Dog Skin Care

Skin problems are one of the most common reasons that people bring their pets to see a Veterinarian. Problems can range from: infections, trauma, allergies, parasites, etc. They can all present in very different ways. Having an examination and a full history is the first step to finding out the best way to treat your pet.

What are the causes, symptoms & diagnosis of bacterial skin infections?

Causes can include: bite wounds, trauma, underlying allergies. Symptoms: itchiness, red bumps on the skin, red bumps with white centers, crustiness of the skin and odor.

Diagnosis: Can be based on the exam findings by a doctor, cytology and sometimes culture and sensitivity testing needs to be done (to identify the exact bacteria and appropriate antibiotic to treat with)

What are the causes, symptoms and treatment for ringworms?

Causes of ringworm (fungal infection) : Some breeds are genetically predisposed to ‘ringworm’ infections, or sometimes, the pet may have an underlying disease that suppresses the immune system (metabolic, cancer, some drugs).

Symptoms can include: Patchy, circular areas of alopecia (hair loss), scaling, poor hair coat. These can have a variable degree of itchiness and can sometimes be contagious to humans.

Treatment: Topical / systemic and /or environmental therapies can all be used in different combinations to treat ‘ringworm’ infections.

What are the causes and treatment for allergic skin diseases?

Cause: There is a genetic problem with the immune system that causes inflamed and pruritic (itchy) skin in response to environmental allergens (pollens, dust, etc.) and/or food.

Treatment: Treatment needs to be individualized and will really depend on the severity and complexity of the allergies but can include supplements to improve skin health and barrier, diet, immuno-suppressive (immune-modulatory) medications, antibiotics, antifungals, bathing, anti-parasitic medications, immunotherapy.

What are the causes and treatment for parasitic skin diseases?

Causes: Fleas, lice, demodex (mange), Scabies, Cheyletiella.

Treatment: Is aimed at identifying the underlying parasite. Some monthly parasite preventatives will treat for these parasites, other times a veterinarian has to prescribe medications to treat.

What are the causes and treatment for hormonal skin diseases?

Causes: A problem with hormone production (excess or insufficient).

Treatment: Aimed at diagnosing (usually blood tests) the underlying hormonal issue and prescribing medication to treat the specific hormonal issue in question to ensure that hormones are at optimal levels.


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