How Is Hypothyroidism In Dogs Diagnosed And Treated
Left untreated, hypothyroidism can impact your dogs quality of life, so its important to book an appointment with your vet to get an official diagnosis.
Though there can be several symptoms, this disease isnt life-threatening and it is fairly inexpensive to treat. Your veterinarian may complete numerous blood tests to diagnose the condition. He or she may prescribe specific doses of the manmade hormone levothyroxine to be taken orally on a daily basis for the rest of your dogs life.
There are also therapies such as low dose natural hormone replacement, homeopathy and glandulars which may help healing, along with fermented foods, high-quality, gluten-free natural foods, lots of exercise in nature and fluoride-free filtered water. Your dog may have sensitivities to certain foods or substances your vet will need to identify so you can avoid them.
Integrating a few natural fibrous nutrients such as green beans, carrot, cucumber, cooked broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, cooked spinach and mushrooms may also be recommended.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets.
How Pets Get Ticks
Ticks crawl onto tall grass and shrubs and wait for a host, like your pet, to pass by. They can wait for a year without feeding. Dogs are most likely to pick up ticks while walking in the woods or high grass from spring through fall. Outdoor cats can pick up ticks the same way. Ticks are more common in warm climates and some wooded areas of the Northeast.
Recommendations To Reduce The Risks For Skin Lesions And Problems
While some skin conditions cant be prevented, some can be avoided or minimized with steps that an owner can take at home. Good hygiene is essential, especially when it comes to preventing bacterial or fungal infections. Here are some tips for keeping your dogs skin and coat in tip top condition:
- Bathe your dog no more than once a month and use a moisturizing shampoo
While it may seem counterintuitive, washing your dog too often can cause issues. Your dogs skin is home to many natural good bacteria that help fight off the bad stuff, so washing too regularly can remove this healthy flora, leaving your dogs skin open to infection. If your dog is prone to allergies or skin infections, then consider using a prescription medicated shampoo your vet can advise you on this.
- Pay close attention to your dogs diet
A well balanced and nutrient rich diet will ensure that your dogs skin is functioning optimally. Fish oil and omega 3 supplements can help keep your dogs fur shiny and keep the barrier to the outside world well intact. If you suspect your dog is suffering from allergies, then you should try a hypoallergenic diet the hydrolyzed diets are best.
- Brush your dogs coat regularly
Brushing is not only great for forming a bond between you and your dog, but it will also help remove any dirt, debris and dead skin cells than may have accumulated in your dogs thick coat.
- Keep your dogs anti-parasite treatments up to date
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Top 8 Skin Diseases In Dogs
Skin issues in dogs can be caused by a number of problems or even a combination of them. For instance, your dog could have fleas as well as an allergic reaction to flea medication. If your dog is showing signs of a skin issue, one or more of these top eight skin diseases in dogs might be at the root of the problem.
What Causes Yeast Infection Of The Ear
A dogâs ear canal plunges downward and then towards the head . That gives yeast a favorable environment in which to grow. If your dog swims or is bathed frequently, trapped water or debris in the ear canal can lead to yeast infections. Allergens like pollens, mold, dust, feathers, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, and certain foods can also lead to ear infections in a dog.
A dog’s outer ear extends from the outside of the earlobe to the ear drum. An infection in this part of the ear is called otitis externa. An infection in the middle ear — otitis media – typically develops in association with an outer ear infection. Then once the middle ear is infected, the infection can spread to the inner ear, where it will affect the dog’s sense of balance and position. An inner ear infection can also cause deafness. Catching and treating an infection early, while it’s still in the outer ear, will help prevent more serious middle and inner ear infections.
Yeast infections can also show up elsewhere on your dogâs skin. When one does, it causes the skin to become scabby, reddened, or crusty. with a foul odor.
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What Happens If Staphylococcal Bacterin Desensitization Is Not Successful
The dog will require periodic treatment with antibiotics and medicated baths. This is not the most desirable approach because Staphylococcus will often develop resistance to the antibiotics. If this occurs, a change in the specific antibiotic used will be necessary. This will also involve more bacteriological tests and antibiotic sensitivity testing in order to establish another appropriate course of treatment.
Give the antibiotics according to the instructions on the label. Do not discontinue them even if your dog’s skin looks normal. There should be noticeable improvement within one week. Near the end of the course of antibiotic treatment, your veterinarian will need to reexamine your dog to ensure the infection has resolved.
____ Bathe your dog in the medicated shampoo supplied every _____________ days for a total of ___________ baths. Allow the shampoo to remain on your dog’s skin for at least five minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
____ An injection was given to stop itching. If this does not occur within twenty-four hours, please contact us. If the injection causes your dog to drink and urinate excessively, please contact us. If this occurs, it will usually stop in a few days. These side effects are dose related. If another injection is needed in the future, we will lower the dose to avoid this side effect.
____ Staphylococcal bacterin is to be given according to the following schedule:
Dose 1: __________________ Dose 5: ___________________
A Note On Dogs And Poison Ivy
Interestingly enough, dogs arent sensitive to the oil found in poison ivy that can cause a reaction in humans. However, this allergenic oil can be carried on your dogs coat and passed to you or other members of your family and cause an itchy and painful rash.
For this reason, its important to clean the oil off of your dogs coat if he or she has been near the leaves of the poison ivy plant. Be careful not to expose your skin to the oil. Wash your dog carefully wearing gloves and a long sleeve shirt. Dispose of or wash everything thoroughly when youre done.
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Can Skin Allergies In Dogs Be Prevented
Unfortunately, because allergies are caused by genetic and environmental factors, they cannot be prevented. We can only manage allergies as they occur. We can prevent flare-ups of allergies by avoiding the offending allergens, such as by feeding a prescription diet to prevent food allergy flare-ups or minimizing dust in the home to reduce environmental allergies.
And although allergies cannot be truly prevented, we do know that there is a genetic component to the development of allergies. This means it is best to avoid breeding dogs with allergies to avoid passing on this condition to the next generation of puppies.
Are Certain Dog Breeds More Susceptible To Yeast Infections
Ear infections caused by yeast are more common in dogs with floppy ears, like cocker spaniels, basset hounds, golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and poodles. Some breeds which have hair growing in the inner ear canal, like Schnauzers, are also more susceptible to yeast infection. So are dogs with allergies.
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Does My Dog Have A Yeast Infection On His Skin
Itchy, irritated skin with a distinct odor can be an indication of a yeast infection, a common skin concern for dogs. A dog will typically develop a yeast infection on the skin or in the ears. Regardless of location, a yeast infection can cause extreme discomfort and can be an indication of a more serious issue.
Common Causes Of Canine Skin Disease
Flea allergy dermatitis, environmental and food allergies are the leading causes of to dog skin lesions and rashes. Even if you don’t find any fleas on your dog, they are skilled at hiding, with even a few able to cause a problem in allergic dogs. Symptoms are usually in the form of raised red bumps known as hives. They are itchy and will cause your dog to scratch. Excessive scratching may break the skin, leading to infection.
If no infection occurs, hives will usually go away on their own once exposure to the allergen is removed. If infection develops, however, medical treatment will be needed. See your vet if your dog has sores that dont go away in a few days, or sores that ooze anything yellowish in color. He may need antibiotics.
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Symptoms Of Skin Allergies In Dogs
Food and environmental allergies look very similar and are impossible to distinguish by symptoms alone. The common symptoms of allergies in dogs include:
- Chronic itching
- Recurrent skin or ear infections
- Hair loss, redness, and crusting of the skin
- Self-trauma such as scabbing, hair loss, and saliva staining
- Frequent scratching or licking
Other skin conditions can also cause similar symptoms, so if you suspect your dog may have allergies, its important to see your veterinarian first for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Your veterinarian will perform a full head to tail physical examination and may recommend some additional testing such as a skin scraping or sampling from your pets skin. Once the underlying cause of your pets itching and discomfort has been diagnosed, your vet will be able to develop an appropriate treatment plan to help get your pup feeling better.
What Causes Skin Problems In Dogs
Where do you begin? It would be easier to answer what doesn’t cause skin problems in dogs. We see allergies, parasites like fleas or ticks, and endocrine problems like thyroid disease and adrenal gland disease that cause problems. We also see burns that cause problems. There are just many things. Even cancers can cause problems with the skin.
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When To See The Vet
Although most skin problems are not emergencies, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis so the condition can be treated. See your veterinarian if your dog is scratching or licking excessively, or if you notice any changes in your pet’s coat or skin, including scaling, redness, discoloration, or bald patches. Once the cause is identified, most skin problems respond well to treatment.
How Is A Yeast Infection In A Dog Treated
Using an otoscope, your vet will be able to look at your dogâs ear canal to determine if the eardrum is intact or if anything is present in the ear canal that could be causing the infection. The doctor will probably also take a sample of material from in and around the ear, and examine this under the microscope. It is important to determine whether the infection is caused by yeast, bacteria, or both.
If your dog has a yeast infection of the outer ear canal, the vet might prescribe a topical antifungal ointment or cream. Miconazole and ketoconazole are two antifungal medicines that are often effective.
An infection of the middle ear is treated with systemic medications , though further tests and even surgery may be needed. It can take up to six weeks for the infection to go away.
Your vet might recommend a full cleaning of the dogâs ear canal. If the problem is chronic, ask about special cleansers and ear-drying solutions that can be used at home.
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Dandruff: Dry Flaky Skin
Like humans, dandruff formation in dogs can either be a primary condition or a secondary sign of an underlying disease. Dandruff is the abnormal accumulation of dead skin cells on your dogs fur. The most common symptoms associated with dandruff are excessive scratching, along with hair loss. Dandruff formation has several possible causes, and the success of treatment ultimately depends on identifying and addressing the underlying cause.
Treatments include medicated shampoos, supplements, diet, topical treatments including treatment for external parasites such as mites, or hormonal treatments.
Dry And Itchy Dog Skin
Dry and flaky skin can be a dog’s worst nightmare and an owner’s as well. But if you suffer from dry and flaky skin, you’ll know how uncomfortable it can be. Dogs can have dry and flaky skin as well. It can happen due to allergies, bacterial, fungal or yeast infections, seasonal changes may also bring these symptoms. What is dry skin? Skin dryness or xerosis is a common condition. It is characterized by the symptoms of tightness, scaling, flaking and itching. The most common causes of dry skin are: low humidity, detergents, frequent bathing or bathing with the wrong shampoo, low sebum production and other factors. Feeding your dog with high-quality food can solve this problem and sometimes its necessary to use fatty acid supplements to support their digestion. As an external solution use gentle and natural dog shampoo to moisturize your dogs skin.
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How To Treat It:
If the canine suffers from dry or itchy dog skin problems, the first step is to determine the exact cause, and a vet can only do this through examination at the vet clinic.
If dry skin is not caused by an underlying disease, allergies, or parasites, treating this issue will be simple and likely to change habits .
If the problem is only a symptom of some other health issue, consult with your vet on treatment options.
Why Is My Itchy Dog Costing Me A Fortune When I Can Easily Just Try Cortisone Instead
One of the most limiting and frustrating aspects of owning a dog with skin problems is the cost involved in preventative treatments, vet visits, diagnostics tests, prescription foods, shampoos, and medication.
Unfortunately, due to the complicated nature of skin conditions, its not just as easy as giving a cheap cortisone tablet. Cortisone is a drug used sparingly as it has several adverse effects, especially if used chronically.
The key to getting your dog as healthy as possible is to rather focus on a long-term treatment plan instead of a short-term quick fix.
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Skin Issues In Dogs By Breed
Dog breed can also provide some clues when it comes to skin conditions, particularly in purebred dogs. Since these dogs are bred for certain traits, they also tend to pass on the same undesirable traits, including skin disease. Disease is also passed on genetically through line or in-breeding when a small stud population is used for breeding. Dog skin problems can be limited to one litter, one breed, or could be seen across certain breeds. Some of the more common breed specific canine skin diseases and conditions are described below:
BreedSpecific Diseasesand Conditions Canine Skin
Treatment involves the use of retinoids , but only of some benefit.
Some veterinarians see potential in the use of the topicalmedication immune modulator imiquimod and the NSAID diclofenac gel.
There is a risk of a dog relapsing if there is continuedsun exposure. Dogs need to be re-examined every 6 months.
If a lesion becomes cancerous thensurgical removal is required.
When Should I Take My Dog To The Vet
Most skin conditions take time to develop and are not necessarily emergencies. Still, the chronic itchy or painful lesions that develop can cause your pet significant discomfort in the long term. Therefore, as soon as you notice your pet has a slight abnormality, it is best to contact your vet for a consultation to rule out any issues which may flare up into costly secondary infections.
Excessive licking, scratching, or painful lesions can have a drastic effect on our pets welfare, so the sooner you can alleviate their problem, the better for both you and your dog.
If you notice any small growths or discolored lesions on your pets skin, it is best to get it seen as soon as possible, especially in dogs with minimal pigment.
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Treating Mild Allergic Skin Reactions
Approximately 1.2% of visits to a veterinary emergency room are for what are called mild allergic reactions. Vets refer to these as Type 1 hypersensitivity reactions. These skin reactions are triggered when skin cells called basophils and mast cells and the immunoglobulin E antibodies on the surface of those cells come in contact with an allergen. The contact can occur via injection, inhalation, ingestion or direct contact.
When the cells come in contact with the allergen they release prostaglandins, leukotrienes and histamine. In turn you start to see an allergic reaction including:
Treatment usually takes one of two forms:
While Doctors used to prescribe a corticosteroid during the first treatment, research now shows that this is not necessary and does not improve the outcome.
Safe Ways To Remove Ticks
Skip gasoline, nail polish, petroleum jelly, alcohol, or a hot match. These methods can force infected fluids back into the bite. Instead:
- Use gloves or tissue to cover your hands.
- Grasp the tick with tweezers from the side, by its head, close to the skin.
- Pull straight up. Don’t twist.
- Don’t squeeze the bloated belly.
Wash the bite area and your hands. Mouth parts that remain rarely cause serious problems. Questions? Call your vet.
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