Like people, dogs suffer from a range of ailments that require attention and care. While skin problems in dogs are sometimes caused by neglect they are also often difficult to prevent, and in some cases the cause may remain unknown until skin irritation develops. Pet owners should be aware of a variety of culprits that cause skin problems in dogs in order to be best prepared to deal with this issue.
Sometimes dog skin conditions or infections can be caused by the poor living conditions of a dog. A lack of cleanliness will cause bacterial and yeast infections. If he is left outside, for example, there are various factors in the outdoors that could spark infection. Constant exposure to dirt and fecal matter will cause skin problems in dogs. Bacterial infections manifest themselves as small bumps on the skin.
Skin problems in dogs need to be addressed in order to keep your pet happy and healthy. Most skin conditions cause irritation which results in constant scratching and leads to distress. In severe cases it can even result in premature death.
What Causes Skin Problems In Dogs?
A dog’s skin problem may be caused by something the dog has eaten, something that has come in contact with their skin or a genetic skin condition the dog has inherited.
There are 5 categories of skin problems in dogs:
Common dog infections include bacterial, fungal or yeast.
Allergic Skin Disorders
One of the most commonly over looked causes of skin problems in dogs is an allergic reaction to something in the food they are eating. Some commercially made dog foods contain minerals and dyes that can cause an allergic reaction, or even be very harmful to your dog’s body system.
External parasites known as Ectoparasites include mites, fleas and ticks. These parasites can penetrate the skin barrier, leaving the area susceptible to bacterial infections.
Is characterized by a dog excessively licking and chewing an area of their skin. Common causes include boredom, separation anxiety disorder, confinement or frustration.
There are many things in your home that could be irritating your dogs skin condition. Did you know that chemicals in your carpets, on your dogs collar and those on your lawn or garden maybe making your dog sick?
Are Skin Problems In Dogs Contagious?
There are both contagious and non contagious skin problems in dogs. Contagious infections include parasitic, bacterial, fungal and viral skin diseases. Mites, lice and some forms of mange are also contagious.
What Is The Best Shampoo For Skin Problems In Dogs?
The best shampoo for dogs prone to skin problems is a natural product which contains oatmeal and aloe. Oatmeal keeps the coat healthy while aloe is a natural skin treatment for both humans and animals.
You should never use a human shampoo on a dog. Dogs and humans have different skin types. Human shampoo is designed to removed oils and a dog need their natural oils to keep their coat and skin healthy. It’s best to use a dog shampoo that contains oatmeal and is formulated specifically for dogs.
Natural Treatments For Skin Problems In Dogs
These natural remedies can help to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Food allergies frequently manifest themselves as skin problems in dogs. Taking your dog off all foods that contain food color, grains and corn may completely relieve the skin problem. Feeding your dog hypoallergenic food may also solve the problem and is a common dog allergies treatment.
Baking soda and water applied directly to the skin of a dog can help to provide relief from itching.
Apple cider vinegar applied 2 or 3 times per week to the skin fold areas of the neck, groin and armpits can elevate yeast and fungus infections in your dog.
Two natural treatments for dry itchy or irritated skin in dogs are Milk of Magnesia and coconut oil. Milk of Magnesia can be applied directly to the skin using a cotton ball or cotton pad. Coconut oil can be applied directly to the effected skin area. Allow the oil to soak into the skin for 4-6 hours.
Dog Skin Conditions
Oftentimes this condition is an indication that the dog has a compromised immune system and is unable to fight off the attack. In this scenario, the root problem must be addressed. If your dog suffers from allergies, excessive stress, or some other illness these primary problems must be dealt with first. When your pooch’s immune system returns to normal, it will be easy for him to kick the infection.
Yeast infections appear as a greasy brown paste, most often found in the ears. Symptoms include a very bad odor and excessive itching and chewing of infected areas. If your dog struggles with yeast infections, it is important that you keep him clean at all times. Regularly bathe him and be sure that his environment, preferably indoors, is kept clean and regularly disinfected.
Dog skin allergies
Dog Skin Allergies – Dog skin allergies is the primary cause of skin problems in dogs. When your dog has skin allergies, he or she will constantly chew or scratch at the same spot on their body. This will then result in hot spots, red skin and hair loss.
In order for you to determine the cause of your dog’s skin allergies, you will need to add and remove things from the environment and diet, and watch what items your dog will have a reaction to. Add more Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids to your dog’s diet.
These include seasonal and food allergies. Like people, dogs can be susceptible to allergens that come and go with the changes of season. Pollen, mold, certain plants, and even dust may trigger an immune response that results in skin problems.
If you notice your dog scratching more during a certain time of year when these allergens are abundant, you should take him to the vet for confirmation. He can prescribe your pooch a simple antihistamine that will great help to relieve skin irritations. A change in diet might also help the problem. Several well-known dog food brands carry special food for dogs with skin allergies.
Food allergies can be very dangerous in dogs because they are so hard to detect. Although they are rare, they can become very serious when left untreated. Keep an eye on your dog in the hour or so after he eats and observe any unusual behavior like chewing the feet, which is a symptom of food allergies. Purchasing food made from all natural ingredients is a good way to avert skin problems in dogs caused by diet.
Parasites – Generally, dogs are outside on a regular basis; as such, it is easy for them to pick up parasites. The top three parasites that are responsible for causing dog skin problems are mites, ticks and fleas. Fleas are quite difficult to deal with, as if they are not treated properly, your dog will most likely develop anemia and tapeworms.
One of the most effective ways to treat parasites is by having your dog take medication regularly, especially during April to September, which is the flea season.
Skin problems in dogs can also affect your pet only during specific parts of the year. For instance, if your dog has an allergic reaction to pollen, then he or she will not show any symptoms during the winter season; however, as soon as spring returns, then you will notice him or her scratching incessantly. Mold and ragweed are also common seasonal allergens.
In trying to treat your dog’s skin problems, you should use hypoallergenic shampoos and anti-inflammatory agents. Remember that when you shampoo your dog, you should use cold water to assist in soothing the skin; hot or warm water will only cause the condition to get worse.
What Are The Different Types Of Skin Problems In Dogs?
Your dog’s skin and coat says a lot about its overall condition and health. Skin problems in dogs are very common, and factors such as hormonal stimuli, environmental stimuli and insects are the primary causes of dogs’ skin problems.
Coat and Skin – A dog’s skin is nothing like that of a human. While the human skin is tough and is made up of sweat glands and blood vessels, dog skin tends to be thinner and more sensitive and only has sweat glands in the feet pads.
Additionally, a dog’s skin aids in retaining water in various tissues, which is vital for protecting against foreign bacteria and bodies, providing insulation for cold and hot temperatures and producing vitamins.
Fleas – The most common of the skin problems in dogs are fleas. Fleas are considered to be a type of parasite, and often times appear in small white and black specs of the coat of dogs. When a dogs are bitten by fleas, they will experience mild itching, which is generally found in areas such as the back, hindquarters and tail. In severe cases where the condition is untreated, dogs may either die or develop anemia.
Flea spray, dusting, collar and shampoo can be used to treat fleas. You would also need to treat the dog’s bedding.
Ticks – Ticks are flat, small parasites that will attach themselves to dogs and continually feed on areas such as between the toes, in the head and around the neck. All types of ticks have the ability to transfer various types of diseases, and may result in tick paralysis.
You have to kill the tick first, in order to start treating skin problems in dogs. Use a Q-tip to apply ether, fingernail polish or alcohol to the tick, then you should grab the tick in the closest area of the skin and pull it until it is free from the dog. If the infestation is in a small area, then this method is effective; however, if the area is larger then you need to try the dusting method.
Hypothyroidism – Hypothyroidism can be defined as a thyroid gland deficiency, where there is not enough thyroid hormone produced. This is one of the skin problems in dogs that results in the hair becoming course and falling out, and the coat of the dog becoming thin.
Additionally, the skin will become tough, dark colored and thick. This skin condition is also known to have an impact on the energy level of your dog, resulting in he or she lacking in mental sharpness, developing droopy eyelids and becoming sluggish.
How to Escape Dog Skin Problems?
There is nothing more drastic and terrible than watching as your pet suffers. Dog skin problems can appear despite the season and other health conditions of your pet. Some of them are often neglected by the dog keepers. However some symptoms can be significant signs of more serious disease developing in the body of your pet.
How to indicate some skin problems in dogs?
You should be attentive and follow the behavior of your dog. If you notice your pet is constantly scratching and biting its fur, if you notice some bold spots and excessive fur fall off you should carefully watch through the dog’s skin. There should not be red spots, bruises and clotted blood on the skin surface. There are some breeds of dogs to indicate the dog skin problems are easy as they are bold (it means that their bodies are not covered with fur coat).
However those breeds with excessive fur are difficult to diagnose some skin disorders. To find out something is wrong with the dog’s skin you should pay attention to those body parts which are not covered with fur (inner side of the paws, stomach and inguinal region).
Why it is important to examine the skin of your dog?
Dog skin problems are indicating the general health condition of the dog. These are meaningful to perform the inner problems the dog is suffering from. As other symptoms may be absent some skin problems in dogs are indicative of serious diseases. That is why timely indication of the skin disorders can help to rescue the pet from suffering.
Another reason why you should be attentive to dog skin problems is that most of them can be contagious to humans. Some of the diseases as fungal skin infections can be transmitted to people and be human health challenging.
If you pet suffers from such infections you should limit its contacting with other animals and people to escape contamination of other pets and humans.
Dog skin problems can be of different nature. Some of these are immune-mediated and can be determined by the immune system deficiency or over activity. Other dog skin problems are determined by outer physical and environmental factors (flees, impetigo, ticks, fungi and others harmful agents a pet can catch from the environment).
Mind that you should not try to treat dog skin problems on your own as these may be just symptoms of more serious disorders in the pet body. You should consult with the veterinarian to choose the proper treatment. Most skin problems in dogs needs complex treatments requiring skin and fur applications and manipulations as well as injections and oral administrated pills.
Some skin infections need a repeated treatment as the infection can not be totally fought in the body. Together with infection treatment you should take care of the pet immune system strengthening.
Be careful of your pet health as some dog skin problems may challenge your well being. There is nothing happier in your life watching as you pet enjoys its clear skin and fur!