What every pup parent should know and take action on as soon as possible.
This is what all dog allergies are grouped under. It can be either allergies due to the weather, foods or even bites from parasites like fleas. Things to look for would include a strange odor, loss of hair, red bumps, extreme head shaking, or excessive scratching. Most of the time, a blood or urinalysis test will be done to specify exactly where the allergy came from.
The same way mold, pollen, and certain foods can affect humans, they can also affect your dog. Preventing allergies is not possible. The good news is that when you find out exactly what your dog is allergic to, you can rid his environment of it, and can easily take care of flair ups.
Fleas and Ticks.
Dogs can get fleas from being outdoors, or by coming into contact with other animals that already have fleas. You can spot fleas by looking at your dog’s skin under the fur, or by combing your dog’s hair. They can live for up to a year and produce literally millions of other fleas. The best place to check would be at the base of the tail.
Ticks are also external parasites that feed on your dog’s blood. You can see a tick with the naked eye. If they’ve gorged enough you can sometimes feel them while petting your dog. If you spot a tick on your dog, the best way to remove it is to:
- Grab a pair of tweezers
- Pinch the tick close to your dog’s skin
- Gently pull it straight out.
- Avoid twisting it.
- Put the tick in a jar of alcohol until it dies.
It’s best to dispose of them once they’re dead. Fortunately, most flea preventatives also prevent ticks.
There are multiple bacterial infections in dogs that can be harmful to them and lead to skin disorders.
Folliculitis is an infection that causes sores and bumps on the skin. It often occurs alongside other skin problems such as mange or allergies.
Impetigo is an infection that is most common in puppies. It causes blisters filled with puss. The blisters usually present on the hairless portion of the belly. It’s a rarely serious condition and is easily treated.
It’s kind of strange that what causes ringworm isn’t actually a worm as the name would lead you to believe. Ringworm is actually a fungus that can infect a dog though his hair, skin and nails. A dog may also carry ringworm and not even show any symptoms.
Some symptoms that may appear are bald spots that are red in the middle, or dandruff. To properly diagnose ringworm, a vet will have to examine your dog’s skin or hair with a fungal culture, ultraviolet light, or skin biopsy.
Both male and female dogs are prone to yeast infections. Yeast infections usually present in the ears and paws where the yeast has a warm, dark place to grow. Dogs who have a yeast infection will scratch or lick themselves frequently.
Yeast infections in dogs is simple to diagnose and treat. Your vet may recommend a shampoo that has anti-yeast compounds. For the ears, there are special ear washes and drops. In some cases, your vet may prescribe some oral antifungal medications.
Dry, flaky skin.
Dry and flaky skin can be itchy and irritating. Although it can be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem like an allergy, it’s usually a simple fix. Your dog could have dry skin during winter months or it could be caused by improper diet. This is because your dog may not be getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids in his diet.
There are plenty of treats and foods that have a substantial amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t feel comfortable switching your dog’s food, you can just pick up some treats that have more of the fatty acids your dog needs. You can also opt for a daily supplement.
Acral Lick Granuloma.
It’s also known as acral lick dermatitis, and it’s an irritating skin problem caused by the relentless licking of one spot. Most commonly, it’s the front of a lower leg. Due to the constant licking, the area is not able to heal. The resulting irritation and itchiness leads your dog to keep licking the same spot.
It’s a constant cycle. Treatment is relatively simple. Your vet will explain how to keep your dog from licking the area by means of a yuck-tasting topical spray, or by using an Elizabethan collar so he can’t reach the area.
These also known as acute moist dermatitis. They are small patches that appear red, inflamed, and highly irritated. Hot spots most commonly present on a dog’s head, chest, or hips. They tend to feel warm to the touch. A range of conditions can result in hot spots, such as excessive licking and chewing, allergies, infections, or insect bites. Treatment of the underlying issue is necessary in order to keep the symptom from reappearing.
This is a skin disorder caused by the tiny parasites known as mites.
- Sarcoptic mange, also called canine scabies, spreads quickly among dogs. It is also a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be spread to humans. However, the mites don’t survive very long on people. Symptoms include intense itching, inflamed skin, red sores, and hair loss. The most commonly affected areas are a dog’s legs, ears, and face.
- Demodectic mange tends to cause bald spots, sores, scabbing, as well as red and irritated skin. However, this form of mange is not contagious between dogs or humans.
Treatment varies depending on the type of mange that has been contracted.
Anal Sac Disease
Oh man, those smelly little anal glands. In addition to already-stinky dog poop, your dog also secretes a horribly foul-smelling substance when he does his business. It comes from little anal sacs just inside the anal canal.
When he squats to release his stool, the anal glands empty as well. It’s another territory-marking tactic. If the sacs do not empty normally, they can become impacted and cause your pup some irritation. If your dog is scooting his butt across the carpet, this could be reason.
Additional symptoms include licking and biting the anal area. Fortunately, your vet or even your groomer can manually express the anal glands. In more severe cases, or constantly reoccurring cases, your vet can surgically remove the sacs.
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