How To Diagnose A Dog Skin Problem

by Titien

Reader Question

I think my dog has both dry skin and mites. Dandruff with broken dry dead skin on her skin and mites bite . Can i bathe him everyday until he is clean from mites? I put flea powder and the mites r drying n died but his skin is still breaking up, crispy. I worry i have over bathe dhim but the flea powder reduced his itchy n scratching a lot. Of course I have to rinse the powder off his fur after 15 minutes applying.

Please suggest!

Vet Suggestion for Diagnosing Dog Skin Problems


I do not think that a combination of flea powder and bathing is going to get rid of your dog’s skin problems. It sounds as if there is something fairly significant going on that is going to require specific treatment.

To diagnose skin problems in dogs, veterinarians typically start with a thorough history and physical exam, and unless the problem is obvious (e.g., a flea infestation) they will continue with some simple diagnostic tests. I often run a skin scraping to look for parasitic mites, skin cytology to rule out bacterial and yeast infections, and a fungal culture for ringworm.

The test for ringworm can take several weeks to complete, so in the meantime I’ll treat for anything that I’ve found (e.g., a skin infection) and often put the dog on a broad spectrum parasiticide like Revolution to kill some of the parasites that can be hard to find on diagnostic tests.

An accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment based on that diagnosis is the quickest and oftentimes the least expensive way to improve a dog’s health.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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