The 12 most common dog skin conditions with pictures: from scab to fungal infections

Buzgó Csilla

2020. July 12 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary, YouTube

It can be scary when an unusual change appears on the body of your beloved pet. But if you recognize the disease in time and start treating it, in most cases the cure will be certain.


Your dog’s skin not only indicates the presence of pathogens on the surface, it can also tell you about diseases hiding deep down. So you should be aware of the most common skin changes so that you can act with a cool head when you notice them. In case of all the symptoms listed in our article, consult a veterinarian. Under any circumstances do not treat your dog independently according to the suggestions you can read on the Internet, as it can make the situation worse if you misdiagnose and mistreat it.

Allergic dermatitis

Just like humans, dogs can be triggered by many factors. The reddened skin surface is mostly clearly visible on the poor dog’s affected body parts, as it regularly scratches, licks, and bites the irritated surface. The solution is to eliminate the allergen from the dog’s environment and to implement the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor.

Yeast infection

If you are dealing with this disease, the changes will probably be most noticeable between the dog’s toes and inside the ears. Discolored, unusual smelling, red and itchy skin, peeling can be observed on these parts of the body. If you’re lucky, the soreness will go away with a simple cream, but it also happens that the vet will prescribe an oral medicine.

Bacterial folliculitis

On short-haired dogs are easier to spot than their long-haired counterparts. A rapid skin change dotted with small bumps is often associated with other diseases, such as allergies, scabies or surface injuries. It is treated with oral or topical antibiotics, or possibly medicated shampoo.


A common skin disease in puppies, which is accompanied by purulent, vesicular and scabby lesions, mostly on the abdomen. The root causes are a weakened immune system resulting from improper housing conditions and other infections. Fortunately, it can be repaired in a relatively short time with medicated ointment and complementary therapy.


Unfortunately, there are dogs who genetically suffer from simultaneous greasiness of the skin and dandruff. However, in most cases, seborrhea is an accompanying symptom of certain hormonal or immune system problems. After the root cause is treated, the symptoms usually disappear on their own, but you can speed up the recovery with a regenerating shampoo.


Also known as ringworm. Certain health problems, such as nutritional deficiencies, stress, and certain diseases can cause patchy hair loss. In this case, the dog usually does not scratch or bite its fur from the affected areas, the fibers fall out by themselves. In any case, a medical screening examination is necessary in order to shed light on the root causes, which can be life-threatening, as soon as possible.This fungal infection forms circular, scaly, bare surfaces that most often appear on the dog’s head, legs and paws. Four-legged animals under the age of one are especially prone to it, and the fungus spreads quickly and is also dangerous for humans, so medical treatment as soon as possible is recommended for the sake of everyone.


Certain health problems, such as nutritional deficiencies, stress, and some diseases can cause patchy hair loss. In this case, the dog usually does not scratch or bite its fur from the affected areas, the fibers fall out by themselves. In any case, a medical screening examination is necessary in order to shed light on the root causes as soon as possible because they can be life-threatening,


Dogs are most often infected by two types of mange. Sarcoptic mange is the version with almost unbearable itching, during which the parasites are present in relatively small numbers. The protein in the excrement and other bodily fluids of mites cause the allergic skin reaction, which is why dogs often scratch themselves bloody.

The other is the so-called demodectic mange which often does not itch at all, but produces much more changes. It is common in dogs whose immune system does not work 100% due to advanced age or medication.

The duration of mange treatment is 4-6 weeks, and the doctor usually prescribes the use of externally applied drops, ointments and medicated shampoo.


Although the pests themselves are not always visible, their droppings or eggs are usually noticeable on the dog’s fur or skin. The proliferation of fleas is indicated by the appearance of red spots, sudden itching and, in the case of some dogs, an allergic reaction after just one flea bite. Severe infection can rarely cause anemia in small dogs. It is preventable, as you can easily keep uninvited intruders away by using a flea collar or repellent liquid.

Lick dermatitis

In the beginning, the dog licks its front legs maniacally due to some underlying problem, possibly due to allergies or joint complaints. The skin slowly becomes irritated, and later on it can become infected and inflamed. It is a vicious circle, resulting in even more licks. In such cases, the behavioral and physical symptoms must also be treated, and be sure to ask your veterinarian for advice when setting up a plan!

Skin tumour

Its appearance and size vary, and it can appear anywhere on the body of the four-legged. If you notice something like this in your pet, contact the veterinarian as soon as possible, who will probably determine the origin of the tumor by taking a cytological sample. If there are no objections, it is worth treating the dog with immune-boosting preparations as a supplement to the therapy, thus supporting him on the way to recovery.

Immune system disorders

If a superficial injury takes a suspiciously long time to heal, your dog may be suffering from a disorder affecting his immune system. Lupus is a common disease in which the body attacks its own tissues and organs. Telltale signs can be light spots on the nose, local itching and persistent, recurring bacterial infections. Take the dog to the doctor as soon as possible, because this disease can unfortunately be fatal.

allergic dermatitis allergies alopecia Disease flea Health seborrhea Skin skin disease yeast infection

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