Puppy skin health & allergies
Dogs will often suffer from various illnesses throughout their lives, some of which can be prevented. Skin problems are one of the most common complaints seen by vets in practice and they can have a significant effect on a dog’s quality of life, depending on its severity.
Being able to recognise the early signs, understanding what could be causing the irritation and knowing what to do can help keep your pup happy and healthy. Here’s all you need to know about skin problems in dogs.
Skin allergies in puppies and dogs
Atopic dermatitis, or allergic skin disease, can be seen in dogs as young as one year old. In humans, allergies to pollen, mould or dust cause sneezing and eye irritation but in dogs, allergies often make their skin irritable and itchy which can include reoccurring ear problems or infections.
Skin allergies can also be caused by fleas, mites and food, with some dogs having more than one trigger making it harder to identify the cause and manage.
Itching is one of the most common signs of an allergy but other symptoms suggesting an issue with the skin include:
- Excessive licking
- Spots or rashes
- Red or hot ears
- Hot spots
- Hair loss
- Ear infections
- Weepy eyes
- Diarrhoea or wind if suffering from a food allergy
Other skin conditions
Just like fleas, mites and lice can also cause skin irritation, hair loss and intense itching in dogs.
There are a range of different skin infections that can pose a real problem for dogs. Infections can be caused by allergies, bacteria, fungus and open wounds or cuts. Allergies weaken the skin barrier and make it more prone to infections.
Wounds or injuries can cause pain and discomfort in dogs and can sometimes be hard to spot.
What you can do help
Contact the vets at Joii if you think your pup has a skin condition as they will be able to advise you on what to do next. Never apply human medications as some of these can be dangerous when licked off by a puppy.
Fleas, ticks, lice and mites
Fleas, ticks, lice and mites are a very common problem in dogs and with some pups being allergic to their nasty bites, prevention is better (and easier!) than the cure. Here are just some things to know that can help you prevent parasites, or an infestation, on your pup and in your home.
Stay on top of treatment
The most important thing in preventing parasites is a good quality flea, tick, lice and mite product coupled with maintaining an up-to-date treatment routine This simple but powerful combination will help prevent certain allergies, infestations and diseases.
Treat your home as well
As 95% of all fleas are in the house or environment and not on our pets, it’s important to regularly treat your pup and your home. There are tablets and spot-on flea products available that kill fleas on your pets too.
Regularly check your puppy for signs of fleas or ticks as it’s easy to mistake ticks for lumps, skin tags, or even bits of dirt. Ticks are very unpleasant parasites and can attach to their host and suck their blood for around 10 days until they are full, They also spread some nasty diseases and have to be removed in a special way to prevent further issues developing, so make sure to speak to Joii for steps on what to do if you find a tick on your dog.
Comb check for fleas
Adult fleas or flea poo can be differentiated from dirt by placing them on a wet piece of kitchen roll and rubbed to smear the fleck. Flea dirt will smear red which is the digested blood from your pup.
Remember, a single flea can lay 50 eggs a day meaning 10 fleas can lay 15,000 eggs in one month, so it’s important to follow an effective treatment plan to avoid an infestation.
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