A golden retriever’s coat is probably their most beautiful physical attribute, however such beautiful coating can be hiding some common golden retriever skin problems your dog can be suffering from. Gladly current veterinarian instruments, technology, medical procedures and knowledge came a long way and is able to treat as well help us prevent many skin problems.
It is true that regular brushing and grooming helps keeping a golden’s skin and coating clean and healthy. However there are some skin problems that are unavoidable and can be harmful, for this reason, it’s important to keep an watchful eye and search veterinarian help when the first signs of trouble arise.
Bellow I will approach the most common golden retriever skin problems and disorders, along with the description of the symptoms these same problems and disorders often exhibit.
Dogs of any breed, golden retrievers too of course, can be affect by allergenic agents, these include pollens and certain foods. The most obvious symptom of canine allergies is itching, not only is uncomfortable but it can lead to eczema and other infections. Although less common, food allergies not only cause itching but as well diarrhoea.
Hot spots are a quite common skin problem among golden retrievers, these are swollen, inflamed patches of skin that cause itching, pain and sometimes are filled with pus. Severe cases require veterinarian attention, however for the most cases, hot spots can be treated at home by carefully washing the affected area with an oatmeal-based shampoo and blowing it dry afterwards. The thick undercoats golden retrievers possess makes them more vulnerable, specially when they remain wet, therefore is advised not to allow your golden undercoating to remain damp for extended periods of time.
Ringworm is a fungus that can be carried from an infected dog to human beings and vice versa. Ringworms attack the outer layer of skin causing itching, redness and scabbing in dogs. Veterinarian treatment is crucial and should be immediate after detection.
Canine seborrhea usually presents itself with a flaky, scaly and greasy skin followed by a distinct smell, extreme licking and itching.
There are two types of canine seborrhea. Hereditary seborrhea which is passed along to young puppies by their parents, to which unfortunately there is no cure, only treatments designed to manage and reduce the impact on the dog’s life. The other type of seborrhea is caused by another conditions like allergies or hypothyroidism, fortunately to these there are treatments and cures available.
Canine mange comes in two forms and are caused by mites. Demodectic mange can be difficult to cure and detect, because usually it is only present in small patches of skin, and only causes slight hair loss accompanied by itching. The other form is sarcoptic mange, characterized by small bumps, bloody sores, crusts on the tips of the ears, abdomen, elbows, hocks and intense itching.
Fleas are one of the most common golden retriever skin problems. Same as allergies and mange, fleas cause a lot of itching, they appear as bits of brown dust or fast moving brown shapes moving through your dog’s skin. There are plenty of effective flea shampoos available, however bare in mind fleas hop around and can infest other animals and parts of your home.
Ticks, unlike fleas don’t cause so obvious symptoms, making them harder to detect. They sometimes leave large scabs, or can cause other tick diseases if not treated, like for example canine lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted fever, canine ehrlichiosis, or other type of disease. Regardless of the weird sounding name, most of them manifest fever, loss of appetite and excessive water consumption, in some cases these resulting diseases can lead to severe pain and organ failure. The best advise regarding ticks, is treatment with tick repellent and regularly checking the skin and coating.
A small lump or bump can be anything from a harmless pimple to skin cancer, therefore you’re advised to check with your veterinarian regarding any concerning growth or shape that doesn’t go away on your golden retriever skin. Harmless lesions like acne, abscesses, cysts, papillomas (wart-like bumps) and lipomas (fatty tumors) often aren’t life threatening and don’t require treatment or removal, unless they are located in places that cause discomfort or begin to grow larger.
Dogs can also develop basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma skin cancers, mastocytoma or commonly called mast cell tumor, these are among the most common skin cancers in golden retrievers. More likely to develop with older dogs, mast cell tumors are well defined, small, firm, raised masses of tissue, they might be reddened, hairless, ulcerated and can grow large. Fortunately with early detection and surgery most skin cancers can removed with little risk.