Do you know that even the healthiest and well-pampered dogs can also suffer from skin diseases? This is because there are many factors that may trigger skin problems. Poor quality dog foods, medicines, allergies, bacteria, infections, ticks, fleas, climate, boredom, and lowered immune system can all trigger skin diseases.
Here are the 5 most common skin diseases in dogs and how to treat them.
- Ticks, Fleas, and insect bites. Aside from the diseases that they may carry, their bites can also trigger allergic reactions such as itching and inflammation. There are a few options for the treatment of ticks and fleas. Chewable tablets, injections, and topical drops work by killing the ticks and fleas as well as their eggs. On the other hand, hives and other insect bites can be treated by giving antihistamine.
- Atopic Dermatitis. Atopic Dermatitis is the result of inhaling or coming into contact with an allergen. Examples of these allergens are pollen, grass, mold, and certain plants. Symptoms may include itching, watery eyes, and skin inflammation. The treatment plan involves steroids, antihistamines, and oatmeal shampoos, but it is still best to consult the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.
- Food and Drug Allergies. The top food allergens are beef, wheat, chicken, soy, dairy, lamb, and eggs. The only way to determine which food is causing your dog allergies is through gradual elimination. Eliminate one ingredient, observe, and move on to another. Medicines, especially antibiotics, could also trigger allergic reactions. Symptoms include itching, skin problems, and face inflammation. Avoidance is the only way to prevent food and drug allergies.
- Hot spots. A dog with a hot spot develops a sudden and severe itching that it will obsessively lick, scratch, and bite. Dogs tend to pull out their fur to the point where the area will end up bald and infected. If left untreated, a hotspot will become larger in just a few hours. The only way to treat hotspots is to put an Elizabethan collar or e-collar around your dog’s neck to prevent your dog from doing further damage. The lesion should be cleaned and disinfected before a topical ointment for hotspots is applied.
- Mange. There are two types of mange that affect dogs: Demodectic Mange and Sarcoptic Mange. Both types of mange can result in dry, crusted, and flaky skin, as well as fur loss. Demodectic mange is the milder kind and is caused by an overgrowth of Demodex mites. Sarcoptic Mange or scabies, on the other hand, is caused by scabies mites that burrow deep into the skin to lay their eggs where the young mites will eventually feed on the dog’s skin. Mange is caused by direct contact with another infected animal and can even be passed on to humans. It is best to seek the vet’s advice on which kind of treatment would be best. There are topical and injectable treatments, as well as medicated baths.
Although skin diseases are not life-threatening, they may create a negative impact on your dog’s health. The loss of fur would leave them unprotected against the heat and cold, causing more health issues. Constant itching and scratching could result in stress, lack of rest, and lack of sleep. The earlier it is treated, the less hassle it will be for your dog.