Skin-fold dermatitis is an infection that occurs when a pocket of skin becomes too moist and breeds bacteria or yeast. While overweight dogs are more likely to develop this condition than dogs at healthy weights, some breeds are more likely to develop this condition simply because of their genetics. For instance, dogs with short noses, like pugs, boxers, and Pekingese are prone to this skin condition because they have shorter noses and wrinkly facial skin. If you have a dog with naturally wrinkly skin, read on to learn how to treat skin-fold dermatitis and how to prevent it.
What Are the Signs of Skin-fold Dermatitis?
You should be aware of the symptoms of skin-fold dermatitis so that you can take your dog to the vet right away. The signs include:
- White or yellow discharge around skin folds
- Swollen or red skin folds
- Smelly skin
Your dog may also not like petting, since the skin folds may be painful to the touch.
How Can Your Vet Treat the Issue?
Your vet will need to set your dog up with a pet cone to prevent him or her from licking or scratching infected skin. Your vet may also prescribe an anti-microbial shampoo that is gentle on your dog's skin and will help to eliminate the infection. The most important thing besides cleaning the folds is keeping them dry. Your vet will show you how to keep the area dry so that bacteria can't thrive. If cleaning isn't enough or too painful for your dog, then the vet may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication. Skin-fold dermatitis is a very treatable condition and will usually heal well after these types of interventions; in rare cases, surgery may be needed to remove skin folds and prevent recurrent bacterial and yeast infections.
How Can You Prevent Future Issues?
Even when your dog no longer has skin-fold dermatitis, you'll still want to clean skin folds during his or her grooming regimen. For instance, if your dog plays outside and gets muddy, it's important to clean out any debris from skin folds afterward. You can use a damp washcloth or a moist cotton ball to clean skin folds. Once the skin folds are wiped down, make sure you dry the area completely with a clean washcloth. Some owners may want to invest in "wrinkle wax" products, which are like petroleum jelly in that they can protect and seal the skin folds and prevent outside moisture from getting in. You can find these wax products at pet stores or from a vet. It may take your dog some time to get used to this routine, so you may want to provide some treats afterward. Visit a website like http://www.murrellsinletvethospital.com for more tips.