Many skin conditions afflict dogs, from simple to more complicated conditions.
Common dog skin conditions include bacterial skin infections, environmental allergies, and parasite allergies. Dog skin conditions occur in dogs of all ages, with most cases occurring in dogs with an age range of one to seven years old.
Treatment is necessary because many dog skin conditions can progress to cause several other health problems if they aren’t properly treated. Therefore, it’s essential to spot the signs that your dog may be suffering from a skin condition and seek treatment as soon as possible.
How do you tell if your dog is having a bad skin day? Here are some of the most common symptoms of infected skin in dogs:
- Redness and inflammation
- Painful sores
- Skin lesions (open wounds)
- Excessive itching or scratching
- Blackheads or pimples on the skin
- Hot spots (red, inflamed areas that often ooze)
Other signs that suggest possible skin issues can be Dry Skin, Rashes, Lumps and Bumps, Dandruff, and Hair Loss.
The following are the most common skin allergies and conditions dogs might have:
Food allergies may be the most common cause of skin problems in dogs. Food allergies can cause many different symptoms depending on which type of food your dog is allergic to. Food allergies are diagnosed with a blood test.
Environmental allergies are caused by either an allergy to something that your dog has been exposed to or an allergy to something they have ingested (such as food). Environmental allergies can be seasonal or year-round. Environmental allergies are not easily diagnosed but may be determined through a blood test.
Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles. This can be caused by many different things, including bacterial infection (like Pyoderma in dogs), ringworm, and mange mites. Folliculitis is characterized by pustules or papules (small pimples), eventually breaking down into sores or scabs. The sores may ooze pus if they become infected.
A typical yeast infection is an overgrown natural fungus found on a dog’s skin and in its digestive tract. There are two types, primary and secondary. Primary affects the skin, and secondary affects the skin and ears. Symptoms include reddish-brown discharge with a strong odor and scabs on the areas of your dog’s skin where there is hair loss.
Primary yeast infections affect the ears (fungal ear infection), feet, groin, armpits, face, tailbone, tail, and genitals. Secondary yeast infections typically cause inflammation of the ear flap with redness, scaling, and thickening of the ear inside lining that may ooze when scratched and smell bad.
Mange is caused by mites burrowing into your pup’s skin, causing mange lesions that are often intensely itchy for your pet. It causes patchy hair loss on various parts of your dog’s body like the chest, abdomen, belly, or hindquarters.
It is usually found on the face or ears and is often mistaken for a skin tumor because of its raised and crusty appearance. Impetigo usually appears as red spots that develop into pus-filled blisters that break open and drain. Sometimes these sores get confused with other skin conditions and are diagnosed as warts or cancerous tumors.
Scabies is caused by parasitic mites that burrow into your dog’s skin and lay eggs, which itch the dog and cause hair loss. The symptoms include small scaly patches on the skin, often found near their elbows and armpits. Your vet will scrape a sample of dead skin cells from the patches to confirm the diagnosis. You can treat this with an insecticide such as permethrin, which comes in both liquid and powder form.
Acne in dogs is caused by a buildup of keratin in hair follicles, making your dog break out into small pimples or blackheads around their face, muzzle, neck, and chest areas. These can be easily treated with topical ointments, or even dabbing some peanut butter on it can help relieve the symptoms until it clears up on its own.
Any dog skin problem requires a complete examination based on its severity. The vet can diagnose and prescribe the correct treatment for the skin condition. And if your dog is showing any of the symptoms mentioned above, visit the vet at the earliest of skin problems discussed.