You definitely would have come across a dog that had crusty, scaly or dry skin. If you haven’t, you are lucky enough to have neighbors or friends that are responsible enough to take proper care of their pets. Well, dogs too have skin issues and some of them can be really pestering to the pet and the owners as well. They can appear as lesions, rashes, scabs, hotspots and may also form pustules, papules and scales when overlooked. Most of the pets that have skin allergies and infections can be often seen licking their body restlessly. Their body even sheds a large number of furs which often leads to bald patches on their skin. Usually, these infections are highly contagious and can be very annoying if not treated on time. Hence, it is very important to treat them without delay and take measures for their prevention. Some of the most common skin infections in dogs are listed below.
Most Common Skin Infections in Dogs
Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
This kind of skin allergy emerges in dogs or cats that are allergic to the saliva of the fleas. When the flea bites such pets their body reacts to the components of the flea saliva, developing scabs/ hotspots that are itchy. This itching causes the pet to bite or chew their fur which leads to bald patches in the coat.
Treatment – Though this allergy is very annoying, it can be successfully treated by applying topical solutions meant for flea treatments. Some antiseptic shampoos for fleas and ticks are also highly beneficial in preventing this allergy.
Acral Lick Dermatitis
Acral Lick Dermatitis or Lick Granuloma is a condition that develops in dogs that lick themselves excessively. This chronic licking occurs in the front part of the legs near the carpus and metacarpus. Continuous licking of these areas causes inflammation in the skin and makes it hard and patchy. Some underlying reasons for this incessant licking could be the presence of fleas, fungus, bacteria, trauma, joint pain or neurological disorder. Boredom and separation anxiety can also encourage the dog to lick himself off.
Treatment – Avert bitter solution can help prevent the pet from licking the skin or wounds. However, it is still necessary to treat the underlying causes of the issue to cure it permanently. Be it due to a fungal or a bacterial infection, boredom or anxiety, the presence of flea or ticks or arthritis, a dog has to be checked by professionals and treated for the issues annoying him for long-term solutions.
Mange is caused by parasitic mites and is generally of two types – demodectic mange and sarcoptic mange. These mites burrow inside the dog’s skin which causes excessive itching due to an allergic reaction. As dogs scratch themselves continuously, they pick lots of furs which leads to baldness in patches. When the condition is severe, a dog can also suffer from complete hair loss.
Treatment – Drugs containing selamectin or ivermectin are often prescribed by the vet in these cases. Revolution is one of the treatments recommended for pets suffering from this disease.
Ringworms are ring-like, round lesions on the skin that happen due to fungal infection. These round patches can appear on the face, ears, paws and legs of the dog. This disease is highly contagious and can infect other pets and the owners as well.
Treatments – Antifungal topical treatments and antifungal shampoos treat these ring-like patches successfully.
Dandruff is a secondary symptom of Cushing’s disease or hypothyroidism. It can be seen as white dirt which chips off from the skin and sticks to the fur. Dandruff also occurs when the skin is dry and dehydrated. Over washing of the fur with chemical shampoos can be one of the reasons.
Treatment – To get permanent relief from this skin issue, the dog must be first treated for any underlying disease. Apart from that, there are shampoos and conditioners that are formulated to remove dandruff. They maintain the ph balance of the skin and are enriched with nutrients and compounds that provide luster and shine to the hair and make them super soft.