Top 5 Most Common Dermatological Conditions In Dogs
Wed, April 21, 2021

Top 5 Most Common Dermatological Conditions In Dogs


The skin is the body’s largest organ but it is most often overlooked by owners, noted Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, a provider of specialized care and a partner of the veterinary community to help families with pets. In fact, owners were more likely to worry about heart, lung, or kidney diseases than dermatological issues. Sadly, cats, dogs, and even owners may experience a deterioration in their quality of life if dermatological issues are not addressed.

Dermatological Conditions In Dogs

Ana Oliveira and colleagues of life sciences and biomedical journal portal PMC included only a total of 100 replies of 740 e-mails directed to veterinary clinics and hospitals in Portugal were considered valid for the 2018 study. 32% of participants said they applied the ISCAID (International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases) guidelines in diagnosing and treating SBF (superficial bacterial folliculitis) in practice. However, 53% were not aware of the guidelines while 15% did not apply them in practice.

Otitis externa (OE) had the highest prevalence (100%) followed by Malassezia dermatitis (MD) (81%), fold dermatitis (FD) (68%), and SBF (64%). Cytological evaluation was commonly used in OE cases than MD (88%), SBF (83%), and FD (72%). All clinicians reported cases of SBF caused by antibiotic-resistant S. pseudintermedius. 57% said there was an increase in the number of antibiotic-resistant cases seen in the last five years, while 33% did not think this was the case. Only 10% did not have an opinion on the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in S. pseudintermedius.

Oral antibiotics were frequently prescribed to manage infections caused by S. pseudintermedius. Cases of SBF were more likely to be treated with oral antibiotics as 100% of respondents considered prescribing them in this circumstance. In FD and OE cases, clinicians considered prescribing oral antibiotics in 88% and 82% of cases, respectively. All clinicians considered treating SBF with amoxicillin with clavulanic acid. Meanwhile, cephalexin was also commonly used by clinicians (94%) along with enrofloxacin (67%) and marbofloxacin (60%).

Antibiotics less commonly used by clinicians were clindamycin (48%), cefovecin (30%), doxycycline (24%), trimethoprim with sulfamethoxazole (22%), and minocycline (10%). When treating generalized MD, oral antifungals were used by most clinicians (85%). 70% and 59% of clinicians prescribed antifungals when treating Malassezia FD and OE, respectively.

In 2013, Javad Khoshnegah, Ahmad Reza Movassaghi, and Merhnaz Rad of PMC found that 221 domestic dogs (with 316 dermatological diagnoses) in Iran were diagnosed with one or more dermatological problems. Hence, this accounted for 17% of all the dogs examined in the study. Pruritus was the most common clinical sign (25.35%) along with erythema, maculo-papular-pustular eruptions (16.97%), erosive or ulcerative lesions (16.74%), scaling or crusting (13.02%), alopecia (8.84%) and visible ectoparasites (7.44%).

The most common primary final diagnoses were SBF (18.03%), cutaneous manifestations of canine leishmaniasis (11.39%), flea infestation/allergy (6.96%), ticks infestation (5.69%), atopic dermatitis (5.37%). Other primary final diagnoses were scabies (5.06%), unspecified dermatoses (4.43%), otitis (4.11%), furunculosis (4.11%), and food allergy (3.16%).



What Are the Most Common Skin Conditions In Dogs?

1.    Dry Skin

Part your dog’s fur to check if its skin is scaly or flaky and if you notice redness and skin inflammation from scratches, said ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ) Pet Health Insurance, an insurance provider that covers wellness, illness, accidents, etc. Dry skin can be caused by the environment, particularly when you and your dog live in an area with low humidity. Dry skin is more prevalent during winter when heaters run and dry out the air.

Allergic reactions to shampoos, smoke, fragrances, and other allergens can also lead to dry skin. Dietary issues such as a lack of healthy oils can cause dry skin. It is recommended to feed your dog with dog food that undergoes healthy processes to enhance your pooch’s skin and fur. Consult your veterinarian if they have suggestions on your pet’s dog food.

2.    Mange

It's a common skin disease caused by tiny mites. Typically, canines carry a number of species of external parasites on their skin and fur. While they don’t cause any issues, some mites can result in infections when they reproduce. The first type of mange is sarcoptic mange or canine scabies, which can be transmitted easily between dogs. Canine scabies can be passed on to humans, though the disease doesn’t survive on people.

Dogs with this disease may be restless or excessively scratch, causing bald patches, inflammation, sores, and scabs. The second type is demodectic mange, which is not usually contagious. The mites responsible for this disease can be transmitted to another dog. However, they are often absorbed into a healthy dog’s mite populations. Once they do, the mites cause no further issues.  Demodectic mange can result in the formation of bald spots, scabs, and sores. Have your dog checked by a veterinarian if you think it has mange. Your veterinarian may recommend special shampoos, dips, and oral or injected medications.



3.    Hot Spots

Known as acute moist dermatitis, hot spots refer to the red and inflamed areas of the skin. These areas feel hot to the touch and can be seen on your pet’s hips, head, chest. Allergies, excessive licking, infections, insect bites can cause hot spots. Hot spots may need to be cleaned and bandaged, but your veterinarian will identify and treat the underlying cause of the hot spots. Otherwise, they may worsen or reoccur.

4.    Flea Allergy Dermatitis

It is an eczematous itchy skin disease among canines and the most cause of skin disease, explained Collaroy Veterinary Services, a veterinary practice in Sydney, Australia. Dogs with this condition can develop allergic reactions to chemicals in flea saliva. Symptoms include bumps, pustules, scabs, and redness. In severe cases, hair loss will occur in the affected area. Canines with flea allergy dermatitis usually show hair loss and eczematous skin rash on the upper tail, lower back, neck and down the back of the legs.

5.    Allergies

Some dogs can be allergic to some household items like shampoos and cleaning supplies. They can also be allergic to some food. Allergic reactions result in itchy and irritating rashes. You need to find out the cause of the allergy. Your veterinarian can help you identify the cause and provide you with an appropriate treatment plan. Try to keep your dog away from the allergen as much as possible.

The skin may be the largest organ but it does not mean it should be taken for granted. Dermatological issues range from allergies to flea allergy dermatitis. If your dog starts scratching incessantly or see red spots, immediate veterinary attention is recommended.