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Solving your dog’s mysterious skin condition
Skin diseases are prevalent among animals and the causes behind them can be varied. Most skin problems arise from allergies from environmental factors like pollen or mold, to flea bites and issues with certain ingredients in their food. Figuring out what your pup is allergic to may be the best way to curb its uncomfortable and unsightly skin woes.
First, it's important to figure out when the skin problems flare-up, as this can narrow down what the dog is allergic to. If it happens seasonally, such as in the spring and fall, it may be allergic to environmental changes. To stop this problem, the vet may start the dog on anti-inflammatory pet drugs like Prednisone that can reduce the swelling and itching caused by the allergy. The vet may also recommend picking up pet products like Excel Hydrocortisone Spray that can be applied directly on your dog's skin during flare-ups during seasonal changes. Giving the dog a bath with soothing pet shampoo like Be Soothed Shampoo can also help ease the painful symptoms.
If your pup is suffering from a skin condition like hot spots, the dog is most likely allergic to fleas. Most dogs are allergic to fleas' saliva so when they are bit by even a few, their skin starts to itch and burn, forcing them to bite and lick the site to soothe it. To stop this allergy, the vet will recommend starting the pup on flea and tick preventative medication like Frontline Plus or Comfortis, which should stop the biting altogether. The vet may also recommend using a spray like HomeoPet Hot Spots to help the hot spots clear up faster.
Once these common problems are ruled out, the vet will most likely move on to the dog's diet. Skin issues caused by a food allergy are often present the entire year. To test out what specific food the dog is allergic to, the vet may start the dog on a restricted novel diet for a few weeks. This may mean switching out its current pet food and instead starting it on a food that is mainly made of meats and fresh produce. The vet may recommend trying out specific meats like rabbit, venison or duck. An option like Wellness CORE Ocean Formula Dry Dog Food may be best as it is fish-based, grain-free and contains a variety of essential nutrients. The dog will need to be brought in to the vet after a few weeks so he or she can address if the skin rash is clearing up or getting worse. If it is clearing, the vet will keep the dog on the new feeding regimen, and if it is getting worse, the vet will opt to try
other diet plans.