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What common skin infections are bugging your pooch?
You might not think much about your dog's skin, considering it is almost all covered by fur. However, any owner whose pooch has suffered extreme itching, hair loss or raw sores on its skin can tell you that skin health matters. Here are the most common skin conditions to look for.
Dermatitis refers to any type of inflammation of the skin, but the most common type is flea allergy dermatitis, which is the allergic reaction your dog has to flea saliva. If your pooch is not on flea preventative pet drugs like Sentinel, it has a greater risk of being bitten by fleas and breaking out in itchiness or painful, raw hot spots.
Hot spots occur when your dog has itched its flea bite so much that the skin is raw and hot. At this point, it is very easy for bacteria to grow and the site to get infected. You can treat hot spots with pet products like HomeoPet Hot Spots, and soothe the skin with Excel Hydrocortisone Spray.
Fungal, yeast and bacterial infections
Fungal and yeast infections occur in areas of a dog's body that stay dark and moist, where fungus, yeast and bacteria flourish. When your dog itches another skin condition continuously, it will damage the skin, making it more prone to these types of infections. To get rid of yeast and fungus, use pet shampoo like Malaseb Shampoo or Keto Chlor.
When dogs have allergies – whether it is to pollen in the air or an ingredient in their pet food – it commonly manifests itself as an itch on the skin. The dog might be experiencing hives or a similar condition on the skin that is causing it to scratch excessively, but you often cannot see it under its coat. Discuss possible causes of the allergy with your vet.
He or she may recommend giving the dog Diphenhydramine, a generic version of Benadryl, to relieve allergies caused by the environment. You can stick these pills in Greenies Pill Pockets to make it easier to give to your pooch. The vet might also recommend switching to a different pet food with fewer ingredients.
In the meantime, you can bathe your dog in a soothing shampoo like Oatmeal & Aloe Vera Shampoo, which will calm any inflammation and keep it from scratching.