Is your furry friend suffering from skin allergies?
Similar to humans, dogs also get skin-related issues due to changes in weather conditions, allergies, and fungal infections. It is vital to take all the necessary steps to assure the healthy skin of your furry buddy.
In this blog, you will get to know about different dog skin allergies and all the essential tips & remedies to identify and cure various skin conditions in dogs.
Most common symptoms of skin conditions in the dogs
One of the most common symptoms that are easily noticeable if a dog is suffering from a skin condition is itching. However, without a proper examination or dog skin diseases diagnosis, it may be difficult to determine exactly what reason is irritating the dog.
It’s quite normal for a dog to itch its skin occasionally by scratching the irritated area with its paws or rubbing the head against an object. They may also lick their paws or other areas of the body to get relief from the irritated skin.
However, if you notice that your pet is itching itself frequently then this prolonged itching can be the sign of something more serious.
Other symptoms that can be a sign of the skin condition include:
• Sore skin
• Dry skin
• Hair Loss
It is important to check your pet regularly to detect any of these symptoms. By observing the problem, owners can provide better information to the vet so that he can make a complete and correct diagnosis of an allergy or skin infection.
A correct diagnosis will further help in providing the best treatment for dog skin allergies and other underlying health conditions.
Types of skin conditions in dogs
Skin issues in dogs can lead to significant discomfort for your pet, starting from itching, redness, to soreness. The skin conditions in dogs can be mild to severe. Many dog skin allergies may require professional treatment for better resolution.
It is important to note that the chances of skin problems in dogs are higher in the warmer seasons. During warmer seasons, seasonal allergies and other allergic symptoms are more likely to happen. Therefore, it is vital to keep an eye on any skin-related issues your pet suffers from. It can be an underlying health condition that if left untreated for a while, can often become complicated and significantly more serious.
Different types of skin conditions in dogs can be:
1) Environmental allergies: If your pet starts itching suddenly, especially on the face, chest, stomach, or feet, it can be a sign of an environmental allergies. Environmental allergy, also known as atopy usually happens when a dog comes in contact with something that leads to irritation and itchy skin. Some of the common allergens for dogs can be dust mites, grass, and pollen.
With the help of a blood test, a vet can easily determine whether the pet has a reaction due to environmental allergy. Environmental allergies are quite difficult to treat. In case of a severe case, the treatment procedure may require tablets, injections, drugs, shampoos, etc to control the allergic reaction symptoms effectively.
2) Food allergies: A frequent itching on the face, ears, feet, and anus can be a sign of a potential dog food allergy. Most of the dogs get food allergies from the type of protein they consume as part of their diet. The diet may include the food items like chicken, beef, eggs, etc. Some dogs can even develop food allergies by consuming wheat or some vegetables.
To detect food intolerance in pets, dogs are usually kept on an elimination diet process for around 8-12 weeks to find out the exact cause of the allergy. A professional vet can suggest all the necessary steps on diet elimination treatment. While carrying out the diet elimination treatment procedure, it is advisable not to feed any suspected allergens to the dogs to ensure the effectiveness of this treatment process.
3) Folliculitis: Folliculitis is a term that refers to the inflammation of one or more hair follicles. In simple words, it is the infection of hair that is usually described as bacterial folliculitis. It is one of the most common types of canine skin infection that often happens when a dog is already suffering from an underlying systemic disease, local trauma, or a specific skin infection like mange or any other allergy.
The symptoms generally involve bumps, soreness, papules (reddish swellings on the skin), hyperpigmentation, epidermal collarettes, superficial erosions, draining tracts, and scabs over the skin.
To treat and relieve such infection, vets usually prescribe oral antibiotics, shampoos, and antibacterial ointments.
4) Yeast infection: Yeast infection usually develops on the warmer areas of a dog’s body. The infection can grow in areas that are difficult to reach such as in between the dog’s toe, ear canal, perineum, and groin. The infection targets moist areas like skin folds.
The infection can irritate the skin, causing dogs to itch and bite the affected area. The skin may become red, scratchy, greasy, or blistering, and there may be hair loss. Yeast infections can also lead to skin discoloration and may lead to an unpleasant smell.
The treatment plan for a yeast infection on a dog generally depends on the area of the yeast infection. To relieve the symptoms of yeast infection and treat the infected area, vets usually recommend a topical cream, tables, and washes.
5) Impetigo: Impetigo is another most common underlying skin condition that often occurs in puppies. A pet with impetigo may show a combination of symptoms like papules (small, red, raised bumps), pustules (small, pus-filled bumps), and epidermal collarettes (circular lesions with crusting around the edges). The body parts that are most likely to get affected by impetigo include the dog’s abdomen and chin.
One can notice an increase in scratching on the affected areas of the skin and some pets may even develop the hair loss problem. If the condition gets severe, the dogs may become depressed and possibly stop eating as well.
To treat the condition, vets usually recommend antibiotics or washes and may also require performing few tests to diagnose the existing issue.
6) Lupus: Lupus is an autoimmune disease in dogs in which their body’s immune system attacks its own cells. The disease often develops around the eyes, nose, and paws. The most common type of lupus in dogs is Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE). The condition sometimes refers as collie nose or nasal solar dermatitis. It generally affects the skin around the nose and face. Another most common type of lupus in dogs is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
As compared to Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a more dangerous condition as it targets almost every part of a pet’s body. Its symptoms may vary depending upon the body parts that are being affected.
If left untreated, lupus can become worse. Therefore, it is vital to seek a vet as soon as possible before the issue gets more serious. The vet may recommend anti-inflammatory/immunosuppressive drugs, additional immunosuppressive drugs, oral steroids, antibiotics, and other treatment options based on the existing condition of the pet.
7) Ringworm: Ringworm is also a popular skin disease in dogs. It is basically a fungus infection that is highly contagious to other animals and humans as well. Dogs suffering from this fungus infection may develop circular, crusty bald patches on their paws, head, ears, or front legs. Their skin may become inflamed or red due to excessive scratching.
Since ringworm is very contagious, it is vital to see a vet straight away if you notice any symptoms of ringworm in dogs. Early detection can help in preventing the spread of this fungal infection to humans or other pets.
Generally, vets recommend a topical treatment after performing a diagnostic test and a physical exam to kill the fungus and prevent it from spreading. He may also ask for a sample of hair or skin cells for a fungal culture or examine infected hair, which is usually taken under a special ultraviolet light known as a Wood’s lamp.
Based on the severity of the case, a treatment plan is made that usually consists of topical therapy, oral medications, and environmental decontamination.
8) Ticks and Fleas: Dogs that spend much of their time outdoors usually suffer from the issue of ticks and fleas. If leaf untreated, ticks and fleas can lead to serious health problems in dogs. These parasites can affect the skin by feeding on the blood and biting over the skin to embed themselves firmly into a pet’s skin and tissue.
Since they penetrate into the bloodstream, ticks can also cause blood-borne illnesses. They can cause an allergic response in the dog’s body and may irritate the skin, causing pets to itch their skin profusely. Some of the most common symptoms in dogs suffering from severe parasite allergy include inflamed and red skin.
If the owner doubts that their pet is suffering from the fleas and ticks, it is advisable to schedule a veterinary appointment immediately. To relieve the symptoms caused by flea and ticks in dogs, vets may recommend topical treatments, oral chewable tablets, and tick collars.
9) Mange: Mange is one of the most severe skin conditions in dogs. It can cause by various species of mites that live on the dog’s hair and skin. Dogs usually suffer from two types of mange: Demodectic mange (caused by Demodex mite) and Sarcoptic mange (caused by Sarcoptes mites).
Demodectic mange’ generally affects younger dogs that are under one year old and the older dogs with other underlying conditions. On the other hand, Sarcoptes mites cause sarcoptic mange in dogs. The condition usually starts developing on the pet’s ears and leads to excessive itching. Some of the most common symptoms of mange include hair loss on the face and legs, severe itching, redness around the affected areas.
Vets generally diagnose mange by taking a sample of the pet’s skin and checking it under the microscope. To treat the condition, vets generally prescribe tablets and shampoos to kill the mite and relieve inflammation and itching.
10) Dandruff: Another most common skin problem in dogs is dandruff. Dandruff in dogs is officially termed as seborrheic dermatitis. Also known as scurff and dry skin condition, dandruff can be a sign of an underlying problem such as skin infection. It is basically the presence of dead skin cells on your dog's coat.
Some of the common conditions that trigger the development of dandruff in dogs can be the winter season and their diet. Dandruff can be treated easily with the help of shampoos.
However, if a dog is showing any symptoms like excessive amounts of dandruff, itchiness, an odor to the skin, red or irritated skin, hair loss, or any signs of discomfort, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with the veterinarian. A vet may also recommend some tests to detect any underlying condition.
So, these are some of the most common skin conditions that can discomfort in your pet, irritate its skin, and may lead to severe diseases. If your pet shows any symptoms related to skin problems, never ignore them. Consult your vet immediately to get the right treatment on time.
Nowadays, there are many apps available online. One can choose the best vet consultation app to make a booking online or arrange an appointment to connect with professionals and get expert advice. Connecting with a professional vet online or personally can help owners to get their pet’s condition diagnosed on time so that they can be provided with the correct treatment.