Skin Infections in Dogs

Skin infections in dogs are uncomfortable and, at times, painful. Regardless of the cause, a dog skin infection should be dealt with as soon as possible. Treating a dog skin infection not only provides relief for your pet, but it prevents the infection from spreading over a greater area of the body. Here’s what to know about a dog skin infection.

Skin Infections in Dogs

Dog Fungal Skin Infection

Ringworm is the most common dog fungal skin infection. Ringworm is the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot in humans. This dog fungal skin infection presents as scaly, inflamed patches of skin. You may notice these patches around your dog’s eyes, on its muzzle, and on its legs. No area of the body is safe from this fungal infection. If you notice any hair loss or crusty patches, have your dog diagnosed by a veterinarian. Dogs can pass ringworm to humans in the house.

Dog Bacterial Skin Infection

Yeast is the most common cause of dog bacterial skin infection. You may notice that your dog’s coat feels greasy, that its skin smells bad, or that the fur on its toes is turning brown. A dog bacterial skin infection can be incredibly uncomfortable for your pet, and it can cause permanent skin changes if not treated properly. If your dog smells like more than just a dog, it’s time to consult your veterinarian.

Diagnosing Dog Skin Infection

To diagnose a skin infection, your veterinarian may scrape your dog’s skin and look at it under a microscope. Your veterinarian will look for the presence of mites, fungus or bacteria. Your veterinarian may also suggest a skin biopsy, or he may look at your dog’s skin under a Wood’s Lamp. This lamp contains an ultraviolet light bulb. If your dog has a fungal infection, the fungus will glow under the lamp.

Treating Skin Infections in Dogs and Puppies

There are a variety of ways in which your veterinarian can treat a skin infection in your dog or puppy. He may prescribe medicated shampoos, instructing you to bathe your dog at specific intervals. Your dog may need to take prescription medications, and your vet may give you prescription topical creams or sprays to use on your dog. It’s important to treat the infection whether it is fungal or bacterial in order to give your dog some relief.

Preventing Skin Infections in Dogs

There are steps you can take to prevent your dog from developing a skin infection. Use shampoos that are labeled for pets, brush your dog to prevent matted hair, and feed your dog an appropriate diet. You can also be sure to use a monthly flea and tick preventive, regularly vacuum your home, and keep your dog as calm as possible. Doing these things may not prevent skin infections totally, but it will make your dog less likely to develop one.

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