Rottweiler Skin Condition

by chantelle
(trinidad and tobago)

Question: I have a mature Rottweiler and recently got a handsome Pitbull. It seems like my Rott had some kind of skin condition since she had some growths on her elbows and was always itchy no matter how many times we bathed her with the best products.

My Pitbull puppy has apparently caught these apparent mites and now his fur is dropping rapidly and his skin is red and bleeding and is getting hard. HELP!!! What is this and what can I do to save them?

Answer from Dog Health Guide Editor

There is a possibility of a mange mite infestation. Symptoms like alopecia (loss of hair), skin lesions and hardening of skin indicates that this might be the problem.

However, both of your dogs show separate types or modes of symptoms. The Rottweiler has relatively mild symptoms, while on other hand the pit-bull puppy is experiencing severe symptoms.

This could indicate that your dog's are suffering from a flea infestation or flea bite allergy. Mature dogs with stable immune systems can resist fleas more, while puppies and dogs with hypersensitivity and weak immune systems can experience severe symptoms, e.g. your pit-bull puppy.

Erythema or signs of dog skin reddening is a symptom that occurs due to the congestion of the capillaries under skin, usually related to a flea infestation. The skin may get hyper pigmented and hardened after quite some time. All these symptoms suggest your dogs are infested with fleas.

Unfortunately, confirmation can only be made with a detailed clinical examination by a veterinarian and preferably some lab tests. Also, in some cases a differential diagnosis is required, which is only possible through inter–dermal skin testing only.

You can look for a clue, which would be flea excrement over the skin. It will appears brown to dark brown, and will appear when the hairs of the affected dog are combed deeply.

As far as treatment is concerned, there are different applicable modes of treatment. Unfortunately, none of prescription or non prescription treatment options can ensure 100% elimination of fleas or mites from your dog and their environment.

You can use a quality insecticide to eliminate fleas from the dog’s skin (requires aprescription). Others options include the use of natural remedies, which are relatively safe and usually do not require a prescription. Give a bath to both of your dog with a herbal shampoo and apply an anti–flea preparation thereafter. Good choices are BeFree Flea Shampoo and FleaDerm Herbal Cream.

Additionally, you might need a flea collar such as the Adams Plus Flea & Tick Collar for Small Dogs for the pit-bull puppy; it can help to further eliminate any flea larvae and eggs for a longer period of time.

You should disinfect all of your pets belongings by washing them in warm water mixed with a quality disinfectant. This will eliminate all parasites and secondary bacteria. Also be sure to treat floors and corners with a quality disinfectant spray such as Benzarid.

Be careful when handling your pets, as fleas are potentially transferable to humans, which can cause mild to severe skin rashes.

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