Why Does a Dog Have Sores on the Skin?


Quick Answer

One of the most common causes of sores on a dog's skin is excessive licking, chewing or scratching. This can be due to itchiness or obsessive behavior stemming from psychological conditions.

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Full Answer

These sores, commonly called hot spots, are often on the front legs but can be found on the tail or any other area dogs can reach with its mouth. Allergies, skin diseases or pain can cause excessive licking that leads to a hot spot. Dogs suffering from stress, anxiety or boredom may also lick or chew their skin as a self-soothing behavior.

Some dogs develop sores as a result of minor skin irritation that gets infected. Sarcoptic mange and flea infestations can also result in sores as well as hair loss and itchiness. Ringworm, a common and highly contagious fungal infection, causes a small circular lesion that may be scabby or ooze pus.

Skin ulcers can also be caused by some autoimmune diseases and cancers. Sores that do not seem to heal or that appear all over the body may point to a serious underlying disease. In rare cases, the sores might be caused by an adverse reaction to medication.

Trauma may be a cause of some sores. Burns from heat or friction often cause sores. Frostbite can also cause sores, although they often develop several days after the exposure that damaged the skin. Cuts and scrapes may develop into sores due to the dog licking the wounded area or developing an infection.

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