Psoriasis in dogs is a skin condition that shows up as an itchy, scaly rash. Even though it manifests on the dog's skin, it is actually caused by a weak immune system and abnormalities in the dog's T-cells. Psoriasis can cause dogs to be uncomfortable, so most owners seek treatment. Because psoriasis has many potential causes, you need to find the specific cause of your dog's condition in order to determine the best treatment plan.
The main cause of psoriasis in dogs is T-cells that divide too rapidly. The T-cells duplicate themselves and build up before they can be shed, causing the itchy rash that characterises psoriasis. Sometimes psoriasis is caused by the dog's genetics, but many times it is caused by an allergy that compromises the dog's immune system and causes the T-cells to divide too rapidly.
If you suspect your dog's psoriasis is due to an allergy, talk to your veterinarian. Vets can run allergy tests on your dog, which will help you to determine if your dog's psoriasis can be treated simply by avoiding the allergen that is causing the condition. Many dogs with psoriasis are actually allergic to ingredients in their commercial dog food. In this case, a change in diet may be necessary. Your veterinarian can recommend a healthy diet that will help your dog's psoriasis clear up.
According to Doggie Paradise, dog owners claim that several home remedies have helped treat their dog's psoriasis. These include rubbing evening primrose oil on the rash (it comes in an ointment, lotion or shampoo), rubbing sulphur on the rash, giving the dog salicylic acid (this can be given orally or topically), washing the dog with a potassium permanganate wash and increasing the dog's daily sunlight exposure, (sunlight is said to cause T-cells to die). Since the treatment plan for each dog will be different, these home remedies may not work for every dog. You should always talk to your veterinarian before attempting to treat your dog at home to make sure your dog doesn't have a more serious underlying condition.
Because treating your dog's psoriasis may take time, it's important to help your dog get relief from the symptoms. The veterinarian may be able to recommend a soothing ointment or cream that will help, and some pet spas or grooming facilities offer therapeutic washes. Castle Baths suggests a sea salt soak, because salt's antiseptic qualities help the dog's rash to heal, and the gritty salt exfoliates the dog's skin, which will temporarily relieve the itching.