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Skin Conditions in Dogs

If there is one thing all dog owners can contest to, it’s the enormous amount of love they have for their pet, and with love comes worry. Worrying about your dog’s health and overall wellness can allow you to become aware of common problems associated with dogs. Just like humans, dogs have a variety of skin types as well as allergies. We are focusing today on the largest organ—the skin— and what conditions are commonly seen in dogs.

FLEAS/TICKS

When you first think of dogs and skin, you may immediately think of fleas and ticks. While fleas and ticks irritate a dog’s skin, they can also progress to allergies and furthermore, skin conditions. It is important to ensure your dog’s favorite bed and sofa cushion are properly cleaned for fleas and ticks to disrupt the possibility of a relapse.

MANGE

A condition that can occur throughout the year, the mites that cause mange take no vacations. They can even embed themselves in the hair follicles, and are therefore difficult to remove. Mange causes a dog’s hair to fall out creating bald spots and also sores on their skin.

RINGWORM

No actual worms here! A name designated from the circular look of this fungal infection may be misleading. This fungal infection is so nasty that is can even spread to anyone who comes into contact. That means humans, as well as other animals. It is extremely important to seek medical attention when it is noticed in order to prevent the spread of the infection.

SEBORRHEA

Seborrhea Dermatitis causes a dog’s skin to flake while becoming oily and greasy. With the overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands (located in the hair follicle/pore), the affected dog will therefore smell like a wet, dirty, dog. This is because the smell comes from the secretion of oils in their skin. This affliction can either be dry or oily, but most of the time the dog will have combination skin. While Seborrhea is often a secondary condition to allergens, it can also be hereditary. Treatments include proper shampoo and supplements to ensure your dog has healthy skin and coat.

YEAST

Found mostly in the ears, around the anus, and between the toes, yeast lives on the skin of dogs. Yeast, controlled yeast, is necessary for dogs to have. However, when yeast sees an opportunity to grow it will take it. Summertime increases the likelihood of yeast overproduction and with the South Carolina heat, your dog may be at higher risk. Overproduction of yeast will cause itchy, red, irritated skin and can be treated with ointments and medicated shampoos applied to the affected areas.

DANDRUFF

That’s right, just like humans a dog can have dry flaky skin. This can cause a dog discomfort and have them constantly scratch. If your dog is suffering from dandruff, take a look into the possibility of changing their diet to one with elevated levels of omega 3, vitamins, and minerals that support healthy skin and coat.

BACTERIAL INFECTIONS

As a secondhand infection, bacterial infections come along after a dog has been suffering from an allergy caused by fleas, diet, or other environmental factors. A Vet will inform you of what bacteria it is and how to treat it. 

AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS

If your dog’s skin just won’t heal after an affliction, it might be time to consider the possibility of them having an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders cause disease fighting cells to attack their host’s healthy cells instead of the disease cells. To be diagnosed, your dog must see a Vet.

ALLERGIES

Dogs can be allergic to a variety of things just like humans! From food to environmental factors, a dog who has allergies can suffer if their owner does not realize their symptoms are caused by allergens. When it comes to food allergies, a dog will have itchy skin around the nose, face, and anus. A course of treatment will include a dietary change and perhaps supplements given to you by your Vet. 

An allergic reaction from environmental factors include grass, pollen, or dust mites. A dog will itch on its belly, chest, face, ears, and feet if the allergen is in their environment. If your dog is allergic to something in their environment, a Vet will suggest medications, changes, and even a medicated shampoo.

 

Unlike humans, a dog can not tell us what is causing their itching. That is why, as pet owners, we need to keep an eye on our babies and prevent them from any discomfort. Being knowledgeable on the various skin conditions that can afflict your dog is a wonderful first step. Our staff at Dog Tired would love to talk with you about your dog’s needs when it comes to keeping their coat nice and healthy through grooming and bathing. If you are in the West Ashley, Charleston, or John’s Island area, get in touch with us today.

 

Author: Jessica Carder, Creative Consulting 2018

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