How To Reduce Pollen Allergies In My 3 Year Old 10 Common Skin Problems For Dogs

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10 Common Skin Problems For Dogs

If your child has a bad rash, she will understand the words “Do not itch”. (If she listens it’s a whole different story!) Unfortunately, that’s not the case with animals. They hurt, they itch, they cry, they scratch, and before they know it the situation in the world gets worse.

Dogs can suffer from a wide range of skin problems, including:

1. Canine atopy: seasonal pollen allergies in dogs 1-5 years old, starting in late summer and fall. Symptoms include itching around the face and paws that can spread to the ears, armpits, elbows and groin. Up to 75 percent of dogs diagnosed with atopy experience recurrent ear infections. Immunotherapy is the most effective treatment, sometimes in collaboration with antihistamine treatment or a dietary supplement of essential fatty acids.

2. Chiggers (aka Trombiculiasis): Common skin parasites found in the central United States that cause itching and severe skin irritation around the legs, head, and abdomen. Chiggers are usually found in high numbers during spring and fall in grassy areas. These mites look red-orange, and although you won’t be able to see them often, you will see a small welt. Treatment involves either a couple of pyrethrin-based dips spaced a few weeks apart, or the application of a topical anti-parasitic drug.

3. Dermatitis: allergic inflammatory skin conditions, including: pyotraumatic dermatitis, which shows up as a red, moist, hairless sore; acral lick dermatitis, which causes a sore that your dog will probably lick all day; contact dermatitis, caused by direct contact with an irritant, such as fertilizer or bleach; and allergic flea dermatitis, caused by a sensitivity to saliva or fleas. Your vet may recommend an oral antibiotic or an injection to treat the dermatitis.

4. Ear mites: small, crab-like parasites that live in dogs’ ear canals. They are very contagious and common in puppies. Although they live on the surface of the skin in the ear, they can spread to the back, neck and tail of the dog. If you notice that your dog excessively shakes its head or scratches around the ears, or if you see dark debris in the ears or notice a bad smell, mites may be to blame. Several over-the-counter medications treat them effectively.

5. Flea allergies: proteins in flea saliva cause severe itching. A single bite can cause a reaction for 5-7 days. Injections to desensitize are not usually effective because it is difficult to collect enough flea saliva to make a serum. Consult your veterinarian for a flea control program that will no longer irritate your dog’s skin.

6. Impetigo: An inflammatory skin condition characterized by superficial blisters that break easily. In younger animals, you will see inflamed white pimples on the stomach. They will pass pus, dry, and then form crusts. You can treat impetigo with daily applications of antiseptic powder, such as BFI.

7. Puppy Strangles (juvenile cellulitis): a skin irritation affecting the face, ears and lymph nodes of puppies less than four months old. Pimples develop and break, and then crusts and small ulcers form. Your puppy may have difficulty eating or swallowing, and may become depressed or develop a fever. Strangles can be treated with antibiotics.

8. Ringworm: a skin disease that has the appearance of a round sore with crust or scab, caused by a fungus. As the disease progresses, you will see more of these lesions. Treatment involves cleaning the infected areas, applying a fungicide regularly, keeping the lesions clean to avoid infection, and maintaining proper hygiene to avoid the spread.

9. Scabies (sarcoptic mange): A condition caused by mites that results in hair loss, itching and lesions. The mites burrow into the surface of the dogs skin, often in the abdomen, chest, legs and ears, storing their eggs in a trail behind them. You will only notice some scabs and maybe some bald patches. The most effective treatment involves the application of topical solutions, such as Salamectin.

10. Ticks: large parasites that attach to the skin. They are commonly found under the ear and where the hair is thin. Ticks can transmit a variety of diseases, including tick paralysis, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Now that you know some common skin problems that affect dogs you will be better equipped to identify them.

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