Monday, March 8, 2010

Dog Acne

Acne conditions and treatments; I've been writing about them for some time now and I thought I'd covered most every angle and possible form of skin malady and irritation. The truth is I have only begun to scratch the surface.

Something important I've stumbled upon based again on personal experience is perhaps something none of you have ever heard of or encountered before. I know I hadn't, dog acne!

This actually started for me almost five years ago and while most of my posts have referenced my skin and my own face, this involves another member of my family. This particular family member is actually quite hairy and small. No, I didn't give birth to or adopt a feral child; the creature to which I'm referring is our little pet dog and his dog acne. Now I'll bet you’re thinking exactly what I thought the first time I heard this expression, "dog acne" there's no such thing! Well, you'd be wrong, as wrong as I was! Dog acne does exist and my little guy suffers from it in a big way.

Let me back up a bit and tell you a little about my experience and what it taught me. As I said, this odyssey began years ago and to be honest, I had no idea what I was dealing with at first. Neither did several Veterinarians across the state where I live. In fact, I could have saved myself a lot of time, trauma, frustration and a couple of thousand dollars because frankly and ultimately, I was the one who diagnosed the problem and found a solution that worked.

The first sign of dog acne was relatively small and began as tiny patches of dry skin across his coat. This eventually spread and became worse. The second stage resulted in hair loss where the patches of dry skin originally were. The third and worse stage resulted in large areas of hair loss characterized by extremely flakey skin and matted, greasy short hair that grew then subsequently came out in small clumps over two thirds of this tiny dog's 4 pound body. Needless to say it was horrible and he looked pitiful! He was also miserable and scratched and bit at the areas as I am sure they itched like crazy! All the time, I'm working to find not only a cure but what the heck this may be. He was checked for everything from mange to vitamin deficiencies but nothing seemed to help and none of the doctors ever seemed able to offer a diagnosis.

I researched online looking for a solution but couldn't find anything that quite fit this problem. Then one day I’m watching a show on television featuring several doctors and dermatologists. They're talking about a wide variety of health subjects and skin conditions. One of the dermatologists begins to speak and I notice the skin condition he's describing sounds exactly like the condition my dog is suffering from. I listen intently to his description and his recommendations. He talks about the sebaceous glands and how they can be over productive. The over production of sebum can cause several problems; many which we've covered and I've discussed with you here on this forum; acne, blackheads, pimples, etc. It can also create the greasy, matted hair environment my dog was experiencing. His suggestion was applying salicylic acid as this dries up and decreases the production of the excess sebum.

The problem with my dog wasn't stress, his problem was dog acne!

I had already purchased several topical treatments for my dog. Some containing conditioning ingredients and some of them contained medicated ingredients like benzoyl peroxide. None made significant difference. Once I heard this information I began to search hoping to find a dog shampoo containing salicylic acid and eureka, I found one! I looked specifically for a shampoo made for dogs as I wanted to be certain it was safe and wouldn’t harm my little guy should he lick his coat. Shampoo made for humans may work too, but I haven't tried that yet. Anyway, after ordering the shampoo it arrived and I began using it immediately. The difference has been remarkable. Our little guy now only has a couple of small stubborn areas where his skin still shows signs of a problem. The majority of his skin and coat is vastly improved and I learned that we're not the only ones who suffer from acne. Our pets can suffer from acne too!

1 comment:

  1. I had a German Shepard that suffered from canine acne for years. When you told people your dog had acne they looked at me like I was nuts. Anyway using a shampoo that contained salicylic acid did offer a lot of relief.