Five Common Skin Problems Affecting Your Pooch

Your favorite canine companion can suffer from a variety of skin problems. Most are easily treated. Some are difficult to cure. In the previous article we looked at 3 specific types of skin problems: atropic allergies, fleas and ticks and bacterial and yeast infections. In this article we will examine ear infections and mites.

Ear Infections

It is not readily viewed that an ear infection is a skin problem. This is a failure to perceive the effected parts of an ear are the exterior and interior skin. In fact, the infection may be the result of a larger skin reaction. It may be a single manifestation of a larger problem.

Ear infections may be singular. They can affect one ear. An ear infection can also be found in both ears. In both instances the symptoms and characteristics are the same. The ear is painful and swollen. The animal scratches at it.

It starts when inflammation and an infection increase the overall production of wax in the ear’s glands. As a result, the ear is kept constantly wet. This moisture becomes the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Already present, they begin to increase substantially in numbers.

As the bacteria and yeast grow, they produce and release toxins into the skin. The result is more inflammation. The process becomes a vicious cycle as it reproduces itself again and again. It will not cease naturally. You have to intervene to save the hearing and health of your dog.

You can control and treat ear infections. Clean the ears first before you introduce any material to soothe the ears. You can use steroids to soothe the glands. It will also reduce the swelling. Various ointments will help. Yet, the best approach is prevention. Check your dog’s ears weekly. Watch for and prevent any wax build up.


Mites are insidious microscopic creatures. They live on the body of your dog and feast off of it causing a condition called mange. These parasites come in 2 major types: Dendrex and sarcoptes - neither are pleasant to dealing with. Both can cause your dog excessive misery. Demodex is the more benign of the 2 species. They frequent immature dogs over adults. They hide in the hair follicles, preferring the face and paws. Demodex mites cause less itching. They result in less self-mutilation and, overall are least bothersome.

Demodex mites are easily diagnosed and not difficult to treat. This cannot be said about sarcoptes. These parasites are behind Sarcoptic Mange. This highly communicable infestation is more elusive to both diagnosis and treatment. They may be missed even after placement of affected tissue under the microscope.

Sarcoptic mange can cause trauma and hair loss. The animal may lose clumps of skin and have sore, crusty, scabs covering his or her body. This is often misdiagnosed as allergic dermatitis. Treatment may be delayed. This can result in death or the need to euthanise. Treatment for Mange is similar for both types. External dips and some current monthly flea preparations can be affective. There are also several medications. Selamectin has been proven to work. Alternatively, you can try ivermeticin. This is administered orally or by injection. It is not recommended for many herding breeds.

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