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What Skin Problems Affect Old Dogs?

As dogs age, many develop uncomfortable skin conditions. These conditions can be worrying to owners and make dogs vulnerable to other diseases without proper treatment. Luckily, many of these skin problems are very common and can be treated at a vet clinic. Watching for signs of old dog skin problems is an important part of senior dog care.

Fleas, Mites, and Insects

Dogs need regular daily walks. When you’re traversing your favorite trails or visiting your favorite hiking spots, this can leave your pets vulnerable to a whole host of pests. This includes common insects such as fleas, mites, ticks, and even mosquitos, but more serious bites might also occur when traveling on new terrain. Scratching, itchy bites can cause a dog’s skin to become irritated and make it vulnerable to disease.

If your dog is licking, scratching, and biting its fur more than usual, this is a good indicator that it might be troubled by insects. Other symptoms include red patches of skin or thinning fur in spots on the dog’s body or red or brown flecks in the dog’s coat. The best way to avoid the issues caused by insects is to discuss flea and tick treatment with your veterinary staff at your dog’s annual checkup.


Many dogs today struggle with allergies, which often affect their skin. Even if your dog never had allergies as a pup, dogs can develop allergies at any stage of life. An old dog might be struggling with allergies if it is experiencing irritated skin along with swelling or hives. Dogs with food allergies often also experience vomiting and diarrhea. Luckily, an animal hospital can administer a blood test to determine if a dog has allergies and recommend the proper treatment.


Canine dermatitis is a type of inflammation of the skin, usually as a result of exposure to environmental allergies. Since allergies often worsen as a dog ages, it is not unusual for an old dog to develop this skin condition. Signs of dermatitis include excessive itching, scratching, and rubbing on carpets or furniture. It also includes changes in a dog’s coat, especially if flakiness or oiliness is present. Particularly itchy spots that a dog scratches too much can develop into painful open sores that must be treated at a veterinary hospital.


Noticing problems with an aging dog’s coat or skin can alarm pet owners, but many old dog skin problems can be treated effectively. However, since the symptoms of different skin conditions can overlap, it is best to let a veterinarian diagnose the problem and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to Sykesville Veterinary Clinic today.