Dog skin care can be tricky to recognize for many seniors; but if your dog starts scratching all the time and leaving hair flying around your home, there is probably an issue with their skin.
Dog skin problems can start suddenly with a dog that you have had for years, or you may notice these behaviors right away when bringing a new dog into your home. In addition to changes in behavior or signs of physical irritation, you may notice physical signs such as your dog losing hair or developing sores on their skin.
Should you rush your dog to the veterinarian, or is this something you can handle on your own? This depends on what is causing the problems with your dogs skin. You can start by researching the symptoms they are currently showing and trying some at-home remedies, but some conditions do require professional intervention.
If you notice your dog scratching or biting their skin right after you give them a bath, there is a chance they are having an allergic reaction to whatever you used to wash their skin in the bath. Dogs can also develop allergies to ingredients in their food and many variables in their environment.
If your dog is experiencing allergic reactions, you may notice redness, swelling or other signs of rash on their skin. You may also notice that they seem irritated in one area of their body or all over after eating, bathing or running outside. If the symptoms come and go, whatever they do before the reaction occurs can give you some clues as to what may be causing their allergic reaction.
If you think your dog is suffering from allergies but cannot identify the culprit with certainty, a vet may be able to help you identify the problem. If you can identify the culprit on your own, eliminate it from your dog’s life and see if the condition clears up.
Yeast infections are not unheard of with dogs and often cause itchy, red, inflamed and irritated patches of skin. This type of infection commonly strikes the paws or ears, but it is not unheard of for other patches of skin to become infected as well. A topical cream from the vet is the typical remedy for this condition, but some dogs may benefit from other types of medication as well.
There are other skin infections that dogs may suffer from, and they all have different causes. If you see puss-filled blisters, scabs, bumps or open sores on your dog’s skin, it is possible that they have an infection that needs treatment from the vet.
This skin condition occurs when tiny mites infest your dog’s skin. You will notice sores and inflamed red areas on your dog’s skin, and they will probably scratch and bite at their skin a lot. As the condition grows worse, you may start noticing bald spots where your dog is losing a lot of hair. There are two different types of mange, and one is more contagious to other dogs. Visit your vet for diagnosis and a treatment plan.
If you know that your dog doesn’t have fleas or ticks and you don’t think their symptoms relate to any of the dog skin care conditions listed above, there is a chance they are suffering from outward symptoms of an internal problem. Just as some human diseases can cause skin-related symptoms, some dog illnesses can cause problems with the skin. This is especially true if you see discoloration or changes in skin pigment and texture. See your vet for complete testing and diagnosis.