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As if your teenager complaining about a pimple is not enough, now your beloved pooch is rubbing his face across your carpet. Upon closer examination, you find that the two teenagers (the adolescent dog and human) are both suffering from the same thing: acne. There are certain breeds of dogs that are susceptible to the skin problem. Normally, the acne is more bothersome than anything, but sometimes treatment is necessary. Once your veterinarian confirms the presence of acne, you can find products to help your dog have clear skin.
There are a handful of breeds that seem to develop acne more than others. Why these breeds are more susceptible to the skin problem is still unknown. These normally short-haired breeds include Rottweilers, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, English Bulldogs, and Boxers. In most cases, acne develops during the pup’s teenage years. Adolescence for a pooch occurs between six and eighteen months of age. Acne also develops during this time; although, the development of acne normally occurs between five and eight months of age. As with humans, many dogs grow out of the skin condition; as they get older, the acne subsides. Some dogs, on the other hand, experience a lifelong fight with acne, and never outgrow the bothersome skin problem.
You may be wondering how a dog can get acne. The causes of acne are still being researched. Many experts attribute it to food allergies, chemical allergies (plastic food bowls have been known to irritate the skin), or other skin problems. The way a pooch develops acne is very similar to how humans develop it. Pieces, or plugs, of sebum and keratin obstruct the hair follicles. Sebum is a substance that makes the hair oily, providing defense against bacteria. Keratin is a protein that makes up the hair and nails. When these two substances block the hair follicle, a blackhead occurs. These blackheads are most noticeable around the dog’s mouth, chin, and muzzle. Sometimes, the blockage may have a closer resemblance to a red pimple instead of a blackhead.
Blackheads are normally not a problem unless they rupture and cause a secondary bacterial infection. If the dog appears to be uncomfortable and is constantly trying to scratch the area where the blackheads are located, then an infection may be developing. In cases like this, the dog needs to visit the veterinarian to get an antibiotic prescription. The antibiotic can fight against the infection.
If your pet has acne, then you may want to seek the help of a veterinarian even if rupturing hasn’t occurred. The vet can often diagnose the problem by observing the skin, but sometimes a biopsy will be required. From the biopsy, the vet can determine if the dog is suffering from acne or from another skin problem. A visit to the vet can also rule out other causes, including allergies. In extreme cases, an acne medication may be prescribed to clear the problem. As mentioned before, if an infection is present, the vet will prescribe an antibiotic to clear the bacteria. The vet may also prescribe a topical treatment or steroid injection to reduce the itching and swelling caused by scabs.
At home, there are products you can use to help rid your pooch of acne. But, if the acne isn’t bothersome to your dog, then rethink at-home treatment. The products you use may irritate the dog’s skin, causing an itchier problem for your pet. Ask your veterinarian for specific acne products. More than likely, he will suggest a shampoo or cleaning agent that contains benzoyl peroxide. The frequency in which you use the product should also be outlined by your veterinarian
Poor teenagers; both humans and dogs suffer from dreaded acne. Lucky for dogs, the presence of the acne is not too bothersome, unless infection occurs. If your pet seems to be suffering from the condition, then take him to the veterinarian. The vet can rule out any other causes, and get your pet started on a treatment regime. If infection is present, your pooch may have to take antibiotics for several weeks. In most cases, the acne is not serious and your dog won’t even know it’s there. However, you may choose to treat the acne with products prescribed by your veterinarian.