Common Dog Skin Conditions

by Melissa Simmonds

Dog skin conditions are common enough occurrences that beleaguer the poor animal and owner alike. The good thing is that they are frequently more annoying than fatal. However, it is still a discomfort that our dogs can do without. Some of these skin conditions are avoidable and easily treatable as long as you have correctly determined what it is.

Parasitic skin diseases, as the name implies, is generally caused by parasites. They usually congregate in sandy and grassy areas and will hop on to their host whenever given the opportunity. Ear mice, lice and ticks latch on to the dog and irritate the dog. He goes on to scratch relentlessly until his skin opens, which then becomes a breeding ground for further infections.

Fungal skin infections can be determined through red circular welts found on the dog’s skin. The ringworm is typically found in soil so the canine is exposed to this particular infection often. The affected areas are usually the head and legs and when it is not treated early enough, will spread to the other parts of the body as well.

Humans can also contract ringworms so you must take care that you have your pet regularly checked for this particular skin disorder. Specially formulated shampoos and medications should be applied immediately. The person who administers the medication should wash his hands thoroughly afterwards to avoid the spreading ringworm infections.

Hormonal canine skin diseases are caused by inherited abnormalities in the thyroid glands, adrenal glands, pituitary glands, testicles and ovaries. The dog with this condition will manifest hair loss throughout his body. It is harder to diagnose and blood tests must be undertaken.

Bacterial infections are another canine skin condition that looks like an itchy and yellow pus—similar to human acne. Usually, these bacteria are developed because of the dog’s relentless scratching and chewing on his own skin. There are antibiotic shampoos that can help eradicate this problem.

Allergic skin infections are another common disease our pets have to deal with. Dog skin allergies can be contracted through unfavorable food substances, insect bites or even inhaled substances.  When allergic reactions set in, the dog will bite, chew and scratch the area and further infect it. This type of condition can be contracted by dogs of any age and breed, and will manifest in all areas of the canine’s body.

Ask the vet on how to best manage dog skin allergies. The vet may prescribe some antihistamines and corticosteroids to alleviate the discomfort so the dog can stop self-mutilation. Be careful though that these drugs are not taken for too long as it may damage the dog’s internal systems in the long run. Look for natural products that can address this particular condition safely.

Whatever dog skin conditions that your pet might be suffering from – there are ways and means to make sure that he can be properly treated. It is important that you correctly diagnose his condition to obtain the appropriate treatment. Visit the vet regularly to hinder the progress of any canine sicknesses.

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