Fortunately, these symptoms usually indicate easily treated disorders, such as dandruff or flea bites. Here are the most common types of skin troubles dogs face:
Parasitic: Fleas are the most common parasitic problem for dogs, but be on the lookout for signs of lice and mites — in particular the Sarcoptes scabiei mite, which can cause mange.
Seasonal: Like us, dogs can be sensitive to changes in weather. Check for flaky, dry skin in cold-weather months, allergic reactions in spring and fall, and moist eczema when it’s rainy or wet (or when your dog spends a lot of time in the water).
Infectious: Fungal conditions such as ringworm and yeast infections can cause numerous skin issues for dogs. Bacterial infections of existing skin damage can also cause problems.
Behavioral: Stress, boredom and anxiety can lead some dogs to excessively lick their skin. This can cause hair loss and skin infections.
Nutritional: Food allergies could be the cause of your dog’s itching or rashes. (Learn more about dogs’ skin allergies.)
Hormonal: Hormone disorders or fluctuations are another contributor to problems and changes in a dog’s skin.
Environmental: Your dog may be sensitive to the cleaning solutions you use in your home — or even products designed for dog grooming.
Often, a clinical exam is needed to identify the cause of a dog’s skin problems. So if your pet is exhibiting any symptoms of dermatitis, take her to the veterinarian’s office. There you will get a diagnosis of what’s causing the irritation, as well as topical or oral medications that can help ease any discomfort.
HEARTGARD® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel), the #1 veterinarian-recommended heartworm preventive, prevents heartworm disease and treats and controls roundworms and hookworms that can cause zoonotic disease in people, including children.