What Causes Skin Problems for Dogs?


Quick Answer

Skin problems in dogs are caused by allergic reactions, yeast infections, bacterial infections, ringworm and mites, according to WebMD. Stress, illness or malnutrition can also result in skin problems.

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Full Answer

Bacterial infections such as folliculitis and impetigo give rise to skin problems, states WebMD. Folliculitis causes sores, scabs and scaly skin to appear. Treatment includes antibiotics or antibacterial topical treatments. Impetigo occurs most often in puppies and manifests in puss-filled blisters that can be treated with ointment. Sometimes a dog can contract a yeast infection that irritates the skin, making the skin itchy and discolored. The infected skin is usually located in the folds of the ears and paws. Most often, these infections require only a topical cream.

Dogs may get rashes or shed abnormally as a result of allergies, stress or poor nutrition, says WebMD. If allergens are the culprit, they need to be identified and removed. The use of corticosteroids is a good short-term treatment. If the skin problems are due to stress or illness, the best bet is to take the dog to a veterinarian. Skin problems are often caused by some sort of infestation such as mites, fleas and ticks. A dog infested with mites develops mange. It loses hair and the skin becomes itchy and produces sores and scabs. Dogs with fleas develop skin covered in hot spots and scabs.

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