Itching to solve your
dog skin problems?

Dog skin problems can be very frustrating. Are the itching and scratching driving you and your dog nuts? What about the licking and biting? Why is it happening? What can you do if you have a dog with skin problems?

Canine skin problems can be brought about by many factors and can affect all breeds - including the Coton de Tulear. White the Coton isn't necessarily prone to problem skin, no dog breed is immune. Unfortunately, this is a subject I know way too much about because my dog has suffered with allergies for several years.

As responsible pet owners, we should all know the signs, and most importantly, the causes and prevention methods to avoid these skin problems from happening. All we ever want is for our canine companions to be happy, healthy, and comfortable, right?

itchy do

Yes, most dogs scratch at one time or another, but sometimes, too much scratching can be a symptom of a skin disorder. Continuous licking and biting can also be a sign of dog skin problems. It’s a good idea to always check your pet’s skin. Keep an eye out for irregularities like red bumps or open sores, balding patches and flaky skin.

If you see any of these symptoms it’s advisable to visit the veterinarian for a checkup as soon as possible.

Common Causes of Canine Skin Problems:

  • Parasites: This is the most common cause of dog skin problems. Ticks, mites and fleas can be a nightmare; they bite into the dog’s skin which in turn causes itching or even red bumps to appear. If your dog starts scratching due to a flea or tick bite, he can then develop sores or infections as a result. Mange is another skin problem resulting from parasites - it’s a disorder caused my mites. In extreme cases, the dog can actually die from severe infection.

  • Allergies: Dogs, like us humans, also have allergies which can be caused by all kinds of different allergens. Environmental dog skin allergies are the most common. For example, some dogs might have allergic reactions to pollen. This is called an inhalant allergy. Strong odors like detergent or cleaning products for the house can also irritate your dog’s sensitive nose. Dust or mold spores will cause a reaction if they come in contact with the dog’s skin. These are called contact allergens. Dogs can also be allergic to types of food. The most common foods known to trigger dog food allergies are beef, chicken, eggs, corn, wheat and soy.

  • Seasonal conditions Different seasons throughout the year can also trigger dog skin problems. During hot seasons, summer spots are common. This happens when the animal’s fur gets wet and remains damp. Warm and damp fur is the ideal environment for bacteria to grow. If bacteria gets trapped in the fur, hot spots or sores can form.

The same hot and humid season is also the perfect climate for ringworm. If you see a bald patch with a scaly center, this might be a ringworm infection. This is not only dangerous to a dog’s health, but ringworm can also be transmitted to humans creating even more complications.

On the other hand, some dogs may get dry and flaky skin in cold dry weather during the winter. Dry and flaky skin will also cause your dog to itch.

HELP! How to get relief for dog skin problems

Now with every problem there is always a solution and the same applies for canine skin conditions. For example, for parasitic skin problems, there are antibiotics that can be prescribed by a veterinarian. Dosages and drugs depend on the dog’s size and breed. Remember, as with humans, it’s never a good idea to self-medicate. Be sure to visit a professional that has dealt with dogs with skin problems. If you are looking for a more natural, drug-free solution, you may want to learn more about homeopathy for pets.

Special sensitive skin and allergy shampoos can also be given to get rid of the pesky mites, ticks, and fleas that can harm your pet. Special combs and tick-picking devices can also be purchased to manually remove these parasites. Creams and ointments can be used to treat sores and itchy bumps. If your dog is suffering from dry flaky skin, you can buy a humidifier or supplements to help keep moisture in his/her coat.

If you notice allergic reactions to certain foods then it’s wise to stay away from these food products. Food trials and elimination diets will help you determine the right foods for your dog. This requires a great deal of patience since you have to experiment with different foods one at a time and then analyze your dog's reaction.

Work with your veterinarian to find the best solution for your dog.

Whether you’re a long time dog lover or a first time pet owner, I’m sure the amount of love and affection you have for your dog is great and unfathomable. With various dog skin problems that occur, it’s always safer to be in the know and avoid situations that can have an effect on your pet’s skin.

Although trying to diagnose and solve these skin problems can be frustrating at times, it’s all worth it in the end to have a happy, healthy, itch-free pet.

Read my story about Dog skin allergies here.

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