Various systems in your dog’s body work hand in hand to keep your furry pal healthy and in top condition. Good health and nutrition are paramount to keep these systems and body parts functioning well. As a pet owner, your primary responsibility is to look after their health since they can’t do it themselves. However, despite efforts to do so, it is inevitable that some dogs will suffer from certain health conditions, a case in point being skin problems.
Coat And Fur Condition: Is There Something Wrong?
Your dog’s skin and coat serve as their fundamental barrier against external stressors. They protect their bones, muscles, and internal organs. A canine’s coat and skin health will depend on a variety of factors such as nutrition, so to learn more, you can walk through the helpful guides written by Kate Barrington @ Petsumer.
If your dog’s skin and coat are not in good condition, it will show through a number of indications. Since the skin is an external organ, you would immediately know if something is wrong with your dog. In light of this, here are 5 signs that your dog is suffering from skin difficulties:
Pepper-Like Dirt On Fur, Carpet, And Bedding
Parasites and other organisms can secretly live on your dog’s skin and go unnoticed, particularly if your dog has long fur. If you have noticed that your dog has small black spots that look like pepper on their coat, check carefully and try to find fleas, mites, and other critters living in your dog’s skin. These specks can also be present on your dog’s bedding or on your carpet where your dog usually stays.
These black or black-brown specks are bits of dried blood left by these parasites. When they feed on your dog’s blood, fleas and mites typically release dried blood droppings, causing stains on your canine’s fur. You can try rehydrating these spots with a few drops of water, and if they turn red, it is undoubtedly blood from fleas and mites.
Humans experience dry skin due to various internal and external factors, such as weather conditions, skincare products, and skin issues. Like humans, there are underlying reasons for why you canine might be experiencing dry skin. Usually, your dog’s dry skin is accompanied by itchiness since dry skin lacks natural oil lubrication, which irritates the skin.
If your canine shows indications of dry skin, it is confusing to identify the root causes because the following factors may cause dry skin and itching in dogs:
- Bacterial and fungal infections
- Shampoo and topical irritants
- Poor diet
- Thyroid disease
- Allergies, and more
To correctly identify what may be causing your canine’s dry skin, consulting a licensed veterinarian is necessary.
Hair Loss Or Dog Alopecia
A few strands of fur falling off from your pet’s coat is considered normal, but a significant amount of hair or fur loss should alarm you. This normal process is known as hair shedding, but if you see bald spots in your dog’s fur accompanied by hair loss, it can be another underlying skin or organ condition.
Skin irritation and allergy can cause itching and inflammation in your dog. When your dog licks and scratches continuously, the chronic licking will cause stress on their coat, fueling hair loss, and bald spots.
Thickened, Bald, And Scaly Circular Patches
Without further consultation, you can try a preliminary observation on your canine to identify any existing health condition, especially if you don’t have access to a veterinarian yet. If you see thickened, bald, reddish, and scaly circular patches around your dog’s body, it can be narrowed down to a specific skin condition known as ringworm infection.
A ringworm infection is characterized by a ringworm fungus that thrives in the outermost layer of your dog’s skin. Ringworms are also called dermatophytes, a collection of pathogenic fungi. The specific fungus that usually affects canines and other pets are:
- Microsporum canis, 70%
- Microsporum gypseum, 20%
- Trichophyton mentagrophytes, 10%
What sets ringworm infection apart from other symptoms is that they usually don’t itch. The circular patches in your dog’s coat are caused by the fungi affecting hair follicles, thus making them break and fall off easily.
Itchy And Raised Bumps
At some point in their life, your canine might experience red, round, and itchy raised bumps on their skin called hives. This skin condition also happens in humans, and has the same symptoms and appearance in dogs as well. If your dog suddenly has hives, you don’t have to worry too much, as unlike other skin conditions discussed above, it’s a less severe issue.
Upon exposure to an allergen, hives appear faster than skin allergies, showing 30 minutes after exposure. If the allergen has been eliminated immediately, expect that hives will disappear in a day. However, if the allergen continues to linger in the surroundings, hives will cause skin discomfort and itching on your dog.
Skin and coat health is essential for your dog’s overall well-being. The condition of your dog’s skin can tell a lot about your canine’s health. With the help of the signs discussed above, you can identify if your dog is currently having a skin issue. However, since most skin conditions manifest the same symptoms, the advice of a professional is required. Once your dog’s skin and coat are back to being shiny and soft, make sure to maintain them by grooming your dog regularly.