Imagine this. You are petting your dog and then, to you horror, you noticed a patch of his skin is covered by rashes.
If you are a new dog owner, you may be wondering how serious is this? What has caused this to appear? What should you do about it? Should you bring him to the vet to have it checked? Is it life threatening? Does it need treatment?
Look for tell-tale signs
Things like color, texture and the location of the rash can provide some clues as to what your dog may be suffering from and what you need to do. Also, having an idea of what the condition is, you will be able to know how to prevent this from occurring again.
Dandruff flakes caused by Seborrhea
For example, if you noticed dandruff flakes on your dog, then this could likely be Seborrhea, a common ailment in dogs. This condition is mainly genetic with the dandruff flakes beginning to form as early as when they were puppies. This condition can then last for the rest of their lives.
Medically speaking, Seborrhea is not serious and you do not need to worry too much about it. Seborrhea shampoo will reduce the scaling and help your dog to feel better.
Dermatitis is due to allergies
Dermatitis is another type of flaky rash. This one is brought about by allergies. The affected part of the skin will appear red with light flakes around the fur. It is advisable to have a talk with your vet about the allergies to find out what is causing this rash and how to prevent further harm from occurring.
A more scabbier and serious type of rash is mange. This is a serious skin condition caused by mites. There are two types of mange: Demodectic and Sarcoptic. Demodectic mange is not contagious, while Sarcoptic mange is.
Both types of mange produces red, itchy skin, hair loss and sores. In addition, the Demodectic mange causes scabbing. Although Sarcoptic mange can be transmitted to humans, however, the mites would not be able to survive on humans.
Whichever type of mange your dog may be suffering from, you should take him to the vet to have a scabicide applied to the affected area. This will kill off any embedded parasites. The process may take up to six weeks to complete.
Fleas and ticks
Rashes can also be caused by other parasites. Most notably are fleas and ticks.
Treatments for fleas are easily available and can be administered orally or via an ointment. Besides treating the dog directly, you should also ensure that your home and yard are free from flea. This will prevent the problem from recurring.
Ticks, however, are not as infectious as fleas. But, they can be more dangerous. If left untreated, ticks can carry Lyme disease and cause nasty infections.
To remove a tick from the dog, grab the tick close to the dog’s skin with a pair of tweezers. Pull up slowly to remove it. Then put it overnight in a glass containing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to kill it.
You must be careful when removing a tick. If not properly done, you could be leaving the tick’s head still burrowed in the dog’s body. This can cause further infection.