In the summer, you may find your dog scratching more often than at other times of the year. While dogs can experience parasites and skin problems all year round, some dogs suffer more in the summer. They are fine again once fall comes around, only to have the same problem the next year. Continue reading to learn more about which skin problems are worse in the summer and how a veterinarian clinic may help.
Dogs can have seasonal allergies like humans do. When plants begin to bloom and leaf out, their allergies get worse. At the end of the season, the skin problems subside. Pollen can attach to your dog's fur and skin and cause irritation. In addition to pollen allergies, your dog has a greater chance of suffering insect stings and bites. These also cause allergic reactions.
Some parasites are more prolific in the warmer months than in the cooler months. If your dog has a known flea bite allergy, then you may see more severe flare-ups in the warmer months. Ticks and chiggers are also more numerous in summer. These parasites hide the brush or in wooded areas once everything has turned green again. Your dog can easily pick them up when running through these areas.
Some types of bacteria multiply more easily when the weather is warm, especially if humidity is added to the mix. Scratching from allergies and fleas increases the chances of bacterial infections called pyoderma as well as "hot spot," or pyotraumatic dermatitis. Both these conditions can cause severe skin infections. In these cases, your dog may need clipping and skin cleansing to get relief.
Sometimes, the things you do with your dog contribute to skin problems. For example, dogs can get sunburned. Sunburn primarily affects dogs with white hair or a thin coat. Also, your dog can get skin problems if exposed to too much swimming. Chlorine is bad for your dog's skin. Natural water, like ponds and lakes, can carry bacteria that could infect open sores.
Treatment for your dog's skin problem depends on the cause. When you take your dog to a veterinary clinic, the veterinarian will perform a visual examination and possibly run some other tests. Once the veterinarian makes a diagnosis, you may receive self-care tips and prescription medication. Some skin problems are preventable and may not return, but others may require re-treatment the following year. If you feel your dog has a serious skin problem, visit a veterinary clinic for an examination.