How to Diagnose, Treat and Cure Dog Skin Problems
Dogs are lovely companions to have around your home. They are fun to play with and very affectionate creatures when handled with proper care. Dogs like humans can also be peeved by various skin distresses. Basic skin problems dogs suffer from fall into allergies either nutritional or environmental, infections either contagious or non-contagious, and neurogenic which is a more serious skin problem among dogs.
Skin allergies can occur in dogs of all ages but are most common in young pups usually in the age group of one to three years old. Most common areas to show the first signs of an allergy are the dog’s paws, ears and stomach. These regions turn red with an itchy sensation causing your pet dog to lick constantly for relief. Allergens may either be substances found in their food, environmental, indoor dust mites, or detergents and house cleaning products. A proper diagnosis through various tests and examinations should be done to find the exact source and eliminate it. A proper diet, regular baths with medicated shampoos and a course of antihistamines will help treat and improve your dog’s allergic skin condition.
Skin infections can be categorized into contagious and non-contagious. Common contagious dog skin disorders are sarcoptic mange and ringworm. Mange is caused by a small parasitic mite characterized by itching, redness of skin, and hair loss. In more severe cases the skin can become scabbed with cracks and oozing. You dog should be thoroughly examined by a vet with skin scrapings or biopsy done to identify the type of mite causing this condition and rule out any other underlying illness. A course of antibiotics accompanied by applications of skin lotions, medicated dips, and shampoos should help control this skin problem in dogs. A more natural treatment will involve the use of garlic, neem, lemongrass, or niaouli as all are popular for their antiseptic, skin healing properties, and also work as strong immune stimulants. Demodex mange on the other hand is not contagious and a course of immune stimulants, vitamin supplements and anti-oxidants is sufficient to keep this form of skin problem under control.
Ringworm is another skin infection affecting dogs that is fungal and contagious in nature. Ringworm is not caused by a worm but by a group of microscopic fungal organisms which invade the dead outer layers of skin, fur, and claws. This infection your dog may acquire from either an infected pet dog or from exposure to rodents or infected soil. The common symptom is circular patches of hair loss with or without redness and itching. Culturing a sample of hair and skin from infected areas along with microscopic examinations will help in proper diagnosis of this skin disorder. Clipping your pet dog’s coat may be done to improve the effectiveness of treatments carried out by a vet. Lime sulfur dips along with anti-fungal drugs in the common mode of treatment for this skin problem in dogs. Fresh dandelion, rosemary or marigold herbal preparations may help in fighting your dog’s ringworm condition.
Neurogenic dermatitis is most often caused by the dog himself. Your dog will develop an urge to lick a specific spot maybe due to a small nick or cut present there. This persistent licking and chewing will lead to permanent skin and coat damage with scarring. Most common signs are hair missing from his sides, limbs, or around his neck from constant biting and licking. A lot of laboratory work, blood tests, and skin sampling will need to be carried out to reach a final diagnosis. However, this is more often a psychological problem caused either due to sheer boredom or separation anxiety. Finding a solution for these will often help in curing this skin condition in pet dogs.
One most common skin problem known to exist in dogs is dandruff. Doggie dandruff is very similar in appearance to human dandruff and caused by dead skin cells formed at a rapid rate. The solution to this problem is frequent baths with lukewarm water and medicated shampoos and dips. Oatmeal pet soaps may help relieve flaking by moisturizing their skin. A regular oil rinse spray will help lock in moisture and lubricate your dog’s skin in dry weather conditions.
It is recommended to feed dogs a healthy nutritious diet to boost their immune system. This will help their body build a resistance to skin infections. This along with proper grooming and hygiene maintenance would be an ideal way to preserve your dog’s optimal health than resorting to prescription drugs which most often paves way for various side effects.
Linda Kajda – Author of Dog Skin Solutions Ebook
Download Tested & Proven Step by Step Blueprint to cure any skin disease in dogs.