10 Most Common Skin Problems in Dogs

While no dog’s skin is perfect, canine skin problems are common and can be pretty distressing for the dog and owner alike. In many cases, the problem can be avoided by regularly checking for irritation or infection.

dog-skin-problems

Skin problems in dogs are very common, and there is a wide variety of issues dogs may present with. While some problems are easily treatable, some can be very serious and require immediate attention.

In some cases, owners may not even realize their dog is suffering from an issue due to the dog’s ability to mask symptoms. If left untreated can lead to other serious problem. Hence, you need to bring your dog to the vet for treatment at first sight of the problem.

Some of the most common dog skin problems are:

1. Dry Skin

Dry skin is one of the most common skin problems in dogs. It is often caused by a dietary deficiency or the low humidity in the dog’s natural environment.

This problem is characterized by rough, flaky skin and excessive shedding. Dogs with this skin condition are also prone to infections because the dry skin provides a place for bacteria to grow.

Dogs can get dry skin just like people. Dry skin is more of an issue for dogs with short hair, such as Poodles or Maltese. The skin on dogs with short hair is more exposed and more vulnerable to the elements.

Dogs that have short hair are also more likely to have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is the result of allergies, not dry skin. Allergies cause an immune system reaction to a particular substance, resulting in red, inflamed, and itchy skin.

Because allergies are so common in dogs, it is important to recognize the symptoms of an allergic reaction, so you can take steps to remedy the problem.

Dogs with sensitive skin and dogs with dry skin are two common problems facing dog owners today. Dry skin is a common problem in most dogs and is characterized by rough, flaky, and itchy skin.

The problem can also lead to secondary bacterial and yeast infections. Dogs with sensitive skin are also affected by dry and flaky skin. Some of the commonly used treatments for dogs with dry skin are medicated shampoos and cortisone-based creams.

2. Allergies

It is one of the most common skin problems in dogs. It is estimated that approximately 20% of all dogs have at least some allergies. Allergies are caused by an immune system response to something the dog is exposed to in his environment. 

The most common allergies in dogs are contact allergies that result from contact with an allergen and food allergies that result from eating an allergen. Contact allergies manifest as itchy bumps on the skin.

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Some of the more common allergens that cause contact allergies in dogs are house dust mites, pollen, grass and mold spores, and insect bites.

Food allergies can cause diarrhea as well as itchy bumps and rashes on the skin. Some common food allergens for dogs are dairy products, wheat, soy, and beef.

The first step towards finding the right dog allergy medicine is to nail down the cause. It’s important to make sure you can properly identify the allergy, which can be broken down into four categories: flea allergy, food allergy, contact allergy, and inhalant allergy. Talk to your vet to get guided about your dog’s skin problem.

3. Mange

Mange is one of the most common skin problems in dogs. It can be caused by various bacterial and parasitic infections, including sarcoptic mange, demodectic mange, and scabies.

Mange can be transmitted to dogs through close contact with other dogs or by contact with infected wildlife such as foxes, rats, and raccoons. Mange is highly contagious and can spread quickly through a dog population. 

Mange is a skin disease of dogs very common that is found in dogs of all ages and both sexes and is caused by contact with a parasitic mite or insects.

There are two kinds of mange that affect dogs, demodectic mange and sarcoptic mange. While treatment of mange is available, prevention is the key to keeping your dog healthy and happy.

4. Lick Granulomas

Lick granulomas are one of the most common skin problems in dogs. It is a tumor-like growth that develops on the skin as a result of licking.

Lick granulomas can develop on any part of the body but are most common on the legs, ears, and belly. In serious cases, they can occur inside the mouth on the tongue or inner cheek.

The problem often starts with a minor bite wound on their paws, legs, or body, and dogs will lick these wounds until the skin around them becomes inflamed and raw.

If left untreated, lick granulomas can become quite serious, leading to bacterial infections, excessive hair loss, and even permanent injuries to your dog’s nervous system.

Treatment varies depending on the exact cause of the lick granuloma. Still, it usually involves changing the dog’s environment to reduce the likelihood of licking and allow the lick granulomas to heal.

5. Malassezia (Yeast) Infections 

Malassezia (yeast) infections is a type of fungus that thrives on the natural oils that are produced by the dog’s skin. It’s a yeast that can cause skin and ear infections and is one of the most common skin problems in dogs.

It thrives in moisture and produces an oily substance as a byproduct of its growth. In a dog’s skin, the oily substance irritates the skin. The irritation causes the skin to become itchy and annoyed. Without treatment, the skin infection can worsen and result in general discomfort.

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This infection commonly occurs in dogs and cats due to a suppressed immune system and can be treated with the same products you would use to treat a yeast infection in humans.

6. Cushing’s Disease

A dog with Cushing’s disease (also called hyperadrenocorticism) has an excess of cortisol, a steroid hormone released by the adrenal gland. Cushing’s disease is caused by a tumor, which is located in the pituitary gland.

The tumor causes the pituitary gland to produce too much of a substance called adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH). ACTH is what tells the adrenal gland to make cortisol. This excess of cortisol is then released into the dog’s bloodstream.

Cushing’s disease is treated with medications that suppress the production of cortisol in the body. These drugs are called glucocorticoid receptor antagonists (also known as GCRA’s), and they include mitotane (Lysodren), ketoconazole (Nizoral), mifepristone (RU486), and trilostane (Modrenal). These drugs decrease the effects of cortisol on the body and inhibit the body’s production of cortisol.

7. Hotspots 

Hotspots, also known as moist dermatitis, are among the most common skin problems that affect dogs. It is a bacterial infection caused by Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, a bacteria present on most dogs’ skin.

This type of bacteria is not usually dangerous, but it can enter the wound and cause an infection when the skin is injured.

The infection of a hotspot can be superficial, or it can be deeper. If it is superficial, the skin is dry and flaky. There is also a crusty layer of skin on top of the wound that needs to be removed.

If your dog has hotspots, you may be looking for homeopathic treatment. The condition, characterized by skin redness and irritation, can be caused by several factors: allergies to fleas, food, or other environmental allergens. Because no one treatment works best for all dogs, homeopathic treatment is an option worth considering.

8. Ringworm 

First, what is ringworm? Ringworm is a generic name for a skin infection caused by some types of fungi. Ringworm is usually very common in dogs.

If you have a dog, you should know that any dog can get ringworm, not only the dogs which are not taken care of properly. Ringworm is a common skin disease amongst dogs as it is highly contagious.

It is caused by a fungus known as Dermatophytosis. This fungus develops in moist and humid areas and is generally found in the feet, ears, neck, groin, and tail.

The treatment for ringworm depends on several factors. The severity of the case also plays a role in the intervention of choice.

To identify ringworm, a veterinarian has several options. Ringworm will respond to anti-fungal topical treatments. If the issue is severe or the immune system is compromised, oral medications will be used.

9. Impetigo

Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection. It usually appears on dogs’ faces, ears, and paws and is often associated with a herpes virus infection. Impetigo is one of the most common skin problems in dogs.

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It is defined as an acute contagious disease of the skin and mucous membranes caused by bacteria. It is usually characterized by vesicles and pustules that are red or yellowish-green in color.

The infection occurs most often on the face and front legs but may spread to other parts of the body. Impetigo is associated with staphylococcal bacteria, though different types of bacteria can cause impetigo. 

The symptoms of impetigo in dogs are similar to those seen in humans who have the disease. Once the bacteria have entered the skin, the immune system responds by sending white blood cells to the infected area. An animal that has impetigo will be lethargic and may have a fever.

If your pet is developing impetigo, it is important to take him or her to a veterinarian immediately to help avoid spreading the infection to other animals.

Impetigo and other superficial bacterial infections are easily treated with topical antibiotics, such as Neosporin.

10. Hypothyroidism 

Hypothyroidism is a common condition in older dogs, particularly those that are spayed or neutered. It is a hormonal disease that occurs when the thyroid gland no longer produces adequate thyroid hormones. These hormones aid in regulating the body’s metabolism, so when they are not produced, the dog’s metabolism slows down. 

Most affected dogs are middle-aged female dogs. When the body’s metabolism slows down, it reduces the dog’s energy level and causes a decrease in appetite. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include a general listlessness, a slow heart rate, weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, and constipation. Hypothyroidism is one of the most common skin problems in dogs and can be successfully treated with medication.

Conclusion

Keeping your dog’s skin healthy is important, not just for appearances but for overall health too. Healthy skin is smooth, clean, and free of infections and rashes.

Skin can still be healthy even if it is slightly scarred or has flea bites, but problems arise when the skin is severely damaged and scarred or when allergies or infection are present. While dogs can’t get skin cancer, similar issues like moist dermatitis can develop on their skin.

Skin problems are one of the most common dog health issues that affect both young and old dogs. It can be not very pleasant and disfiguring for your dog. It can also be quite worrying for a dog owner, especially if it is a family pet and not just a guard dog.

The first thing you should do is talk to your veterinarian about skin conditions affecting your dog. He or she will examine your dog and ask you about your dog’s usual diet, outdoor activities, and the frequency of bathing.

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