Common Dog Skin Problems

common skin problems in dogs itching

Skin disorders in dogs are fairly prevalent. Dermatitis (skin inflammation), pruritus (itching), and alopecia (hair loss) are the most common symptoms of canine skin issues (hair loss). Some skin problems cause discomfort in dogs. in dogs frequently worsen without treatment, lowering their quality of life. For common skin disorders in dogs, there are a variety of treatments available.

  • 01 of 13

    Acral Lick Dermatitis

    dog skin acral lick dermatitis

    Acral lick dermatitis is a skin condition caused by repeated licking or chewing of the same region of skin. A lick granuloma is another name for it. This skin condition usually affects the tops of the paws or limbs. Because the region is itchy or painful, the dog it. The licking and chewing may become obsessive over time. This results in skin damage that is resistant to repair. Infected and damaged skin are possible outcomes.

    Acral lick dermatitis can be treated in a number ways. If feasible, your veterinarian will try to figure out what's causing the itching (medical term: pruritus) or discomfort and treat it. Itching can be controlled using anti-pruritic medicines. If there is a skin infection, antibiotics may be required. These therapies may make the dog more comfortable, but if self-destructive licking has become a habit, they may not be enough to stop it. To allow the area to heal, the dog must stop licking it. While the skin heals, many veterinarians recommend wearing an e-collar or cone to discourage the dog from licking and gnawing.

    Continue to 2 of 13 below.
  • 02 of 13

    Acute moist dermatitis is a disorder that develops quickly after a dog licks or chews an irritated region of skin. The licking causes the region to grow red and sore, and the hair may retain moisture and germs. Hot spots are the term for these regions.

    An underlying skin problem that causes irritation, such as allergies or parasites, can create hot patches. The hotspot region may get contaminated, most commonly with the bacteria Staphylococcus.

    Acute wet dermatitis is treated by removing the hair surrounding the hot region and cleansing the afflicted skin to allow the area to dry and recover. To calm the skin, relieve irritation and inflammation, and kill microorganisms, topical medicines may be required. Antibiotics, antipruritics, steroids, and/or antihistamines may be prescribed by your veterinarian. It is critical that the dog refrain from licking or gnawing the wound during the healing process.

    Continue to 3 of 13 below.
  • 03 of 13

    Excess yeast or bacteria develop in the ear canal, causing ear infections. The ear in question may become red, itchy, bloated, and painful. There may be debris, discharge, and/or stink. Ear infections can occur on their own or in conjunction with another skin disease, or as a side effect of other issues such as allergies.

    Ear infections are treated by cleaning the ears and administering a topical medicine into the ear canals. To combat infection and minimize inflammation, oral or injectable drugs may be required. Chronic ear infections might result in irreversible ear damage.

    Continue to 4 of 13 below.
  • 04 of 13

    Atopic dermatitis in dogs, also known as atopy, is a common cause of pruritus (itching). Inhalant allergies, such as pollen and dust, are caused by a hereditary propensity. While inhaled allergens produce respiratory symptoms in people, dogs frequently endure severe itching that prompts them to claw, chew, lick, and rub their skin. Hair loss and skin discomfort are common in dogs.

    Atopic dermatitis in dogs can progress to secondary skin infections if left untreated. Atopy symptoms usually appear in dogs between the ages of six months and three years. Atopic dermatitis in dogs can be aggravated by fleas and other external parasites.

    Anti-pruritic medicine, antihistamines, and/or steroids are used to relieve the itching in dogs with atopic dermatitis. External parasites and skin illnesses will be checked for and treated as needed by the veterinarian.

    To detect any particular allergens that impact your dog, skin allergy testing may be required. Allergen-specific immunotherapy may be advised if the allergens have been identified. Injections of a specially prepared allergy serum are required.

    Some environmental allergies can be reduced by periodically washing bedding using hypoallergenic detergents and replacing air filters. However, allergens will still be present. Atopic dermatitis in dogs is likely to require lifetime therapy and result in flare-ups.

    Continue to 5 of 13 below.
  • 05 of 13

    External parasites are organisms that live on or in the skin. There are several types of external parasites that can affect dogs.

    The most frequent are fleas, which irritate dogs that are sensitive to them. Flea infestations can lead to serious skin problems. Blood loss can cause anemia in dogs, particularly pups and tiny canines. Fortunately, there are several effective solutions available. Your veterinarian can assist you in selecting the best for your dog.

    Ticks cling to the skin and feed on blood. can cause skin responses, but the illnesses they can transmit to dogs, such as Lyme disease, ehrlichia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, are far more dangerous. Tick control is included in many flea control products. Consult your veterinarian about the various options.

    The most frequent kind of mange in dogs is demodectic mange. Because the immune system keeps them to a bare minimum, a limited number of these mites may dwell on the skin. Puppies and dogs with weak immune systems may have more mites. This might result in bald patches and irritation. Topical treatments, medicinal baths, and oral medications are all options for treatment.

    Sarcoptic mange, often known as scabies, is an infectious kind of mange that causes severe itching, hair loss, skin redness, and scabs. Multiple topical and oral drugs, as well as baths, may be used in treatment.

    Continue to 6 of 13 below.
  • 06 of 13

    The term "folliculitis" refers to inflammation of the hair follicle. When one or more hair follicles become irritated and inflamed, this condition develops. Folliculitis causes lumps on the skin surrounding the afflicted follicles in dogs. Itchy or unpleasant lumps are possible. Folliculitis is caused by bacteria, the most common of which being Staphylococcus aureus. Soapy pyoderma is another name for bacterial folliculitis. Folliculitis can also be caused by fungal infections, trauma, or parasites.

    Folliculitis may occur on its own or in conjunction with another skin problem. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and may involve antibiotics, antifungals, antipruritics, and more.

    Continue to 7 of 13 below.
  • 07 of 13

    Food allergies are somewhat frequent in dogs, albeit not as common as inhalant allergies, which cause atopic dermatitis in dogs. Itching, redness, flakiness, and hair loss are common symptoms in dogs with food allergies, which are comparable to atopy. Chronic ear infections are also common. Skin disorders are sometimes accompanied by gastrointestinal concerns such as vomiting and diarrhea.

    Food allergies in dogs must be treated with a particular food trial that excludes common allergens. The majority of dogs with food allergies are allergic to a specific protein included in their diet, such as chicken, cattle, lamb, eggs, fish, soy, or gluten. Your veterinarian will prescribe a specific diet for eight to twelve weeks. This will assist your veterinarian in determining the ideal diet for your dog in order to minimize recurrence of food allergy symptoms. Antipruritic medications are commonly utilized in the beginning to provide relief to the dog. Any additional skin problems will be treated by your veterinarian. Make careful to mention any recurring skin concerns during the dietary experiment.

    Continue to 8 of 13 below.
  • 08 of 13

    Immune-Mediated Diseases

    The immune system occasionally fails to detect and eliminate the body's own cells. Immune-mediated or autoimmune skin disorders in dogs are less prevalent than other skin problems, although they can be caused by a variety of autoimmune illnesses. Many can progress to the point that they require the attention of a veterinary dermatologist. Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Bullous Pemphigoid, Pemphigus Foliaceus, and various types of pemphigus are some of the most frequent immune-mediated skin disorders encountered in dogs.

    Medications that decrease the immune system's reaction are commonly used by veterinarians to treat autoimmune illnesses. Steroids, cyclophosphamide, and azathioprine are examples.

    Continue to 9 of 13 below.
  • 09 of 13


    Pyoderma is a general term that refers to a bacterial infection of the skin. Superficial pyoderma affects the upper layers of the skin. Bacterial folliculitis is one form of superficial pyoderma.

    Deep pyoderma affects the skin layers behind the follicles. It is less prevalent than superficial pyoderma, but it is more dangerous. Scabs and a discharge may appear on the skin. Deep pyoderma in dogs can be quite painful.

    To cure pyoderma, antibiotics are required, and long-term antibiotic therapy may be required. Medicated baths and antibacterial topical treatments are also available.

    Continue to 10 of 13 below.
  • 10 of 13

    Ringworm is a fungal ailment that affects dogs, people, and other animals, despite its name. It's a zoonotic illness, which means it may transfer from animals to people. Dermatophytosis is the medical term for ringworm, which is caused by fungus called dermatophytes.

    Ringworm produces itchy, red skin lesions that are round or oval in form and bordered by scaly skin in people. These spherical lesions may or may not form in dogs; instead, areas of hair loss, scaly skin, redness, or deeper pigmentation may emerge. Ringworm can also damage the toenails. Itching might happen or not.

    If the veterinarian suspects ringworm, they may use a Wood's light to examine the skin. The lamp emits a sort of blacklight that generates a green fluorescent look when shined on the skin. This is not a final test, but it is a quick approach to assess the skin. The veterinarian will next take a sample of the skin and examine it. To establish if dermatophytes are present, a fungal culture is frequently required. Depending on the circumstances, more testing may be required.

    Antifungal medications are necessary to treat ringworm in dogs. In addition, the vet may recommend medicated baths, dips, or other topical treatments.

    Continue to 11 of 13 below.
  • 11 of 13

    Seborrhea is a skin condition in dogs that causes severe flaking and scaling of the skin owing to keratinization problems. Keratin is necessary for the regeneration of skin, nails, and hair follicles. In dogs, there are two forms of seborrhea. Dry flakes and scales appear on the skin as a result of seborrhea sicca. Seborrhea oleosa is an oily kind of seborrhea. The skin may seem greasy, as will the flakes or scales. Many dogs will have a mix of traits.

    Seborrhea in dogs usually affects the areas of the skin with the most sebaceous glands. It's most common on the back and in locations with skin folds, like the armpits. In dogs, there are two forms of seborrhea.

    Primary seborrhea is a genetic or inherited condition that affects certain dog breeds. There is no cure for primary seborrhea, but medications are available to manage the disease.

    In dogs, secondary seborrhea is significantly more prevalent. Other skin illnesses, such as a yeast infection, can cause it. Secondary seborrhea is treated by identifying and treating the underlying disease.

    Both forms of seborrhea can be managed with medicated baths and other topical treatments.

    Continue to 12 of 13 below.
  • 12 of 13

    Skin Tumors

    There are several types of skin tumors, cysts, and bumps that can appear on the skin. These growths may be malignant or benign. The following are a few common types of skin growths seen in dogs:

    • s: benign growths that only need removal if they cause discomfort or get infected
    • : non-cancerous but may grow large enough to become a problem
    • Melanoma: a type of
    • Squamous cell carcinoma: another type of skin cancer
    • Mast cell tumors: cancerous tumors that appear on the skin

    Some skin growths don't need to be treated. Others may require surgery to be removed. Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy are required for some malignant growths. If you see any new skin growths on your dog, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

    Continue to 13 of 13 below.
  • 13 of 13

    Yeast Infections

    Malassezia Dermatitis is the name for skin yeast infections in dogs. When the Malassezia yeast overgrows on the skin, it causes this sort of skin condition. Itching, redness, and hair loss are all symptoms of yeast infections. Malassezia is also a common cause of ear infections. Yeast infections in dogs are frequently caused by other skin issues, such as allergies. Bacterial infections can happen simultaneously with yeast infections.

    Treatment of yeast infection in dogs involves treatment with antipruritic and antifungal medications. Medicated baths and topical treatments may be recommended as well.

You might be able to keep your dog from developing some skin disorders. Ensure that your dog has effective flea control all year. Take your dog to the vet for regular checkups (usually once or twice a year). Your veterinarian may be able to spot early indicators of skin issues before they become serious. Maintain a clean environment for your dog and offer a high-quality meal. So that your dog can obtain relief as quickly as possible, contact your veterinarian at the first symptom of a skin condition.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.