A dog’s skin condition can be a window into his overall health. There are a variety of issues that impact the skin and following up with a vet can be a smart choice in most situations.
If your dog is having a skin problem you will notice certain habits or signs. Dogs with skin conditions often will excessively scratch, lick or chew their skin; skin conditions can manifest as redness or inflammation, scaly patches, dry or flaky skin, bald patches, lesions, swelling, or drainage of puss or blood. These conditions can be caused by parasites, fleas, ringworm, seasonal or food allergies, infection, sarcoptic mange, grooming products you may be using, or even plain old boredom.
You can help prevent skin conditions for you dog by taking some easy steps. Brush your dog regularly, try to use food without fillers and artificial ingredients, use a flea or parasite prevention program you receive from your vet, clean and vacuum your home frequently, and use hypoallergenic grooming products.
If the condition is serious enough for a visit to the vet, the vet will take certain steps to identify the condition. These can include skin biopsy, allergy or ringworm testing, close examination of skin and/or fur, and blood tests. Treatments a vet may prescribe include topical medicines, dietary supplements, change in diet, injections to treat allergies, or medicines such as antibiotics or antifungals.