Many pet owners have faced this issue: you’re petting your dog, when suddenly, you notice a patch of rash covered skin. You’re not sure if you need to take them to the vet, if you need to treat it, if it’s life threatening, or what caused it.
However, there are tell-tale signs such as color, texture, and location that can help you identify what your dog is afflicted with, what to do next, and how you can prevent it from happening again.
If you notice that your dog has dandruff flakes on them that could be from a few things. One common ailment is Seborrhea. Seborrhea is primarily genetic, and the dandruff flakes will begin to form when the dog is just a puppy, lasting the rest of their lives.
Seborrhea is nothing to worry about, medically speaking. You can buy seborrhea shampoo that will make your dog feel better and reduce the scaling. Another flaky rash is dermatitis, which is usually brought on by allergies.
It will appear red on the skin, with light flakes around the fur. Talk to your vet about allergies and find out what’s causing this rash to prevent it from further harm. One of the scabbier, more serious rashes is mange.
Mange is a serious skin condition brought on by mites. There are two types of mange: Sarcoptic and Demodectic. The main difference between the two is that Sarcoptic mange is contagious, while Demodectic mange is not.
Both cause red, itchy skin, hair loss, and sores, but Demodectic mange causes scabbing. Sarcoptic mange can be transmitted to humans, but the mites won’t actually survive on humans.
In both cases, you should take the dog to see a vet, so they can apply a scabicide to the area. This will kill off any embedded parasites, and may take up to six weeks to be complete. Rashes can also be brought on by other parasites, most notably fleas and ticks.
Flea treatments are readily available, and can be given to the dog orally or through an ointment. Owners should also be sure to make their homes and yards flea-free, so the problem doesn’t come back.
Ticks aren’t as infectious, but they can be more dangerous. Ticks can carry Lyme disease and cause some nasty infections if not treated. When removing a tick, be very careful, because improper removal could leave the tick’s head burrowed in the dog’s body, causing further infection.
Use a pair of tweezers to grab the tick close to the dog’s skin, and pull up slowly to remove them, you can then put them in a glass of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide overnight to kill them.