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Skin Fold Dermatitis: What Dog Owners Need to Know

If you own a dog that has wrinkles, there are two things you should know. First, wrinkly, squooshy faces can make YOUR heart grow three sizes, and second, they are at risk of skin fold dermatitis. Here's what you need to know to keep that precious face happy, healthy, and itch free.

What Is Skin Fold Dermatitis?

Skin fold dermatitis is a name for any condition that causes itching and inflammation in the folds of skin found on the faces and other areas of dogs like English Bulldogs and Shar Peis. The condition is caused by trapped moisture in these folds, aggravated by friction or rubbing and secretions like tears, and can lead to a chronic bacterial infection known as pyoderma.

How to Tell If Your Dog Has Skin Fold Dermatitis

Dogs that have skin fold dermatitis will have hairless crevices between their skin folds, that typically have an unpleasant odour. In some cases, dogs that have wrinkly tails may also develop this type of infection there, and when left untreated, this can lead to deep fistulas that will require medical attention.

If your dog has any crevices or skin folds, whether it's on their face, limbs, tail, genital area or anywhere else, it could develop this type of dermatitis, and when left untreated, it can lead to a serious infection and a lot of pain.

If you think your dog already has skin fold dermatitis, visit your veterinarian. Medication such as antibiotics may be required, and if a fistula or wound has appeared, other interventions may also be required, sooner rather than later. This is a bacterial infection, and it will only get worse over time, if not treated promptly!

Treating Skin Fold Dermatitis

Treatments for skin fold dermatitis vary according to the severity of the condition. In all cases, cleaning the folds and applying topical treatments will probably be part of the process. In cases where there is a deeper infection, this may be accompanied by oral medications, and if there is evidence that abnormally deep skin folds may lead to a recurring condition, surgery may be required to rectify the problem.

As far as lifestyle changes are concerned, if your dog is overweight, your veterinarian will probably recommend weight loss, as this can help to lessen the condition, and your veterinarian will also advise you how to dry your dog properly after a bath or a swim. Any type of moisture caught in those skin folds could lead to trouble!

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