The happiness of a dog or a puppy running towards you and then jumping on to your lap, is incomparable to any other feeling. You sit with them, pat them, play with their hair. The warmth that you get is something that helps you bond with your pet. However, have you ever wondered that there are many dog skin diseases, which are waiting to attack your beloved pet as soon as you become a little careless.
As many vets and trainers will tell you, skin health in dogs is a serious matter. A dog’s skin health is not to be taken lightly, for it has chances of becoming chronic, and sometimes, unfortunately, even fatal to the canine. There are 160 known dog skin diseases for canines, and given how much a dog runs around and frolics outside, there are all the chances that it may bring some worm in its furry coat.
Now, if you’re a new pet parent, you will think, “How much harm can a worm do to a giant, four legged dog?”.
The answer is, A LOT!.
As mentioned, the worm can cause a chronic disease. The worm can hide in the coat and if your dog is bathed only once a month, it can breed in that time to form worms or bacterias that may eat up the dog’s skin. Imagine sitting and taking all these worms out.
Imagine your dog spending its entire day with tiny creatures eating parts of its skin.
Dog skin diseases are a prominent and tough in veterinary medical cases for there are so many in number, and sometimes the owner notices the signs too late. By the time they bring the dog to a vet, the worms have already bred and caused infections and it may even lead to a chronic, incurable disease.
However, as a new pet parent you need not worry too much. The early symptoms of a skin disease are not that hard to spot, and only a very careless pet parent would miss them. The symptoms are simple, similar to any dermatological disease in humans. They are:
1) Excessive itching and scratching: If your dog constantly scratches a spot on its coat and yet is not relieved, look at the spot to determine if it appears different from its surrounding area, if something is standing out. A fresh itch may be hard to notice, so make sure you focus on the skin and not the fur, and keep checking again for the next few days to ensure nothing untoward happens at that spot.
2) Dry skin and dandruff: When brushing your dog’s coat, if you see excessive hair loss or a lot of dandruff in the brush, check its skin. If there is dandruff, there might be some problem with the dog’s nutrition and diet.
3) Patches on your dog’s skin: Sometimes, the problem isn’t too hard to spot. It could be a patch of blood on your dog’s skin, or an area where no hair is growing, or even a boil. Keep on the lookout for these while brushing your dog’s hair.
The problem with dog skin diseases is that not only are they hard to spot, but harder to define. A boil-like area may be an insect bite, or it may simply be a boil. A patch of blood may be a terribly scratched part of the skin, or it may be a tear. Are fleas attacking your dog? The reasons are hard to tell.
Dogs even have allergies- go figure! Perhaps these allergies are the reason behind your dog’s boils. The only person who can answer this correctly is your vet. The first step to take when you spot a dermatological issue on your dog’s coat is to take him to the vet. Help delayed may be useless, and you need to provide aide quickly.
However, there are some issues that can be tackled at home if your vet clears it. These issues come with a specific set of home remedies that you may use to make your dog’s skin healthier. They are:
1) For an issue as simple as dry skin, give your dog some Vitamin E. You can apply the oil directly, add it to a bath, or give a pill, but make sure you consult your vet about dosage before you pop your dog with pills!
2) You can spray some chilled chamomile tea on your dog’s skin to reduce minor skin irritations. If it does not work, then you know the issue is serious and it’s time for a visit to the vet!
3) There are several ways to tackle fleas. The easiest home remedy is to leave lemons in boiled water overnight, and then using the solution as a spray on your dog. It even makes the dog smell better! You can also give your dog Brewer’s yeast in powdered form or as a tablet with food, and this tried and tested method will annihilate all the fleas!
4) For wounds, treat your dog with epsom salt. You can put the salt in the bath and let it work its magic on your dog’s skin! This can handle quite a few of dog skin diseases.
5) To stop your dog from excessive itching, try the unconventional but highly effective method of oatmeal baths! Grind some oatmeal and pour it in your dog’s bath water and let it have a soak. Your dog will be very thankful!
6) In case your dog is having dandruff or a lot of falling hair, you may need to supplement its diet with protein (particularly beta keratin) based food or treats.
As mentioned before, dog skin diseases are annoying and should be alarming, and you should get your dog’s coat checked regularly at the vet. However, regular wellness visits are not the only way, there are some things you can and should do at home, and the above mentioned remedies will help you maintain a beautiful coat for your dog!