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Dog Contact Dermatitis

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Dog Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that can affect animals and people. In dogs, it is not as common as in people since they have fur that protects their skin. The condition is caused by contact with an irritant or allergen. The condition can be painful and will cause a lot of Dog Itching and discomfort in an infected dog. It is usually not too difficult to diagnose since the skin irritation can be seen.

Types of Contact Dermatitis

There are two types of contact dermatitis which are characterized by what triggered the condition. Allergic dermatitis is caused by exposure to allergens. Irritant dermatitis is caused by exposure to an irritant. The allergic type of contact dermatitis may take time to develop. After a dog is exposed to the allergen for the first time they may not have a reaction. It can take multiple exposures for the allergy to occur, such as with Dog Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Once this happens it may take a day or two for the actual symptoms to appear.

The irritant type of contact dermatitis develops after exposure to an irritant. An irritant can be a plant, like poison ivy, a poison or chemical or some other substance such Dog Ibuprofen Poisoning. This is an immediate reaction that will occur with the first contact with the irritant. Irritant dermatitis is usually much more severe and painful than allergic dermatitis.


You normally will notice a rash if your dog has contact dermatitis. They will be scratching the area. You may see blisters, crusting or thick skin in the area of the dermatitis. It is very important that you seek help from the vet because dermatitis can easily lead to secondary bacterial infections. Your dog scratching the area can open the skin and allow bacteria to enter, causing an infection.

Vet Care

Once you take your dog to the vet, the vet will look over your pet to determine if the issue is contact dermatitis. He or she will start to ask you questions to help determine what caused the condition. The goal is to figure out what your dog was exposed to. This will help the vet to determine if it is allergic or irritant dermatitis. The vet may take a skin sample to help prove this is a case of contact dermatitis. If the vet suspects allergic dermatitis then he or she may conduct Dog Allergy Testing or do a patch test to determine the allergy. Once your vet is sure that your dog has dermatitis and not another condition, he or she will start treatment.


Treatment for contact dermatitis will involve two steps. The first step is getting the dog away from whatever caused the reaction. The second step is treating the dermatitis. The vet may give antibiotics if there is a bacterial infection. He or she will likely give you an anti-inflammatory medication to give to your dog. You will probably need to take your dog back to the vet for a follow up so the vet can be sure the dermatitis cleared up and to further discuss what caused the reaction so it does not happen again.

Watching your dog suffer from contact dermatitis can be heart breaking. It can cause your dog to look unhealthy and even lose fur. Getting immediate vet care and treatment should help you to clear up the condition. Following the vet's advice should help to prevent it in the future.

Suggested Products

Target Spray for Dog Fleas Royal Coat EFA Express for Dog Skin and Coat Problems Stimmune for Dogs with Allergies Neem Soap – A Natural Soap for Dogs All Clear Ointment for Dog Skin Disease Ouch Away for Dog Skin Irritation

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