Eczema on dogs? Who knew that was possible! Just like humans, dogs can develop eczema too. The following article explains what dog eczema is, the causes, and how to treat it.
What Is Dog Eczema?
Dog Eczema is similar to eczema seen in humans. It appears to be itchy, irritating, and inflamed. When this occurs, the dog’s natural reaction is to scratch, lick, and or chew on the affected area. There are generally two types of eczema seen in dogs; wet and dry which both have different symptoms. Wet eczema is also known as ‘acute moist dermatitis’ or ‘pyotraumatic dermatitis’ in dogs. This form of eczema causes infection on the skin’s surface. This can be very problematic for the dog because the bacteria that are present on all dogs but infection only causes infection when the skin is broken down through the barrier of the skin.
The symptoms of dog eczema are slightly different than that of human eczema. Dog eczema varies based on whether the eczema is wet or dry. Normally, symptoms are similar to those of symptoms for mange or skin allergies. In that case, you should most likely consult with a vet for a proper and accurate diagnosis. General symptoms for dog eczema, however, are as follows;
- Redness or Rash
- Severe Itchiness
- Licking, scratching, or chewing at the skin
- Rubbing against furniture or other surfaces
- Signs of pain
- Hot spots
- Matted, moist hair
- Oozing discharge
- Crusty or scaly skin
- Dry, flaky skin or dandruff
- Skin discoloration
- Thickened skin
- Open wounds or sores
- Secondary infection
Dog eczema has several plausible causes. The most common being atopic dermatitis or atopy. Atopic dermatitis consists of the immune system responding in an allergic form which has an abnormal reaction causing inflammation when reacting with certain substances. This is most common for dogs who are extremely sensitive to flea bites. Dogs generally develop eczema in the following ways;
- Parasites or mites
- Food allergies or sensitivity
- Contact dermatitis
- Impacted anal sacs or anal sac disease
- Licking at an area that is in pain
- Vitamin deficiency
- Exposure to irritating chemicals, plants, or other substances
- Extreme weather
- Viral, bacterial, or fungal infection
Treating eczema in dogs normally starts with determining what causes it and then removing it. Normally things like foods that cause allergies or things like chemicals, perfumes, household cleaners and other irritants can be taken out of the dogs’ environment as well. For dogs that suffer from eczema, vet’s generally prescribed anti-inflammatory medications like steroids to alleviate irritation from symptoms. This form of treatment is normally prescribed to reduce skin irritation even if the original cause of it is unknown.
An additional way eczema in dogs can be resolved is through medicated shampoos. These medicated shampoos should have oatmeal and essential oils which ultimately reduce itchiness and fight bacterial and fungal infections on the skin. However, it is best recommended to consult with a doctor to find the best form of treatment for your dog.
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Eczema on dogs can be monitored and handled in ways similar to the way humans do. Despite this, treatments for dogs should be closely monitored and talked through with a vet.