Eczema is a disease of the skin caused by a general systemic disturbance assisted by external irritation. It occurs in dogs of all ages but is more prevalent in puppies under six months and in dogs over six years of age.
It most frequently affects old, fat dogs which receive but little exercise.
Causes of Eczema in Dogs
The general disturbance which leads to eczema has been popularly termed “overheating of the blood.” Certain substances, probably of the nature of toxins, arising from the digestive tract, circulate in the blood stream.
These poisonous products irritate the skin, but it is not usually disturbed unless aggravated from the outside.
If, however, they are produced in sufficient quantities, eczema may develop without the external irritation.
The digestive disorder, which leads to this, may be caused by an irrational diet, an excess of food, and constipation, or it may coexist with worms, rickets, and distemper.
The foods which are conducive to eczema are fats, milk, soups, gravies, and boiled liver. Raw meat absolutely does not cause this condition when fed in reasonable amounts, but eczema may develop when any of the proper foods are given in excessive quantities.
Constipation promotes any form of intoxication.
Rickets and worms, if observed, are usually associated with an error in diet. These severe weakening diseases afflict the resistance of the body so that it´s too low to combat either external or internal irritation of the skin.
The external irritation may be produced by dirt, fleas, lice, matted hair, frequent bathing, bathing a very young puppy, strong soaps and disinfectants.
However, unless the systemic condition above described exists, the skin will not be affected by the irritation.
Apparently, any dog in normal health may harbor fleas or lice without any significant harm. He may bite and scratch at his skin to rid himself of them, causing only superficial wounds which can heal by itself.
Symptoms of Eczema in Dogs
Eczema may develop at any time during the year, but is much more prevalent during the late summer, that´s from the first of July ´til the last of October.
The disease usually starts with scratching and biting at the skin. The small areas first affected spread into large patches and may even extend over the whole body surface.
The favorite location of the primary lesions are the neck, back of the ears, the chest at the armpits, the belly, and the back just ahead of the tail.
As the scratching continues the skin becomes red, abrasions are caused by the nails or teeth, and the hair falls out over the patches. In some cases a moist viscid discharge exudes from the surface, while in others scales and scabs are found.
Small pimples may appear in the affected areas or scattered over the entire body. As the disease progresses, the skin becomes thickened and thrown into folds. A distinct odor always escapes from a dog suffering from eczema.
In the earlier stages the affected parts are very tender and painful to touch.
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How to Prevent Dog Eczema
Careful feeding on small quantities of concentrated foods, together with plenty of outdoor exercise will prevent most cases of eczema.
Once the dog has already suffered from it, more care should be taken afterwards, especially during the summer, to prevent its reoccurrence.
Constipation and any other systemic condition should be quickly corrected.
Natural Treatment for Dog Eczema
The first and most important part of the treatment consists in putting the animal on a diet. The amount of food given should be reduced to one-half or even one-quarter of the usual quantity.
Raw beef is the best food to use in this condition, but it may also be boiled or roasted.
In addition, a small piece of dog cracker or dry hard bread may be given. For those who will not eat the crackers, this diet is far more effective. Once the dog feels hungry, he will eventually eat the crackers. This will serve as an indication that more food is needed.
Sulphur is used both internally and externally for eczema. The old habit of putting a lump of sulphur in the drinking water isn´t effective, but if it´s given in the food, its effect will show quite faster.
Tablets make the most convenient form for administration, and those containing five grains can be given in doses of one or two, twice a day.
For external applications, powdered sulphur can be mixed with lard or cottonseed oil in the proportions of one to eight. If no signs of improvement is seen in a short time, the doctor should be consulted, because once the condition becomes chronic and exists for long, it´s very hard to treat.
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Over the Counter Remedies for Dog Eczema
This is a natural dog shampoo and conditioner to fight dog eczema as well as many other skin diseases on dogs (and even cats). It prevents hair loss and makes a dog´s hair soft and shiny. It works great on getting rid dog eczema and the best part is most of its ingredients are all natural and organic.
This anti-ringworm cream works best in fighting mange and dog eczema skin diseases.
Because eczema is really itchy, your dog will surely appreciate this spray to give him relief from itchiness. It´s made of Neem oil and soothing essentials oils to that are naturally antibacterial and antifungal.
This organic soap shampoo makes bathing your dog an easy task and it also works wonder on eliminating itchiness. Even your dog will love the good smell of the soap!
Because wrong diet is usually the culprit that causes dog eczema, why not give your dog a food supplement that helps relieve skin allergies and itchiness, provides natural detoxification and anti-inflammatory support, and provides powerful antioxidant support to help prevent the disease?