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How To Treat Dog Eczema

How To Treat Dog Eczema

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As we wrote above, treating dog eczema starts with identifying the underlying cause of the condition. For most dogs with eczema this means that the appropriate flea, tick, mite or parasite treatment is used. In other cases, such as eczema caused by food allergies the allergen must be removed from your dogs diet. Other irritants like chemicals, household cleaners and other products may need to be eliminated from your dogs environment as well, especially if they are a suspected cause.

If your dog is suspected to be suffering from food allergies of some sort, your vet may suggest using an elimination diet to work out what the culprit is. Hypersensitivity testing may be required to identify what household chemicals and products could be the cause of the condition.

Your vet may prescribe a course of steroids or antihistamines to help relieve the symptoms. It is important to reduce the skin irritation, regardless of whether the underlying cause can be diagnosed or not. This is because dogs will further worsen the condition by scratching, licking and chewing the affected area. If your dog is suffering from a secondary infection caused by condition, your veterinarian may prescribe a course of antibiotics as well.

What Causes Atopic Dermatitis In Dogs

Atopic dermatitis generally presents as red, inflamed, itchy skin, as seen on this Pit Bull. @heeeyitstina

Canine atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease. In simple terms, it causes your dogs immune system to overreact to allergens. Even normally harmless allergens like dust, house mites, and grass can cause problems. Because atopic dermatitis is a chronic disease, it wont ever disappear, and symptoms will flare up periodically.

The skin works as an outer layer of protection against allergens. But when your dog experiences dermatitis, the skin breaks down. Excessive scratching and skin injuries can trigger more severe reactions. Sadly, the bodys natural immune response makes things even worse.

What Is The Process Of Elimination

You may be asked by your vet care team about where and what time of the year your pet is scratching, your pets flea control, diet, where your pet sleeps, where they spend time outdoors, what your pet is washed with or any recent changes in your pets routine. Previous treatment is usually discussed as this often yields information also. There may be more than one cause of the skin problem, so it is important to be as thorough as possible and take note of any recent changes in your pets environment.

Some of the more common reasons for atopic dermatitis include, pollens airborne particle, moulds, yeasts, and mites just to name a few

Once the source of the irritation has been determined, an appropriate and personalised treatment plan will be outlined. Sometimes the allergy can be managed quickly, however sometimes it can be a slow process requiring careful management from everybody in your household. Visit your nearest Greencross Vets to treat your pet.

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Diagnosis Of Moist Eczema In Dogs

When you arrive at the veterinarians office, she will start her diagnostic process by collecting a verbal history from you. She will want to know when you first noticed the lesion, if your dog has been displaying any of the typical symptoms associated with moist eczema development, and if you have tried to treat it with anything over the counter or not. As part of her diagnostic process, your veterinarian will need to rule out other possible causes that can produce a lesion with similar symptoms like the one he is presenting with. She will also want to know if you have fed him anything new lately, if he has had any changes in his routine or home that could cause stress, if he recently injured himself, or anything else information wise that may be helpful to know about his situation.

In addition to diagnosing and treating the most eczema lesion, you will also need to investigate the cause of the initial licking sequence. During her examination, if she found evidence of fleas or other ectoparasites, she may explain why this may be causing his symptoms. If he was sensitive in any of his joints or muscles, she may suspect pain as the cause. Further diagnostics may be recommended depending on the suspected cause of your dogs condition.

Veterinary Treatment Options For Canine Dermatitis

How to Treat Dog Eczema So Fido Stops Scratchin

The treatment that your vet recommends will depend upon your dogs diagnosis – either general such as seasonal or environmental allergies, or specific .

Some of the treatment options that your vet may recommend are as follows:

  • Medicated baths with a shampoo made specifically for dogs with dermatitis
  • Flea Prevention/Control
  • Antibiotics and Antifungals
  • Immunotherapy
  • Corticosteroids

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One Of The Most Common Medical Complaints That We See In Our Office Is Dogs With Skin Infections Hot Spots Or Allergic Dermatitis Also Known As Atopic Dermatitis

Unlike people who react to allergens most commonly with nasal symptoms and/or hives, dogs react with skin and/or gastrointestinal problems. This is because there are a higher proportion of mast cells, which release histamines and other vasoactive substances in the face of an allergic challenge, in the skin of dogs. These problems may range from poor coat texture or hair length, to itching and chewing, to hot spots and self-mutilation, gastrointestinal pain and discomfort, diarrhea, and flatulence. Allergies may also play a part in chronic ear infections. The most common causes of canine allergic dermatitis are flea allergy, food allergy, inhalant or contact allergy, and allergy to the normal bacterial flora and yeast organisms of the skin. To make matters more difficult to diagnose and treat, thyroid disease may add to the problem as well.

In order to overcome these frustrating symptoms, your veterinarians approach needs to be thorough and systematic. Shortcuts usually will not produce results and only add to owner frustration and canine discomfort.

Inhalant and Contact Allergies Substances that can cause an allergic reaction in dogs are much the same as those that cause reactions in people including the pollens of grasses, trees and weeds, dust mites, and molds. A clue to diagnosing these allergies is to look at the timing of the reaction. Does it happen year round? This may be mold or dust. If the reaction is seasonal, pollens may be the culprit.

Recovery Of Moist Eczema In Dogs

The severity of the lesion can develop quickly after initial breakthrough of the skin. As soon as you notice your dog developing a lesion as described above, it would be a good idea to take him to his veterinarian. Depending how persistent your dog is, his lesion can develop after only one day of licking. The longer you wait to get it evaluated, the worse the lesion will become and therefore the longer it will take to completely heal. By seeking treatment and receiving medications quickly, his prognosis of recovery is good.

Moist eczema can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your dog has eczema, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Embrace. Find the pawfect plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

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Eczema In Dogs: Symptoms Causes And Treatments

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In this article, we will get to know what eczema in dogs is. It is important to know that eczema is not a disease but the consequence or symptom of a disease.

We will first look at the diseases that can cause eczema, their symptoms and their treatments. Then we will see that it is possible to avoid that our dog catches eczema and thus preserve his good health.

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Treatment Of Dermatitis In Dogs

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There are various ways to treat dermatitis in dogs and care for your pet depending on the severity of their condition.

  • Parasitic dermatitis: Regular use of a prescription flea, tick and mite treatment will eliminate the majority of these problems. Unfortunately, many fleas are now resistant to supermarket products so they cannot be relied upon to treat an infestation. 95% of the flea life cycle occurs off your pet, so a household treatment will also be required. Only certain prescription products will cover mites and ticks, so be guided by your vet as to which product your pet needs. Most of these require monthly treatment, although there are some which can last up to 3 months.
  • Skin infections: An infection on the surface of the skin can be effectively controlled by the use of medicated shampoos. These require regular use initially to bring the infection under control. They can then often be reduced to once a fortnight to maintain the skin, dependent on your dogs condition. Some dogs with deeper skin infections may require prolonged courses of antibiotics to control the infection.
  • Allergic dermatitis: The management of this is more complex and will likely be for the lifetime of your pet. They may become allergic to more things as they go through life. If your pet is allergic to dust mites or storage mites, reducing the numbers of these within your dogs accommodation may help. Storing food in sealed containers will reduce storage mites.

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Oatmeal Bath For Itchy Dogs

  • Oatmeal is an age-old remedy for our dry, itchy skin that happens to be safe for use on our canine friends too! In fact, most doggy hypoallergenic shampoos include oatmeal as an active ingredient to soothe and fight irritation.
  • Start by grinding plain oatmeal into a powder to sprinkle in your dogs warm bath. The oatmeal will typically take 10 to 15 minutes to cool down red, angry skin, no matter the cause. It is also nontoxic, so its okay if your pet licks some off during their long bath. If this sounds like a long time for your pup to be in the tub without a struggle, try some of our techniques to Curb Bath Time Fears.
  • Another option to avoid a full-on bath is to make an oatmeal paste. Take your ground oatmeal and gradually add a little bit of water until you are left with a paste that has a spreadable consistency. Target spots that have been bothering your dog and make sure the paste is in contact with the skin on longer-haired dogs for maximum relief.

How To Diagnose Doggie Eczema

Eczema is a tricky condition to diagnose, as no tests currently exist that can specifically diagnose it. Instead, a veterinarian will conduct a comprehensive physical exam, including getting stool and blood samples, skin scraping for mites, and swabbing the skin to look for bacteria or yeast, as well as get as much information from you, the dog owner, to construct a thorough medical history. In some cases allergy testing may be performed, but most standard veterinary offices do not have this type of testing on hand. Your dog may need to be referred to a Veterinary Behaviorist for allergy testing to look into food allergies or skin allergies.

More often than not, diagnosis is performed over a long period of time in which the most common causes of atopic dermatitis are removed from the dogs environment. Many times an official diagnosis is never found, and your dogs symptoms are just treated as they arise.

That could be anything from switching household cleaners for a month to see if the symptoms go away, or switching proteins in the diet for a minimum of six to eight weeks to determine if allergic reaction to food is the culprit. No matter which route the veterinarian advises, its important to fully stick to the plan so variables can be ruled out, otherwise starting over will be necessary.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Dog Eczema

Eczema symptoms in canines can vary depending on whether the condition is dry or wet eczema. The symptoms of eczema can often resemble other conditions symptoms, such as the mange or normal allergies. For this reason, it is important to get the advice of your veterinarian as they can determine the cause and tell you what the condition is. Eczema will usually worsen as your dog licks, chews and bites the affected. We have created a list of some of the possible symptoms that are associated with eczema in dogs.

  • Scratching, chewing, licking and biting of the skin
  • Severe itchiness and irritation
  • Secondary infection

Medication: Prednisolone/ Methylprednisolone/ Dexamethasone

How To Treat Dog Eczema Fast

What is it and how does it work?

Anti-inflammatory that inhibits the process of inflammation.

How is it given?

Tablets or liquid given daily to start with, then tapered.

How long does it take to have effect?

Effect can be rapid with improvement within 24 hours.

What is the cost?

Inexpensive, for example a months course of tablets for a medium-sized dog would cost approximately £20.

Are there any side effects?

Short-term: Increased drinking and urination, increased appetite and weight gain.

Long-term: Muscle wastage, urinary tract infections, induced hormone disease

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Management Of Flare Factors

Specific avoidance interventions depend on identification of all the factors associated with a flare for clinical signs in an individual dog. Common flare factors include fleas and fleabite hypersensitivity, bacterial or yeast overgrowth, and food and environmental allergens. CAD due to food and environmental allergens can present with identical clinical signs and may, in fact, be a concurrent problem.

Fleas and Fleabite Hypersensitivity

Dogs with CAD are predisposed to fleabite hypersensitivity if exposed repeatedly to flea salivary antigens.10 As a result, all dogs with CAD should be protected with year-round flea adulticides combined with relevant environmental measures. Some dogs may present with concurrent clinical signs of CAD and fleabite hypersensitivity these patients need aggressive flea treatment as well as environmental measures.1

Bacterial or Yeast Overgrowth

Specific antibacterial/antifungal interventions should be based on regular cytologic evaluation of atopic skin lesions and documented presence of bacteria/yeast at these sites.

FIGURE 5. Skin lesions of superficial canine pyoderma on thorax of atopic dog and skin cytology revealing neutrophils and extracellular and intracellular cocci. Malassezia dermatitis affecting ventral abdomen of a dog with CAD and associated tape skin cytology revealing peanut-shaped yeast .



  • Itraconazole 5 mg/kg q24h for 3 weeks
  • Terbinafine 30 mg/kg q24h for 3 weeks

Food-induced CAD

Is Dog Dermatitis Contagious

Allergic dermatitis and most dog skin infections are not contagious to other animals or members of the family. The only conditions which could affect other pets and also humans are:

  • Ringworm: Is a fungal infection, which is spread between dogs and humans through spores. Ringworm in dogs is a patch of hair that can either be a scab or inflamed and in humans, ringworm will look like a circle red rash, which can be fairly itchy.
  • Flea infestation: All animals in the household will need treating. Humans may be bitten on the ankles/feet by emerging flea larvae, but they will not live on humans.
  • Harvest mites: These are tiny, bright orange mites, only found in late summer. They will often affect multiple animals in the household and can cause an itchy rash where your pets feet have come into contact with you, so often on the tummy or legs where they have sat on your lap.

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Symptoms Of Moist Eczema In Dogs

Symptoms of moist eczema may include:

  • Persistent licking
  • Alopecia
  • Lesions that become red, exudative, swollen, erythematous, moist

These lesions typically start out small but then get larger and worse with self trauma. The most commonly affected areas include:

  • Periaural
  • Lumbosacral region


Moist eczema is also known as a hot spot, acute moist dermatitis, or pyotraumatic dermatitis. You will often find your dog constantly and persistently licking the area in question which may be what caused it to begin with and will make it worse. It is common to see the development of moist eczema in dogs where the weather is hot, especially if your dog has long fur or thick coat. This condition is form of acute inflammation of the skin as well as exudation that can develop in a manner of hours. Areas of moist eczema can develop anywhere on your dogs body.

How To Heal Atopic Dermatitis In Dogs

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  • May 7, 2021

Is your dog constantly itching and scratching? Have you noticed any redness, flaky skin, or scabs while brushing? If so, he or she could be suffering from a skin disease called atopic dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis, also called allergic dermatitis, is the most common cause of itching in dogs. Without treatment, it can be incredibly stressful for both you and your pet. The good news is that there are simple ways to relieve your pets symptoms and stress. Regular care can even help prevent crusty scabs or sores from forming.

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Atopic Or Allergic Eczema

This is one of the most common types. It occurs if the dog is genetically predisposed to developing allergies. Mites, flower pollen or insect bites can trigger this type of eczema.

The affected areas are on the legs, face, abdomen, crotch and armpits. The most common symptoms are red skin, pimples, dryness and an eclipse of the affected area. Your veterinarian may prescribe antibacterial drugs or ointments that can relieve the itching.

Can Dogs Get Tested For Allergies

Prior to any treatment, your veterinarian will need a complete medical history to determine the pattern of your dog’s allergies. Some allergies are seasonal, such as mold, while others are year-round.

A complete physical examination is important in determining the best types of treatment. Your veterinarian will want to perform tests on skin samples from the affected areas.

Serologic allergy testing may be performed, which looks for antibodies in the blood, but the results are not always reliable. The quality of this kind of testing often depends on the laboratory that analyzes the results.

Intradermal testing may also be used to identify the cause of your pet’s allergic reaction. This is where small amounts of test allergens are injected into the skin and wheal response is measured.

Since these types of tests are very expensive, your veterinarian may recommend treatment instead of advanced allergy testing.

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