Although it may be more frequent in stray animals, the truth is that dermatitis in dogs appears due to various factors even in those who have a home. In this article, we tell you more about this skin disease and how to treat it.
What is dermatitis in dogs?
It is a fairly frequent pathology in any breed, although some are more prone, such as the French bulldog, the boxer, the golden retriever, the German shepherd, and the labrador.
Those dogs with long hair, or that live in hot and humid climates, increase the chances of suffering from dermatitis. This disease is characterized by irritating and reddening the skin in mild cases. If left untreated, it causes hair loss and infection.
Dermatitis in dogs can be caused by different factors and the signs are quite visible. The animal does not stop scratching, licking or biting, the skin is reddened and thickened, has a constant bad smell, loses hair, a kind of ‘dandruff’ appears and has flaky rashes or dermis. You may also have sores, hot spots, eczema, and ear infection.
Types of dermatitis in dogs
In order to offer adequate treatment, it is very important to determine what type of dermatitis the animal is suffering. These are:
1. Atopic or allergic dermatitis
It is one of the most common since it occurs when the animal has a certain genetic predisposition to develop allergies. Mites, flower pollen or insect bites can trigger dermatitis of this type.
The areas it affects are the legs, the face, the belly, the English and the armpits. Large itching, flushed skin, pimples, dryness and darkening of the affected area are the main symptoms. Veterinarians give medications to calm the itch in the form of a cream or gel with antibacterial or moisturizing properties.
2. Fungal dermatitis
Some breeds of dogs with ‘folds’ or wrinkles, such as shar pei, bulldog or Neapolitan mastiff, accumulate fat and moisture in that area so difficult to clean. This favors the appearance of fungi and, subsequently, dermatitis.
The main symptoms are hair loss, dryness, color change in the coat, the appearance of purulent masses and bad smell. The best treatment, in this case, is to apply an external cream that eliminates fungi. It is necessary to finish the medication to prevent these microorganisms from reappearing and, of course, to prevent thorough hygiene of the area.
3. Contact dermatitis
This is another type of dermatitis in dogs that can affect any breed. It appears when the animal comes into contact with any substance that is harmful to its health, such as floor disinfectants, paint, chlorine for swimming pools, cleaners, etc.
The skin becomes inflamed, stiffens and reddens, scabs appear and the affected person spends all the time scratching himself to the point of injury. There is no specific treatment for this dermatitis, except for removing the substance that causes contact with our pet so as not to worsen the condition.
4. Seborrheic dermatitis
It is a fairly common type of dermatitis in dogs, and it can appear due to excess baths since these weaken the skin’s natural fat layer. It may also be due to some allergy to a component of the food or the environment.
Seborrheic dermatitis causes the skin to become increasingly oily and give off a very intense smell. You can also see ‘scales’ of skin as if they were dandruff and reddened areas due to intense scratching.
The treatment for this problem consists of baths with special products, which allow the dermis to recover its natural state. It is recommended, in turn, to pay attention to the type of feed that is given to the pet, because dyes or certain ingredients can make the picture worse.
Dermatitis in dogs needs to be treated with external, oral or injectable medications; It all depends on the type and severity of the case. The veterinarians can combine more than one remedy should they see fit.