If Your Dog Is Itching His Skin Off, This Dog Dermatitis Article is For You!

This article will help you learn about dog dermatitis and help explain why your dog may be itching uncontrollably.

One of the most common diseases that plague many dogs all over the world is dog dermatitis. This is a general term used to refer to canine skin infections. This condition often makes a dog's skin look patchy, scaly, flaky and utterly unpleasant. Aside from the pitiful appearance, the wound and infections caused by dermatitis are usually painful and smelly. No pet owner would like his or her beloved canine companion to ever experience this fairly widespread disease.

The skin infections your dog may experience can be transient, which is usually short-lived, or chronic, which persists for a long time and can already affect not only the coat of your dog's skin but his overall health as well.

Common causes of dermatitis in dogs
The causes of dog dermatitis vary from minor, such as sunburn or fleabites, to fatal or serious, such as some type of cancer in dogs, or endocrine or metabolic problems. The most common reasons behind dog dermatitis are food sensitivities, allergies, seborrhea, irritating substances, nutritional deficiencies, reactions to toxins or drugs, and infection caused by fungi, bacteria, yeast or parasites. Some breeds may also be more predisposed to certain skin infections.

Some types of canine dermatitis

Canine Atopy
Canine atopy is the most common skin infection in dogs. In fact, figures show that about 15% of all dogs in North America are suffering from this type of dermatitis. An allergic reaction to substances in the environment, such as grass, is the main cause of this disease. Moreover, the genetic makeup and immune system of some dogs also contribute to the development of this type of dermatitis.

Dogs plagued by canine atopy usually experience chronic itching, which makes their skin red, moist and irritated. The face and the legs of the dog are the areas most commonly affected by this type of skin infection. Other symptoms of canine atopy include runny nose and eyes.

Canine Acral Lick Dermatitis
If your pet is continuously licking a specific area of skin on one leg for most part of the day, chances are your dog has canine acral lick dermatitis, also known as lick granuloma. Eventually, the habitual licking at the same spot will give rise to an infected wound.

Contact Dermatitis
Dogs who have direct exposure or contact with some substances, such as bleach, fertilizers, flea collars, carpet cleaners, acids, salt or alkalis, could cause the skin infection called contact dermatitis. The part of the body of your dog that comes in contact with the irritant usually becomes very itchy and red.

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Canine Sarcoptic Mange
Sarcoptes mites cause this skin disorder. The areas affected by this condition include the ears, legs, chest and abdomen of the dog.

Pyotraumatic Dermatitis
Dogs suffering from pyotraumatic dermatitis, which is also known as hot spot, usually have moist, red, painful-looking, hairless wounds. The resident bacteria in the surface of the dog's skin commonly cause this skin disorder. Such a disorder, which is prevalent during hot, humid season, is common in certain breeds of dogs, such as German shepherds and Golden Retrievers.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Flea allergy dermatitis is basically caused by an allergy to the saliva of fleas. Dogs usually experience severe and constant itching even with just one fleabite. Most dogs suffering from this condition have hair loss and hot spots on affected spots.

Available treatment options for dog dermatitis
Pet owners should pay attention to the reaction of their pets to the food that they eat. Since most dermatitis is caused by allergies, it is imperative that you know what causes the allergic reaction. Aside from treating the sores and itching, you must ensure that your pet is not exposed to such irritants and allergens again in order to prevent reoccurance.

There are also some topical and injectable medications that will not only help ease the itching, but also prevent inflammation. However, it is advisable to seek your dog's veterinarian's approval before giving your pet any medication.

If sores and hot spots appear, you must immediately bring your dog to the vet. Aside from being very painful, such wounds might cause further infection. Dogs with blisters and open wounds are usually given antibiotics, which are taken orally, along with the combination of corticosteroids, which will help reduce the itching.

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The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.