Diseases Diseases

How To Identify Canine Skin Diseases


Canine skin diseases are quite common. Usually it’s a symptom of another illness instead of a disease in and of itself. Of course, there are some canine skin diseases (i.e. ringworm, sarcoptic mange) that are related directly to the dog’s skin. However, conditions that reflect their symptoms in your dog’s skin and coat (i.e. allergies, infections, Cushing’s disease, thyroid problems, infections) are much more common.

Step 1

Lesions are caused by several conditions. These are bumps on your dog’s skin that are filled with pus. It is difficult to diagnose what causes these canine skin diseases because there really are a lot of canine skin diseases that can cause them. It is important to get them diagnosed though since the treatment will depend upon the condition that is actually causing the problem. Some of the various canine skin diseases that can cause lesions include abscesses, allergies, sweat gland cysts, bacterial infections, distemper, demodctic mange and impetigo.

Step 2

Color changes can be caused by various canine skin diseases. Whenever your dachshund dog’s coat changes color it is usually caused by Acanthosis nigricans. This is an inherited diseases amongst this breed. However, there is a secondary form of this disease that can occur in other dog breeds. Other things that can cause pigment changes in your dog’s coat include sweat gland cysts, basal cell tumors, black hair folliculars, Bowen’s disease, bruising, irritation, inflammation, Cushing’s disease, demodectic mange and various types of dermatitis.

Step 3

Alopecia is a type of hair loss that can result in your dog having thin spots or your dog may even become almost completely bald. There are several canine skin diseases that can result in this symptom. These include Acanthosis nigricans, allergies, a bacterial infection, an autoimmune disorder, calluses, sarcoptic mange, congenital hypotrichosis, Cushing’s disease, folliculitis, granulomas, hypothyroidism, interstitial cell tumors, lice, leishmaniasis, diabetes mellitus and various forms of dermatitis.

Step 4

Scratching and licking are actually the most obvious symptoms that your dog has a skin ailment. Like other symptoms, this can be caused by various canine skin diseases. Some of these canine skin diseases are not really all that serious. However, there are also some that can be quite detrimental to your dog’s health. Some of the various diseases that might cause your dog to start scratching, licking or otherwise pulling out their hair include allergies, Acanthosis, nigricans, bacterial infections, insect bites or stings, sarcoptic mange, chiggers, demodectic mange, ear mites, hookworms, hot spots, lice, lymphoma and various forms of dermatitis.

Step 5

Whenever your dog’s coat looks as though he has dandruff, it is probably due to scaly skin. This may be nothing more than a serious case of dry skin. However, there are also some more serious conditions that can also cause scaling. Some of the various diseases that can cause your dog’s skin to become scaly include a bacterial infection, impetigo, black hair follicular, distemper, sarcoptic mange, Cushing’s disease, demodectic mange, hypothyroidish, leishmaniasis, ring worm, certain types of lymphoma and different types of dermatitis.


Since you probably don't have any veterinary training it is vital to make sure that you have your dog seen by a vet if you notice anything unusual about your dog's skin or coat. While it may be nothing, it is better to know what you're dealing with so that it can be properly treated as soon as possible.

By Brenda Hoffman, published at 04/04/2012
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