Jeff Feinman VMD, CVH  — Weston, Connecticut  — Call: 203.222.7979

Sunday, 19 February 2012 17:19

How Can I Soothe My Dogs' Skin? Could a Rash be From a Skin Allergy?

Written by  Rose DiLeva VMD, MS, CVCP, CVA
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The skin serves to protect the rest of the body. It is a barrier to infection, dehydration, ultraviolet light, irritating and caustic substances.
It is the largest organ in the body and is involved in temperature regulation sensory perception and blood pressure control. It is a secretory organ by virtue of its glands (apocrine, sebaceous). Skin allows pets to move and have shape due to its flexibility, elasticity and toughness. Skin is involved in adnexia production by producing hair and nails. Skin is a reservoir of water, electrolytes, vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. Skin is responsible for the process of pigmentation forming melanin. Skin is also responsible for Vitamin D production through stimulation of solar radiation.

The skin is often a reflection of the internal health of a pet. Diseases (dog skin infections) that affect the skin can be due to a primary skin problem or as a secondary problem. Examples of primary dog skin problems include flea or tick bites which cause a skin reaction or something like a skin abscess as a result of a dog bite. An example of a secondary dog skin problem is a situation in which the thyroid gland is under active, called hypothyroidism. Some autoimmune diseases also can manifest on the skin and appear as dog skin infections.


Dermatitis (skin infection) is a general term. It comes from the Greek, –dermatos, meaning skin, and –itis meaning inflammation. There are numerous types of dog dermatitis, ranging from a contact dermatitis to flea allergy dermatitis. Dog skin infections and dog skin problems manifest differently than cat skin problems. Typically dogs have itchy skin and some kind of skin eruption (hives, pustules, scales). These generally occur on the lower back, by the tail or at the base of the tail. They can, however, be located anywhere on the body. Additional symptoms that can be seen include otitis (inflamed ears), gastrointestinal problems (vomiting, diarrhea, gas), excessive licking at certain body parts (anus, paws), or interdigital dermatitis (inflammation between the toes). Diagnosis of dog skin infections can be very involved and very challenging for your veterinarian. It can include skin scrapings, microscopic examinations, skin cultures or a skin biopsy. The purpose and treatment of dog dermatitis is to relieve the symptoms and eliminate the underlying cause. Again, this depends if the dog's skin problem is a primary issue or a secondary problem. Natural treatment for dog dermatitis is even rarer.


Some additional causes of dermatitis can be from bacterial, fungal, yeast, or parasitic infections (mange), food (beef, chicken, soy) or environmental allergies (trees, grasses), allergies to fleas, contact allergies ( to cotton or plastic), exposure to certain drugs , exposure to toxins, nutritional deficiencies (zinc), sunburn, endocrine disorders (hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease), metabolic disorders, congenital defects (pituitary dwarfism), or self-inflicted trauma (hot spots or lick granulomas).

NATURAL TREATMENT OF DOG DERMATITIS

Natural treatment for dog dermatitis varies depending on the source. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that protects the body from damage caused by pollutants and chemicals. It also is useful therapeutically for dermatitis. Care must be taken to prevent over dosage because Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and can accumulate in the body. Vitamin E is another strong antioxidant. It helps prevent skin disease. It too is a fat soluble vitamin and must be taken with care. Bach Flower Essences that have been useful in the natural treatment of dog dermatitis treatment are Crab apple, Walnut, Olive, Chestnut bud and Five Flower formula. An additional natural treatment for dog dermatitis that I have found is the use of 100% organic distilled aloe vera liquid. It seems to be a helpful natural treatment for dog dermatitis as well. Soaking your dog's feet in a solution can be very soothing to them. I also recommend putting a small amount into their water bowl daily. It is important that the aloe vera liquid you use is able to be ingested. Finally, Dr. Rose's Remedies Skin Treatment Salve and Spray have been very useful in reducing the inflammation, irritation and itching associated with the natural treatment of dog dermatitis. It is antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory. It can be found on our Products page. Dog skin infections and dog skin problems can be a challenge. Remember, all dogs with skin problems should be examined by your veterinarian for proper diagnosis, care and treatment. The natural treatment of dog dermatitis can be a very satisfying effort if done properly and with the best treatment options such as Dr. Rose's Remedies skin treatment salve and spray.


 

Looking for a natural treatment for dog dermatitis? Try Dr. Rose's Remedies.

Click here for more details in the pet allergies article.

Read 7283 times Last modified on Sunday, 19 February 2012 17:47
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