The health of an animal is shown by the quality of its skin. Poor quality usually indicates another more serious underlying condition. Dog skin problems can have many sources. Among these are pest infestations; fungus, bacteria or yeast infections; and different forms of allergies. If any noticeable changes in the external health of a pet is discerned, a professional should be consulted. Leaving conditions untreated can further compromise a pets well being and pass infections to others, including humans.
Dog skin problems are discovered by simple observation. If a dog frantically scratches or frequently licks or chews itself, these are tell-tale signs something is wrong. Another behavior a pet performs to show its discomfort is rubbing against carpets or furniture. These behaviors should signal to owners that a closer look at their pet is necessary.
If there are any scabs, scaly patches, bald spots, rashes or lesions, a veterinarian should be notified. Other reasons for concern include redness, blood, pus, swelling, lumps or discoloration. There are many different conditions that can cause these symptoms and they are best detected by a professional.
Pests may be the culprit. Fleas can cause irritation with their bites and droppings. Allergic reactions to the saliva in a flea bite can also occur. Unfortunately, sometimes negative reactions can be the result of attempts to eliminate fleas. Certain powders, sprays and other formulas toxic to fleas can also be irritants to a pet.
Different infections can plague the skins surface. These include fungal, bacterial or yeast type infections. Fungal infections can include ringworm. Ringworm can result in the presence of scaly patches, baldness and irritation. Ringworm is particularly troublesome as it can be passed to other animals as well as people if left untreated. Bacterial or yeast infections normally occur only after the skin is compromised, further exacerbating the original problem.
Allergies also affect skin health. Allergies can flare due to irritants in the natural outdoor environment. Pollen, dust, mold or grass can all cause an unpleasant reaction in a pet. Generally symptoms improve or get worse with the changing seasons. Allergies due to food have some common sources. Usually chicken, soy, beef, wheat or corn based ingredients cause pets the most issues. Some additives, including food colorings, can be aggravating as well.
Problems can be behavioral in nature. Dogs that are stressed can gnaw on themselves or continuously lick their bodies. This may also be the symptom of feelings of profound boredom. Dogs should be allowed to exercise daily and be given plenty of attention to ensure that they are both happy and healthy.
A majority of these problems can be avoided. One such method is by using only gentle and dog intended products. Pets should be fed healthy and nutritious meals with limited artificial or nutrient empty ingredients. Hypoallergenic diets are highly recommended. Make sure the dog has a quiet, calm and clean environment. This will reduce stress and make it harder for pests to thrive. Veterinarians can also provide methods to prevent parasite infestations and to treat fleas.