- There are many causes for dry spots on a dog's skin.dogs climbing on rocks image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com
Dry spots, though common, are uncomfortable occurrences for dogs. Causes for this skin issue vary, and treatment often depends on the cause of the problem. Veterinary diagnostics are typically the best way to discover the cause and decide on the treatment, because antibiotics and steroids are often required for the resolution of the dry spots.
- Both sarcoptic and demodectic mange can cause dry, crusty skin lesions on a dog. Mange is caused by mites that burrow under the skin, often resulting in hair loss and inflammation, along with the dry spots. The mites that cause demodectic mange occur on almost every dog, and typically, the dogs and mites live together without any problems, according to PetEducation.com. Dogs that have inadequate or suppressed immune systems, as well as puppies, are usually those that acquire this type of mange. Sarcoptic mange, also called scabies, causes severe itching and hair loss in dogs. Both types of mange are often resolved with dips and oral medication.
- Contrary to the name, ringworm is not a worm; it is a fungus that lives in the hair follicles. Ringworm is spread by contact with an infected animal or plant. This stubborn fungus usually presents itself as a dry, hairless spot on the dog that may also appear crusty or scaly. Ringworm often appears on the tail, ears, head and front paws. Highly contagious, ringworm can even spread to humans from contact with an infected animal, and symptoms typically occur about 10 days after exposure, according to Dog-Health-Guide.org. Oral medications and special shampoos are often effective in treating ringworm.
- If your dog is allergic to fleas, just one bite from the pests can set off a severe flare-up. Dogs with flea allergies have dry, flaky spots that may also include red bumps and hair loss. Flea allergy symptoms usually present themselves on the dog's bottom, groin, belly, legs and tail base. Treatment for the allergies involves the elimination and prevention of fleas, as well as oral medications and topical treatments, such as shampoos. The dog's environment needs to receive treatment for fleas, as they will continue to affect the dog if they are still present.
- Common in breeds such as Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, terriers and Lhasa Apsos, allergies wreak havoc on the skin of their victims. Causing dry lesions as well as itching and inflammation, skin allergies can occur year-round or only in certain months for dogs. Treatment of skin allergies often involves antihistamines and shampoos, and some dogs require allergy serum injections and special diets.