Skin Problems in Dogs Explained
Dog skins problems can be caused by a variety of microorganisms either as a response to another condition or a direct cause of the problem itself. Most skin problems are merely a symptom of another condition. In order to resolve your dog's discomfort, you must treat the underlying cause to completely cure the problem. As there are many forms and reasons behind skin problems in dogs it is important to have a good understanding as to the root cause.
Most bacterial infections are opportunistic ailments that occur when there is a breakdown in the body's defenses due to other illnesses allowing the bacteria an entry point. Although we usually think of cuts and scrapes as an entry point for infection, with dog skin problems, the bacteria tends to build in areas of skin that don't have much exposure to air. This warm, moist environment is a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria to multiply. With the folds of skin rubbing together, combined with the bacteria on the skin, an infection begins and causes open sores or lesions to develop. Depending on the severity of the infection, your veterinarian may administer antibiotics to get the infection under control. In milder cases, a topical antibiotic ointment can be applied while keeping the area clean.
Dry Dog Skin and other Problems Explained Further
So many dog skin problems caused by a fungal infection are usually a result of ringworm. This is more common in younger dogs and is usually noticed by the owner as a hairless patch of skin that has a distinctive crusty appearance. If you suspect your dog has ringworm, your veterinarian can make a definitive diagnosis by performing a fungal culture. Dog skin problems caused by ringworm are treated by clipping the area around the lesion and a special fungicide shampoo used to bath pets and dogs. Ringworm is contagious to humans and other pets and children are particularly susceptible. The affected pet should be kept away from other pets and children until the infection is cured and anyone handling the dog should wash their hands thoroughly afterwards.
Some skin problems on dogs are a direct result of an allergic reaction, or skin allergy, to something in your dog's environment. Allergy to flea bites is one of the leading causes of obsessive licking and chewing on the part of the dog, which creates open sores. These open sores are then susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections. This can be one of the most difficult dog skin problems to treat due to the fact that the dog continues to lick and scratch themselves in earnest, trying to alleviate their discomfort. The only way to prevent future episodes of dog skin problems in those dogs with flea allergies is to maintain a strict flea prevention regimen. Sometimes if the dog is having a severe enough reaction, antihistamines or corticosteroids are given to relieve the allergic reaction so that the skin condition can be successfully treated, to include bumps and mange.
To effectively treat dog skin problems, you must identify the underlying cause. Without knowing why your dog is having a particular reaction, you will find yourself in a never ending cycle of treating these problems.