Skin disease usually takes one of two forms: loss of hair or itchiness. Living with an itchy dog is no fun - but being an itchy dog must be worse! Most itchy skin diseases are caused by allergies or parasite infections. As a general rule itchy skins do not resolve without treatment; so if your dog is scratching an early visit to your vet is advisable. Scratching is not normal nor is it a habit.
Hair loss is a less common skin complaint than itchiness. It may be caused by dogs pulling out their own hair when they are scratching or due to their hair simply falling out. Hair loss can be caused by some parasitic diseases but is most commonly caused by a hormonal imbalance. Animals with hormonal problems often have many other clinical problems as well as the hair loss.
Many dogs will develop lumps and bumps on their skin at some point. In most cases these may be nothing to worry about and may be a simple wart or a fatty lump underneath the skin. However, sometimes malignant tumours can develop in or under the skin so if you notice a new lump on your pet, particularly one that it is weeping, sore, or changing rapidly, you should make an appointment to see your vet as soon as possible.