If you see your dog continually scratching and chewing his fur, and his coat has lost its luster, he or she may have a skin condition. This is among the most common ailments afflicting canines, accounting for one-fourth of all the trips to the vet. Here are some of the most common skin problems and what to do about them.
- Skin irritation (itch).
The medical term for this condition is called pruritis. And, as dog owners can attest, it is a common problem. It can take over the dog’s entire existence. He can spend almost all the time scratching. It certainly is no fun for a dog or his owner. Moreover, it can lead to skin lesions, infections and loss of fur from all the scratching.
Things that can cause skin irritation:
The most common cause of skin irritation is allergies. And the allergies sort into three major types – allergic reactions to fleas, the environment or food.
For dogs that are not allergic to fleas, their bites are a minor nuisance. However, if the animal is allergic to flea bites, a bite can cause him to scratch all over because he is hypersensitive.
Eliminating fleas can be a hassle, because you have to treats all of the pets in the house, in addition to the environment. But, once the fleas are gone, the scratching will be too.
These are allergies to things such as pollen, grass or mite dander. The dog can inhale the allergens or absorb them through the skin. To handle this problem, the dog may need medication.
Allergic reactions to food are not as common as the other two. This type of reaction usually occurs because the animal is hypersensitive to certain proteins in food. The dog’s immune system malfunctions and sees such proteins as dangers.
The way to handle food allergies is to systematically cut out individual foods in the dog’s diet to identify what he is allergic to. Again, this will require the help of a veterinarian.
Other causes of skin irritation are parasites such as mites and bacteria.
- Sores, hot spots.
Hot spots are red, suppurating sores, and they can spread. If you see them on your dog, you need to get him to the vet.
We’ll alert you if we find your dog scratching incessantly or if he appears to have sores. If his scratching is constant, we may ask that you or someone you designate come pick up from our boarding facility.
Learn more about our day- and overnight-boarding services here at Barney’s Ranch by calling (469) 273-1661 for more information.