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.

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