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7 Common Dog Skin Problems (And How to Treat Them)

The harsh weather conditions are the main culprit behind your dog’s skin problems. If it’s too hot or cold, this can make your dog’s skin dry and could lead to irritation and allergies. Aside from that, the drastic weather changes could wreak havoc on your beloved pet’s skin.

Seeing your pet suffering from skin problems can be devastating. What’s even worse is the fact that this condition is difficult for the vet to diagnose. There are a hundred different kinds of skin disorders for pets and they happen because of a wide variety of reasons.

As a pet owner, it would help if you educate yourself a bit about the most common skin problems that your dog can suffer from.

Dermatitis
Environmental dermatitis is basically your pet’s reaction against the external environmental factors. Usually, this could happen as a result of the factors in the environment that your dog interacts with, such as the dirt, plants, grasses, bugs, etc. There’s also the problem of water that could lead to a more severe allergic reaction, also known as the hot spot.

If your pooch keeps on licking a certain part of its body, which may include chewing the hair, this could make them susceptible to moist dermatitis.

Therefore, the moment you see your pet licking and chewing its skin, take the dog immediately to the vet. It’s also recommended that you supplement the diet of your dog with Omega Fatty Acids.

Ticks & Fleas
Fleas and ticks will irritate your pet’s skin by biting it and sucking off their blood. The saliva of the flea gets into the body and triggers an allergic response that will irritate the skin of your pet, making it scratch it profusely.

If your dog is suffering from a severe allergy due to the presence of fleas and ticks, it will experience symptoms of inflamed red skin. You’ll also notice your dog scratching excessively, and that may also include chewing its fur just to relieve the feeling of itchiness. In the most extreme conditions, your pet’s fur could fall out in patches.

Food Allergies
Excessive itching that involves the feet, face, anus, and ears, are all signs of possible food allergies. Dogs could suffer from food allergies depending on the kind of protein that they eat, whether its eggs, beef, dairy, or chicken. But the allergy may also be triggered by other foods, such as vegetables and wheat.

Just like humans that have intolerances on certain foods, pets also need to undergo an elimination process for 8 to 12 weeks to determine any cases of food allergies.

Your pet’s vet will guide you step by step throughout the process of treatment. It’s important that you avoid introducing your pet to any food that might be allergic during the process of elimination.

Folliculitis
Folliculitis is another common skin problem on dogs, which is a result of the inflamed hair follicles. This will usually occur if your dog is suffering from another skin problem like allergy or mange since the hair follicles will be infected by underlying skin conditions.

The folliculitis could occur in the bumps, scabs, and sores of the skin. Your dog’s vet will usually prescribe oral antibiotics, shampoos, and antibacterial ointments to help treat the infection.

Ringworm
Despite its name, ringworm is not a type of worm. Instead, it’s a fungus that’s contagious and could be passed on to some other pets. Ringworms come in the form of circular patches that usually appear on the dog’s paws, head, front legs, and ears.

If your dog has ringworm, the affected area of the skin might appear red, inflamed, and irritated due to constant scratching. It’s important that you take your pet to the vet straight away the moment you spot any signs of ringworm in your pet’s skin. The vet might prescribe some topical treatment to kill the fungus and stop it from spreading to other areas of the body.

Impetigo
Puppies or young dogs are highly susceptible to impetigo, which could also indicate an underlying skin condition. Just like with the other conditions that young dogs suffer from, impetigo requires treatment from the experts. So the moment you suspect that your dog is suffering from this skin condition, make sure that you immediately take it to the vet.

Impetigo lesions could appear as blisters on the pup’s tummy and could eventually scab over and burst. This condition can be treated with antibiotics, and regular washing is recommended. Your vet will also run some tests to diagnose any existing problems.

Yeast Infections
Yeast infection tends to occur in the warm areas of your pet’s body. The yeast might also grow in hard to reach areas, like the groin, ear canal, and in between the toes of your dog.

If your dog has a yeast infection, the affected area will thicken, and you’ll notice your dog scratching excessively and might end up biting the skin. This condition can also cause the skin of your pet to discolor and produce an unpleasant odor. Yeast infections can be treated with washes, topical cream, and tablets.

Final Thoughts
The reasons behind the skin conditions of your pet could vary greatly. Only a vet can diagnose the condition. Don’t ever try to treat it yourself if you don’t know what it is or the condition might just get worse. It is only your pet’s vet that can advise about the proper treatment and offer nutritional recommendations for the particular skin problem that your dog is suffering from.

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