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Dog Skin Conditions

Updated on January 3, 2017
Photo by Tom Hemeryk
Photo by Tom Hemeryk

Common causes of skin complaints in dogs and cats are fleas, incorrect bathing, worms, prickly loose hair or knotted hair, humid or hot weather, parasitic mites, diet or simply some kind of allergy.

Once the skin condition has occurred it can be difficult to cure owing to the animal's natural tendency to scratch and further irritate the area. Basset's skin medications are designed to counteract this tendency and soothe and heal.

Remember, any skin treatment takes time to cure and will greatly depend on the correct selection of the product best suited to your pet's particular skin complaint.

Because of the cat's natural tendency to wash the fur care should be taken that any preparation used is designed for cats.

Fungal Infections

Ringworm is highly contagious, and, unfortunately, is easily transmitted from pets to humans and vice versa. It is also possible for ringworms to be transferred through indirect contact, that is, through rugs and grooming aids used by an infected animal.

A dog suffering from ringworms will usually show a typical circular hairless area. This is most common on the face and under the chin but can be found on other parts of the body, including around the base of the claws, where it resembles tinea. On a cat ringworm is not always as clearly indicated, and may appear only as a scaly patch of skin with no loss of hair.

Stray kittens can sometimes suffer from ringworm and pet owners should have these inspected by a veterinary surgeon before accepting them into the home.

Ringworm is not always easy to detect in the early stages. A veterinary surgeon can detect this by the use of ultra-violet light.

A Ringworm Ointment should be applied 3 or 4 times daily. If the complaint persists, see your veterinary surgeon.

Mite Infections

Demodectic Mange is most common in short-haired dogs, especially puppies, such as dachshunds, pugs and bulldogs.

It is believed the infection cannot be transferred from one dog to another but can be transferred from a mother to her puppies. The infection is not found in cats.

Demodectic mange is caused by a microscopic parasite which burrows into the skin of the animal and is first noticed around the eyes, forehead and the sides of the face. The affected areas begin as small, non-itchy patches 1.5 to 2.5 centimeter in diameter. These areas vary in their degree of scaliness and the skin later becomes either reddish or bluish in color, greasy, wrinkled and scaly.

Should be positively diagnosed by your veterinary surgeon. Treatment is often tedious and requires attention to detail. The hair around the infected areas should be clipped and the dog washed in mild coconut oil shampoo.

It is also suggested that the dog be freed from worms and given a high protein vitamin rich diet with special attention given to Vitamin A and the Vitamin B complex.

Eczema

Photo by Timo Balk
Photo by Timo Balk

Pets, particularly dogs, can suffer eczema caused by allergies from many different things and often the cause is difficult to detect. Typical symptoms are affected skin patches along the spine and at the base of the spine. Allergy lotion regularly applied is of great benefit to dogs suffering from allergies.

Many dogs have allergic reactions to flea bites and in this case a series of injections to desensitization the skin will probably be recommended by your veterinary surgeon.

All animals should be kept free of fleas at all times for hygienic reasons and to prevent skin complaints.

Falling Hair

Dogs and cats shed their coats every Spring and Autumn. Puppies shed their coats as they mature. At these times it is imperative to groom your pet daily. Long-haired dogs need grooming right to the skin to prevent the hairs becoming entangled in the coat causing matts and twisting the skin.

Short-haired breeds need loose hairs cleared from the coat to prevent them pricking into the skin and becoming an irritant.

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