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Dogs can have all sorts of skin problems and they range in severity from
benign to very serious. There are some things you can try to eliminate your
dog’s
problem at home, but if it can’t be alleviated quickly, it’s time to take
him to the vet
to rule out any life threatening diseases.

Is your home dry in the winter?
If so, this could be causing dry skin itch. Use a room humidifier to
moisten
the air. Also, try a moisturizing shampoo from the pet store. Your vet can
recommend one.

Is the skin flaky, red and irritated?
This could be a sign of something serious. Your dog needs to see his vet.
He
could just be allergic to his fleas or something in your home. It’s
important to get
some sort of flea control. Your vet can help you determine and eliminate any
other
allergens that are causing your dog trouble.

Your vet says your dog has hot spots, what are those?
Very common, they are typically a bacterial infection. They might have
started out as just an allergy, but as the dog scratched, he broke open the
skin and
introduced bacteria into the sore with his dirty paws. The bacteria grows
and causes
further irritation to the skin. The vet will want to clear up the initial
allergy as well
as treat the new infection. He may also prescribe a pain reliever.

What else could it be?
There are thousands of things that can cause your dog skin problems,
including fleas, parasites like worms and mites, and fungal infections.
Dogs also
just get acne just like we do. Sometimes, however, skin troubles are
indicative of an
underlying disorder of the liver or thyroid. It’s very important to see your
vet.

Will the vet be able to cure my dog's illness?
Most of the time, your dog’s skin troubles can be solved using a variety of
treatments. Some are topical like creams and shampoos. Others are pills or
injections. Be patient though, not all dogs respond similarly to treatment.
It may
take a while to find what works.