by Audrey Harvey, DVM
Although veterinary practice can be exciting and challenging, most of our work is treating the same conditions in our canine patients over and over. A recent survey indicated that the three most common reasons for a dog visiting their vet are ear infections, skin allergies and hot spots. Interestingly, these three conditions can share common causes.
1. Ear Infections
The symptoms of ear infections in dogs are hard to miss. Your dog will shake his head and scratch his ear, often groaning or yelping in pain. If you have a look inside his ear, it may be red and swollen and it often smells bad. Estimates suggest that up to 20% of dogs have infection and inflammation inside their ear and many chronic ear infections in dogs are secondary to skin allergies. In most cases, ear problems need veterinary attention to work out the exact cause of the infection and identify the appropriate treatment.
How can you prevent your dog developing painful inflammation in the ear?
Regular use of Cain & Able ear cleanser will remove moisture and wax accumulation that can predispose to infection. Its all natural ingredients include essential oil extracts and willow bark extract. These have a natural anti-inflammatory effect and help soothe irritation inside the ear canal.
Colloidal silver is a natural antibiotic, and is the main ingredient in Ear Wipes. These wipes are easy and convenient to use. They will remove odor and help to prevent bacteria multiplying in your dog’s ear.
2. Skin Allergies
Itching, scratching, licking and chewing – your dog’s skin allergies can really make life miserable for him. The commonest allergens in dogs are food, fleas and dusts and pollens in the environment.
When the skin is inflamed, the normal bacteria and fungi that inhabit it can cause secondary infections. These infections also itch, and they cause that strong “doggie smell” that is so unpleasant.
Oatmeal has been proven by the FDA to reduce skin inflammation and ease itching. Comfy Dog oatmeal shampoo used regularly will quickly ease your dog’s itchy skin, and start him on the road to healing. As well as oatmeal, it contains several all-natural herbal ingredients that soothe skin irritation and stop itching. Follow it up with Fur Butter conditioner and not only will he stop scratching, but his coat will be thick and luxurious and smell great.
3. Hot Spots
A hot spot is also known as acute moist pyoderma. It is a bacterial infection of the skin that is often associated with skin allergies. They often affect short coated breeds such as Labrador Retrievers. These infections appear suddenly and spread rapidly; because your dog will constantly scratch them, the hot spots can go from the size of a quarter to the size of your palm in a matter of hours. They are also extremely painful.
These acute infections usually need veterinary treatment to get them under control, however you can play your part at home by cleaning the area with Comfy Dog shampoo. The oatmeal will soothe the red inflamed skin and give your dog rapid relief.
Follow this with a spray with Itchin’ for Relief. Its oat extract and aloe vera will quickly ease the itch and stop the scratching. This will allow the skin to heal.
Although these conditions are common among dogs, they needn’t cause your dog serious problems. Watch for any symptoms and treat them quickly, and his skin and coat will stay healthy.