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Folliculitis in dogs… What is it? And how can I prevent it from happening?

Have you noticed something strange in your dog’s hair follicles (s)? If so, he or she may be suffering from a condition known as Folliculitis in dogs. And because you were attentive enough to notice something might be wrong, we here at IndulgeYourPet already know that that you’re a responsible dog owner; let’s now take a look at what Folliculitis is and discuss some things that you, as a loving pet owner can do to help correct this situation.

What is Folliculitis?

The suffix “itis” means “to be inflamed,” so the term folliculitis is when a hair follicle is inflamed. Now, it’s essential to understand that Folliculitis usually results from an underlying problem compromising the health of your dog’s hair follicles. This could be a disease, skin trauma (perhaps your dog was injured), or a skin condition.

What are the Clinical Signs of Folliculitis?

If your dog has Folliculitis, you will notice some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Red bumps or pimples at the follicle site (technical term: pustules),
  • Excessive itching and scratching,
  • Hair loss/fur loss,
  • Hyperpigmentation (change in the color of the skin),
  • Crusty or scaly circles on the skin, usually where hair/fur has been lost,
  • General skin pain,
  • Skin lesions,
  • Scaly skin,

Which skin disorders can cause Folliculitis?

Several conditions can result in Folliculitis in dogs, including:

  • Cushing’s disease,
  • Hypothyroidism,
  • Other endocrine disorders
  • A variety of autoimmune disorders
  • Skin fold pyoderma or fold dermatitis
  • Canine acne,
  • Acral lick granuloma,
  • Pyotraumatic folliculitis,
  • Dermatitis,
  • Food allergy or allergies,

However, most of the time, Folliculitis is caused by bacteria or parasites.

Now, regardless of the causes…

You’ll want to be careful of your dog’s Folliculitis because your dog may be tempted to scratch the follicles. This is not a good idea. You may have to invest in a dog head cone to stop them from scratching/licking the crusts and bumps caused by Folliculitis, as it will likely delay healing.

Diagnosing Folliculitis

The good news is that this isn’t tricky for a vet to diagnose. Most veterinarians probably won’t even do a skin culture – they’ll analyze on-site and give you some medications for your dog, perhaps antibiotics. If your dog has Folliculitis in a small area, the vet could tell you to apply some creams, which should quickly alleviate the problem.

Which brings us…

We like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals; we are all passionate about animals and only want to see what’s best for them . For this reason, if you suspect your pet may be suffering from fold dermatitis (or any other health concern), do what we do and…

“When in doubt, have a vet check it out!”

Not only is getting your pet the professional care they need right away the right thing to do, but it can also be the most cost-practical! So, Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet? YES, you should… even though some of you might be thinking…

“It’s just a skin disease, a little acne – do I need to take my dog to the vet?”

The answer, of course, is that it’s up to you. However, please don’t write it off as something minor.
As we mentioned, there may be an underlying cause – and that’s what you should worry about. It’s also what might be more challenging for the veterinarian to diagnose. If your dog doesn’t respond to the medication (be it antibiotics or medicated shampoo or a regular washing of the body with benzoyl peroxide), then you’ll need to go back to your vet and see if there are some more tests to be done.

How much is this going to cost?

We can’t tell you exactly how much it will cost because it depends on the cause. If your dog has Cushing’s, it will require a different medical plan than if he has hypothyroidism. What we can tell you is that in the best-case scenario, it’s going to cost you probably only around $100 (or less) for a vet visit. In the worst case…it could cost $2000 or more when it’s all said and done. Folliculitis is one of the cheapest health problems your dog could have. If they get cancer, that’s an entirely different story…

Don’t have that kind of money?

We understand. It’s not easy to cover unexpected bills that pop up so suddenly. And it’s also not easy deny your pup healthcare and the opportunity to enjoy his/her best health. Who likes to watch their dog suffer? Not us. This is why we recommend that every pet owner take a moment and consider the possibility of purchasing a pet insurance policy on their pet.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be “right” for everyone?

No, of course not, but if you don’t have an “emergency” fund set aside to pay for any unexpected medical bills your pet may incur, having an affordable pet insurance policy in place could be a great alternative.

For more information on who we “feel” currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry, please check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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