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Dog skin health

Dog skin health - rashes, allergies, itching, yeast and hot spots

When you adopt a dog and bring it into your family, you take care of its nutrition and health.

A dog's skin, its largest organ, should also be cared for properly because they are especially susceptible to skin disorders, infections and diseases.

Dog skin hotspots for disorders are the undersides of the limbs, face, ears, around the tail, eyes, corners of the mouth and neck.
There are two main categories of skin disorders in dogs—hereditary and acquired skin disorders. Dog skin rashes and dog itching skin, two of the commonest skin problems in dogs can be caused by several factors that can be categorized into either of these two.

Acquired Skin Disorders

  • Most of the dog skin rashes are due to allergies. Skin allergies in dogs are acquired disorders even though the predisposition to develop these allergies is usually hereditary. Allergies can be caused due to several things that are present in the outside environment.

    Food allergies and hay fever are common among dogs. If a dog is allergic to several substances, the dog may suffer from severe allergic reactions and breakouts of rashes on the skin. Dog skin dermatitis may also be caused due to allergies. Inflammation of the skin, itching, and rashes are some of the common allergic reactions.
  • Mites that cause dog skin mange are very common infections. These mites cause hypersensitivity and inflammation of the skin, crusting, infectious growths, and reddening of the skin. Other mites like fleas or internal mites like heartworms and intestinal worms are also often responsible for such skin problems. Dog skin yeast infections can also often be seen around the ears.

Hereditary skin disorders
Most of the hereditary skin disorders are specific to only one or two breeds and therefore do not affect the other breeds. Fortunately, there are very few such hereditary skin disorders that are common to all breeds of dogs.

  • Acrodermatitis,
  • Cutaneous asthenia,
  • Sebaceous adenitis,
  • Cuclic hematopoiesis,
  • Cermatomyositis,
  • IgA deficiency,
  • Color dilution alopecia and
  • Nodular dermatofibrosis.


Apart from these two main categories of skin disorders, there are also auto-immune skin conditions. These disorders are sometimes paired with allergic reactions; however, the causes of allergic reactions are somewhat different from those of auto immune disorders. Lupus is the most serious and a very devastating auto-immune skin disorder. It not only affects the skin, but also the kidneys, blood chemistry, and bones. Lupus is usually a fatal disease that is found in both humans and dogs.

  Submitted on June 1, 2010  
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