Many Pugs have itching outbreaks due to some sort of skin allergy. Commonly, there are three types of allergies in dogs: Food related, breathed in, and flea bite allergies. What you will see in a Pug with skin problems, is alot of scratching, sitting down and spinning on his tail trying to catch it and bite it. You may find little patches of fur missing from where they have rubbed it or bit at the area that is bothering them. Many Pugs seem to have an intolerance for fleas. They are allergic to them. The fleas not only bite them, but they cause a severe reaction on their skin. Avoid fleas by keeping them protected from them. Their are many products out there to keep fleas at bay. I suggest you use the most gentle, natural remedies you can find on your Pug. Sometimes, skin problems are due to a lack of zinc in the diet or too much fat. See Skin Chart for a list of skin problems
Since some Pugs are allergic to pollens and certain Summer grass, this can also cause skin irritation. If your Pug is having a horrible time with scratching and itchy skin, you have the option to go to your vet and have your Pug injected with a cortisone based medicine that will relieve his discomfort, or, you can try alternative methods to relieve his pain.
An alternative method may be to give your Pug a bath and rinse him with a solution that is said to relieve skin irritations. Your Vet can recommend one for you. Oatmeal based shampoos are supposed to be soothing for pets with skin problems. After your pet is dry, you can try spraying or dipping him in solutions that are said to be a relief for skin allergies. Once again, your Vet can probably refer one to you and it is important that they do not contain alcohol.
If your Pug has dry itchy skin that is NOT flea related, try bathing him in an over-the-counter medicated dandruff shampoo. Once he is dry, dilute a quarter size of V05 hairdressing with warm water until it is semi-liquid based in your hand and rub it lightly into your Pugs coat. V05 is very thick and so you will need to dilute it and rub it into the coat evenly. Another excellent, concentrated conditioner that leaves the skin and coat soft and subtle is "Horse and Tail" conditioner. This can be found at most Wal-marts and is great for human hair to. It is a leave in conditioner.
Hot Spots are typical in Pugs because of their double coats. This is generally because the bottom coat will become dead and moist and is laying next to the skin of the Pug. What is a hot spot? It is a bloody looking sore that can pop up around their neck or back. It generally looks scaby with black specks around it. Some Hot spots should be seen by a vet if they look infected, however, if you notice the sore immediatly, you can generously apply diluted vinegar on it to heal it or apply the inside of a vitamin E gel capsule. You can also find hot spot solution at pet stores. Wash the hot spot off and get rid of the debri around it before you apply Hot spot medication.
Demodectic Mange- Unlike Scarpoctic Mange, This is not contagious to you or your other pets. You may notice hair loss on your Pug that is not accompanied with itch. It generally will look as if someone has begun to shave certain area’s from your Pug and leaving him with patchy skin. It is often times acquired from their mother, but, it can also afflict a Pug put in a stressful situation, such as getting lost, impounded, or put in a new home. Demodex mites are the culprit. Pugs are more likely to get it before the age of one and it may be seen around his eyes, lips, legs and on any given area of his back or sides. It usually takes about 3 months for the mite to run its course and up to 6 months for his hair to grow back. Treatment may include dips or topical preparations. Some Pug owners do not wish to dip their Pugs as the dip is toxic. Seek a homeopathic Vet if your Pug is afflicted with Demodex mites and if you would like a natural treatment for him. If your Pug does not get rid of the mites and his condition worsens then your Vet will probally try something different. Sometimes a cure does not happen. A more powerful dip of Mitaban may rid him of his mites, however, it also may not. Seek Vetererinarian care with any skin condition that is suspicious and stay under his care if demodex mites are found.
If your Pug has fleas, the first step will be to bathe him. Fill a tub up with lukewarm water & soak your Pug until he is wet all over. Be very careful not to get water in his eyes or nose. Lather him up in Baby Shampoo and let it sit on him for 5 minutes. I have a grooming brush that I gently scrub my Pugs with, lathering the shampoo all over. After 5 minutes, rinse and repeat.
Dry your Pug with a towel and let them run around. They love how they feel after a bath. Vets recommend products that can be applied between your Pugs shoulder blades once a month and are supposed to be safe for your pet. The small tube of substance is absorbed into your pets skin. Some Pug owners have told me their Pug suffered adverse effects from these topical treatments, such as redness and extreme irritation.
Many Pug owners want a more natural method to control fleas. Some suggestions would be to use all natural flea collars and natural flea powders that are herbal based. The least toxic flea control contains pyrethrins. You can find this ingredient in sprays, shampoos and powders. If your Pug is very sensitive, do not use any products that contain alcohol. This can add more irritation to the skin. Find products that contain Lanolin, and zero alcohol.
"Dog Owners Home Vet.Handbook":Diagnosis of Skin Disease Table 1,2 & 3 (portions)
Originally appeared as Ask the Vet by Dr. Shawn Ashley in Pug Talk Magazine (Pug Talk May/June/92 May/June/93)
Pugs are known to be susceptible to many skin disorders. The most common problems can be placed under the broad categories of allergic dermatitis, seborrhea complex, and parasite related conditions.
Allergic dermatitis in its uncomplicated form is simply an inflammatory response of the skin to an allergen which leads to dry, flakiness and itching. Allergies are caused by an overactive immune response to a certain stimulus.
This response releases histamine throughout the body which results in runny eyes, nose, sneezing, coughing, and/or skin rash irritation. As with people, there are many causes for allergies in Pugs; fleas, ticks, poison ivy, grasses, poliens, tobacco smoke, food, and the list goes on.
It can be difficult to distinguish between true allergies and local irritants that can cause itching. Sometimes it can be lengthy and costly to rule out the cause -- familial history, individual history, physical exam, bloodwork, bacteria/fungal skin cultures, fecal exams, dietary restrictions, skin scrapings, skin biopsies, allergy testing. When a true cause or practical avoidance of the allergen can not be arrived upon the symptoms of allergic dermatitis must be controlled. The treatments of choice are avoidance of the causative agent and/or antigen desensitization therapy (allergy testing and shots).
If these can not be done symptomatic therapy includes hypoallergenic shampoos, soothing creme rinses, fatty acid supplements (topical or oral), hypoallergenic diets, antihistamines, and occasionally corticosteroids. Corticosteroids can be helpful in short term control of an allergic response. They can be used locally in topical sprays or localized areas of superficial acute moist dermatitis (Hot Spots) or they can be given by injection or orally along with shampoos, antihistamines and fatty acid supplements to relieve itching and hasten recovery. However, corticosteroids should not be dosed indiscriminately as they are immunosuppressivc and actually can predispose to chronic skin infections.
Seborrhea complex is usually the sequela of chronic uncontrolled skin infections. It is also a syndrome seen in many older dogs. Symptoms include itching, pustules, lesions, swelling, odor. The odor is due to excessive sebum (skin oil) production, decreased exfoliation of dead skin cells, and concurrent bacterial infections. Pugs are often affected in the nasal and tail fold regions. Dogs will usually exhibit a severe external car infection, as well.
Treatment consists of skin culture and sensitivities with appropriate oral antibiotics, shampoos that have antibacterial, antipyretic, and kerolytic (promotes softening and exfoliation of dead skin cell layers), Keroplastic (promotes healthy skin growth)activities. In severe deeper causes (pyodermas), benzoyl peroxide shampoos are helpful as they are antibacterial and the peroxide component flushes out hair follicles. These shampoos must be in contact with skin for a designated amount of time and rinsed thoroughly. Corticosteroids should not be used in these cases as they will hinder the skin's ability to fight the infection.
In Pugs, next to atopy (inhaled pollen-related allergies), external parasitism is the most common cause of chronic skin problems. Flea and tick infestation if not controlled can lead to not only life threatening diseases, but also severe allergic dermatitis and skin pyoderynas. As dogs become sensitized to flea/tick saliva; the number of bugs does not matter, one bite can set the allergic reaction off. The treatment of choice is avoidance (in some parts of the nation many are now laughing!). Spray yards, kennels, fog houses, bath/dip pets. Pet sprays, collars, powders, or dermal spotons (Exspot) can be utilized between baths; however, no flealtick control program is complete without treating the immediate environment - - fleas can jump up to five feet and can spend only a small amount of time on the host.
There is a new generation of fleas every 21 days; therefore; repeat applications every 2-3 weeks until the problem is under control. It is advised to use only veterinarian approved products, as many have a low threshold of safety and cannot be mixed (ex. when using an organic phosphate dip a dursban collar should not be placed on the dog for 5 -7 days).
Also, consider the rest of the surrounding environment when choosing yard treatments -- creek run offs, etc. If using a professional exterrninatorforenvironmentaltreatmentdonotforgettotreatyour dog at the same time. This is a good time to examine your pet's skin for signs of concurrent allergic dermatitis or skin infections and contact your veterinarian to alter your treatment plan to address all problems.
There are other parasites that can cause skin disorders - - demodectic mange mites, sarcoptic mange mites, lice, ringworm and other skin fungi. These infestations, as with fleas and ticks, are often complicated with secondary bacterial infections. Each is treated differently; therefore, it is imperative that a definitive diagnosis be achieved by your veterinarian.
Finally, each time a skin infection arises does not mean it will respond to last year's remedies, it may not even be caused by the same agent -- so it is recommended to seek dermatological consultation before the skin condition is out of control.
FLEAS, TICKS, AND DISEASE
Fleas and ticks can be year round nuisance in many parts of the United States. No matter if the battle against them is a three month or twelve month war they can not just be ignored. These pests carry diseases that can prove fatal to man as well as dogs.
In the west fleas of wild rodents are bringing back the bubonic plague. It has been documented to have moved as far east as north central Texas. In the cast ticks carrying Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are on the rise with documented cases throughout the continental United States. In the south Lyme's Disease carried by ticks is branching out, affecting man and dogs at an alarming rate. Diagnosis of these disease is complicated by the commoness of the signs. All show varying degrees of lameness and flu-like symptoms. If diagnosed in the early stages by blood titers all are treatable with modern day antibiotics, but the best treatment is preventative therapy. There are many new generation flea and tick fighting products on the market. It is recommended to discuss a complete flea and tick control program with your veterinarian prior to treating your pet and its environment.
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