Summer can be cruel on our pets and the health of their skin. Apart from the usual allergies, the drastic climate conditions (dry spells, humidity, temperature extremes, rain) can wreak havoc on your dog’s coat. There are many different types of skin issues that occur for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common.
Skin problems that occur as a result of your dog’s interaction with the environment. What they come in contact with – grass, plants, dirt, bugs, etc. and of course, water.
Itchiness and skin problems that stem from a lack of proper nutrition. There are plenty of pet foods out there that advertise themselves as all compassing, when in fact they lack in the very basics. Ensure that your dog’s diet has meat as the top, if not the main ingredient. Vitamins and supplements containing Omega fatty acids can also help.
Fleas, Mites and Other Bugs
A whole variety of mite species, not just fleas can give your dog skin and health problems. There are several medicines that can be used pro-actively to keep these pests away, especially during warmer months.
An allergy is a reaction by the body to some sort of stimulant exposure. In dogs the most common display of an allergic reaction is itching of the skin. It is important to note that a skin reaction does not necessarily result from physical contact alone; it can just as easily result from consumption of an allergen.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Those that occur as a result of an allergic reaction to the bite of the insect or to the insect itself. Treatment involves removal of the offending bug and treatment of the bite area with medication.
Inhaled allergens, that a dog is exposed to through breathing such as pollen, mold or dust. Your veterinarian who may suggest administration of an antihistamine like Benadryl for your dog based on its weight and health condition.
Caused by consuming food containing a particular offending ingredient that causes the body to mount a defense. A process of elimination can easily determine the cause by removing food ingredients from the diet in order to track the symptoms. This can be treated by switching to an allergy friendly variety of dog food.
Allergies caused by direct contact of skin with a foreign substance – eg.chlorine in a swimming pool. It is advisable to promptly rinse off the offending substance with cool water and consult your vet.
Hives are a specific type of allergic reaction that appear as round raised bumps that itch. These bumps cause the hair on the dogs coat to stick out in spots and can also appear in other areas such as the eyelids. Unlike most allergic type reactions, hives are quicker to appear and generally will develop within half an hour of exposure to an allergen.
Hives in dogs can be due to any number of factors. Mostly, once the stimulant has been removed, the hives will disappear by themselves. A veterinarian will most likely recommend application of an antihistamine to control the swelling and discomfort of the hives themselves.
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