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  • Franco Baldeón

Common skin problems in your dog

The skin of our pets is the largest and most exposed organ to damage as it is the first barrier of protection against external factors. Every dog's skin is different, but in general its color should be pink or black, depending on the typical pigmentation of the breed or its individual genetic history. It should be free of scabs, red or black spots and should not itch.


Skin-related problems are among the leading causes of visits to veterinarians. However, many of the problems are totally controllable and preventable. Today we'll give you some tips to take care of your pet's skin and we will talk about the main problems and their causes, so stick around until the end.




The most common signs that suggest a skin problem in your pet are: sores, bumps, dry skin, redness, dandruff and loss of fur; if your dog shows any of these symptoms, it is best to take him to the veterinarian and take the necessary measures.


This is why it is necessary to check your pet frequently so every time you pet him check that his skin and coat do not present any negative change, this way you can prevent allergies or infections. Even though we called them “common” they can be very uncomfortable and upsetting for your pet and in some cases a long-term treatment can be needed. That’s why we need to be alert to prevent it.



SKIN PARASITES


Fleas and mites are parasites that cause allergies or infections in your pet's skin. They are very common, but it is necessary to exterminate them. If your dog is infested with fleas, avoid shampoos with chemicals or the use of drugs such as ivermectin, which is commonly used to treat many diseases caused by parasites in canines and cats. But some breeds such as Collies, German Sherpers or other white-feet breeds can suffer neurotoxicity as a side effect, so this antiparasitic should only be administered under careful medical supervision. It is always best to consult with your veterinarian to purchase the appropriate medications.


SKIN ALLERGIES IN DOGS


If you see your dog scratching it could be a sign that they are exposed to a material that causes the reaction. There are various factors that can cause an allergic dermatitis in your dog’s skin; they can be allergic to dust, moulds, pollens and some soaps or shampoos can have chemicals that affect your dog’s skin too. Environmental allergies can cause itchiness on face, chest, feet and stomach which is triggered when your dog have been in contact with the allergen. Just like us humans, dogs can be allergic to food and itchiness will increase on the face, ears, feet and anus. Your pet could develop a food allergy from the type of protein consumed, such as beef, chicken, eggs or even vegetables. The vet will advise you how to get rid of it and normally it includes a process of elimination from 8 to 12 weeks to rule out any causes.




SKIN ALLERGIES IN DOGS


Seborrhea is a common disease that affects the skin of dogs in areas such as the torso, legs and face. This type of condition in many cases is genetic, but when a constant dandruff develops, it can be the result of an allergy caused by chemical products or hormonal abnormalities. Seborrhea can be treated with medicated shampoos, recommended by your veterinarian once the cause has been determined.



Seborrhea in dogs can be:

  • Dry seborrhea: the scales produced are grayish white and easy to remove from the hair.

  • Oily seborrhea: in this case the scales are yellow or brown and remain adhered to the coat and skin. It is greasy to the touch and the dog smells bad. If the ears are affected, ceruminous otitis develops.

  • Seborrheic dermatitis: to speak of dermatitis implies the existence of an inflammation of the dermis, which in this case will accompany the appearance of scales. There is excess oil which can clog the hair follicles. If they become infected, folliculitis occurs.


Dandruff

Some dogs are inclined to suffer from dry skin, particularly in winter. Sometimes they look like small white flakes. At other times they look like scales that may be on the skin or on the hair of the animal. It can also be caused by an underlying infection, so it is necessary to take your dog to the veterinarian to diagnose the problem. Simple cases of dandruff in dogs can be treated with shampoos, moisturizers and good sources of protein in their diets.



Ringworm

Dermatophytosis popularly known as ringworm is a skin infection caused by fungi. This disease is contagious although it is in general more common in cats. There are scabs and scales of a yellowish color and in addition, we will notice a rather peculiar odor coming from the skin of our dog. Ringworm in dogs becomes visible 2 to 4 weeks after infection and the circular lesions are accompanied by alopecia. A topical treatment is usually carried out on the whole body of the animal by applying the ointment or lotion administered by the veterinarian. It is also important to increase our pet's defenses to avoid contagion or severe infection.




Mange

Sarcoptic or demodectic mange is other commons parasitic skin diseases in dogs. As in allergic dermatitis, these scabies incite irritations that cause the dog to scratch and lick desperately to the point of losing hair, presenting redness, pain and even ulcers and pustules. Although it is not fatal, it is urgent that a dog with mange goes to the veterinarian as soon as possible.


These are some of the many infections that your dog can present, being also the less serious ones. However, you should not neglect the health of your pet's skin in any case, no matter how common, as it can lead to other more severe infections. The danger of mange and ringworm also lies in the fact that it can be transmitted to humans!




Tips for protecting your pet's skin and coat

  • The health of your pet's skin and coat begins with a good diet. A diet appropriate to its breed will help it maintain a healthy skin, so the best recommendation is to consult your veterinarian about any special needs your dog's breed may have. Their food should be free of corn, wheat, food-preserving additives and other chemicals that can affect not only the health of their skin but their entire body.

  • Regular internal and external deworming is good to keep your dog free of infestations such as fleas and ticks. Of course these should be administered by a specialist to avoid overdose or any side-effects damage. If your dog has already had fleas or ticks, ask your veterinarian if you should have your dog's blood tested to see if these parasites have had an impact on your pet's health.


  • Learn about the characteristics of your pet's coat and get thorough advice on what is best for their care. Many owners want their pet's coat to be silky, but some dogs naturally have wire-textured coats, so trying to change it can hurt them in the long run.


  • Brushing them every day or three days a week, if their coat is short, helps to remove dirt that can cause infections.



Having a pet is a responsibility and our job is to try to give them the best quality of life, so always keep in mind these recommendations, but above all the most important: never fail to consult with pet professionals. Self-medicating or overlooking signs that our dog is being affected by something can lead us to put his wellbeing and even his life in danger.

There are many advantages in taking your furry friends to a professional groomer because with the experience of professionals you can detect ailments in advance, receive advice about how to maintain your pet at home between groomings, and also improve their dental health and general hygiene. The groomer uses specific products and tools for use with animals, and through the correct handling of these tools achieve impeccable and highly professional results.

In our dog grooming salon we offer you an optimal service to contribute to the health of your dog's skin!













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