Dog and Puppy Health

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Dog Skin Disorders

Dog skin disorders are among the most common health problems in dogs. Skin disorders in dogs can have many causes, and many of the common skin disorders that afflict people have a counterpart in dogs. The condition of dog's skin and coat can also be an important indicator of its general health.
A dog with skin irritation and hair loss on its leg caused by mangeSkin disorders of dogs vary from acute, self-dog mangelimiting problems to chronic or long-lasting problems requiring life-time treatment.

Dog skin disorders may be grouped into categories according to the causes. Here are the most common ones.

Immune-mediated skin disorders - Skin disease may result from abnormalities in immune system function. Some examples include increased susceptibility to demodectic mange, recurrent skin infections, such as yeast infection or bacterial infections. This category also includes hypersensitivity disorders such as atopic dermatitis, and skin diseases caused by autoimmunity, such as pemphigus and lupus.

Infectious skin diseases - Infectious skin diseases of dogs include contagious and non-contagious infections or infestations. Contagious infections include parasitic, bacterial, fungal and viral skin diseases. One of the most common contagious skin diseases is canine scabies (mange). Ringworm is more common in puppies than in adult dogs. Another contagious infestation is caused by a mite, Cheyletiella. Dogs can be infested with contagious lice.

Other ectoparasites, including flea and tick infestations are not considered directly contagious but are acquired from an enviroment where other infested hosts have established the parasite's life cycle.

Non-contagious skin infections can result when normal bacterial or fungal skin flora is allowed to proliferate and cause skin disease. Common examples in dogs include Staphylococcus intermedius pyoderma, and Malassezia dermatitis caused by overgrowth of Malassezia pachydermatis.

Hereditary and developmental skin diseases - Some diseases are inherent abnormalities of skin structure or function. These include seborrheic dermatitis, ichthyosis, skin fragility syndrome (Ehlers-Danlos), hereditary hypotrichosis and congenital or hereditary alopecia.

Cutaneous manifestations of internal diseases - Some systemic diseases can become symptomatic as a skin disorder. These include many endocrine (hormonal) abnormalities, such as hypothyroidism, hyperadrenalcorticism, and tumors of the ovaries or testicles.

"Dogs look up to you. Cats look down on you. Give me a pig.
He just looks you in the eye and treats you like an equal."
~ Winston Churchill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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