Pit bulls are prone to skin problems that are not common to other dogs. Owners of pit bulls often complain of recurring problems such as rashes, hives and persistent itching and scratching. Those conditions can range from mild scratching problems to more severe cases in which vigorous scratching leads to hematomas that require surgery. The so-called "blue breed" of pit bulls is known to have especially troublesome skin problems, caused by a tendency toward an auto-immune problem.
The "blue" breed, as well as those pit bulls that have chocolate-coloured and cream-coloured skin, have been reported to be more likely to have skin problems. There seems to be no provable cause for this phenomenon, although many people point to the pigment in the skin as being a factor. According to many dog breeders such as those at the Dalton Blue Pit Kennel in Georgia, this tendency is common in blue types of all breeds of dogs, yet cannot be attributed to a specific reason.
Types of Skin Problems
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the most common skin problem among pit bulls is seasonal allergies. Whether or not the allergies are associated with common airborne allergens or perhaps annual changes in skin growth, such as shedding in summer, is not known. Yet the phenomenon has been documented by several pit bull owners. The allergy causes the dogs to scratch themselves, often to the point of removing skin and causing infections. That can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated.
Other Types of Skin Problems
Short-haired dogs such as pit bulls often have a tendency to develop dry skin. Pit bulls will consequently develop what are known as hot spots, which are areas of their skin that will become inflamed and extremely itchy. The dog will scratch those areas continually until they remove the skin entirely, leaving raw tissue or sores exposed to the air. This also can lead to further health problems.
More Skin Problems
Because of the sensitivity of the skin on pit bulls, they can be especially sensitive to insect bites such as bee stings, ant bites and fleas. They are also more sensitive to chemicals, and many owners have reported having to change not only soaps and other products that come into direct contact with the dog, but other household products that contain certain chemicals that can irritate the skin of the pit bull. There does not seem to be a consistency in the types of chemicals that are most irritating to the dog.
Because the pit bull breeds seem to have more adverse reactions to skin irritants than many other breeds, veterinarians often recommend keeping a steady supply of skin softener or other skin cream that can be applied to the dog on a regular basis. Many owners have recommended Skin So Soft as an effective skin treatment for its moisturising and medicating effects. Any product that is to be applied to the pit bull skin should be tested first in a small area before full application.