Dry, dull coat. Incessant scratching and chewing. Wanting constant attention. Sound familiar? Understanding that there are over 160 different skin disorders of dogs, some of which create chronic difficulties, is key in helping figure out the right treatment for your pup. The first step is determining exactly what type of skin problem your dog possesses. Once you understand the root cause, you can start helping your dog get back the pep back in his step!
There are 4 major skin problems you can look for before figuring out the best regime.
Pruritus is the official term for itchy skin. In fact, dog itching is the primary complaint associated with up to 40% of all vet visits for a skin issue. Symptoms include:
Constant irritation such as these can consume a dog's life, keeping both your pet and you frustrated. In addition to feeling miserable, itchy dogs may develop secondary skin infections and hair loss from the trauma of teeth and nails. To avoid the next step of hair loss, try a Chlorihexidine Spray or Chlorihexidine Shampoo. If your pup is incessantly itching his paws or tail, the spray will help eliminate itching in a few mere days. If your dog stays up at night chewing or scratching all over, chlorihexidine shampoo will give relief after just one bath. Not only will the shampoo deodorize and cleanse but it eliminates and prevents growth of disease causing micro-organizms and bacteria.
Hair loss in dogs is heartbreaking. It could be something that is easily remedied, such as the calming of an itch, but it may also be more severe. To properly determine the cause of hair loss a veterinary exam with diagnostics such as a skin scraping should be done to examine the skin cells under a microscope. Careful physical examination and history can give essential clues to help a veterinarian decide if your dog's hair loss is occurring secondary to a systemic disorder.
Other common causes of pruritus (itchy skin) are external parasites such as mitesand fleas (in non-allergic dogs), and primary bacterial infections. Hot spots, or moist dermatitis, are often seen in the dog and can spread very quickly. If you spot any red, sticky sores on your dog, try Chlorihexidine Wipes. These gentle antiseptic pads have a mild fragrance and heal hot spots in just a few days. This veterinarian recommended pad eliminates yeast, bacteria, acne, fungus, pyoderma and ringworm but most of all, let's your pup relax and enjoy life!
Allergies are a very common cause of itchy skin, and can be further divided into three major categories: fleas, environment, and food.
Fleas: Fleas cause an irritation to dogs as well as humans. Pups with a true flea allergy, however, can be hypersensitive to the irritant. Fleas can be a challenge to manage, requiring treatment of all household pets as well as the environment, but the good news is once the fleas are under control, so is the itching!
Environment: Environmental allergy, or atopy, is another big category of doggy allergies. Just like humans, dogs can be very susceptible to pollen, grasses, mold and airborne allergens. Some allergies may be managed with medication or an allergy shot during certain seasons.
Food: Although more rare than the other two allergies, food can cause a skin disease. The only way to diagnose a food allergy is through a strict elimination diet. Your veterinarian’s guidance is essential in sorting through a pet’s history for clues leading to a diagnosis of a food allergy. It will take time but once the specific allergen is identified, your pup can be transitioned to a dog food that does not contain the trigger.