Most Common Dog Skin Problems
Most Common Dog Skin Problems
A healthy animal will also have healthy skin. If dog skin problems occur, it generally indicates that the dog has an underlying condition. These conditions can be caused by multiple factors, including infections, pests, and allergies. Stress or metabolic disorders can also create problems. When a pets external appearance noticeably worsens in any way, medical help should be sought. Letting conditions become chronic can cause further damage to the health of a pet. In addition, some untreated conditions are contagious and can infest other animals. Some can even be passed to humans. Most Common Dog Skin Problems
The symptoms of problems are very diverse. Key behaviors such as frantic scratching, frequent licking, or even chewing should not be ignored. Pets might also signal discomfort by rubbing up against furniture or carpets. When these behaviors are recognized, a closer look should be taken at the fur and skin of the animal.
If there are any scabs, scaly patches, bald spots, rashes or lesions, a veterinarian should be notified. Other reasons for concern include redness, blood, pus, swelling, lumps or discoloration. There are many different conditions that can cause these symptoms and they are best detected by a professional.
Pests may be the source of problems. The bites and droppings of fleas can create lingering irritation. Some pets may even be allergic to the saliva in a flea bite, making matters worse. In addition to this, certain flea control methods readily available on the market can be aggravating.
Different infections can plague the skins surface. These include fungal, bacterial or yeast type infections. Fungal infections can include ringworm. Ringworm can result in the presence of scaly patches, baldness and irritation. Ringworm is particularly troublesome as it can be passed to other animals as well as people if left untreated. Bacterial or yeast infections normally occur only after the skin is compromised, further exacerbating the original problem.
Allergies can affect skin as well. These may be aggravated by naturally occurring irritants from the outdoors or allergies to food. Outdoor allergies improve or worsen with the seasons, and depend on the circulating amounts of dust, pollen, grass, or mold. Foods that typically cause reactions contain chicken, beef, soy, corn or wheat based ingredients. Food additives, such as colorings, can also be aggravating.
Problems may also have a behavioral component. A dog living in a very loud environment may experience heightened levels of stress. As a result, it may lick and gnaw at itself. It can also perform the same behaviors simply if it is bored. This is one reason why daily exercise and attention are very important for pets.
Most of these issues are preventable. One method of prevention is using only dog appropriate products on a dog. A hypoallergenic diet ensures that pets receive a nutritious and healthy meal without any artificial or unnecessary ingredients. Dogs should live in a calm, clean and quiet environment to limit stress levels and discourage the proliferation of pests. A veterinarian can provide a series of suggestions on how to further prevent parasite infestation.
About the Author
As Senior.com Director of Sales and Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well. Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor. Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and she was a primary caregiver. Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 104-year-old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor. She is happily married to her husband of 24 years and they have 3 children.View All Articles