Skin conditions in dogs are very common. Although they may start as or seem minor, without being acknowledged and treated, they can turn serious. Once skin conditions in dogs turn into a serious condition, they dog can become very uncomfortable. In addition, dog owners may find themselves saddled with vet bills that may have been avoided. Most skin conditions in dogs are the result of allergies and most dogs have allergies at some time.
The most common things that trigger allergies in dogs are food, injections like insect bites or vaccines and substances they may inhale. Allergies that come from injected allergens are the most serious skin conditions in dogs. These allergies should be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent more serious problems from developing.
Skin conditions in dogs that come from food allergies or inhalant allergies are the most common. Although they usually are not very serious, they can cause a lot of discomfort to the dog as well as to the owner that is trying to find the cause and help the dog. The most common skin condition in dogs that causes vets to see them is allergic inhalant dermatitis. These allergic reactions may occur from weed or tree pollen, feathers, household dust or mold. Some of the symptoms and reactions of these type of allergies are coughing, wheezing, eye discharge and chewing at the feet.
More often, however, allergies from inhalants will show up as skin conditions in dogs. You may see hives, hair loss, itchiness or excess shedding. All dogs shed hair, with most of them shedding twice a year. Although many dogs shed twice a year, some of them may still shed year round. The shedding they do on a daily basis, however, is minor. If your dog is shedding excessively, you’ll know the difference from regular shedding. Sometimes if these allergies and skin conditions in dogs aren’t acknowledged and treated, it may go into their eyes and ears. Ear infections are very common reactions to dog allergies. Once they get infections, they will need antibiotics for treatment.
Vets will usually have to do skin tests to determine the cause of the allergy. While this can be very time-consuming, it may also become expensive. You may want to do some experimenting at home, as your vet may even recommend. You can watch to see if there are any spots in your home that seem to trigger allergic reactions. By observing your dog and his behaviour, you may be able to pinpoint the culprit of the allergy. Food allergies are also known for causing skin conditions in dogs. These are easier to determine because you can switch dog foods gradually and see if you notice an improvement in your dog’s skin and coat. The best way is to go through each food slowly until you get a reaction.