All dogs scratch. But when dogs constantly and uncontrollably scratch, lick or chew their skin and paws that’s a problem. Due to their genetic predisposition, these breeds tend to be more likely to have skin problems.
Dogs with short coats, like Shar-Peis and bulldogs, are prone to skin irritation. This irritation is especially common in these dogs because of how the skin folds onto itself, causing the short hairs from one side of the fold irritating the skin on the other side as they rub with movement. This irritation is exacerbated in dogs who also suffer from allergies.
Like Shar-Peis, American bulldogs are prone to skin irritation due to their short coat and skin folds. However, American bulldogs also tend to have hypersensitivities, both food and environmental, which can impact their skin. These dogs can also suffer from canine ichthyosiform dermatoses, a rare genetic defect that causes red, scaly skin along the belly, groin and armpits, and can be noticed while they’re still puppies.
English bulldogs often have diseases in its skin folds, and these diseases can also cause secondary infections (like yeast and bacterial skin infections), so a lot of care and cleaning is required of a bulldog’s coat. English bulldogs younger than four years old are also at a higher risk of histiocytomas - skin tumors that appear as a lump on the skin.
Pit Bull Terriers
Pit bull terriers tend to have a weak immune system, making them more prone to many types of infections. Another common skin problem among pit bulls is demodex, or tiny mites that live in hair follicles.
Because of their long, heavy ears, spaniels are prone to yeast and bacterial ear infections. Lip fold infections are also common in spaniels due to the number of lower lip folds they have, as well as the weight of their jowls.
Standard poodles can be prone to a genetic condition called granulomatous sebaceous adenitis, which affects the oil glands and can cause hair loss. This condition also makes them more susceptible to secondary infections.
Hypothyroidism is common in Dobermans, which can tend to cause a sparse coat and alopecia. Low thyroid function can also cause this dog’s skin to be dry and flaky, and they can be prone to many secondary skin in fections.
This very popular breed can be prone to allergies. Many Labradors present with food or environmental allergies, causing itchy skin, hot spots and other skin problems. One of the reasons allergies are so common in Labs is due to their genetic predisposition.
Watching your dog scratch or gnaw until he draws blood or pulls out fur can be truly alarming. While skin problems might be most common in these breeds, they can appear in any dog. If you suspect your dog is suffering from skin problems, consult your veterinarian for a course of action, and consider using whole-plant hemp oil to help aid skin relief – because when they feel better, you do too!