Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Dog Skin Infection Recognize and Treat The Symptoms
A dog skin infection can either be bacterial or yeast related but both are easily treated. Yeast infections are very common in warmer weather so are often misdiagnosed as allergies. If your dog is bothered by itchy ears and paws, and is scooting across your floors, then you're likely dealing with yeast. See here for more on how to treat yeast infections in dogs.
You may be wondering how on earth your best pal contracted a skin infection, but it's not that uncommon for them. Especially if they fall into one of the most common categories below:
The most common causes for a dog skin infection are
Dogs that already suffer from allergies
Dogs that scratch or lick at their skin a lot (usually because of allergies)
Dogs that have floppy ears (especially the heavy, pendulum-type ears)
Breeds that have lots of skin folds, such as a Shar-Pei, or a Bulldog
Skin infections in dogs are not solely restricted to these causes though, any dog can get one, so learning about the different types, causes, symptoms, and treatment, is always good to know.
You can usually tell which type of infection your dog is suffering from based on the visual symptoms (see above table). This is, however, more difficult when the infected area is the ears as the visual symptoms are the same - shaking the head, scratching the ears, holding the head to one side, etc.
Having said that, if itchy ears is accompanied by lots of biting and licking of the paws, then a yeast infection is more likely the cause.
If your fur-baby is suffering with ear infections, she really will be suffering, it's painful. That's why ear infections should always be checked by your veterinarian, she can give quick relief.
You can find more information on Dog Ear Problems.
Your veterinarian will be able to determine the type of infection by taking a swab from the ears and analyzing this under a microscope. Once you know the type you can treat accordingly.
Bacterial infections are frequently a secondary condition to allergies caused by the dog itching and constantly scratching. The more the dog scratches with allergies, the more chance there is of him breaking the skin, which can lead to a dog skin infection.
You can get a better idea of how allergies can affect canines by clicking on the relevant links below:
Dog skin allergies
Dog allergy symptoms
Dog allergy treatment plans
Bathe your dog with a good quality medicated shampoo that contains an antibacterial agent. Baths should be given twice a week for the first 2 weeks, then scale down to once a week for a month and finally just once a month.
Antibiotics and/or ear-drops prescribed by your veterinarian.
Keep your eye on a bacterial infection as occasionally it can become deep rooted. In this case you'll likely see oozing sores, hair loss, and even abscesses, which can all become extremely painful for your dog and a trip to your vets will be necessary.
Have you noticed a rather pungent "yeasty" smell coming from your dog?.....Even after bathing her? If this is the case, then you are most likely dealing with a yeast (fungal) infection.
Moisture contributes greatly to fungal infections and dogs with floppy ears or folds of skin are more prone. Particularly in the warmer months. See here for more details on treating yeast infections in dogs.
Weekly baths with an antifungal shampoo. A gentle rinse will also help, especially in stopping the skin from drying out.
Your vet may prescribe medicated antifungal drops, if your dogs' ears are affected.
An important note here, even If your dog's skin infection seems to ONLY affect your her ears, you will still have to bathe with an antifungal shampoo. Otherwise, the problem usually comes right back as soon as the ear drops stop.