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Skin problems

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Skin problems are a common cause of veterinary visits in dogs. They can have various causes, such as allergies, parasites, infections or hormonal imbalances. In this article, you will learn how to recognize and treat the most common skin problems in dogs.

Allergic dermatitis

Allergic dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin caused by hypersensitivity to certain substances. These substances can be found in the environment, such as pollen, house dust mites or molds, or in food, such as beef, chicken or wheat. The symptoms of allergic dermatitis are itching, redness, scaling or hair loss. Some dogs may also develop ear infections or gastrointestinal problems.

Allergic dermatitis is diagnosed by a skin test or a blood test, which can identify the specific allergens. Treatment consists of avoiding the allergens, administering antihistamines or corticosteroids to relieve itching and using special shampoos or creams to care for the skin. In some cases, immunotherapy can also be useful to accustom the dog's immune system to the allergens.

Flea infestation

Fleas are small parasites that feed on the blood of dogs. They can cause itching, skin irritation, hair loss or crusting. They can also transmit diseases such as tapeworms or anemia. Fleas are very contagious and can spread quickly in the dog's environment.

A flea infestation is diagnosed by finding fleas or flea feces on the dog's coat. Treatment consists of applying flea medication to the dog and its surroundings, such as baskets, blankets or carpets. The flea medication should be applied regularly to prevent re-infestation.


Pyoderma is a bacterial infection of the skin caused by a breach in the skin barrier. This can occur through scratching, bites, wounds or other skin conditions. The symptoms of pyoderma are pus blisters, crusts, scabs or foul-smelling discharge. The infection can also spread to deeper tissues and form abscesses or fistulas.

Pyoderma is diagnosed by microscopic examination or culture of skin samples. Treatment consists of cleaning and disinfecting the affected areas and administering antibiotics. In severe cases, surgical removal of the infected tissue may also be necessary.


Hypothyroidism is a hormonal disorder in which the thyroid gland produces too few thyroid hormones. These hormones are important for metabolism and the function of various organs. The symptoms of hypothyroidism are weight gain, lethargy, sensitivity to cold or skin changes. The skin may be dry, scaly or dark in color. The coat may be thin, brittle or fall out.

Hypothyroidism is diagnosed by a blood test that measures the level of thyroid hormones. Treatment consists of lifelong administration of synthetic thyroid hormones in tablet form.


The authors assume that a veterinarian should be consulted if an animal is ill and that medication should only be taken after consultation with a doctor or pharmacist. Only an individual examination can lead to a diagnosis and treatment decision.

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