The skin of the dog is a very exposed part of his body. Enveloping the body, it can be reached by external aggressors, but also reflect an internal imbalance. It is indeed not uncommon for certain pathologies to lead to skin reactions. When the dog is scratching, losing his hair, or his skin becomes covered with sebum, pimples or redness and gives off a bad odor, it is important to consult the veterinarian quickly. Some serious illnesses can manifest themselves in this way. Let’s find out about the main skin diseases that can affect dogs.
What are the main dog skin diseases?
Skin diseases are numerous in dogs. Here are the most common.
The dog may have atopic dermatitis, which is a skin disease caused by an allergic reaction. In this case, the pooch may develop various skin symptoms, including redness, pimples, and festering patches. The animal cannot help scratching and biting itself, which causes sores, hair loss and secondary infections.
These skin disorders of allergic origin can appear on certain parts of the animal’s body or on its entire body. These can be various forms of allergies:
- Food allergies : Dogs can suffer from allergies when they come into contact with certain foods and develop skin problems in reaction. Fish, certain meats, cow’s milk, certain grains, eggs and many more can trigger various allergic symptoms.
- Parasitic allergies : Fleas can cause allergic reactions in dogs. It is more exactly their saliva which, during the bite, causes hypersensitivity and inflammation.
- Environmental allergies : Dogs are just as sensitive to certain allergens as humans and cats. Some doggies develop allergies to pollen, dust, certain cleaning or hygiene products, etc.
The gale is a disease caused by a mite and which has the characteristic of being a zoonosis, that is to say that it can be transmitted to humans. This disease spreads very quickly among dogs who live in groups in shelters, farms or kennels, as well as in doggies who frequently go out for walks in forests and woods.
The doggie affected by scabies suffers from very severe itching which causes it to scratch until it bleeds. The disease can spread to the whole body or be localized mainly around the ears and the hearing aid.
This bacterial skin disease is caused by an imbalance that causes bacteria that are normally present on the dog’s epidermis to penetrate its skin and flesh. They then cause severe itching, scabs and purulent pimples.
The dog can develop skin cancers of genetic or viral origin or even due to prolonged exposure to harmful products, in particular phytosanitary products. The dog’s body then produces excess cells, which causes skin tumors to form. The mastocytoma is notably the most frequently encountered in dogs.
Diseases that cause skin disorders
The dog can contract other diseases which are not of cutaneous origin, but which can cause the development of symptoms on the skin.
- Hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing’s disease : this disease linked to the dysregulation of the pituitary gland or to a tumor of the adrenal glands tends to cause a first phase of symptoms in the skin. The dog loses its hair, these being brittle, its skin becomes thinner and lets appear the blood vessels, it gives off a strong odor and can present buttons.
- Hypothyroidism : this endocrine disease linked to a reduction in the production of thyroid hormones results in skin disorders. The dog exhibits hyperpigmentation, excessive sebum production, thicker and less supple skin, hair loss and localized skin infections.
- A tumor of the testicles : in uncastrated male dogs, too much secretion of sex hormones can cause tumors to form. Some signs are visible on the skin, with hair loss, excessive secretion of sebum and the formation of blackheads.
What are the signs to watch out for?
As we have seen, a dog with a skin disease can show several types of symptoms. Here are the ones you will need to watch out for:
- itching (the animal is scratching repeatedly and abnormally, sometimes to the point of losing its hair),
- skin lesions (scabs, pimples, pustules, red patches, dandruff, etc.),
- growths on the skin,
- a bad odor in the epidermis,
- parasites in the coat.
If you notice one or more of these signs, it is best to see the vet. He can prescribe an appropriate treatment according to his diagnosis. Of course, he may need to perform additional tests and analyzes to identify the allergy or the disease involved.
Either way, never overlook a skin problem, as it can hide serious or even fatal illness. Better to act quickly to start treatment as soon as possible and avoid complications.
Regular brushing and appropriate care are an opportunity to maintain your dog’s coat and skin, but also to detect the slightest suspicious sign. Better to prevent as soon as possible for the well-being of your little companion. Finally, always make sure to provide your pooch with quality food, to carry out the necessary annual vaccination booster shots and to regularly administer antiparasitics.