Why Dog’s Skin Problem Keeps On Coming Back Even After Veterinary Visits?

Why Dog’s Skin Problem Keeps On Coming Back Even After Veterinary Visits?

        There are recurring and chronic skin disorders that keep on coming back even after you have already taken your dog to the vet. This is a nightmare for both the dog and its owner. There are various factors that contribute to your dog’s haircoat health. There are skin diseases that are considered curable and incurable. This means, some skin diseases  will have to be continuously treated and managed so they would not become worse.

Curable Skin Diseases

  • Dermatitis with hair loss, scales and crust
  • Fungal infection
  • Seborrhea (oily and flaky skin)
  • Dermatitis due to ticks and fleas

Incurable Skin Diseases

  • Hormonal imbalance like Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease
  • Autoimmune disorders like Pemphigus
  • Atopy
  • Hereditary conditions of the skin
  • Ichthyosis or an inherited severe thickening of the skin which creates oily crusts and scales

Why do skin problems keep on coming back even after veterinary visits?

  • Palliative treatment. This happens when only the clinical signs were addressed and treated but the underlying cause of the problem is not. 
  • Owner Compliance. Failure to let your dog undergo a series of laboratory tests and other skin tests that are recommended by the vet leading to misdiagnosis. Also, if your vet tells you to keep your dog away from certain foods, environmental factors, or give you prescription medications that you need to give to your dog, you must follow it religiously. Otherwise, your dog’s skin condition will remain and probably get even worse as time goes by.
  • In cases of allergies, if the specific allergen is not identified,  skin flare-ups will still happen from time to time.
  • Some skin problems are caused by hormonal imbalance. This is not a disease that is present on the skin itself, but merely a manifestation of what is happening due to the imbalance in the endocrine gland. Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease are some of the commonly known examples. In a Veterinarian’s perspective, a dog with a skin problem with an endocrine imbalance takes the longest to treat.

What can the dog owner do about it?

         If your dog already had repeated visits to the vet, the vet should be able to identify the specific cause in order to give the right treatment that can help ease the discomfort of your dog. Talk with your vet, tell them all about your dog’s history, and if needed, let your dog undergo a series of laboratory tests for them to be able to get a proper diagnosis.

If there’s no cure, then control is the goal.

           This is applicable to dogs with atopy, autoimmune diseases and endocrine-related skin diseases. These types of skin disorders are generally not curable but can still be managed in a dog’s lifetime. A remarkable improvement will take place once the underlying cause of the skin problem is properly addressed.


How To Know If Your Dog’s Skin Problem Is Mange Or Not

How to know if your dog’s skin problem is mange or not

        There are several types of lesions that look alike which is why pet owners are often left confused. You will know how to find out if your dog’s skin problem is mange or not.

Clinical signs of mange

It include:

  • Intense itching and scratching
  • Skin rashes
  • Skin crust formation
  • Hair loss
  • Baldness
  •  Secondary bacterial infections (in some cases, pus may ooze out from your dog’s skin)
  • Pododermatitis (look for signs if your dog’s feet are swollen or irritated)

What are the types of mange?

Demodectic Mange

        This is caused by a mite called Demodex canis which is considered as a normal inhabitant in your dog’s skin (usually in a dog’s hair follicles). However, these mites can multiply in abnormal rates if your dog is immunocompromised which will, later on, lead to demodectic mange. But, as long as your dog’s immune system is functioning properly and is not compromised, these mites will not cause your dog any harm. Demodectic mange is not considered contagious to other animals and humans. These Demodex mites are often transmitted to puppies from their mother during the first few days after they are birthed.

Sarcoptic Mange

         This is caused by a mite called Sarcoptic scabie and lives inside the hair follicle of your dog’s skin. This one is infectious and highly contagious to those in close proximity to the infected dog and even to humans! Although these sarcoptic mites will not be able to complete their life cycle on humans, they will still give you severe itching until they finish their life cycle and die.

Some signs of mange can also be an indication that your dog has an underlying health issue that needs to be immediately addressed so it is very important to find out if their skin problem is mange or not.

How to find out if your dog’s skin problem is mange

        There is only one way to find out: Schedule a visit to the vet. Your vet can help you determine whether your dog’s skin problem is mange or not. Only your vet can perform confirmatory tests like skin scrapings, microscopic identification of these mites which are present in your dog’s skin,give the correct medical approach and treatment that your dog needs. Avoid applying chemicals like “nanosilver” on your dog’s skin because this can cause severe health problems to your dog and might even be the cause of their death. Many dogs have been poisoned and killed by this chemical so no matter what other people on the internet say, do not put nanosilver on your dog’s skin. Always consult the veterinarian near you.


Why Skin Problem Is One of The Top Reasons Dogs Visit Their Vet

Why Skin Problem Is One of The Top Reasons Dogs Visit Their Vet

       There are various reasons why dogs are taken to the vet but the most common one is due to skin problems. The skin serves as a protective barrier against noxious chemicals. It is considered the first line of defense against harmful invaders. If this protective mechanism is damaged or lost, parasites, pollen and other harmful elements can easily affect your dog’s skin which might result in skin infection in the future.

       Your dog’s skin microbiome is made up of a good amount and/or combination of bacteria and fungi. If your dog has a healthy skin microbiome and healthy immune system, then it won’t likely have a smelly or itchy skin. If otherwise disrupted (skin microbiome), then skin disease will occur. You will know that your dog’s skin is healthy if it isn’t smelly or your dog isn’t scratching it all the time.

What causes itchy skin in dogs?

       Itchy skin can be caused by food or environmental allergies, external parasites, yeast infections, hotspots, mange, impetigo, folliculitis, dry and flaky skin or bacterial infections. You can also know that there is something wrong with your dog’s skin if they have recurring ear infections.

What are the things you can do in order to prevent skin infection in dogs?

Below are list of the things you can do and tips you can follow in order to help your dog avoid from contracting skin problems:

  • Always maintain proper grooming habits. Give your dog a bath at least once a week or when you notice that their skin is already getting dirty. You can also take them to a grooming station so that their nails can be clipped and their ears and can be cleaned thoroughly.
  • Feed them with a well balanced and a high-quality diet. Avoid feeding your dog leftovers because this can cause severe problems not just on their skin but on their overall health as well. Invest in good quality food for them and make sure that the vitamins and nutrients needed by your dog are well balanced.
  • Observe your dog’s skin. If you notice anything unusual, take them to the vet immediately. Don’t wait and “hope” for things to get better before you bring them to the vet because it might already be too late by then.

       Having a dog is like having an additional member of the family - you have to feed them properly, you have to make sure that their appearance is well-maintained, and you have to invest in their health and wellbeing. Skin problems are not “small things” or “small problems” that can simply be overlooked because this will be a bigger concern if it isn’t solved immediately.