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Dog Skin Problems

Remember that a dog's skin is composed of only one layer, so it is much more delicate than a human's skin, which has three layers. A dog's skin depends on the hair and oils on it to keep it in good condition.

Some preventive steps:

  • Keep your dog properly fed to prevent dry skin

  • When bathing your dog, use dog-formulated shampoo to prevent dry skin

  • Groom your dog regularly; some problems are caused by matted hair providing breeding grounds for a variety of skin diseases, regular grooming also helps keep you aware of any incipient problems

  • Keep your dog flea and parasite free

  • Check your dog regularly for foxtails, burrs, and other sharp objects it may pick up when outside

Relieving dry skin

Some things to try:

  • Shampoos with lanolin

  • A good soak in cool water

  • Non-drying shampoo: e.g., Hy-Lyt EFA is non-allergenic

  • Medicated shampoos may help with allergy-induced problems

  • Avon's Skin-So-Soft(tm) added to the rinse water

Allergies followed by staph infections

Once a dog has an allergic reaction, it is quite common to have a secondary staph infection. Many vets aren't familiar with this. The staph infection may stay around long after the allergy is gone.

A vet that specializes in dermatology can be of great help in dealing with skin problems. See if your veterinarian can refer you to such a person.

Some studies on primrose and fish oil in helping relieve or cure secondary infections from allergies are documented in DM, March 1992. More information may also be obtained from writing to the RVC Dermatology Dept, Royal College St, London. NW1.

It is beyond the scope of this FAQ to examine any of these skin problems in great detail, but here is a summary table of possible problems. Summarized from the summary tables in Carlson & Giffin, pages 67-69.

Diagnosing

Skin problems are not easy to diagnose and cure, but there is a lot of research taking place to help develop our understanding. Something that can help is to keep a diary for the dog. Every day, record what the dog ate, what the weather was like, whether it is itching or not, and anything else that might be relevant (for example, did you have visitors in the house, when your dog was bathed, and so forth). It's sometimes hard to recall all the variables that might be affecting the dog, but if you keep a diary, sometimes patterns become very clear.

Diagnosing

Skin problems are not easy to diagnose and cure, but there is a lot of research going on. Something that can help is to keep a diary for the dog. Every day, record what the dog ate, what the weather was like, whether it is itching or not, and anything else that might be relevant (visitors, for instance, when it is bathed, and so forth). It's sometimes hard to recall all the variables that might be affecting the dog, but if you keep a diary, sometimes patterns become very clear.

- See more at: http://trupanion.com/pet-care/dog-skin-problems#sthash.ISymwVrz.dpuf

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