Dog skin problems can be caused by many different things. Your local veterinarian should be consulted to determine what the root problem is and find the best solution for your pet. Some of the reasons for skin issues can relate to the diet your dog is eating, the season, the area of the body where the problem is, the age of the pet and the breed. Once the cause is found it will be easier and faster to resolve the issue.
Some dogs have allergies to certain ingredients in their dog food, others can have seasonal allergies. If the dog is not too old the problem could be genetic. Take a look at the size and the shape of the irritation as well as how far it has spread and let the vet know what was discovered. If it is not widespread it could be a fungal or a bacterial problem in just that one spot.
Just one flea could cause a dog to be miserable, this could be the reason for all the scratching if the dog is allergic to fleas and they will get a rash from the bite. If you feel a lump, there could be a tumor that needs to be removed. An abnormal growth will cause changes in the color of the skin and the hair. For the dog with a dull coat, this could be an indicator of a hormonal issue.
If the tests are positive for a bacterial infection, antibiotics will be prescribed. However, this usually is an indicator of another problem such as a hormone imbalance or an allergic reaction. Tests will show the type of infection and then treatment can be administered.
When antibiotics are prescribed they will need to be taken for several weeks depending on the severity of the problem. Allergies can cause the skin to itch and allergy shots can be given to provide relief. Antihistamines may also be needed and can cause the dog to become drowsy.
Seborrhea is a condition that refers to the accumulation of keratin that blocks the sebaceous glands and causes the hair to become greasy and the skin to become dry. Certain breeds are prone to this disorder, but it could be due to allergies, parasites or hormonal problems. Treatment involves elimination of the underlying cause, natural remedies can boost the immune system and strengthen the coat and skin. The use of cleansing lotions can help.
To alleviate itchiness, fatty acids are very helpful such as linoleic acids that are found in sunflower, safflower and primrose oils. As with humans, fish oil is a great supplement to give to ones pet to clear up their itchiness. Shots of glucocorticoids can alleviate the discomfort for a month or two and are usually administered in the allergy season and for specific allergies. There has also been good results with homeopathic remedies.
If a food allergy is suspected, the best approach is to try a hypoallergenic diet. This should be tested for 10 weeks to see if there is improvement. Some dog foods have hypoallergenic diets and could be a simple method to tell if this is the problem. This type of dog food usually contains only one simple protein, usually fish, and one simple carbohydrate, usually potatoes, and nothing artificial in the ingredients, coloring or flavors. This will determine if proteins are the problem.