Dogs with Problem Skin

by Tracey

Caring for a dog with skin problems requires combined prevention and treatment, a healthy diet and a controlled environment.

Caring for Dogs with Problem Skin Conditions

A relaxed home environment, balanced diet and proper treatments will help prevent the recurrence of skin problems

Many dogs suffer from problem skin conditions that cause burning, itching and "weeping" of the skin, resulting in daily discomfort and the risk of secondary infection. Effective management of skin conditions requires a combination of prevention and treatment to manage the symptoms. Treat the irritation immediately you notice it to soothe the skin and prevent secondary infection. Whether your dog’s skin problems are caused by allergies, parasites or disease, with the correct care the dog may have excellent quality of life, often without prescribed medication.

Dog with flea allergy dermatitis (Image Source Murray Hill Vet Hospital)

Identify the dog’s symptoms and the type of problems it has. Signs of problem skin conditions include inflammation and redness, flaking or scaly areas, dryness, lesions or scabs. Bald patches could be caused by allergies to food, the environment or chemicals, while hot spots are areas of skin where the hair has fallen out as a result of chewing or licking, and swellings or lumps may indicate a case of hives.

Take the dog to your veterinarian to have it checked for diseases or parasites. The hair being eaten away by microscopic mites causes Sarcoptic and demodectic mange, and ringworm or flea infestation may result in dermatitis. A skin scraping taken by a veterinarian can identify this.

Bathe the dog regularly using a soothing, hypoallergenic shampoo. Test the shampoo first on a small area of skin to ensure that it does not irritate the dog. Rinse the dog after each bath in cool water containing one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water, to promote healing and provide anti-bacterial protection for the skin.

Spray the dog with calendula spray and apply calendula ointment to lesions, hot spots or areas with secondary infection. Speak to your veterinarian about antihistamines for the dog to reduce its reaction to allergens, or topical corticosteroid medications if the problem skin conditions persist.

Brush your dog regularly to prevent its hair from becoming matted and to remove excess dog dander and dust. Get rid of any parasites such as fleas and ticks by using parasite prevention tablets that make it impossible for eggs to hatch on the dog’s skin. This will prevent the dog from contracting flea allergy dermatitis.Dog Brushing

Keep your home and the dog’s sleeping quarters clean and free of bacteria. Wash the dog’s bedding weekly in unscented, organic laundry detergent. Vacuum in and around its bed to remove dead skin and hair and parasite eggs.

Provide a calm, relaxed home environment for your dog. Maintain a balanced diet to keep the dog’s skin and coat healthy and avoid the development of problem skin conditions.

Updated: 10/12/2012, Tracey
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Tracey on 01/16/2012

Yes, I've had one myself with flea allergy dermatitis and found that regular bathing with a soothing shampoo helped tremendously.

BrendaReeves on 01/16/2012

I've had dogs will skin allergies and had to treat them with prescription medication.

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