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Archive for March, 2008

DOG SKIN DISEASES

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

In the whole range of dog ailments included in the term canine pathology there are none more bothersome to treat successfully nor more difficult to diagnose than those of the skin. There are none either that afford the quack or patent-nostrum monger a larger field for the practice of his fiendish gifts.

If I were to be asked the questions, “Why do dogs suffer so much from skin complaints?” and “Why does it appear to be so difficult to treat them?” I should answer the first thus: Through the neglect of their owners, from want of cleanliness, from injudicious feeding, from bad kennelling, and from permitting their favourites such free intercourse with other members of the canine fraternity. Overcrowding is another and distinct source of skin troubles.

My answer to the second question is that the layman too often treats the trouble in the skin as if it were the disease itself, whereas it is, generally, merely a symptom thereof. Examples: To plaster medicated oils or ointments all over the skin of a dog suffering from constitutional eczema is about as sensible as would be the painting white of the yellow skin in jaundice in order to cure the disordered liver.

But even those contagious diseases that are caused by skin germs or animalcules will not be wholly cured by any applications whatever. Constitutional remedies should go hand in hand with these. And, indeed, so great is the defensive power of strong, pure blood, rich in its white corpuscles or leucocytes, that I believe I could cure even the worst forms of mange by internal remedies, good food, and tonics, etc., without the aid of any dressing whatever except pure cold water.

In treating of skin diseases it is usual to divide them into three sections: (1) The non-contagious, (2) the contagious, and (3) ailments caused by external parasites.

Contagious Dog Skin Diseases

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

These are usually called mange proper and follicular mange, or scabies. I want to say a word on the latter first. It depends upon a microscopic animalcule called the Acarus folliculorum. The trouble begins by the formation of patches, from which the hair falls off, and on which may be noticed a few pimples.

Scabs form, the patches extend, or come out on other parts of the body, head, legs, belly, or sides. Skin becomes red in white-haired dogs. Odor of this trouble very offensive. More pain than itching seems to be the symptomatic rule. Whole body may become affected.

Treatment

Dress the affected parts twice a week with the following:

Creosote, 2 drachms; linseed oil, 7 ounces; solution of potash, 1 ounce. First mix the creosote and oil, then add the solution and shake. Better to shave the hair off around the patches. Kennels must be kept clean with garden soap and hot water, and all bedding burned after use. From three months to six will be needed to cure bad cases.