I have a labrador who is 2 months old and he has been experiencing shedding of hairs from his whole body, continuous itching, and reddishness at the bottom. What could be causing these skin problems in my puppy?
Understanding the Causes of Your Pet’s Skin Problems
It’s important to understand that skin problems in pets can have a variety of causes, sometimes even more than one. Young dogs, like your labrador, may develop skin infections called ‘puppy pyoderma,’ which usually affects the belly and inner hind legs. This condition typically resolves itself as the puppy matures. However, it is essential to consult with your veterinarian so they can determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and provide appropriate treatment.
Identifying Allergies and Environmental Irritants
Allergies are another common cause of skin problems in dogs. Fleas, food allergies, and exposure to chemical irritants (e.g. cleaners and soaps) can all create issues. Pets can develop dog allergies that make the itch-scratch cycle more severe. To determine the cause of your pet’s itchiness and eliminate it, you can take several steps.
First, check for fleas using a flea comb. Examine for fleas and tiny black granules resembling coarse black pepper, which are indicative of flea feces. Also, look for tiny white particles that resemble salt, as these are flea eggs. If you find fleas, apply a high-quality topical monthly flea treatment and treat your house and yard aggressively to break the flea life cycle. You can review some helpful articles like Does My Dog Have Mange? to gather more information.
Besides fleas, your pet’s food or bowls could be causing itchiness. Plastic bowls are a potential cause, especially if hair loss occurs on the chin, where the skin contacts the bowl during meals. If you suspect this is a problem, try switching to glass, metal, or ceramic bowls.
Recommendations for Diet Changes
Food allergies in pets often result from sensitivity to a protein in their diet. Brands like Hill’s Science Diet offer non-prescription options for sensitive skin and prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Alternatively, Royal Canin provides limited protein diets that may provide relief. Consult your vet to recommend a specific diet tailored to your dog’s needs.
Lastly, ensure you follow some helpful advice found in articles like Simple Tips for Itchy Dogs to provide your pet with the relief they need. Keep in mind that, as a caring pet owner, timely identification and treatment of skin problems can significantly improve your dog’s quality of life.