Eczema is a skin condition that causes red, itchy and inflamed skin. A dog suffering from eczema will bite, scratch and lick at itself incessantly, and will often cause bleeding. Quick treatment is essential in order to prevent lasting damage. According to the Pet Center--a group of veterinarians, trainers, and handlers--eczema and severe itching can be caused by allergies, dirt, bacterial infection or bugs. Determining the exact cause of the disorder is difficult, although you can start treatment even without knowing the source.
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Switch dog food brands. Low-quality commercial dog foods don't provide healthy amounts of vitamins, minerals or base nutrients. While they are seemingly more expensive, high-quality, veterinarian recommended brands such as Iams, Science Diet and Eukanuba will keep your dog healthier in the long run. This will prevent vet and supplement costs.
Your dog's skin and coat requires a significant amount of fat in order to be healthy, soft and supple. Add roughly a teaspoon per every ten pounds of body weight of natural, organic oil to your dog's food in the morning. Decrease the amount you feed him so he doesn't gain unnecessary weight.
While you should avoid using a regular shampoo on a dog suffering from eczema, a medicated shampoo will provide your itching pup with some relief. Sulfodene is commonly prescribed by vets, although you can buy it at any pet store. Any shampoo containing significant amounts of oatmeal is recommended by Dr. Pitcairn, a homeopathic veterinarian. Use cold water to bathe your dog, as hot water will dry his skin out more.
Your vet will likely prescribe a series of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or antihistamines for your dog. Many skin conditions are difficult to diagnose, but most have a root cause of bacterial infection and swelling--which cause itching.
Ensure your dog's flea treatment is up to date. Many dogs are allergic to fleas, and even a single bite is enough to cause an outbreak of eczema or a similar condition. Ask your vet for a natural remedy, since harsh chemicals will dry your already-itchy dog's skin out even more.
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