Dog Skin Conditions: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Dog Skin Conditions

Just like humans, dogs can experience skin conditions which can cause significant discomfort if left untreated. It’s important to spot the signs and symptoms of dog skin conditions early on so that they don’t progress – dealing with the problem quickly will minimise the negative impacts on your pet. Always consult your vet in the first instance for specific advice and recommendations, so that you can make sure your dog gets the right treatment, and that you use the correct products for your dog’s skin. Whether you’re noticing a crusty dog skin condition, inflammation, hair loss, or any other symptoms, we’ll explore what could be wrong with your dog in this article, and look at some of the treatments available for them.

Crusty Dog Skin Conditions

When a dog has a skin condition of some kind, one of the most common symptoms we see is crusty, scabbed or flaky skin. This symptom can be caused by a wide range of health problems, including allergic dermatitis, infections and parasites and is often accompanied by acute itchiness.

Dogs who suffer from itchy, dry and sensitive skin may benefit from Virbac Epi-soothe Shampoo, particularly those that require regular cleansing as the shampoo can be used daily. Enriched with soothing oatmeal and moisturising glycerin, this gentle shampoo can provide relief to dogs with various skin conditions.

Allergic Dermatitis

One such crusty dog skin condition is allergic dermatitis. Your dog could be reacting to any number of things including their food, fleas, pollen, dust mites or grooming products.

Usually contact with allergens causes pruritus (itching), causing the dog to scratch. This then results in scabs and infection where the skin is damaged.

Treatment options include allergen avoidance, dietary changes, medication, or immunotherapy under the guidance of your vet. A medicated shampoo such as Allermyl is an effective way to cleanse and condition your dog’s coat alongside a prescribed treatment from your vet. Allermyl helps to reduce the static attraction of allergens while maintaining the skin’s natural epidermal barrier function and microbial balance.

Skin Infection in Dogs

Skin infections are more likely to take hold when a dog has allergies, as the skin can become damaged. This allows the usually-harmless bacteria and yeasts that normally live on a dog’s skin to proliferate rapidly.

Two of the most common skin infections in dogs are staphylococcal infection (staph infection) and yeast dermatitis.

Another condition known as folliculitis often accompanies a bacterial infection or other skin problem and results in inflamed hair follicles. This can lead to more scabs, bumps and sores, as well as excessive shedding of hair and a dull coat.

Flea Bites and Other Parasites

Fleas, mites, ticks and lice can cause severe skin irritation in dogs, with infestations of these parasites resulting in intense itching, redness, and inflammation.

Regular dog flea treatment is essential to avoiding infestations and subsequent skin problems. Treatment usually involves topical or oral medications that kill fleas and prevent their eggs from hatching. To prevent recurrence, it’s important to remove any fleas that may be living in things like bedding and carpets by washing and vacuuming thoroughly. Read our blog on How to Get Rid of Fleas for more information.

Hot Spots

Localised areas of inflammation or infection are known as hot spots. They can form when a dog licks, scratches or bites a specific area affected by allergies, fleas or infection. This creates a warm and moist environment for bacteria to grow rapidly.

To treat hot spots, hair around the area should be clipped and the area should be cleaned with a chlorhexidine shampoo such as Douxo S3 Pyo Shampoo.

Your vet may also prescribe a topical treatment that combines an antibiotic for the infection and a steroid for the inflammation and itching. You can request a written prescription from the vet and then order your pet medication from Animed to save money.

Hair Loss in Dogs

Hair loss is another common symptom of several skin conditions in dogs, including allergies and infection. It can also be a sign of mange, a skin condition caused by mites burrowing into a dog’s skin.

Stress, poor nutrition and other illnesses can also cause hair loss in dogs, so consult your vet to address the underlying cause for your own pet.

In addition to taking veterinary advice, anti-moulting products such as YuMove’s Skin & Coat Care can help to reduce hair loss by boosting coat growth, soothing itching, and maintaining healthy skin.

Sometimes dogs experience hair loss as a result of itchiness. They may excessively scratch or bite at their fur, even pulling clumps out and resulting in bald spots. Also in the YuMOVE Skin & Coat Care range is the Itching Dog supplement, which contains premium cold-pressed oils that soothe the skin and help prevent the urge to scratch and bite the skin, helping to prevent hair loss as a result of itchiness.

Can Dogs Transfer Skin Conditions to Humans?

In some cases, yes.

Sarcoptic mange (also known as scabies) for example is zoonotic, which means it is transmissible between animals and humans. Scabies is highly contagious to both humans and dogs, so should you notice symptoms (including uncontrollable itching, inflammation and hair loss) take your dog to the vet right away.

Other skin conditions that can pass between dogs and humans include bacterial infections and ringworm.

Wrapping Up

Skin conditions can have a big impact on your dog’s wellbeing, so it’s important to seek veterinary advice as soon as you notice any of the symptoms discussed in this article. A proper diagnosis and treatment plan will ensure that your furry friend stays happy and healthy, and reduce the risk of any zoonotic infections getting passed onto you too.

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