Monsoon blues Help your dog fight skin diseases.

Lustrous fur and skin free from any problem is the dream of every dog owner. But, this dream is invariably shattered during monsoon months. Most of the times, the owners do not know the reason why it happens. Inspite of the best of care, dog owners are often worried by numerous skin and coat problems that crop up during monsoon. It would thus be important to understand the root cause of these problems and find out the ways and means to keep such problems at bay.

Why majority of skin and coat problems crop up during monsoon?

High humidity and moderate to high temperature during monsoon is a very good environment for the growth of ectoparasites and other infectious agents that are responsible for skin diseases. The ectoparasites include ticks, fleas, lice and mites while infectious agents consist of bacteria and fungi. Moreover, the environmental conditions are excellent for fungal infections. Mange is another skin problem that can happen in rainy season. This is because Mange is associated with poor skin condition and the stress to the animal. Both these conditions are present during this season. All of these skin problems are responsible for itching, excess fall of hair, rough hair coat, lesions over the skin, etc. Further, small lesions can turn into serious infectious wounds because of scratching and licking by the dog.

Common skin infections encountered in monsoon :

Ectoparasite infestation- Ticks, fleas and lice have high incidence during monsoon. These ectoparasites can cause itching, loss of hair, bite spots and lesions that can further catch infection. Ticks are blood-sucking and can transmit a disease called Babesisosis. Flea bite cause irritation and inflammation and can transmit tapeworm infestation. Lice are a cause of irritation; leading to scratching, itching and biting. Fungal infection- Ring worm and other fungal infections are very common due to high humidity and moderate temperature conditions. The problem can be in a small area (localised) or the infection may cover whole body (generalised). The infection may be dry or moist. Irrespective of the type of fungus involved, the skin bears lesions, fall of hair, redness, itching. Dry form can be associated with dandruff and excess fall of hair.

Bacterial infection- Commonly this happens as a secondary infection due to contamination of any skin lesion or wound. A variety of bacteria may be involved. Bacterial wounds can further be contaminated by other infectious agents. Mange- It comes as an opportunistic infection if the skin health is compromised and the dog is under stress. Mange can be of various types. The mange lesions are often contaminated with the other infectious agents. Certain type of Mange is very difficult to treat. Mange often shows relapse after treatment.

Maggot wounds- This happens when any open wound is contaminated with fly eggs. The maggots formed eat the animal tissue and as a result can cause deep wounds.

How to prevent the skin problems during monsoon?

Dog owners are often unaware about how to prevent these problems. The DO’S & DONT’S would be helpful in the prevention of skin infections during monsoon.

( is Marketing Manager with Ayurvet Limited. Post Graduate in Veterinary Medicine from GB Pant University, he is an ardent dog lover. He believes proper management could avoid majority of the diseases. He can be seen giving tips on proper management and dog breed behavior in the late evenings or weekends at Doggy World- the pet’s paradise run by his wife Dr. Aradhana at Rohini. He can be contacted at 9811299055, 011- 27942285.)

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