What Causes Skin Issues in Dogs?
There are a number of different skin issues your dog can experience. All of these issues have different root causes that can be simple or extremely difficult to pinpoint. The most common causes are:
- Allergies: just like people, allergic reactions in dogs can be triggered by just about anything, including grass, trees, household cleaning products, food, or insect bites. Allergic reactions can cause extreme itching all over your dog’s body and lead to dry, flakey skin, or hair loss. Learn more about allergies.
- Yeast Infections: a yeast infection in your dog’s ears can cause irritated, dry and discolored skin in and around the ear. Learn more about yeast infections.
- Bacterial infections: a dog’s body reacts to bacterial infections by creating patches of small blisters, bumps, or sores all over their body.
- Ringworm: this fungus creates ring shaped patches on your dog’s skin. These patches are inflamed and scaly and there is often hair loss around the area.
- Insects: insects like mites, fleas, ticks, can hide in your dog’s fur causing hair loss, intense itching and scabbing. If bitten by a tick or a mosquito, your dog is at risk for contracting diseases like lyme disease or other serious infections.
- Immune deficiency: if your dog has a weak immune system, infection could cause their skin to become so itchy, they scratch and bite until they tear an open wound in their skin. A weak immune system could also increase the side effects of allergies, making the skin dry and flakey.
My dog had terribly itching skin to the point where he would scratch himself raw and then have to go on antibiotics and sometimes steroids. He also got frequent ear infections. I researched raw food and found Darwin’s. After switching, his skin and coat are beautiful. No more itching, scratching or ear infections!! Yay! – Lisa S., Washington State
How Do I Treat My Dogs Skin Issues?
The first step in treating your dog’s skin issue is figuring out what is causing it.
- Monitor their itching. Note what parts of their body there are itching most often and when.
- Check for parasites. If your dog has ringworm, you will be able to see the circular fungus. Use a magnifying glass to check for fleas and mites.
This information should help your vet figure out what the source of the irritation is. Irritants like fleas, mites, bacteria, and yeast infections are slightly easier to diagnose and treat than allergies or rashes.
If you and your vet determine that your dog’s skin issues are caused by allergies, the best way to alleviate their symptoms is to make sure they don’t come in contact with the trigger (if you can figure out what it is). If the allergen is unknown, the best thing you can do for your dog is to their immune system so they can fight it off naturally.
A diet of all natural raw food provides your pet with a variety of meats and vegetables to keep their bodies nourished and their immune systems strong. The stronger the immune system, the better chance they have to fight off allergies on their own without medication.
All External Research Came From: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-skin-problems-in-dogs
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