The skin is a versatile and highly sensitive organ. It takes over a whole range of vital functions of the organism – in humans as well as in dogs. It protects against environmental influences, regulates body temperature, and forms valuable vitamin B in UV light. Diseased skin changes in dogs are therefore always to be taken seriously. They can arise as a reaction to an external stimulus, but they can also be an alarm signal for another illness.
Diseased skin lesions in dogs
Diseased skin changes can be diverse. They range from slight redness to itching, flaking, and hair loss to open, weeping, or purulent areas of the skin. A dog that is constantly scratching, licking, or gnawing at a certain spot and is generally very restless is not comfortable in its skin. Such behavior should be a clear indication of a skin condition for dog owners. Some skin changes do not cause itching, but can still be a sign of a disease. Therefore, it is important to regularly examine a dog for skin changes, if in doubt, to have this clarified by the veterinarian.
When the dog’s skin sounds the alarm
Skin changes (itching, reddened and inflamed skin) occur most frequently with allergies. Dogs can have an allergic reaction to anything. Flea saliva allergy is widespread, but pollen or pollen can also lead to allergic reactions in dogs. Feed allergy is in third place. As a rule, allergies cannot be cured. However, once the allergy-triggering substance is known, the symptoms can be controlled.
Tiny pests such as fleas, ticks, or mites also cause problems for the dog’s skin. Their bites and stings cause severe itching. The constant itching in turn results in constant scratching and nibbling, which further weakens the skin area and makes it the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. A warm, humid climate favors the development of skin inflammation, a so-called hot spot. It is therefore important, especially in the warm season, to check the dog thoroughly for parasites after every trip to the countryside.
Fungi of all kinds also feel comfortable on the dog’s skin. Possible signs are round, spreading lesions that may be scaly or crusty. Fungal diseases can be transmitted from dogs to humans, so it is important to diagnose them quickly and treat them consistently.
Changes in the skin can also be a sign of hormonal disorders. Dogs with an underactive thyroid are prone to skin infections and scaly skin. For example, in Cushing’s syndrome – a common hormonal disease in dogs – the skin becomes thinner and the fur duller.
The diet also plays an important role in dog skin health. Essential fatty acids are important for cell renewal and ensure healthy skin and a shiny coat in dogs. A nutrient deficiency therefore also leads to skin and coat diseases.
Skin diseases in dogs can have many causes and are also difficult to diagnose. Every dog owner should therefore regularly check their dog for parasites, and skin or fur changes and show a lot of patience during the diagnosis and treatment by the veterinarian.