of injury, such as limping, immobility and crying out in pain.

Uncommon Diseases

A number of less common and potentially serious diseases may also lead to skin inflammation in dogs. Cancers of various types and arthritis are responsible for some skin inflammation. Typically, these diseases differ from the conditions listed above in that the inflammation will be located in unique and specific parts of your dog's body. Additionally, your pet will likely have a variety of other symptoms that are unrelated to his skin. Because there are serious diseases associated with skin inflammation, it is crucial that you react quickly at the first sign of any adverse symptoms and have your pet examined by a vet as soon as possible.

Skin inflammation is an uncomfortable and painful symptom associated with a number of different diseases. Protect your pet's health by keeping a watchful eye out for any signs of inflammation.