Basic skin diseases in dogs – diagnosis and treatment

January 13, 2023
Basic skin diseases in dogs - diagnosis and treatment

basic skin diseases in dogs – diagnosis and treatment

Skin diseases in dogs

Dog skin diseases are dermatosis, seborrhea, fungus, demodecosis, urticaria and other diseases that provoked damage to the skin and its appendages (wool, claws). We will tell you what skin diseases are in dogs and how to treat them.

The structure of the skin of the dog

The skin is the largest organ of the pet, the weight of which is from 12 to 25% of the body weight of the animal, which depends on its size and nutrition. Its task is to protect the internal organs from damage that may occur from the external environment. It also regulates body temperature, is responsible for touch.

The skin of the animal consists of an epidermis, dermis, subcutaneous fat. It also includes skin appendages – wool and claws.


The epidermis is a strong outer layer consisting of several types of cells, each of which performs its own functions.


Keratocytes are the upper layer responsible for the protective function. It consists of keratinized scales. They arise in the lower layers of the epidermis, multiply, lose their core and destroy as they move up. Thus, keratocytes create a dense layer of dead cells on the surface. They are able to hold liquids, salts and other nutrients inside the body, without missing harmful agents.

The upper layer of dead cells is constantly reset and replaced by new keratocytes. The rate of regeneration depends on nutrition, hormones, genetics, immunity of the pet. Chronic diseases, internal and external inflammations, some drugs also affect cell growth and skin renewal.


Melanocytes are adjacent to the epidermis, hair follicles, the ducts of the sebaceous and sweat glands. They are responsible for painting the skin and wool of the pet. Their synthesis is controlled by hormones and genes obtained from parents. Melanin helps to protect the body from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Langerganes cells

Langerganes cells are part of the immune system. They participate in:

  • skin reactions that occur in response to foreign agents;
  • contribute to the appearance of rashes when the epidermis contacts with irritating substances.

Langerganes cells are damaged in contact with ultraviolet and under the influence of some drugs.

Merkel cells

Merkel cells are responsible for touch. They help pets receive sensory information from a mustache, paw pads. When stretched, the cells stimulate the release of serotonin hormone into the blood, which causes a contraction of the smooth muscles.

Basal membrane

The basal membrane separates the epidermis from the dermis, the next layer of the skin. It accelerates the processes of cell regeneration, their metabolism, improves skin elasticity. Autoimmune diseases, as well as skin diseases that penetrate deep inside, can disrupt its functions.


Blood loans pass through the dermis, so it is responsible for the nutrition of the epidermis, wool, claws. Vienna and arteries, compressed and expanding, regulate the body temperature of the animal. There are also motor and sensory nerves, the fibers of which reach the hair follicles. Therefore, the dog reacts sensitively to cold, warm, pain, touch.

Derma synthesizes the collagen protein, which supports the integrity of the skin, affects its elasticity. As in the epidermis, there are immune cells that stop the infection, which was able to leak through the upper layer.

Subcutaneous fat

Subcutaneous fat-the deepest layer consisting of loose connective and adipose tissue. Here are hair follicles, lymph and blood vessels, nerves. Fat tissue is a depot of glucose laid in the supply, from which the body takes energy. It participates in homeostasis, protecting the pet’s body from heat loss, reducing the power of the blow during mechanical damage.


Wool protects the skin from injuries, helps adjust body temperature. It not only warms, but also cools the skin, so the animal is not recommended to shave in the summer.

Hair follicles are in the depths of the skin. Each comes out of the central hair, which is surrounded by small wool – in winter more, in summer less. The growth of wool is influenced by nutrition, hormones, season. The molt occurs before the radical change of the season, can even begin in the middle of winter or summer. Dogs also lose their hair when temperature changes or under the influence of the sun.

The sebaceous glands that adjoin the surface of the skin are distinguished by a secret, thanks to which the skin remains wet and elastic. It gives the brilliance of wool, making it healthy (if the production of fat does not exceed the norm).

Claws and pillows

The foot has pillows that are the hardest section of the skin. They perform several functions:

  • Through the pillows, the pet sweets, which helps to adjust body temperature;
  • provide clutch and depreciation;
  • absorb blows, increasing endurance.

Fragrant glands are attached to the pads that leave a trace that other animals are able to smell.

The dog’s claws are strong and hard. They help the pet run, maneuver, dig, defend, ensure the stability dog food storage container of the legs.

Causes of skin diseases

Diseases of the skin of animals in veterinary medicine (dermatitis) is one of the most common pathologies. This is due to the fact that problems with the hair and skin of the animal are easy to notice with the naked eye.

The reason may be different factors:

  • improper nutrition;
  • stress;
  • adverse reactions to drugs;
  • Allergy to food, chemicals;
  • a bowl of low-quality, toxic plastic;
  • worms, fleas, ticks;
  • contact with sick animals;
  • fungi;
  • skin injury, especially injuries, accompanied by inflammation;
  • Chronic diseases of internal organs.

Symptoms of skin diseases in dogs

Diseases of the skin of dogs and skin have different symptoms, but there are a number of signs that appear almost always:

  • Itching, in which the dog fiercely scratches and gnaws the skin, leaving torn bloody areas;
  • wool loss;
  • urticaria – red spots on the skin (not always);
  • scabs, peeling;
  • Dull wool.

The main types of skin diseases in dogs

Skin diseases in dogs can occur quickly (irritation has appeared, healed, disappeared) or in a chronic form that requires lifelong treatment. Some pathologies can be inherited – seborrheic dermatitis, follicular dysplasia, alopecia.

Skin diseases are primary and secondary. In the first case, the disease affects the skin of the animal (demodicosis, eczema). In the second – the cause of itching, combs, excessive molting are internal pathologies (allergies, autoimmune diseases, problems with the digestive system).

Immunity problems (allergies, atopic dermatitis)

Skin diseases may be a result of poor or increased operation of the immune system. If the immune response is insufficient, skin diseases in animals are secondary. An example is an increased susceptibility to demodicosis (ticks of demodexes that live on the skin of almost all dogs, but pathology affects a few).

Increased, but dangerous for the skin, the immunity reaction can be divided into 2 types – atopic dermatitis and autoimmune diseases.

Atopic dermatitis (allergies)

Atopic dermatitis is an increased reaction to the stimulus, which under ordinary conditions does not cause problems. Usually this is a hereditary incurable allergic disease, which begins after 6 months, in some breeds earlier, among them – a golden retriever.

The most common symptoms of the skin disease are itching, itching from the eyes and urticaria (red spots on the skin). In severe cases, scabies affects the whole body, swelling appears, anaphylactic shock is possible.

Different factors can provoke allergies:

  • Food;
  • pollen of trees, herbs, weeds;
  • mold;
  • Polvoi ticks.

The result of atopic dermatitis can be infectious lesions of the ears and skin, provoked by various bacteria and fungi.

The diagnosis is made by eliminating causes that can cause irritation, includingFlea, ticks, other parasites. The source can also help to determine the blood test for allergens.

How to treat atopic dermatitis in dogs?

Treatment provides for the mandatory exclusion of an allergen from the life of the animal. The drug stop suspension will help remove the scabies. It is also necessary to pay attention to the strengthening of immunity (immunofan) and liver (hepatovet), which removes poisons from the body.

Autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune pathologies develop when immunity cells begin to kill the healthy tissues of the body.

Lea f-shaped bubble is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in dog pets. Description of a skin disease in dogs:

  • The skin is covered with bubbles filled with pus, which quickly burst, forming crusts and erosion.
  • At first, the muzzle, ears, paws, nose bridge are affected, but sometimes the disease of the skin of animals can cover the whole body.
  • With damage to the paws of the paws, hypercaratosis develops.

Other common autoimmune diseases in which blisters arise:

  • bullet pemphigoid – occurs more often in elderly pets;
  • Bulleous epidermolysis – pathology can affect the dermis.

What to do?

The doctor prescribes drugs in the dog for the treatment of dermatitis, which normalize the operation of the immune system, and also reduce its answer. Symptoms of immunosuppressants, steroids help to remove.

Infectious skin diseases

The group of infectious diseases includes parasitic, fungal, viral, bacterial infections.

Parasitic diseases

The most common parasitic skin disease of dogs and cats are fleas. They settled on the body of the animal and cause itching, because of which the pet is furiously itching and gnaws himself. Dogs often develop an allergic reaction to a secret that a flea highlights during bites. It enhances itching, causes redness of the skin, scab, purulent cones.

The only way out in this situation is to process the dog from fleas in time. Drops, sprays, tablets, collars help to cope with the task.

Basic skin diseases in dogs - diagnosis and treatment The most common are scabies

Ticks are referred to as parasitic infections. The most common are scabies and demodicosis, which cause itching and baldness. Previously, in veterinary medicine, these skin diseases of dogs were considered incurable. Now pills are prescribed for treatment – Nesgard, Simparika, etc. With regular use, the number of ticks returns to normal.

Fungal skin diseases in dogs

The most dangerous fungal infection is ringworm, caused by a dermatophyte. Bald patches covered with scales appear on the muzzle, ears, tail, paws. They are surrounded by tarnished wool with broken hairs. Some dogs develop itchy bumps that can develop into large bumps with sores.

Also, the dog can hit:

  • Malassezion dermatitis, the fungus that causes it, is harmless and lives on pets for life. It is activated when immunity is weakened, against the background of flea dermatitis, demodicosis.
  • Candidiasis – develops when the Candida fungus is activated, which is part of the microflora and normally does not harm. Symptom – ulcers on the mucous membranes, the appearance of gray-white plaques.
  • Onychomycosis is a fungus of the nails, in which they crumble and fall out.

What to do?

Fungal skin diseases in dogs require immediate diagnosis and treatment. To protect your dog from ringworm and other fungi, vaccinate him with Wakderm. This medicine, as well as Fungin forte spray, can be used to treat the disease. Yam ointment, which has antiseptic, astringent properties, and stimulates cell regeneration, helps well.

Bacterial infections

The most typical form is purulent inflammation, when bacteria penetrated into an open wound and provoked decay. In this case, salicylo-zinc ointment will help, which kills the infection, accelerates cell healing.

Another pathology that a dog may encounter is Alabani rot, provoked by E. coli toxins. Manifested by redness, erosions, ulcers, fever, anorexia, vomiting. Pathology is dangerous because it can provoke kidney damage and the death of a pet. Treatment is symptomatic, blood transfusion may help.

Non-infectious dermatitis

Non-infectious skin diseases of dogs and cats are eczema, trophic ulcers, etc. For the treatment of dermatitis in dogs, Safroderm gel is prescribed. The drug relieves inflammation, accelerates wound healing, kills bacteria.

Seborrheic dermatitis

When the sebaceous glands are working properly, the coat glows with health and beauty. If the production of sebaceous secretion is disturbed, seborrhea develops. Skin diseases in animals come in 2 forms:

  • Dry – the sebaceous glands produce little secret, which leads to excessive peeling, dandruff, hair loss. The main causes of seborrhea in dogs are poor nutrition, stress, and mites.
  • Oily – develops due to increased work of the sebaceous glands. Symptoms of oily seborrhea in dogs – the coat at the base sticks together, oily plaques appear. The main reason is hormonal disruptions, malnutrition, ticks.

What to do?

Finding symptoms of seborrhea in dogs, contact your veterinarian for treatment. If the dog has hormonal disruptions, you need to take tests and adhere to the prescribed therapy.

A well-chosen diet will improve the health of your pet. In the treatment of seborrhea in dogs, drugs that improve the condition of the skin and coat will help:

  • Essential 6 spot-on (LDCA). It contains oils that need to be rubbed into the skin. They soothe and moisturize the irritated epidermis.
  • Complex supplements that contain B vitamins, Omega-3 acids and other beneficial substances that improve the condition of the skin and coat (8in1 Excel Brewers Yeast).

Diagnosis of dermatitis in dogs in a veterinary clinic

The doctor diagnoses and prescribes treatment for skin diseases in dogs based on symptoms, as well as:

  • visual inspection;
  • scraping – for research, the veterinarian takes a sample of the affected tissue;
  • a biochemical blood test, which helps to determine the internal disease that caused the reaction from the skin.

If you suspect an allergy, you should take an allergen test.

Treatment of skin diseases in dogs

The treatment regimen should be prescribed by the doctor of how to determine which skin disease the dog has. In addition to treating the underlying disease, it is recommended to focus on improving the functioning of the immune system and the liver, which is responsible for processing toxins.

In the treatment of demodicosis, the following drugs will help:

  • (NPP Bionoks) in ampoules. A hormonal agent that normalizes the functioning of the immune system, restoring the acid-base balance. Active (Api-San) for dogs. The drug strengthens the liver, binds toxins, improves metabolism.

Prevention and dietary advice

Watch your dog, avoid contact with sick animals. Eliminate allergens if a rash appears on the abdomen. Treat your dog regularly for fleas and ticks. To avoid lichen, scabies, and other fungal skin infections, get vaccinated. Strengthen your dog's immune system.

Many skin diseases in dogs are caused by malnutrition, so pay special attention to the diet. Consider these factors:

  • Do not give food from the table, especially peppery, fried, fatty foods.
  • If you prefer artificial food, buy only a quality product.
  • During feeding, monitor the reaction of the pet. Discharge from the eyes, urticaria – a reason to reconsider the diet.
  • Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. They reduce skin inflammation in chronic skin conditions in dogs.

During treatment, do not forget to give your dog vitamins and minerals that affect skin health:

  • Vitamin A – deficiency leads to peeling.
  • Vitamin E, selenium – neutralize the action of free radicals, prevents the destruction of connective tissue.
  • B2 – deficiency causes cracks.
  • B7 – lack leads to baldness.
  • Zinc – is involved in the synthesis of collagen, which helps maintain skin elasticity. It also prevents drying and flaking of the skin.
  • Copper – deficiency causes incomplete keratinization, which leads to excessive dryness.


To save your pet from itching, rashes, blisters and other manifestations of dermatitis, you need to see a doctor. Preparations for the treatment of skin diseases in dogs should be bought only in veterinary pharmacies with good reviews, for example, Homeovet, here you will find only high-quality and proven products. Do not buy medicine on the market, from the hands, expired drugs on the cheap. Such treatment can be expensive, worsen the condition of the pet.

Basic skin diseases in dogs - diagnosis and treatment itching, itching from
Shanna Derrick About Author

Author of dog food articles with a deep understanding of healthy dog nutrition.

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