Facts About Dog Eczema
Dog eczema may have a wide array of causes, making it a difficult condition to treat. Eczema is the term to describe the large amount of skin problems that may affect dogs. It is believed that dog eczema is caused by an abnormal immune system response to specific stimuli. Finding out the cause of your dog’s skin problems may require some detective work, but it is important to find the cause of it and to treat the problem, not just to suppress the symptoms with medication. Chronic skin eczema in dogs may also be sign of a more serious internal problem.
Symptoms of eczema on your dog often start as some minor itching, chewing and scratching. Continued scratching and biting can help make the condition worse and may lead to infection. Signs of eczema include red skin, inflammation of the skin, dry skin, rashes, oozing bumps, scabs and hair loss. These symptoms can be extremely annoying and troublesome for your dog and should be treated.
Dog eczema can have many causes. Allergies are a common reason for the immune system in dogs to go haywire and affect the skin. These allergies may due to low-quality food or specific food items, proteins from animals or plants such as pollens, chemicals, medicines or just about anything else. Another cause of skin problems in dogs are environmental irritants. Chemicals, shampoos, fragrances, pesticides, fumes and common household cleaning products can all cause skin irritation in dogs. Dogs with mental problems due to stress or abandonment also often get eczema. Stress, boredom, depression, anger or loneliness can cause a dog to scratch and pick at its skin, leading to eczema. Determining which possible cause is leading to your dog’s skin problems may take some time and effort. Do some detective work and try to notice when your dog’s condition may get worse. Discuss eczema problems with your vet to help determine the cause and receive advice on treatment options.
Treatment for eczema affecting dogs usually involves steroid anti-inflammatory medication and antibiotics. These will help to suppress the symptoms of itching and rashes, but unless the underlying cause of the irritation is removed there will be a high possibility of reoccurrence. There are also a number of herbal and home remedies you can use to help soothe your pet’s skin and reduce the possibility of infection. Creating an herbal poultice from teas and specific herbs and compressing it on the rashes can have both pain relieving and anti-biotic proponents. Cooked oats used in either a paste or dissolved into a bath is also a good tool for easing the pain of eczema in your dog. Other remedies include Neem oil applied directly to the skin after a bath or creating a Neem tea poultice, using Calendula teas to form a rinse. Rubbing potassium permanganate directly on the injured skin areas will also provide relief from itching and work as an astringent.
It is also important for you to help boost your dog’s immune system and internal processes while treating for eczema. Supplements either in food or in pill form can help with this process. Dogs that may be experiencing eczema symptoms will benefit from supplements or foods containing Vitamin E, Vitamin C and flaxseed oil which provides Omega-3 fatty acids. While treating your dog’s skin problems, be aware of changes in both the healing process and skin condition of the dog as well as any changes in behavior or eating habits. Once the infection has cleared up, which most times with proper treatment it will, be on the lookout for possible future irritants. The happiness and overall health of your dog depends on avoiding these annoying and painful skin irritants.