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5 Skin Problems That May Trouble Your Dog

  Apr 04, 2019

5 Skin Problems That May Trouble Your Dog

There are a variety of allergens in the environment that cause skin issues and allergic reactions in dogs. Therefore, it is important to stay informed and take proper prevention to protect your canines from these allergens. To enlighten our customers further about the skin troubles that occur in dogs, here is a list of five common ones along with their treatments.  

Atopy (Atopic Dermatitis)

Atopy is caused by hypersensitivity to environmental allergens like pollens, grass, moulds, dust mites and plants. Dogs suffering from atopic dermatitis generally experience constant itching in the armpits, ear, and feet. They are also more likely to suffer from hives, eruptions, lesions and food allergies.


Diagnosis of atopy involves testing of blood and skin which determine the severity of an allergic reaction. A dog may undergo steroid therapy thereafter or is given oral antihistamines to subside the reaction. Medicated pet shampoos can also help in relieving the signs.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)

Flea Allergy Dermatitis occurs in dogs that are sensitive to flea saliva. So, when a flea bites a dog, it also, in turn, transmits its infectious saliva on the skin which causes itching and inflammation at the spot. The bite location at times develops a crust on it and is then known as a hot spot. This hot spot is extremely itching and look like a scab.


Flea treatments like Frontline Plus, Advantix or Bravecto are the ideal products for eliminating fleas and the allergy caused by them. Use of flea sprays and collars can also effectively prevent flea bites in dogs.


Mange is again a common skin problem caused by mites in dogs. Generally, two types of mites - Demodex mites and Scabies mites are the culprit here. While mange caused by scabies mites occurs when a dog comes in contact with wildlife, Demodex mites on the other hand, normally harbor on dog’s fur and ears. They thrive when the dog’s immune system is weak, causing skin allergies and hair loss which then lead to bacterial and other infections in canines. Prevalence of mites for a longer duration also leads to hair loss in dogs.


Mange can be easily treated with Frontline plus or any product that contains ivermectin. Scabies is a highly contagious mite and can cause allergies in other pets as well, therefore, it is important to treat it first off. The same treatment strategy can be used to eliminate Demodex mites as well.

Hot spots

Hot spots or Pyotraumatic Dermatitis are secondary symptoms of skin allergy which develop as a reaction to flea bites, food allergy or contact allergy in pets. These hot spots appear as scabs with crust on the leg, flank, ears and abdomen areas and cause extreme itch. Dogs that are affected by hotspots can exacerbate the symptoms even further by biting and scratching the affected area.


Antihistamines, topical solutions, medicated pet shampoos are a few of the suitable ways to treat hotspots in dogs. Other than that, precautions can be taken to keep the dog away from allergens that may cause hot spots. Following a flea preventative program year round also helps in preventing the development of hot spots in dogs to a great extent.  

Dry Skin

Dry skin is predominantly caused by nutritional deficiencies in dogs. These deficiencies can result due to perpetual illness, food or contact allergies, flea bite allergies. So, basically, all the skin problems and symptoms are interrelated and depend on the health of the pet. Dogs that generally fall sick easily, have functional issues in the body like kidney or liver damage, etc also tend to have dry skin.


Omega fatty acids containing oral treatments are the best for replenishing the skin with its lost nutrition.  There are several joint supplements that also contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and can also be used to treat dry skin as well as joint issues in dogs. Essential 6 is also a good product to restore the hydration and elasticity of the skin, making it soft and supple inside out.

Pet’s overall hygiene and health also play a crucial role in the development of healthy skin and coat. Thus, in order to prevent your dog from getting these skin ailments, it is imperative to keep him groomed and well fed. The healthier his immune system will be, the less will it attract parasites and allergens. In the case of environmental allergies though, it is best to keep the pet indoors. These allergies are generally seasonal so it won’t be that hard to control your pet for a month or two. If the symptoms are severe and the pet seems weak and lethargic, contact the vet for professional assistance without further delay.

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