Dogs can get a range of skin conditions, some minor, some acute, they can also be primary or secondary to another health problem.

Diagnosis can be particularly difficult as dogs can tend to scratch the site of the infection causing further irritation.

Some skin conditions come from some sort of problem with immune responses. These “immune-mediated skin disorders” include canine atopic dermatitis, which is a hereditary skin allergy that produces itchiness around the eyes, muzzle and feet.

Dogs can also suffer with yeast infections prevalent in the summertime as it thrives in hot and humid weather and often gets mistaken for allergies, this usually causes a lot of paw licking and chewing. If left untreated these yeast infections in paws can sometimes cause other problems in the digestive tract which become more difficult to treat.

Atopic dermatitis can be exacerbated by pollen, molds and dust mites, dogs can also have skin problems from food allergies. There are also some environmental conditions, including hot spots (acute moist dermatitis). acral lick granulomas, insect bites, skin irration caused from a flea allergy, and mange

Hot spots can spread very quickly, and are most common on dogs with thick undercoats.

There are various treatments for Hot spots, you do need to keep the area dry, and may need to use a Buster Collar on your dog to ensure he/she is unable to lick it.

You can use Hibiscrub to clean the area (dilution rate 1:100) dry well, and apply an antibiotic powder like Battles.

An old remedy is to treat the area with Benzyl Benzoate Emulsion which can be applied to the area with cotton wool - ensure the dog is unable to lick the emulsion.

Another remedy is to make up a spray using 3 capsules of sage, ¼ teaspoon Epsom Salts, and 2 cups of boiled water. Combine all ingredients and bring to the boil, cool to room temperature and then strain out the powdered Sage. You can store this in the fridge to keep fresh and spray or wipe onto hot spots, insect bites or skin abrasions as many times a day as possible. You should see an improvement within 3 days.

You can also use Athletes Foot powder and Thornit Canker Ear Powder which dries the area, and also relieves itching.

To help keep dogs from licking or otherwise continuing to agitate the hotspot, you can put a small amount of vaporising rub around the affected area. To relieve itching, a small amount of witch hazel spray or surgical spirit as a topical option.

You can also give Piriton (chlorpheniramine maleate), but only Piriton, NOT Piriteze, Cetirizine, or any other human antihistamine medication.  Piriton dosage 1/4 of a tablet per 10kg is the normal dose. 0.5mg per kg is the maximum dose that you can go to if symptoms are severe.

As with all medication, you should check with your vet first. You vet may also prescribe Apoquel.

Like many things, what works for one dog, may not work for another. Vets very rarely give antibiotics for Hot Spots unless they get very nasty, the main treatment is to keep it dry and stop the dog biting it, or it will spread.

Acral lick granulomas are similar to hot spots. These are raised, generally ulcerated areas on a dog’s ankle or wrist. Like hot spots, they are spread by the dog’s incessant licking, it can start out the size of nickle and a couple of hours later it could have quadrupled in size due to the licking.

A staph infection in dogs is a bacteria-based dermal condition formerly known as staphylococcal bacterial infection. This type of skin disorders can produce a range ofsymptoms that may vary in their severity. For many dogs, staph infections often create noticeable discomfort and irritation. Many forms of staph infection may be easily treated with prescription medication. One of the most important steps of treating this skin condition is knowing how to identify its symptoms.

Staph infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus, one of the most common bacteria found on the skin of people, dogs and other animals. Generally, these organisms exist without causing great harm or injury to their hosts. However, certain circumstances, such as food and environmental allergies, parasite bites or injuries, may weaken a dog's immune system and create a hospitable environment for the bacteria to thrive. As the population of Staphylococcus bacteria multiply, a staph infection may develop in the unsuspecting animal.Staph infections can vary from mild to severe cases. Less severe instances of staph infection can cause problems like Skin growths, sometimes crusty in appearance, often found along the belly region, Pyoderma—a secondary infection marked by dry, flaky skin and rounded lesions, Moderate itchiness, often evidenced by repeated scratching, biting or rubbing the irritated skin.

In more advanced cases of canine staph infection, an affected dog may exhibit more severe symptoms. Among the most frequently observed problems are intensely red, sore, scaly or ulcerated skin, rapid hair loss detected on the affected area, Staph hypersensitivity - a rare disease caused by an allergic reaction to the staph bacteria, may cause pustules or fluid-filled blisters and severe itching resulting in increasingly irritated or broken skin, which may leading to secondary infections like staph dermatitis.

Although considerably rare, serious complications related to staph infections have been reported in some dogs. Deep skin infections, known as cellulitis, may develop from secondary infection of broken skin caused by the excessive scratching triggered by a staph infection. Initially, cellulitis may cause skin to become inflamed, red and irritated. Fever, chills and swollen lymph nodes may then follow. As it spreads through a dog's leg's, the condition may also lead to painful sores and a harmful breakdown of skin cells. In order to avoid serious complications from staph infections, owners should consider seeking immediate medical attention for a dog showing signs of cellulitis or other possible staph-related skin conditions. 

As one of the most prevelant organisms found on canine and human skin, Staphylococcus aureus bacteria often live for years without causing infections or complications. But when the conditions are right, staph infections can develop in almost any dog. Symptoms like irritated, itchy, red and sore skin may create discomfort in an affected animal. However, knowing how to identify sigsn of canine staph infection may lead to early detection and prescribed treatments of antibiotic medicines, or recommended dietary or environmental changes.

There are, of course, a number of treatment options for taking care of your dog’s various skin problems. Antibiotics are popular and sometimes necessary for more serious problems, but if you take precautions as soon as there is any sign of a skin condition, you may avoid further medical intervention and treatment.

Povidone iodine is an organic iodine solution. It’s safe, non-toxic, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-yeast. Dogs who get yeast infections on their feet in the warm weather can benefit from a weekly dip in a solution of Povidone Iodine. Its use is a standard requirement in most surgical procedures these days and it’s acknowledged as the world-leading antiseptic. Compared to other microbicides, only povidone iodine has the capability of killing all classes of pathogens responsible for nosocomial infections including gram positive, gram negative bacteria (including antibiotic resistant strains), spores, fungi, viruses, mycobacteria and protozoa. If you want the short version, it’s wonderful stuff that’s extremely effective at killing germs, and best of all, it is very inexpensive!

Start by cleaning the infected area and then disinfecting it. Disinfection should be done with a gentle solution that won’t irritate the dog’s skin further. It should also be non-toxic. A popular treatment is POVIDONE IODINE which you can buy from a chemist or online

*NOTE DO NOT USE regular Iodine – it must be Povidone Iodine.

Dilute the solution until it resembles the colour of tea with cooled boiled water. Use some lint to blot the solution over the problem areas of the dogs skin. This should clean and remove any bacteria from the area. You must also gently clean the entire surrounding area, even if you cannot see any evidence of further problems, as this will stop it spreading. You should do this twice a day until you see an improvement. Povidone Iodine will not hurt your dog if they lick it, but the licking may irritate an already sensitive skin problem.