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Most Common Skin Diseases in Dogs

Dog ownership comes with extra baggage. Unfortunately, it is not all about fun. This early, make sure that you understand what you are getting into.

As a dog owner, you should be aware of the ups and downs of taking care of dogs, then decide if you are ready to have a pet because having a dog entails a lot of responsibility. It’s more than getting a new buddy; it is more like having a child to care for.

You will now be responsible for the total well-being and overall health of your pets. It means feeding them the right kinds of food, accompanying them to regular visits to the vet, making sure that they receive complete vaccinations, spending time to play with them, making sure they get enough exercise, and providing them with ample love and care.

The part that most pet owners dread is when their pooches get sick. Yes, they can be afflicted with many ailments closely similar to people. Among the many diseases that dogs may suffer from are skin disorders.

There are more than 160 skin diseases that may hurt your dogs, and some of them may cause prolonged pain and suffering. Here are some tips on how to address some of the most common skin diseases that afflict dogs.

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First things first

Time is an essential element in solving skin problems. Chronic effects can be avoided if the pet owner acts in a timely manner and consults the veterinarian immediately regarding the pet’s condition. Both the pet owner and the doctor should act as a team and be involved in analyzing the problem.

If we go down to the basics, we can categorize skin disorders into two types: curable or self-limiting problems, and incurable diseases also known as chronic diseases that require a lifetime of management and treatment.  It is true that an animal doctor may face a more formidable disease, but the truth is that many dogs suffer from skin disorders. In fact it is the number one reason why dogs are being brought to the vet.

If you happen to find your dog relentlessly itching and rubbing, chances are he has a skin disorder. Itching is the first symptom dogs will manifest if they have a skin problem.  For the symptom alone, it will already cost the dog many trips to the vet.

Knowing what to do when your dog is faced with the issue can limit visits to the animal doctor and save you a lot of money. Most of the time, you can treat many of these skin disorders at home if only you understand the condition. It will be helpful if you are able to distinguish curable from incurable skin diseases before discussing it with your veterinarian.

What is a curable skin disorder?

A curable skin disorder is something that can be healed through time and medication. The most common example is bacterial dermatitis. It is usually identified by crusts and scales causing skin eruptions and circular hair loss patches.

Once this condition has been corrected, there is no guarantee that it will not recur. If proper treatment was given and followed, it may rid the problem for good; else, it will be a continuous problem that can afflict you and your pet for its life span.

What is an incurable skin disorder?

An incurable skin disorder is a serious disease that is persistent and long-lasting. This kind of skin disease will lead your dog to suffer for a lifetime, causing a lot of inconveniences and money.

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Most common skin diseases

Dry Skin

In this condition, the skin becomes flaky causing so much anxiety for your dog. You may also notice that your dog’s coat has a dull look.

Dry skin may be a symptom of protein deficiency. Some causes of dry skin include the following:

  • Under grooming. You need to brush your pet’s coat regularly to avoid build-up of dead skin and fur.
  • Dry weather
  • Neutering
  • Using the wrong shampoo. Some products may cause flaking.
  • Over and under bathing. This may result to dead skin build-up.
  • Not eating the right food. This may cause dry skin because your dog may not be getting enough nutrients.

Yeast Infection

Usually manifested through itchy ears and paws, this condition is widespread during summer since yeast grows well in humid weather. The most common type of yeast infection is malassezia.

Your dog’s ears and paws will give off a very offensive smell that you cannot ignore. If your dog’s immune system is weak, he can easily be infected.

Dog Dandruff

Also called seborrhea, this condition may appear either dry or oily. Using the right dandruff shampoo can treat this condition.

Dog Mange

This is a live skin disease in dogs with two main types: sarcoptic mange (commonly known as scabies) and demodectic mange.

Young puppies normally get demodectic mange from their moms, but by having a strong immune system, they will soon outgrow this condition. Older dogs with demodectic mange may require more intensive treatment in order to control the condition.

Meanwhile, sarcoptic mange is very itchy and is highly communicable to humans.

Hot Spots

This skin disease is very painful and itchy, and may cause angry-looking sores that seem to happen overnight. Hot spots are characterized by redness, inflammation and hair loss on the affected area, and are smelly.

Dog Ticks

Ticks are parasites that belong to the arachnid family. They are bloodsuckers that can leave wounds on the skin and cause severe itching. Worse, it can lead to anemia and death. Failure to remove ticks and fleas may lead to worse skin conditions in your canine pets.

General skin Infection

This condition may be caused by either bacteria, fungi, or a combination of both. Animal doctors can easily detect the type of infection by investigating the sample through a microscope. A swab is taken from the ear to collect the sample.

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How to prevent skin diseases in dogs

  1. Diseases can be prevented in the first place if you use a good quality dog shampoo.
  2. Carefully watch your dog’s diet. Make sure he eats the right kind of food required for his breed. In addition, adding a food supplement to his food might just do the trick. This can help improve the state of your dog’s fur and skin.
  3. Food supplements may boost the immune system of your pet. Many skin diseases resulted from deficiencies in the immune system.


Skin diseases are generally easier to treat than other infamous dog ailments. All it takes is early intervention and treatment, as well as a keen eye to see something wrong in your dog’s skin or coat.

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Dog Lover
Madona is the writer at Barkily.