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How to Identify and Treat Common Dog Skin Problems

How to Identify and Treat Common Dog Skin Problems 0

Dog skin issues are one the most common reasons for vet visits. Dogs are prone to a variety of diseases that cause changes in your dog’s skin, including scaling, pustules, and lesions. Dog skin problems often lead to scratching and excessive licking. Unfortunately, this self-soothing can lead to the spread of skin infections and even self-harm.

Dog skin conditions are no fun and can make your dog very uncomfortable. Keep reading to learn more about common skin and coat problems for dogs and how to treat them. 

Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Canine atopic dermatitis refers to allergens that a dog may inhale. Just like humans, dogs suffer from environmental and seasonal allergies too! When lgE antibodies are exposed to environmental allergens, they can develop pruritic inflammatory skin disease. After inhaling allergens such as dust mites, mold, hair, and pollen, dogs experience discomfort and stress.

Symptoms of Canine Atopic Dermatitis

In the initial stages, dogs rub, scratch, and chew excessively. Depending on the allergen involved, this behavior may be seasonal. The itching and rubbing may occur in certain areas or the entire body. Due to allergic reactions, they may also develop some hot spots.

Canine atopy is different from a flea allergy, which affects the thighs, groin, and tail area. The disease is hereditary and is common in the following breeds;

  • Boston Terrier
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Golden and Labrador Retrievers
  • Fox Terrier
  • White Terrier
  • Dalmatian
  • Boxer
  • Shar-Pei

Usually, this disease occurs between 6 months and 3 years.

How to Treat Canine Atopic Dermatitis

You can treat atopic dermatitis in dogs through avoidance of allergens and regular baths. Ensure your dog stays away from dust, mold, and hair to avoid this disease.

Bathing dogs helps reduce the allergen load. It’s recommended to bathe your dog weekly with a dog shampoo to reduce secondary infections. Be sure to avoid shampoos for humans, as they can harm a dog’s skin and coat.

Seborrhea

Does your dog have dandruff-like flakes or very greasy fur and skin? That may be a sign of dermatitis seborrhea, a common skin disorder.

Seborrhea is a genetic disorder that may occur in young dogs and last for a lifetime. It causes greasiness on the dog’s skin, leading to dandruff. The affected parts develop whitish scales as a result of skin flaking off.

Different dog breeds are predisposed to common health issues. Seborrhea affects a variety of dog breeds, mostly including:

  • Golden retrievers
  • German shepherds
  • Cocker spaniels
  • Dachshunds
  • Labrador

Older dogs may develop seborrhea. However, this is often caused by conditions such as parasites, dietary deficiency, or endocrine disorders.

Seborrhea causes an unpleasant odor in dogs. It affects the sebaceous glands, which then leads to excess sebum on the skin. Dogs with vitamin deficiency may also develop seborrhea.

How to Treat Seborrhea

To treat seborrhea, you have to look at the underlying condition. Call a vet to diagnose the conditions that may be causing seborrhea.

Besides, seborrhea is manageable. These general treatments may help relieve your dog from the disease:

  • Feeding with omega-3 fatty acid supplements
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Use of anti-seborrheic sprays and shampoos

Unless the condition is severe, your dog will quickly recover from seborrhea.

Tips for Keeping a Dog's Skin and Coat Healthy

It’s no doubt that skin and coat problems can be detrimental to your dog’s life. Keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy improves its moods, appearance, and performance. After all, you want to have a dog that looks healthy, smells nice, and has a shiny coat.

Some of the best ways to keep the skin and coat healthy include:

Bathing Regularly

Bathing your dog at least once biweekly keeps skin diseases at bay. When bathing, use dog shampoo to prevent irritations. You can brush to remove dead skin cells and give the coat a shiny look. 

Be sure to use a good dog shampoo and avoid shampoos for humans. The skin of dogs and humans have very different pH balances. Human shampoo can actually harm a dog’s skin and leave them more vulnerable to parasites, viruses, and bacteria. 

Providing the Right Diet

Did you know that diet has a direct impact on your dog’s skin? Dog diet should have sufficient protein to maintain a healthy coat. 75% of a dog’s hair is made up of proteins, and with protein deficiency, your dog may develop skin and coat disorders.

Adding an omega 3 for dogs supplement and multivitamins to your dog’s diet ensures they are receiving the proper vitamins and super nutrients their skin and coat needs. Look for supplements that reduce inflammation and combat allergies.

Regular Checkups

How often do you visit a vet? It’s advisable to visit a vet once every 6 months for a checkup. Even when your vet doesn’t show any symptoms, a checkup may help you spot something you might have missed.

Why Omega 3 for Dogs is Important for Heart Health

Why Omega 3 for Dogs is Important for Heart Health 0

As Valentine’s Day approaches, you might be thinking of some unique ways to show your loved ones your appreciation for them this month. If one of them happens to be furry and plays fetch, the best thing you can do to show your love is to keep him or her healthy. 

In February, not only do we celebrate Valentine’s Day, but we also celebrate American Heart Month. That makes this the perfect time to learn more about the danger of heart disease in dogs—and how to prevent it. Here’s what to know if you want to improve your dog’s heart health.

What are the Symptoms of a Dog with Heart Problems?

Catching a heart issue early is very helpful for improving or managing the condition. It’s important to pay attention to some common signs that there could be a problem with your dog’s heart. Some of the main symptoms to watch for include the following:

  • Coughing that gets worse at night or after exercise
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Fainting spells
  • Depression
  • Pale gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Swollen abdomen

If you notice your dog displaying some of these symptoms, you should set up an appointment with the vet. It may turn out that your dog just has allergies or a minor illness, but it’s definitely better to err on the side of caution when it comes to the health of your dog’s heart!

What to Know About Heart Disease in Dogs

Now,  you know the symptoms of dog heart disease. But what exactly is heart disease, and how can you get it diagnosed and treated? To start, it’s important to know that heart disease can fall into two categories.

One is congenital heart disease, which means the dog was born with the condition. The other is acquired heart disease, meaning the dog got the condition at some point during his or her lifetime. 

Some of the most common types of heart disease that affect dogs include the following:

  • Congenital heart defects, such as pulmonic stenosis, ventricular septal defect, and tricuspid valve dysplasia.
  • Cardiomyopathy, which is a disease of the heart muscle that can lead to congestive heart failure in dogs.
  • Pericardial effusion, in which fluid builds up in the heart sac.
  • Cardiac arrhythmias, which are abnormal heart rhythms—whether too fast or too slow.
  • Chronic degenerative valve disease, where the heart valves change and start leaking as a result.

You should also note that certain dog breeds are higher risk for heart problems than others. For instance, Boxers and Doberman Pinschers are at risk of an irregular heartbeat that can result in fainting, weight loss, or even death. Miniature and toy Poodles are at risk of developing a heart murmur, while Dachshunds have a risk of a leaky heart valve. Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, and Bulldogs are some examples of breeds that are susceptible to heart problems, as well. This means knowing the symptoms of heart disease in your dog--and trying to prevent it--is especially important.

To find out if the symptoms your dog has indicate heart problems, you should take him or her to the vet for an exam. If it turns out your dog has heart disease, the next step will be choosing a treatment. In most cases, the vet prescribes medication for the dog. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to treat heart disease. And sometimes, the vet will recommend supplements to slow down the progression of the heart problem.

Best Supplements for Dog Heart Health

Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the most important and essential nutrients for heart health in both dogs and humans. Omega 3 benefits dogs in many ways. improve heart health and reduce the chance of heart failure in the future by reducing cytokines in the body, which are proteins that cause inflammation. Additionally, these essential fatty acids help to reduce muscle loss, improve the appetite, lower blood pressure, and suppress abnormal heart rhythms, helping your dog stay as healthy as possible even after being diagnosed with heart disease. Plus, omega 3 for dogs can boost the health of the brain and immune system overall. 

Just like humans, dogs are unable to produce omega-3 fatty acids, and therefore, must get them from their diet. To ensure your dog is getting enough omega 3s, it’s a great idea to add omega 3 supplements, such as Omega Soft Chews, to improve your dog's health while you await the next vet visit. Additionally, salmon oil for dogs and fish oil for dogs are a great way to supplement omegas in your dog’s diet.

Treatment for your dog’s heart condition might also include more exercise and a better diet, such as a low-sodium eating plan. In general, the right treatment will depend on the type of heart condition your dog has, as well as his or her age and overall health. So be sure to set up a vet appointment for your dog to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.

How to Protect Your Dog's Heart

As with any condition, it’s better to take steps to prevent heart problems than have to treat them after the fact. Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce the odds of your dog having heart problems. Here are a few tips for protecting your dog’s heart:

  • Regular vet exams, at least once per year.
  • Good dental care, since infections in the mouth can affect heart health.
  • Frequent cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, running, hiking, or swimming.
  • A balanced diet made up of high-quality dog food.
  • Supplements that support heart health, such as.

Basically, if you want to pay a little extra attention to your dog’s heart health this month, you can start by taking him or her to the park for a fun game of fetch! Then follow up that regular exercise by ensuring your dog eats the right foods, takes quality supplements, and sees the vet for preventative care. Surprising your pet with a fun doggie present for Valentine’s Day wouldn’t hurt, either!