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Dermatitis in Dogs

Dermatitis in Dogs

Many dogs suffer from inflammatory skin diseases which are known as dermatitis. This article provides some more information about this skin condition.
Geeta Dhavale
Unhygienic surroundings are the most common cause of skin infections in dogs. Dermatitis can be caused by bacterial or fungal infection. It can also get triggered due to some allergies. Some dogs that suffer from this condition have been detected with endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as various nutritional deficiencies. This condition can also be the result of a reaction to some drugs or toxic substances. In some cases, excessive sunburn or cancer can also be the cause of tingling and itchy skin in dogs. Given below are the various types of dermatitis found in dogs.

Atopic Dermatitis
It is also known as canine atopy. It causes excessive itching in dogs. This is one of the most common types of dermatitis. Dogs under five years of age are generally more prone to it. It is caused by allergic reactions to various toxic substances present in the environment. Dermatitis on paws is also caused by atopic skin infections.

Contact Dermatitis
As the name suggests, it is caused when the dog comes in physical contact with certain substances, such as different types of salts and acids, or various substances that are made from strong chemicals like bleach, fertilizers, etc. These things cause itching, redness, and skin infection in dogs.

Seborrheic Dermatitis
This skin disorder occurs on the face, neck, behind the ears, and on the scalp of the dogs. The affected part becomes greasy, accompanied by redness, itching, swelling, and hair loss. It is essentially a yeast infection that is caused by certain foods to which the dog is allergic.

Acute Moist Dermatitis
It is characterized by red, moist, and painful spots on the skin. It occurs when the dog indulges in excessive scratching due to fleas, bug bites, etc. Bacteria enters the body through these small wounds and cuts. Bacterial infection causes this condition.

Apart from this, there are various other skin disorders such as flea allergy dermatitis, pyotraumatic dermatitis, and various types of mange, and fungal and hormonal skin diseases that affect dogs.


Many dog owners have observed that their pet suffers from skin infections during summer days. Dogs are more vulnerable to skin problems in hot weather. Each type of canine dermatitis has different signs and symptoms, but few symptoms are common to all the types. An affected dog will scratch the concerned body part by rubbing it against the floor or the wall. This provides some relief from the tingling and itchy feeling. If you notice your dog scratching unusually and excessively, then immediately consult a vet, who will detect the cause and prescribe medications accordingly. Other signs include redness and swelling. Almost all the types of this condition can be characterized by redness, swelling, and itching. So, if you notice any red spots on any part of the dog's body, consult your vet. Sometimes, dogs also lick the affected areas to ease the irritation caused by itching. Another symptom can be a foul odor. Many skin disorders are accompanied with certain smells that are usually unpleasant. If your dog is very hairy, then it is difficult to pinpoint the problem. In such cases, the odor will help you detect it.

Treating this condition is easy when the underlying cause is eliminated and proper dog care methods are employed. You should discuss the routine, lifestyle, and food habits of your dog with a vet. This will help him/her diagnose the particular disease and prescribe certain drugs and injections accordingly. On your part, you must always try to provide your pet with a hygienic atmosphere and pay attention to any health concerns. Monthly visits to the vet help keep dermatitis at bay.