What Causes Dog Dermatitis & How to Help Your Hurting Hound

There are a lot of diseases that dogs are prone to and one of them is the infamous itching problem known as dog dermatitis. Dermatitis is basically the general term used to describe transient or chronic itching in dogs that causes not only their coats to become flaky, scaly, and painful but can also affect the overall health of the dog entirely. Since dermatitis is a general term, there are different types of the disease which could either be transient (short-term and can be treated) or chronic (long term and can be fatal to the dog) in nature. If you've noticed your own dog scratching and biting off bits of his or her fur incessantly, it could be a case of canine dermatitis, which means you should take him or her to your local veterinarian for medications and treatments to cure the skin disease.


To better understand the nature of dog dermatitis, it is important that you know what factors can cause this skin disease in many dogs. In truth, the causes can vary from mere sunburns and flea bites to actual skin cancers and diseases for dogs. In most cases, the most common causes of dog dermatitis include allergies, irritating substances, seborrhea, reactions to drugs or toxins, fungi, bacterial, and parasitical infections, bad reactions to certain kinds of food, and the like. Another factor could be the dog's breed as some are more prone to such skin infections.


As mentioned previously, there are different kinds or types of dog dermatitis, each with their own set of characteristics and symptoms that make them identifiable. Here are some of the most common:

- Canine atopy: this is a very common cause of chronic itching in most dogs and is caused by an allergic reaction to substances in the environment, especially in grassy areas. This also affects mostly dogs between one and five years and that have a weak immune system to resist such substances. Atopy can be identified if the dog itches and scratches a lot, especially in the face and feet that causes skin to become red, moist, and irritated.

- Pyotraumatic dermatitis: usually known or referred to as a "hot spot", this kind of dog dermatitis is usually identified with a red, moist, hairless, and painful sore on the dog's body that appears suddenly. This kind of skin infection is usually common among dog breeds like Golden retrievers, German shepherds, and Bernese mountain dogs that have thick coats and long hair. Pyotraumatic dermatitis develops when the dog licks and scratches his or her skin raw because of something that causes such irritation.

- Contact dermatitis: this is a dog skin disorder that usually develops due to direct contact with certain materials such as fertilizers, flea collars, carpet cleaners, or other corrosive substances used in cleaning the home. It also occurs to dogs that are overly sensitive to a particular substance that is normally not an irritant. It can cause itchy red skin in the parts of the dog's body that has been exposed to the irritant.


As previously mentioned, as soon as you suspect your dog has dermatitis, you should bring your dog to the vet and seek immediate treatment. I also recommend you consider purchasing specialized balms that help relieve dog dermatitis. There are a variety out there but one of the most effective ones I've ever seen contains the Mayan traditional herb Tepezcohuite.

Reprinted with permission by Terrie Simpson, www.K9KlearUp.com. Terrie has been involved in the dog world for over 28 years and has achieved numerous awards with her Springer Spaniels in tracking and obedience. Over that time, she has amassed a good amount of knowledge about how to keep a dog healthy. She is now happy to give back by sharing her experience with other dog owners. Get the best of the canine world right to your inbox - Signup today for the K9Kourier weekly newsletter atwww.K9KlearUp.comand receive a FREE 41 minute MP3 download on "Natural Ways To Care For Your Canine".

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