Skin Diseases

Skin Disease

in Dogs (& Cats)

An Introduction

There is a wide variety of skin conditions that affect dogs. These include pyoderma, atopy, allergy, malasezzia, ringworm (dermatophytosis), so-called ‘hot-spots' or wet eczema, hyperkeratosis, pemphigus, lupus, alopecia (hair loss), otitis (ear problems), acanthosis, sebaceous cysts, hyperpigmentation, eczema, interdigital cysts, warts and many others. Some of these are of autoimmune nature. In its broad definition, skin trouble is probably the most common problem affecting dogs. In cats, skin disorders are also quite common, with miliary dermatitis (miliary eczema), eosinophilic lesions and alopecia being the most common.

In all cases where there is immune involvement, anything that impinges upon the immune system is potentially capable of acting as an aetiological agent, including vaccination. In fact, we have objectively observed that the in vast majority of cases in which a start date can be defined, first signs start within three months of vaccination. This is of great concern, although in no specific case can a causative connection be unequivocally made.

Many cases are seen each year, at the AVMC and it is unusual for the unpleasant signs and symptoms to persist indefinitely after treatment. The problem is not brought under control in every case, at the first prescription, many are quite difficult to treat and not every case eventually resolves but we do not make pessimistic noises when confronted with such dogs, despite the hitherto very chronic nature of the disease in some patients. While no promises of success can ever be offered in medicine, this condition is generally not among those that we most fear. Successful cases are usually resolved, rather than temporarily relieved by medication.

Treatment options used, often combined, have been veterinary homeopathy, herbal medicine and natural feeding. A holistic approach is vital.

For a fuller account of this topic, see:

Dog Diseases – Skin and the other named skin conditions on that same page.