It starts with redness on the skin, itching, hair loss and depending on the stage, it even forms wounds. Folds and long, thick hair are characteristics that facilitate the development of dermatitis in dogs.
As with humans, dogs also become more fragile when they don’t eat well or are constantly exposed to situations that generate stress. Low immunity also contributes to the development of dermatitis, so it is very important to take good care of the dog so that it does not develop this disease.
How is dermatitis in dogs?
It is called atopic dermatitis. It is an inflammation or infection of the skin. It usually affects dogs that have long hair like the golden retriever and dogs that have a lot of folds on the body, like the shar-pei, as these characteristics contribute to the accumulation of fungi and bacteria in the skin.
However, the disease can be developed for several reasons. Allergies, skin injuries, hormones, contact with chemicals, parasites and microorganisms and autoimmune issues are some of the causes that contribute to atopic dermatitis.
It’s worth remembering that wet places are also great hiding places for fungi and bacteria. It is important to keep the place where the dog rests always clean and dry.
How to identify dermatitis in dogs
Because it is a skin problem, the symptoms are very noticeable. Hair loss, itching, redness and flaking are some of them. It is also common for the area affected by dermatitis to have wounds, as the dog scratches itself with its nails and teeth, hurting the skin.
Dermatitis is a disease that only affects the skin, so the dog does not have symptoms such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
Main causes of dermatitis
There are several ways for the dog to develop the disease, which makes it the most common among canines and depending on the form of contagion, it will determine whether the disease is transmissible or not.
Let’s look at the main ways to contract atopic dermatitis:
- Allergy to products: just like humans, pets are also allergic to perfume, shampoo, cleaning products that come into contact with the animal’s skin (such as bleach, disinfectant, etc.) can generate allergic dermatitis.
- Fungi and bacteria: this is the easiest way to contract the disease, especially when the dog has low immunity or some underlying disease. Humid places end up favoring the proliferation of bacteria, such as bathing tanks in pet shops that are not properly sanitized or even a post-bath drying that was not completely done, leaving the fur damp for a long time.
- Parasites: another way to contract atopic dermatitis is through flea, tick, scabies and lice. In addition to these parasites being able to transmit the disease directly, ticks and scabies cause wounds in the dog’s skin that facilitate the entry of bacteria and fungi. Some dogs are also allergic to fleas and ticks, which causes skin irritation and makes the organ more vulnerable to the disease.
- Food: some animals are allergic to certain foods or components. Some of them are intolerant to beef and chicken, which can cause skin symptoms, such as severe itching. However, this form of developing dermatitis is not contagious.
- Genetics: despite not being the most common form and also without a form of contagion, some dogs are already born with a predisposition to the disease, and if it is diagnosed quickly, special care is needed, especially when bathing and feeding.
- Hormone problem: hypothyroidism is not something exclusive to humans, animals also suffer from it. Just like this, other dysfunctions can deregulate the puppy’s hormonal system causing the disease to develop.
How to treat dermatitis in dogs
Because it has several forms of contagion, there are also different ways to treat each case and obtain positive results. The veterinarian will determine the best way after carrying out the tests and identifying the causative agent.
The use of specific lotions, ointments and shampoos to treat dermatitis are always indicated to help treat the skin from the outside in. However, depending on the severity of the disease, the dog will be treated with antibiotics, histamines and antifungals.
Atopic dermatitis is a disease that has no cure, but it can be controlled and for that the owner will have to be very dedicated so that his pet does not suffer so much from the disease.
Some ways to prevent the disease are to maintain a balanced diet with foods that do not harm the animal, keep the environment clean and always airy and prevent the dog from being wet for a long time. Taking certain preventive measures, the puppy will not suffer from canine dermatitis.