As with any dog, it’s important to be on the lookout for skin conditions that could affect your staffy’s well being. Although, their short fur does make them less susceptible to some common dog skin conditions than their longer-haired cousins, it certainly doesn’t make them immune.
You still need to be aware just in case your staffy does pick up one of these conditions. After all, we want all our staffies to be as healthy and issue free as possible.
This article is going to provide you with all the necessary information about the four most common skin conditions in dogs to help you recognize and, where possible, prevent your pup from being affected by them.
4 Common Dog Skin Conditions
What is hot spots?
A hot spot, also called acute moist dermatitis, is a localised red, moist, hot lesion usually on a dog’s head, hip, or chest. Along with the appearance of a red lesion, you can identify a hot spot through matted fur and an odour coming from a single area. It can appear as a single lesion or a cluster depending on how serious the condition is for your staffy.
A hot spot forms as a result of your dog excessively biting or itching one spot due to something irritating that section of fur.
The underlying issues that cause your staffy to excessively itch or bite could be a number of things: allergic reactions, insect bites, fleas, poor grooming, ear/skin infections, and boredom or stress.
Aside from the constant itching and scratching, a hot spot can affect your staffy in a couple of other ways. Thanks to the constant discomfort hot spots provides; it can lead your staffy to become unusually depressed and aggressive and cause them to lose fur.
Therefore, it’s extremely important to regularly check your staffy for hot spots to ensure they stay healthy and happy.
There are certain things you can do at home to help prevent hot spots from appearing on your staffy. You can start by giving them more exercise to keep them from becoming bored enough to start biting themselves.
In terms of relieving stress, invest in someone to watch your staffy while you’re away to keep them from stressing out and biting or itching themselves into causing a hot spot.
Also, little things like keeping your staffy away from water and regularly grooming him/her can do wonders for preventing hot spots. Furthermore, contact a vet about a flea-control program to limit those little bug’s ability to make your staffy’s life a nightmare filled with itching and scratching.
What is it atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease associated with allegories that ‘s a chronic and irritating problem for your staffy. It will manifest itself in a number of red patches across your staffy’s body and can be extremely miserable for them.
Most likely, you’ll see these patches around the ears, wrists, ankles, mouth, armpits, groin, eyes, and in between the toes. Sadly, your staffy could start showing signs of atopic dermatitis as early as three months.
However, it doesn’t become completely diagnosable until your dog is at least three years old.
Atopic dermatitis can be brought on by an allergic reaction to usually harmless things such as grass, pollen, mites, mold spores and other common allergens.
Unfortunately, given the fact your staffy will regularly encounter these types of allergens, this condition’s extremely hard to avoid if you’re staffy is prone to atopic dermatitis. Obviously, this skin condition is more common in the spring and summer months where these allergens are more frequently in the air.
As with most skin conditions, excessive itching and scratching is a symptom of atopic dermatitis. However, it doesn’t stop there; you’ll most likely see your staffy rubbing themselves on the carpet as they try anything to get rid of that painful sensation caused by the dermatitis.
Hair loss and greasy skin with a foul odour are also common with this condition. You might even notice excessive biting of their paws and other areas like the armpits or groin.
Basically, atopic dermatitis can be a very uncomfortable nightmare for your pup. In fact, it is likely your staffy's dermatitis will get worse year after year because their skin can get more sensitive as they get older. This is why it’s important to contact your vet immediately to find a solution if your staffy seems to have this affliction.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent atopic dermatitis if your dog is prone to it because the allergens causing these reactions are usually common throughout nature.
What you can do is make sure the air inside your home is clean by purchasing an in-home air purification system. It will limit the opportunities for an allergic reaction to happen inside the house. In the case your staffy does suffer from atopic dermatitis, a cool bath could help alleviate their symptoms.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
What is flea allergy dermatitis?
Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) is an allergic reaction to; you guessed it, a fleabite. A flea’s saliva can cause an extreme reaction from your staffy resulting in excessive biting and scratching of the bite.
It will likely appear as red, irritated skin or a bump, basically, what a bug bite would look like on you.
Unfortunately, we can’t always see fleabites on dogs, which is why you must look for fleas when combing through your staffy’s coat. It’s important to make sure your staffy doesn’t have a fleabite otherwise your dog may be bitten and have a reaction to the bite.
Obviously, the cause of FAD is a fleabite. However, it will worsen from the amount of attention your staffy will provide it through the excessive licking and itching. It’s important to monitor your staffy itching and biting habits to see if they get more aggressive or more frequent.
As with most skin conditions, your staffy will be excessively biting, scratching and licking. But, with FAD the biting, scratching and licking is usually located in the areas of the tail, groin or back. In addition, scabs or bumps may appear on the neck or back.
For some staffies, the irritation will be so severe they’ll rip out their fur until the area is completely bald. This is when hot spots, which were discussed earlier, can emerge.
If you’re worried about FAD, consult your vet and ask about a flea-control program. Otherwise, you can keep track of these pesky little fleas by combing through you staffy’s coat and looking for them.
You can give them medicated baths in order to help kill the fleas that do end up on your staffy. After all, it’s very difficult to stop fleas from attaching themselves to your staffy outside if you haven’t taken the advice and precautions offered by your vet.
So, please consult a vet about a flea control program. It will keep your staffy from enduring the miserable situation provided by FAD and should be one of the first steps you take when owning a dog.
What is it mange?
First off, it's important to acknowledge there are two main types of mange in dogs: sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. Mites cause both types of mange to form, however, it’s a different type of mite that causes each one.
Sarcoptic mange is an infection from a microscopic, parasitic, mite called sarcoptes scabiei.
Demodectic mange is an overgrowth of mites that are usually found in a staffy’s skin in small numbers.
Your staffy would most likely catch sarcoptic mange through another infected animal. If your staffy does get sarcoptic mange it’s key to isolate them from the rest of the household; of course, after a vet visit.
In contrast, demodectic mange isn’t contagious and will often be the product of a younger pup not having a fully developed immune system.
As the more dangerous of the two, sarcoptic mange will result in excessive itching combined with hair loss and scaly reddish skin. The scaly reddish skin will most likely start showing up in areas like the earflaps, elbows, and abdomen.
It may then continue to spread to other parts of your staffy’s body without vet prescribed treatment.
Demodectic mange will manifest itself through hair loss with normal looking skin underneath. The normal looking skin underneath is the key to telling these two types apart. In some cases, demodectic mange will make your staffy itch, but, only moderately.
Preventing both types of mange’s pretty simple, just make sure to regularly check your staffy’s coat. Regular brushing can help you figure out if your staffy has a mange problem.
You can also give them regular baths to clean out your staffy’s fur; it might be the thing that stops your staffy from getting these conditions. Finally, make sure to try to keep your staffy away from dogs that have mange. This might seem easy, but mange is much more common condition than you might think.
Final Thoughts on These Staffy Skin Conditions…
The main theme for keeping your dog’s skin healthy and irritation-free is to keep them clean, well-groomed and on a proper method of flea-control.
If you suspect your dog does have the signs of a skin problem, get them to the vet as soon as possible so they can lead you on the proper course of action.