Dog Allergist for Skin Conditions and Allergies
Tudor house has a great reputation for its correct and prompt diagnosis of skin issues in animals. At Tudor House, dog skin conditions are one of the main causes of treatment at our clinics. Skin issues can cause significant discomfort for your pet, from itching to soreness. Skin problems in dogs are more prevalent in the warmer seasons, where seasonal allergies and other allergic symptoms are more likely. It’s important to pay attention to any skin conditions your dog suffers from, as they can indicate an underlying health condition that hasn’t already been diagnosed.
Dog Skin Condition Symptoms
Dogs can suffer from mild to severe skin conditions, many of which require professional treatment to resolve and keep from getting worse. In fact, when a skin disease is left untreated for a while, the condition can often become complicated and significantly more serious.
Itching is one of the most obvious symptoms if your dog has a skin condition, but it’s difficult for pet owners to determine exactly what’s irritating your dog without a full veterinary examination.
Dogs may try to relieve the itch by rubbing their head against an object or scratching the irritated area with their paws. You may also see your dog licking their paws or other areas of the body to soothe the irritated skin.
Other signs suggesting an issue with the skin condition include the following symptoms:
- Skin Sores
- Skin sores or skin lesions
- Dry skin/flaky skin/scaly skin
- Intense itching
- Excessive licking
- Excessive scratching
- Hair loss/bald patches
- Hot spots of inflamed skin (also known as acute moist dermatitis)
Concerned that your dog may have a skin condition? Register with us and receive an introductory £15 only consultation
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF DOG SKIN CONDITIONS
The most common types of skin disease include
Allergies- flea, food and environmental
Infections- bacterial, fungal
Mites- sarcoptes, demodex
FLEAS AND TICKS
Fleas and ticks affect your dog’s skin by biting and sucking its blood. Flea saliva enters the body after insect bites, which can cause an allergic response that irritates your pet’s skin, causing them to itch profusely. Severe parasite allergy symptoms in dogs include inflamed, red skin. Pets will often scratch the bite marks, and dogs may chew at their fur to relieve the itching. In extreme conditions, their fur can fall out in patches.
Fleas are tiny parasites that can survive in our carpets and bedding, which is why it’s so important to vacuum regularly, wash your pet’s bed and make sure they’re up-to-date with their preventative treatments to kill off any bugs. Fleas also carry tapeworms so it is important to treat for worms as well as fleas if your pet becomes affected.
Ticks are opportunistic parasites and will feed on any host including dogs, cats and humans. They are common in places with livestock such as deer, cattle and sheep and can carry diseases such as Lymes disease which are very serious conditions and can be life-threatening. We recommend using a tick repellant if walking your dog across farmland or visiting areas with high numbers of livestock such as the southwest of England and Wales
Sudden onset of itching – particularly to the face, feet, chest and stomach – can indicate an environmental allergy, triggered when your dog is in contact with the cause of irritation.
This particular type of allergy in dogs is called ‘atopy’ and is similar to how people have hay fever – except that dogs show it by having irritated, itchy skin rather than watery eyes and sneezing.
Some of the most common allergens for dogs that cause skin allergies are grass, dust mites and pollen. We’ll perform a blood test to help diagnose whether your pet has a reaction. Treating environmental allergies can sometimes be difficult and in the most severe cases require shampoos, tablets and injections. Over recent years, there have been some new drugs developed that have revolutionised allergen care, and at Animal Trust we can offer a combination of treatments to help ease your pet’s symptoms effectively.
Increased itching often involving the face, feet, ears and anus are signs of a potential dog food allergy, and are one of the most common skin conditions in dogs. Dogs can develop food allergies from the type of protein consumed as part of their diet – for example, beef, eggs, chicken and dairy – although some dogs also suffer from allergies to wheat or even vegetables.
Like humans who experience food intolerances, pets must go through an elimination diet process for 8-12 weeks to rule out different causes of the allergies. Your vet will advise you step by step on this type of treatment and how best to carry it out. It is vital that you don’t feed your dog any of the suspected allergens during the elimination process, in order to get a clear result and ensure your vet can prescribe an effective treatment process.
Ringworm, despite its name, is not a worm but a fungus that is highly contagious to other animals and humans. The fungal infection appears as crusty, circular patches and is often found on a dog’s head, paws, ears and front legs. Your dog’s skin can also appear inflamed and red from where they have irritated the area from scratching. It’s imperative that you contact your vet straight away if you spot any signs of irritation, who can prescribe a topical treatment to kill the fungus and prevent it from spreading.
Warm areas on a dog’s body attract yeast infections, which love to grow in hard to reach areas, such as the ear canal, in between your dog’s toe, groin and perineum. With a yeast infection, the skin can thicken, causing your dog to itch and bite at the infected area. Yeast infections and similar skin diseases can lead to discoloured skin and tend to smell unpleasant. A topical cream, washes and tablets will help to relieve the symptoms and help cure the infected site, leading to healthy skin.
Mange is a severe skin condition caused by several species of mites that live on the dog’s hair and skin.
There are 2 main types of mange: one caused by the Demodex mite ‘demodectic mange’, which tends to affect dogs under one-year-old, older dogs or pets with another underlying condition.
Sarcoptic mange is caused by Sarcoptes mites, which is an intensely itchy condition and is often first seen on the dog’s ears. Symptoms of mange include hair loss on the face and legs, along with severe itching and redness around the affected areas.
As with fleas and ticks, if your pet has mange, wash their bedding and make sure any other animals avoid contact with this pet. Mange is diagnosed by the vet by looking at a sample of some of the skin under the microscope. Treatment includes tablets and dedicated shampoos to kill the mite, and ease the itching and inflammation – in fact, some of the flea and worm products that vets prescribe can also protect against mange.