We’re well into summer which means that the season for insects and allergies is in full swing. Dog owners should be especially vigilant this time of year in watching for canine skin problems. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a gnat bite can start enough scratching to lead to self-inflicted trauma. Pollen, hot and humid weather, mold and frequent dips in the pond or pool can all lead to summertime skin conditions in dogs.
If you see your dog scratching or chewing on itself more than is normal, it’s a good idea to preform your own brief physical exam. Check for fleas and “flea dirt”- which looks like coffee grounds. If there is evidence of fleas, apply an effective flea control product like Frontline Plus or K9 Advantix II. If you come across a small thorn or other foreign body during your exam, attempt to remove it with a pair of pet tweezers if you can safely do so. If not, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
If you see a patch of skin on your pet that is red and moist, you are most likely dealing with a combination of inflammation and infection. This can be incredibly itchy for your sweet pooch. Mild infections can often be treated with topical pet medications like Animax or Panolog, which kill yeast and bacteria while reducing inflammation and itchiness. More severe infections usually need veterinarian prescribed oral antibiotics and pet medications to control itching.
If you notice that skin problems are a reoccurring problem for your dog, speak with your pet’s veterinarian.