Canine Dermatology

Canine dermatology (skin problems) is a very challenging field. Skin problems can be caused by bacteria, fungi, skin parasites, immunology problems, allergies, endocrine conditions (hormones) or cancer.

The dogs with skin problems can be separated in two categories: young dogs and adults. Signs that owners first notice are pruritis (itching), alopecia (loss of hair) and otitis (ear irritation).

Owners must give their veterinary surgeon a detailed history when a problem presents itself – like changes in food, complete diet analysis, shampoos, sleeping quarters, type of grass you have at home, etc.

The vet will then recommend specific tests to be done in order to make the correct diagnosis. Skin problems are serious and should be attended to immediately to prevent the owner getting irritated and despairing. The longer it takes to make the correct diagnosis, the longer it will take to treat the problem!

Insist on a diagnosis that you and your family can make peace with if your Yorkie has a chronic problem – like atopy that needs life-long attention and medication. In the case of ringworm (which is very high on the list for Yorkies from certain breeding establishments) you have to treat it immediately to prevent the fungus from spreading to other puppies or to the family (zoonosis). Some are very resistant and cause lots of unhappiness for the new owners and reflects very badly on a breeder.

Food allergies and flea bite allergies are very common in Yorkies but can be totally prevented and stopped by giving the right treatment and feeding the right food from your veterinary surgeon. Remember that some dogs can eat a certain food for up to 8 years and only then get allergic to it.

Article written by : Dr. Irma Bailey



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