Weimaraners, named for the Grand Duke of Weimar, belong to the gundog group. Originally bred to hunt lions, "The Grey Ghost" possesses a strong prey instinct, yet can suffer from irritating skin rashes caused by tiny fleas and mites, food, bacteria and allergens. Owners should seek a veterinarian's opinion to determine a rash's cause or other underlying condition. An upset Weimaraner with no reprieve from itching can develop appetite loss, gastrointestinal problems, irritability or aggression.
Dog Tick Rashes
American dog tick, wood tick and lone star tick can transmit the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever. A Weimaraner can pick up dog ticks from shrubbery or undergrowth. These parasites feed on the host dog's blood. Skin lesions such as rashes, as well as stiffness, fever and neurological problems develop.
Dog Mite Rashes
Dog mites can cause two types of mange: demodectic and sarcoptic. Signs of demodectic mange from an infestation include hairless, irritated patches around eyes, mouth, and front of legs that can lead to many hair loss sites. Demodectic mites congregate at hair follicles and cause the weimaraner's skin to react with oozing and crusty sores appearing as rashes.
The parasitic Sarcoptes scabei mite causes sarcoptic mange or scabies by burrowing under the weimaraner's skin to deposit eggs. Preferred sites include hairless skin such as ears flaps, elbows and abdomen. Dogs react by biting themselves repeatedly. Symptoms appear as red, scaly skin, hair loss on ears, elbows legs and face and crusty ear tips. Hair loss can develop over the dog's body. Skin damage and possible secondary infections can develop and require veterinary attention.
Rashes appear when flea are present. When a flea bites a dog, the dog reacts to the flea's saliva. As the dog itches and scratches, the cycle develops. A bacterial skin infection known as Staphyloccus bacterial infection produces symptoms similar to the flea allergy. A veterinarian can determine the rash's underlying cause.
A dog's skin need protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation to avoid skin damage that may appear as redness, leathery texture or white on the sunburn, depending on the degree of burn. According to the Sun Block website, Weimaraners are predisposed to cancer, especially squamous cell carcinoma caused by ultraviolet radiation and sunburn. Skin ulcerations can promote bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections.
Food allergies can also trigger itching, sores, excessive scratching, hair loss and face rubbing. Allergens that cause the allergic reaction include corn and wheat used in some commercial dog food products. Other food allergy symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, sneezing, seizures and behaviour changes. Hypoallergenic dog food may avoid allergens and may reduce or eliminate the allergy problem.
Weimaraners may develop atopic allergies through skin contact with chemicals in washing powder, soap, shampoo, alcohol and other products. Good grooming and removing these irritating chemicals can reduce the problem. A veterinarian may suggest a hypoallergenic shampoo to remove allergens attached to the dog's fur and relieve itchiness.