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Skin Infections in Dogs

Skin Infections in Dogs

Like humans, dogs are also prone to certain skin diseases. Here are some more information about skin infections in dogs so that if your pet is showing any signs of it, you will be able to treat it before it is too late.
Ratnashri Dutta
Last Updated: Nov 20, 2018
Everyone wants a dog to guard their house at night, to give them company, and for many other reasons. However, it is very important to take proper care of your dog, or else it can contract certain skin diseases among other health issues. These diseases, if not treated on time, may even be fatal for your pet.
Reasons for Skin Infections
A dog's fur is one of the main reasons why it can contract skin infections. Whenever it gets wet, the fur prevents the moisture from drying up and also blocks the air flow. Thus, the dog's skin becomes more prone to various infections.
Besides this, whenever it has a small cut on its body, a dog tends to bite it or lick it. This might cause its skin to break and the bacteria to start accumulating on the wound.
Common Infections
Due to these reasons, a dog might experience various infections which might be fungal, bacterial, parasitic, allergic, or even hormonal. Some of the common infections have been listed here as per their causes.
The main cause for bacterial infections is usually the Staphylococci or Staph Bacteria. They are the most common cause of bacterial infections in dogs. Humans are however, not at risk from this infection. The signs that a dog has a bacterial infection are as follows.

★ Itchiness
★ Yellow pustules
★ Red and ulcerated skin
★ Loss of hair
★ Odor
The whole body of the dog might be infected, but usually, it's the trunk which is more prone to this bacterial disease. The pyoderma may also occur between the toes and on the calluses of the elbows of the dog. In young puppies, it usually occurs in the abdominal areas.
Applying a shampoo on dog
The treatment for this infection is as follows:

★ Remove the hair from around the affected area and bathe the dog with antibiotic shampoos such as benzoyl peroxide.
★ Dry the dog properly and then apply an antibiotic ointment on the affected area.

★ Cover the area with bandages or put your dog in an Elizabethan collar so that it does not lick that area and infect it more.

★ Some of these bacterial infections might require corrective surgeries.
Young Labrador Puppy
★ Continue the antibiotics and make follow-up visits to the veterinarian.
Fungal infections in dogs are mainly due to two kinds of fungi, Microsporumand Trichophyton. The signs commonly associated with this infection are hair loss in circular patches. A crusty and dry appearance at the center of the patch is also observed. The head and the legs of the dog are mainly affected by these fungi.
If the disease is not treated, it can spread to the whole body. The treatment includes removing the hair around the affected area and washing it off with a fungicidal shampoo. Dry the dog properly. These fungal diseases are contagious to humans, especially children. Keep the dog away from children and adults and wash your hands after treating the dog.
Itchy skin, nasal and eye discharges, sneezing, improper digestion, or skin lesions are some of the common signs of dog allergies. The causes are as follows.

★ Hypersensitive reaction to the allergy causing substance or 'allergen'.

★ Most common allergy infection is 'flea saliva'.
★ A single flea from an allergic dog can cause these allergic infections.

★ Cold winter seasons are the time when this kind of infection usually occurs in dogs.
The treatments are as follows.

★ Allergies are mainly controlled and a very few are cured.

★ Vets usually use antihistamines and corticosteroids to reduce the itching.

★ Hyposensitization or immunotherapy is another procedure to control the allergies in dogs.
Parasitic Infection
The main causes of these infections are dog fleas, ear mites, ticks, and lice. The signs that a dog with a parasitic skin infection usually shows are as follows.

Itching, hair loss, and crusty skin.

★ It usually occurs on the ears, front legs, chest, and the abdomen region.
The treatment for parasitic infections is as follows.

★ Clip the area which has been affected and wash it with an antiseptic.

★ You can also use sprays, shampoos, flea collars, powders, etc. to treat parasites like lice, ticks, and fleas.
★ Ear mites in the ears can be treated by cleaning the ear when the dog is sedated. Let your veterinarian carry out the ear infection treatment. Follow this by using special solutions to kill the mites.
Hormonal Infections
These infections are usually hard to diagnose. Hormones are produced by the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands, the pituitary gland, the testicles, and the ovaries. If excess or less hormone secretion takes place, then you might notice a change in the skin and coat of your dog.
The skin usually becomes thicker or thinner, as per the hormone secretion. The color of the skin or fur of the dog may also undergo a change. Hormonal infections are more serious than other skin infections. Hypothyroidism may be diagnosed through a proper blood test, but others may be difficult to diagnose and treat.
If your dog is showing any of these signs, then take it to the veterinarian immediately. If these skin infections are ignored, they might prove fatal, and treating these health conditions is important to save your pet.