My dog is a yellow labrador retreiver breed. His skin and coat was beautiful when we first adopted him. However, after 3 months the sheen of his coat has lost its luster. Red & painful looking sore appeared on his skin. It didn’t bother me at first because his skin and coat looks remarkably normal. Eventually, it spread all over his body and he was persistently scratching. I thought it was some sort of allergy from dust because there was a construction going on next door. His ears are reddened and hot to touch even if they’re not scratched. I noticed that he grooms excessively, with licking or chewing of the paws and abdomen. Baldness and redness of the skin become so evident. When I finally went to the our vet to have him checked, he told me that my dog has contact dermatitis. The condition was so severe he was given specific anti-itch therapy.
Contact dermatitis is a skin disorder that may develop after direct contact with certain materials such as: bleach, strong acids or alkalis, fertilizers, carpet cleaners or even flea collars. It may develop when a pet becomes sensitive to a substance that is normally not an irritant, such as bedding material. Contact dermatitis may cause itchy, red skin over the parts of the body that have been exposed to the irritant.
Since dermatitis is likely to result from an allergy or other ongoing irritant, my dog’s lifestyle and food intake was discussed and reviewed closely. He was immediately given corticosteroids dexamethasone shot and oral corticosteroids dexamethasone pill for 7 days. We would have opted for a more natural approach but since it recurred with a vengeance after a week, he was given another dexamethasone shot and dexamethasone pill for another 25 days. He was even given a control itch antiseptic shampoo/lotion to be applied to affected areas. He was also given fatty acids and vitamin supplements. Dramatic improvement seemed to occur in my dog’s comfort and appearance. Thanks to the dedication and expertise of my vet who was able to understand what is causing the disease before giving therapeutic strategies.