Dog Skin Diseases

This disease, like itch in man, is due to the presence of a small insect which burrows or tunnels through the skin, and in these canals the female deposits her eggs, which hatch out in about two weeks. The young then continue the burrowing operations of their parents, occasioning the most intolerable itching. Mange is a local affection, but the uneasiness and loss of sleep caused the animal by the continued scratching and biting in its efforts to allay the itching have a very debilitating effect upon the system, and if neglected will soon transform the healthy, sleek-coated pet into one of the most loathsome and pitiful of objects. The disease generally makes its appearance first at the elbows, under the forelegs, on the chest, forehead, base of the ears or root of the tail, and then spreads all over the body.

Causes.-In dogs this affection, the commonest of direct skin diseases, is the result of contact with a dog or other animal similarly affected, or is contracted by occupying the yard, kennel, or shipping crate of an animal so affected.

In humans the skin cocci which causes dandruff and baldness are transmitted usually through hats, hat racks, and the use of public brushes and combs in hotels and barber shops.

Treatment.-In the treatment of mange and other skin diseases, absolute cleanliness must be insisted upon. Upon a dog showing signs of having this affection it should be immediately removed from its quarters, the bedding burned, and the entire kennel washed and disinfected. The dog’s entire body should then be washed in lukewarm water with a good dog soap to soften and break up scabs and scales. A mange lotion should then be applied to all affected parts and the thoroughness with which the medicinal agents are applied is fully as important as the remedy which is used, for there are many lotions that will cure this disease, providing they are properly used. Among them are sulphur and lard ointment, sulphur and lime solution, crude oil, crude oil and sulphur, coal tar, glycerine, cocoanut oil, as well as the regular mange cures, such as Dent’s Lotion, Ashmont’s, Eberhardt’s, and others. Repeat the application every day for four or five days, then wash clean with lukewarm water. Repeat the application for another week or ten days, and again wash, and if the skin is not in a healthy condition repeat the application. Blood purifying pills should also be given three times a day, so as to thoroughly cleanse the system.

For parasitic conditions of the human scalp Dent’s Mange Lotion is used by hair dressers and barbers in cases that will not yield to ordinary treatment. Only a small quantity should be used at a time, but it is highly important that it be rubbed thoroughly into the scalp.

This mange lotion destroys the parasites and skin cocci that cause dandruff and premature baldness, and in connection with a good dog soap, is a treatment for diseases of the human scalp that no one need hesitate about trying or recommending to their friends.

ECZEMA.-Similar in appearance to mange, but different in its origin, this disease is due to an impure condition of the system, and not to a burrowing parasite.

Causes.-Lack of exercise; dirty, damp kennels; too heating a diet; fleas, lice, and local irritation; indigestion and neglect.

Symptoms.-The belly, elbows, inside of thighs, and back of the forelegs are the parts first affected; the hair sacs or follicles are principally the seat of the disease. These become inflamed, and when the animal affected is white the hair at the roots has a reddish, rusty look.

If prompt means are not taken to check the disease the inflammation runs on rapidly, the entire skin and subcutaneous tissues are involved, and the hair drops out from the affected follicles; purulent matter now exudes and pustules form that break open, and the matter from them runs together and forms scabs that crack open and bleed, and the animal becomes an exceedingly pitiful and loathsome object, and emits a very disagreeable odor.

This disease is not so contagious as mange, but is more difficult to cure.

Treatment.-To insure a radical cure of this disease, internal treatment is of fully as much consequence as external applications, and in obstinate cases both must be persevered in for some time. To cleanse the system use a good blood purifying pill, and to the affected parts apply one of the lotions or try the following prescription:

Wright’s solution of coal tar, 1 ounce. Goulard’s extract of lard, 1 drachm. Glycerine boracis, 1 ounce.

Distilled water to make 8 ounces. Directions: Bathe parts frequently.

Another useful ointment for eczema is: Resorcin, 1 scruple.

Creolin, 20 minims. Almond oil, 1 drachm. Lanolin, 1 ounce.

Apply night and morning to affected parts.

WARTS.-The condition of the system that gives rise to warts is not well understood, and they appear upon the healthiest dogs quite as readily as upon those which are debilitated or unthrifty. The lips, gums, tongue, and entire mucous membrane of the mouth are frequently affected. Their appearance is objectionable, and it is advisable to remove them. A few scattering warts can be clipped off with a pair of sharp curved surgeon’s scissors and the stumps touched with nitrate of silver to check the bleeding. Touching with a hot iron is one of the safest and surest methods of removing warts, and the pain occasioned by this operation is not severe.

When there are a large number of warts and the mucous membrane is covered with them, or they appear in large bunches, they are not so easily disposed of. Too many of them must not be removed at any one time, no matter by what means, or severe inflammation will be set up that may be extremely difficult to control. Therefore in these cases clip off only a few at a time and then sponge the mouth with a solution of chlorate of potash, a teaspoonful to a glass of water.

Large warts may be removed by ligating them with a silk cord or catgut close to the skin.

The perverted state of the skin which gives rise to warts can generally be corrected by using a bloodpurifying pill, and it is wise to give all warty dogs a course of treatment with them, so that there will not be a recurrence of the excrescences.