Regardless of the type of allergy your dog has, it may lead to scratching. Scratching causes its own host of problems, including skin infections and hot spots. Skin infections can manifest in several different ways, and often get worse if left untreated.
Skin infections may be cause by fungal growth, bacterial growth and inflammation from itching. Allergies cause itching, which in turn may cause inflammation, which causes more itching – the result is open sores where more bacteria and fungi will grow.
Depending on the type of skin infection your dog has, it may require anti-parasitic agents, anti-fungicides or antibiotics to keep it from spreading and to clear it up. You can also try to treat your dog with herbal remedies.
Symptoms of Skin Infections
Check the warm, moist environments on your dog – its mouth, lips and groin – for signs of skin infection. You should also check toes, elbows, belly and your dog’s tail for signs of infection, as they are pressure points that bruise or rupture easily and allow the introduction of infection below the skin’s surface.
The infection may look similar to the inflammation caused by a flea infestation and allergies. Superficial skin infections – infections on the “outer” skin often show up as redness, inflammation, small bumps and some hair loss – should be treated before they migrate to “deep skin” infections. These deeper skin infections present with foul odor, puss and lumps that look bloody on top of the skin.
Diagnosis and treatment is nothing to fool with, but you must determine the underlying cause of the skin infection. If your dog has allergies, once the skin infection has been treated, it will come back with a vengeance if the underlying cause has not been treated. Allergies can cause a vicious circle: They can cause skin infections, which you clear up, but because the allergies have not been contained, the skin infection reappears, usually worse.
You can treat your dog with an herbal remedy such as Skin-eze, but be sure to see your veterinarian about the proper medication required to eradicate the skin infection. You will have to treat your dog’s allergies for its life if you want to try to avoid skin infections.
If your dog seems to constantly get infections, be sure to use a shampoo created for allergy dogs, and dry it off completely after a bath or swimming. The moisture can contribute to the growth of bacteria on your dog’s skin.