Common Skin Diseases Witnessed in Dogs

Skin diseases can drive both the dog and his owner mad. Every dog owner will agree to this, won’t they? The dog’s incessant licking, whining, and scratching are not only a heart breaking sight but also maddening to listen to hour after hour, day after day.

There are basically five types of common skin diseases in dogs. These include allergies, auto-immune/immune mediated, infectious skin diseases, developmental/hereditary circumstances, and internal diseases. Besides these, some other infections, such as yeast infections, can occur if the above mentioned problems are not taken care of.

Common Skin Diseases in Dogs

1) Allergies: Dogs can be allergic to a number of things, such as: food, insect bites (flea/ticks), things lying around such as plant fertilizers, pollen grains, domestic cleaning chemicals, chemicals used to process rawhide, hoofs, bones and horns. They may even feel allergic towards medications, and products, like plastic feeding bowls!

2) Auto-immune/Immune Disorders: Skin diseases in dogs such as Atopic Dermatitis, Canine Lupus, Canine Diabetes, kidney problems, hot spots and Acral Lick Dermatitis come under this category. This type of skin disorder occurs when the immune system of a dog is not working in a proper manner. These skin diseases are usually the most dangerous and can turn out to be fatal too.

3) Infectious Skin Disease: Infectious skin disease can be parasitic, bacterial, viral, or fungal. Many are contagious. Some skin diseases may even be zoonotic, i.e. the disease can be passed on by the pet to the owner. For instance, Sarcoptic Mange, caused by mites, is contagious and can be passed from the dog to the owner. Whereas, Demodectic Mange, also caused by mites is not considered contagious. Ringworm, which is a fungus, (not a worm) is a zoonotic disease. Similarly, Lyme Disease caused from tick bites and Dipylidium caused from fleas can be passed from dog to owner. Lice and mites are common parasites that transmit contagious infectious skin diseases.

4) Hereditary/Developmental Skin Disease: Some skin diseases in dogs are either inherited, or contracted as a puppy, or later in life. These include – Puppy Strangles, Seborretic Dermatitis, Ehlers-Danos, Canine Follical Dysplasia, Cushing’s Disease and Hypotricosis.

5) Internal Diseases Cutaneous Manifestations: Abnormalities caused due to endocrine hormone can be the origin of hypothyroidism, Cushing’s Disease and tumors. Affected anal sacs can also cause irritation to the surrounding areas. In some cases the sacs can be expressed whereas, in severe cases, they need to be surgically removed.

It’s easy to identify the dog with skin problems from the rest of the dogs. Common signs for identification are – foul odor from hair or skin, greasy and matted appearance of hair and skin, hair getting brittle, dull and dry. Dog’s face, head, ears, paws, between digits of the paws, forelegs, armpits, belly, tail and anal area are the common breeding areas for skin problems.

So if you find your pet suffering from the above stated diseases, please don’t waste time. Seek veterinary help immediately. Any delay could be serious, and possibly turn fatal. You can check out our site for more information on skin diseases in dogs at

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