What Causes Scaly Skin In Dogs

Dandruff in the dog - what can that mean?

The initially cosmetic aspect, flaky fur does not look nice, but sometimes it gets through Itching and apparent malaise in the dog a serious problem.

What are dog sheds anyway?

The Skin is one of the largest organs and has many very different functions in interaction with the entire organism. The skin is built up in layers. On the outside, partially visible to us, lies the epidermis (Epidermis). It's similar to one Brick wall built up. On the bottom, towards the inside of the body, there is a firm membrane on which further layers of skin cells form on the outside. In this way, if there is peeling on the skin, new cells can come to the surface. This maturation process of the cells will too Cornification (Keratinization) called. At the end of the ripening process, reeds then appear Dandruff in the coat. The interaction of individual factors, such as Signals from the body or Change of environmentthat the animal lives in, too stress and Change of feeding, can influence this maturation process. It is therefore necessary when a striking number Dandruff occur to precisely determine the cause.

root cause

At excessive occurrence of dandruff a detailed anamnesis must be taken. In principle, any skin disease can also cause dandruff. Congenital changes in the metabolism of the skin can also lead to severe flaking right at the beginning or only with advancing age.

The 7 most common acquired, i.e. non-congenital, causes can be:

  • Parasites, such as mites, fleas, lice
  • Allergies
  • Infections from bacteria, fungi, viruses
  • Diet, especially if there is a deficit in zinc, fatty acids and protein intake
  • hormonal changes
  • Metabolic changes such as liver disease
  • Environment in which the animal lives

Furthermore, different Diseaseswhere the immune system plays a role, as well Tumor diseases, the Cause severe dandruff be.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

As a dog owner, the first thing you will notice is Flaking on. The Dandruff can be white and dry and also itching and bald spots can appear accompanying. There are only a few Dandruff, this can usually be done easily to brush be removed in the long term. But there are enormous amounts Dandruff at or are these oily, greasy and difficult to remove, there is a serious problem behind it.

The following 4 steps lead to diagnosis:

  1. A clinical examination can already give slight indications whether an underlying disease is the reason for the Flaking can be, or whether it is Parasites or fungi could act.
  2. In many cases, a dermatological examination connected, where the skin, separate hair and the scaly spots to be examined more closely and the eventual itching is classified. For this it may be necessary, so-called Skin scrapings to manufacture and thereby the Cell structure of the skin, as Parasites to be able to analyze with the microscope. Also comes on with a special lamp or a hair sample Mushrooms examined.
  3. It will also after Feeding, housing conditions and other important factors asked. Sometimes a blood count needs to be done, especially if you have one illness suspects that hormonal can be conditional.
  4. If these steps do not lead to a clear diagnosis, a biopsy the skin will be performed in sedation, then a pathologist analyze the cells and glands of the deep layers of the skin in the laboratory.

Therapy against dandruff

Is there a slight flaking that does not cause itching, bald spots, can be with light brushing of the fur. The to brush Not only removes the scales, but also promotes blood circulation in the skin. Natural brushes are preferable here.

Just Puppies or dogs changing coat can show slight flaking. Here, the skin can also be supported with adapted feeding. The content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and good, easily digestible Proteins is important here. At severe flaking must always be vet should be consulted to find out the cause and the individually appropriate one therapy to start early enough. Oils that are rich in omega-3 fats can also make the skin smoother and the coat shinier. In Dr. SAM you will find preparations that help to reduce dandruff in dogs. Click here to go to the shop.

Preventing dandruff in dogs

In principle, the feed should always be selected well. Depending on the breed and coat, a specific selection may have to be made here. Also the right and balanced one maintenance of the coat is important and depends on the condition of the coat. Coarse, wiry brushes can damage the skin, natural brushes are more suitable. At stress-related dandruff, can be influenced in terms of behavior in order to be able to cope better with the situation in the future. Special shampoos and other preparations for external use that help the skin to regenerate are available. Their application should always be carried out with a vet to be discussed.

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Best regards,
Mag. Med. vet. Lea Weiss
- Veterinarian at Dr. SAM