Dog SKIN PROBLEMS
The skin problems are very frequent in dogs. A good diet and preventive treatments against fleas avoid many of them. Here we will describe the most frequent ones, but don't hesitate to take your dog to the veterinary if you notice any persistent problem.
They are responsible for a great quantity of the skin problems; fortunately, almost all of them have cures once the problem is identified.
These insects are the dog's principal external parasites. They cause numerous skin problems and most of all, allergic dermatitis.
Sarcoptic (mange bug)
These arachnids perforate the skin of their host in order to deposit their eggs in it causing a very intense irritation known as mange, especially on the ears and elbows. These bugs can go from the wolf to the dog and from the dog to other dogs or to humans. They can be eliminated with a specific shampoo.
Demodex (demodectic mange bugs)
Most dogs are carriers of some of these examples, but they normally cause no problems. These bugs have narrowed and elongated bodies, they live in the hairy follicle and hardly ever proliferate. In those cases they can produce bald parts on the coat, especially on the head. The dog doesn't have any kind of itching, except when it gets complicated with a secondary bacterial infection. Antibiotics and a balanced diet will normally solve the problem, but sometimes, it will be necessary to apply anti-parasite lotions.
Cheyletiella (capillary bugs)
These arachnids affect specially the short hair dogs. They live on the skin, causing irritations and dandruff and are eliminated with a specific anti-parasite shampoo.
These insects eat only once a year, so they fill their abdominal bags until they get completely swallowed and then they untie themselves to reproduce on earth. Dog's usually get them when they have been playing in an area with very tall grass because these bugs climb on the grass in order to grab themselves to the first host that may cross their way. In some regions, ticks transmit some diseases that can be lethal. They should never be pulled out because their heads can remain stuck in the skin and may provoke infections. They should be entirely extracted after being treated with an insecticide prescribed by the veterinary.
These insects live on the hair, in which surface they deposit and stick their eggs called nits. They can be detected just by looking at the hair and they cause intense irritations. They are treated with anti-parasite shampoo.
Infection caused by fungus that provokes the loss of hair, especially on the head and the front paws. It is easily transmitted to other animals and also to humans. The dog's ringworm is treated with griseofulvine.
This frequent cause of itch can affect any dog, but it seems to be hereditary on the West Highland White Terrier and the Labrador Retriever. When the constant itching is translated into a frequent scratching, the dog can cause itself serious infections and injuries.
The main unleashing factor is, in the case of the dog, the flea's saliva, but there may be many other ones, so the allergenic can be identified only with time and patience. Sometimes, it may be possible to give diazotization shots and the medicines are often used to relieve the itch.
The skin tumors are not usually dangerous, but any abnormal swelling must be examined by the veterinary. If he has any doubt about its benignancy, he will take it out and analyze it to make sure.
They can be translated into skin problems that don't normally itch, but provoke the loss of hair and ruin the coat. The hormonal problems that mostly affect the dog's skin are the hypothyroidism (thyroid glands insufficiencies) and the hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing syndrome (hyperactivity of the suprarenal glands). In order to detect the unleashing factor of the hormonal imbalance, it is necessary to analyze blood samples.
Dogs have at both side of the anus, under the skin, two sacks that are emptied during the deposition to flow on the excrement a substance of a very strong odor aimed to mark the territory.
Some dogs are more likely to suffer from obstructions that block the regular dumping of these sacks. The smelly substance is then accumulated in the inside part causing troubles on the anal region. Dogs frequently drag their backside against the floor hoping to eliminate a foreign body with the rubbing. Other dogs lick the area insistently. The sacks can be emptied in a mechanical way, but in the most serious cases it will be necessary to medicate the dog. If the problem is recurrent, the veterinary may suggest taking out the anal sack surgically.