Five Common Skin Issues in Dogs and When to Worry
Dogs itch and scratch all the time, and usually it’s nothing to worry about. However, it could be a sign of something more serious that requires treatment. Take a look at our list of the five most common skin issues our pups could be experiencing and how you can help them.
If you notice circular, crusty bald patches on your dog, they may have Ringworm. Ringworm is not actually caused by worms but is a fungal infection. Typically, Ringworm is found on your dog’s head or hind legs, but it can also spread to the rest of the body.
The condition is highly contagious, so it is important to get your dog treated as soon as possible. Treatments can range from medical shampoos to oral medicines depending on the severity of the condition.
Dandruff can be a common symptom of many skin issues and likely causes are a dry or cold climate, grooming and diet. The tell-tale signs of dandruff are dry and flaky or oily and flaky skin and scratching, hair loss and balding in certain areas.
The quality of a dog’s diet can be seen in their coat and dogs require a diet rich in protein and should be getting enough omega 3 and fatty acids as well as vitamins and minerals. Dandruff can also be a sign of something more serious such as parasite or a hormonal imbalance. You should seek veterinary advice if your dog’s dandruff is severe.
Yeast infections are commonly found around the ears and toes meaning floppy eared dogs are most at risk. Yeast organisms infect when the conditions are dark, warm and moist. Symptoms include itchy skin, redness, hair loss and thickening of the skin. Cuts to the skin are usually accompanied by an offensive smell.
Treatments include shampoos and creams, oral medication or a combination of the two depending on the severity of the condition.
Just like humans, dogs can also be allergic to things such as shampoo, medicine, pollen, bug bites and food. Allergies can manifest themselves in the form of skin irritation and for many dogs, removing the allergen will resolve the problem. One of the most common skins conditions in dogs is Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) which is the result of an allergic reaction to a flea. Symptoms include a red, bumpy, inflamed area.
The condition cannot be cured but removing fleas completely is an effective prevention method.
Mange is a skin issue that causes bald, scaly patches on your dog and typically affects areas around the ears, belly and chest, although it can appear anywhere. The condition occurs when an excess of mites is present, or your dog encounters an invasive species of mite. There are two types of Mange; Demodectic, that occurs when your dog’s immune system can’t keep the mites under control, and Sarcoptic which is caused by burrowing mites that lay eggs in the skin.
If you suspect this condition, take your dog to the vet where they will confirm the problem with a physical exam. Treatment includes antiparasitic medications as well as medication to ease itching, inflammation and secondary skin conditions.
If you’re ever unsure about your pups health condition, always consult a vet and if you have any skin care tips to share, be sure to get in touch over on our Facebook Page.