A Number of Conditions Cause Dog Skin Problems
It’s amazing how many kinds of skin problems dogs can develop over the years, and sadly, many don’t respond easily to treatment. This prolongs the suffering for pets with skin problems because they continually scratch, rub and chew at the irritated areas until, in many cases, they develop skin infections.
There are numerous different conditions that cause dog skin problems, including airborne allergens, food allergies, sensitivity to fleas and ticks and even something called neurogenic dermatitis, which is a pathogenic form of irritation that some pets develop even after they are treated for an allergy because they won’t stop “worrying,” or chewing at the area.
Dogs with Skin Problems Suffer for Many Reasons
Some skin problems in dogs are caused by parasitic dermatitis – an allergic response to the saliva of fleas. This can lead to itching, scratching and red, inflamed skin even if there are only a few fleas on your pet. In fact, if your pet isn’t often exposed to fleas, he is more likely to develop parasitic dermatitis because his body isn’t used to these pests. The most common treatment for this is a combination of topical skin medication and soothing shampoos or sprays. Treatment to prevent fleas is your best option – if your pet doesn’t get fleas, the skin problems won’t develop. Talk to your veterinarian about an effective flea prevention regimen that can be applied once a month year round.
Dogs with skin problems may also be reacting to a poor diet or a food sensitivity. In most cases, the only way to determine this is to eliminate all foods – including standard dog foods – and slowly introduce homemade options such as white rice and lamb until you determine which foods are causing the problem. Some dogs with skin problems have to be on specially formulated foods for their entire lives, but your veterinarian can tell you whether this is necessary or not.
Airborne Allergies are the Most Common Cause of Skin Problems in Dogs
The most common cause of itchy, irritated skin in dogs, however, is Allergic Dermatitis, also known as Pet Atopic Dermatitis or Pet Atopy. Dogs with skin problems due to airborne allergies such as dust mites, pollen, cat dander and other micro-organisms in the air they breathe have a particularly difficult problem because even after the irritation is treated, they continue to be exposed to various irritants.
Pollen, dust, dander and molds are everywhere in the air we breathe, so a cycle of treating the skin problem and having it reoccur is quite common.