One-quarter of all dogs brought to the shelter each year are brought there because their owners say they are too old.
A startling statistic!
Knowing what to look out for as your pets age may help you keep them healthier longer.
If your dog’s coat is not looking as shiny as it once did, should this be a cause for concern? You don’t have to guess. Here are 4 old dog skin problems to look out for in senior dogs.
Old Dog Skin Problems: What to Look For in Your Senior Best Friend
These are a few of the more common skin problems you’ll see in an aging dog.
1. Pyotraumatic or Moist Dermatitis
Hot spots can show up anywhere on your dog’s body. They are mainly caused by bacteria or can result when your dog licks or scratches one area of their body.
Hot spots are easy to identify. They present themselves as moist, red, oozing spots on the skin. They are very painful and itchy and feel hot to the touch.
Hot spots happen more often in older dogs because their skin is more likely to break open when scratched excessively. The open wound invites bacteria. It’s a vicious cycle.
2. Allergic Dermatitis
Up to almost half of all dogs suffer from allergies. These allergies are most commonly caused by fleas, food, or the environment, through pollen or dust.
If your dog is scratching relentlessly, you’ll most likely discover some sort of allergy.
As dogs age, their immune systems are not as effective in fighting off infection. The scratching that results from allergies may cause a skin infection on your older pooch.
3. Hair Loss
Shedding is normal in dogs, but when it becomes excessive, it’s cause for concern.
Hair loss can be due to parasites, excessive licking, bacterial or fungal infections, hypothyroidism or even Cushing’s Disease. Poor nutrition or stress can also cause your four-legged friend to lose more than a normal amount of hair.
Regularly inspect your dog’s coat for any signs of irregular hair loss.
4. Skin Lesions Due to Immune Disorders
If your dog has skin lesions that don’t heal, the vet may determine the cause is an immune disorder.
One well-known autoimmune disorder in dogs is lupus. The immune system attacks its own cells when a dog has lupus. One of the symptoms of lupus manifests itself as a skin abnormality or lesion.
Key to Keeping Your Dog’s Skin Healthy
There are several things you can do to avoid old dog skin problems. Feed your dog a premium food packed with quality ingredients and vitamins. You’ll see a change in your dog in no time.
Fatty acids, such as omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9, keep your dog’s skin healthy which will result in a shiny coat as well. If they’re not getting enough in their food, look for a good supplement.
Groom your dogs by bathing them regularly and brush them daily to stimulate their cells.
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