Dog skin conditions are a common occurrence with our canine friends. The good news is that these are generally non-life threatening (albeit extremely uncomfortable and painful at times) and can usually be managed fairly easily.
Dog Skin Conditions – Allergies
The most common source of skin dog skin conditions is the dreaded allergy. Canine allergies are a lot like their human counterpart – extremely annoying. The dog tends to go into a scratching party and unfortunately in some cases, will invite other dogs with him because of transference.
This is especially true for flea allergies. Some people think that unless a whole army of fleas invade the dog, the dog is safe. This is not true at all. It only takes a single flea to trigger the dog’s allergic reaction. The allergen is actually the saliva the flea produces to clot the blood and when that happens, the poor dog manifests allergic symptoms.
Environmental allergens like dust, molds, trees, weeds, and pollens can also affect dog allergies. Sometimes a certain food ingredient is the cause of this. You know you have an allergic dog if he is incessantly scratching and biting himself. Because of this self-mutilation, the dog will have bald spots all over his body and if this continues, will develop into secondary skin infections.
Dog Skin Conditions Not Caused By Allergies
Aside from allergies, dogs can also contract fungal infections that cause ugly skin problems. The most common of these fungal problems is ringworm infestation. Ringworms are found in dirt and soil so it is a high probability for dogs that are always outdoors to get contaminated. The dog will have red, crescent shaped welts mostly on his head and legs.
Unfortunately ringworm can affect humans as well, particularly children as they spend a lot of time playing rough with their pets and they have weaker immune systems to fight off infections. If your dog shows symptoms of ringworm infestation, shampoo him with a medicated product specially formulated for this problem. You can use gloves when you bathe your dog, or if not, just make sure that you wash and soap your hands thoroughly after handling the dog.
There are also instances that a dog’s skin changes because of hormonal reasons. A defect in the canine’s adrenal, pituary and thyroid glands cause hair loss all over his body so if your dog has unexplained balding, you need to take him to the vet to have him examined right away.
Improving Dog Skin Conditions
Your dog’s skin conditions are unfortunate because it is unsightly and can be very painful. The good thing is that there are products out in the market that can treat these skin problems effectively and safely. Look for specially formulated shampoos with natural ingredients like Aloe Vera and oatmeal to avoid drying your dog’s skin. Remember to groom your dog regularly to check for hot spots, fleas and infections so you can treat it immediately before it becomes even worse.