Does Your Dog Have Skin Disease?

Does Your Dog Have Skin Disease?

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One of the best things in life is to see the joy your dog has when he looks at you. It is just as sad when your best-friend is suffering from some illness and looks at you with sad eyes, unable to vocalize what he is going through. However, this does not mean that you cannot detect what has happened to him. Dogs can be affected by different types of diseases. Here are four things to look out for which will indicate if your dog is having skin disease:

  1. Hair-fall:Needless to say, this is one symptom that every dog owner knows is caused by a skin disease. However, it is better to know more about it so that you will be better able to take the right decisions at the right time. The hair fall can be a result of either a systematic disorder, or a symptom as a secondary disorder. Either ways, it is one of the saddest things to see your pooch losing patches of hair and going bald. If your best-friend is balding, seek medical help immediately as it can get very difficult to diagnose the problem. The causes vary- sometimes it can be due to parasites, and at others it could be due to the hormonal glands.
  2. Itchy skin:This is a very common problem in dogs. However, this does not mean it can be taken easily. If you notice your dog persistently scratching, any time of the day you should be seeing a vet. Though itching does not seem like a big problem, persistent itching leads to wounds, gashes, hair loss and lesions in the skin. One of the most common causes of itching can be flea allergy.
  3. Dull-coats:Has the shine of your dogโ€™s coat of fur been replaced with a dull-looking shade? If yes, then that is another sign of skin disease. This could possibly be caused by a deficit of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Try supplementing these fatty acids in your dog's diet and look for a change. It is always advisable to do this under the guidance of a vet. Try making these supplements a part of your dog's diet.
  4. Red-spots:If you find sores or red spots on your dog's skin, find out if it is a secondary symptom caused by itching. Red spots are usually symptoms of allergies and bacterial infections. In case your pooch has sores that are sticky, take him to the vet without delay as it such things are know to worsen with time.Some symptoms can overlap with others. Observe your dog carefully to observe any patterns. Determine the effects of different foods, environments and medications on your dogs and keep a careful not of these patterns. After all, if your best-friend is happy, so are you.

Common Dog Skin Issues

Skin diseases are common among dogs and are often caused by some underlying problem like bacteria, parasites (internal like worms or external like fleas), fungi, or hormonal problems. Other causes might include poisons or toxins, like household cleaners or pesticides, or tumors, which can be more common in older dogs. Learn about some common dog skin issues and how to treat them here.

Signs of Skin Diseases

Yellow pustules and crusty skin can be a sign of a bacterial infection. Hair loss and ulcerations might also be seen. Most often such problems are seen on the chin, behind the elbows, on the stomach or between the dogโ€™s toes.

Ringworm, a common skin infection that can affect animals and people, shows signs of circular patches of missing hair. The infection is more common on a dogโ€™s legs and head, but it can spread over the rest of their body.

A skin allergy may be causing the dogโ€™s discomfort, and signs of a flea allergy might include constant biting of an area, flea โ€œdirtโ€ (little black spots of blood), or red and inflamed skin. Contact skin allergies, when the dog is allergic to something their body comes in contact with, would be on the areas of contact, for example on the dogโ€™s feet or belly.

Mange is another skin disease that can cause crusting and hair loss. It normally affects the areas around the dogโ€™s ears, belly, and chest.

Ear mites can cause a dog to scratch their ears so intently that they lose the hair behind them.

Hormonal imbalances can cause hair loss, but the signs can be somewhat different than other skin diseases; with hormonal problems, the hair loss is usually uniform around the body. 


Treatment for skin problems typically begins with getting a correct diagnosis. Your veterinarian will observe the signs and run tests to determine the cause of your dogโ€™s discomfort. Tests might include skin scrapings and blood work.

Once the underlying cause of the skin problem is determined, your dog can be treated. Treatment might include dips or specially medicated shampoos (for fleas or mange), antibiotics like Clavamox for dogs and cats (for infections); Tresaderm; or Cephalexin; antihistamines and steroids (for allergies), antifungals (for ringworm), removal of the offending allergen (like a cleaning solution), or a change in diet (for food allergies, for example, to corn or beef).

Determining the source of the dogโ€™s problem may take some time, but if you are observant of your dogโ€™s health and diligent in treating the issue, what might be a chronic condition for your dog can be controlled successfully.

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This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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