German Shepherds & Skin Disease
German shepherds may have a hereditary connect to certain skin maladies. While it may not be possible to completely cure all genetic skin conditions, it is possible to manage them with medication.
It is important to the health of your German shepherd to provide the proper grooming and feeding that is necessary to keep him healthy.
Acral Lick Dermatitis
German shepherds may develop a skin condition called acral lick dermatitis. This condition is often caused by boredom, or if dogs are isolated for too long. Acral lick dermatitis may cause your dog to lick and scratch excessively, usually on his legs and feet. This condition is also commonly seen in other dog breeds such as the doberman, Great Dane, golden retriever and Labrador retriever.
The treatment for acral lick dermatitis may be determined after ruling out all other underlying causes for itching such as allergies or bacterial infections. It may be necessary to provide social interaction and proper exercise for a dog that suffers from this condition.
Sebaceous adenitis is an inherited immune skin disease that commonly affects German shepherds. There is no remedy for this condition, however it is conceivable to oversee it.. Dogs that suffer from sebaceous adenitis will need long-term management of the disease.
The symptoms associated with this condition are skin lesions on the ears, skin lesions on the back, excessive dandruff and hair loss. German shepherds that are affected by sebaceous adenitis should not be bred. This will avoid passing the condition to its offspring.
Familial vasculopathy is a skin disease that is inherited and usually affects puppies. The symptoms associated with this condition are fever, lethargy, skin ulcers, footpad softness, swelling, crusting of ear tips, crusting of the tip of the tail and a loss of pigmentation in the dog’s nose.
There is no known cure for familial vasculopathy, but some dogs seem to find relief with corticosteroid medication at high doses.
Folliculitis And Cellulitis
Two skin disorders that are often seen in German shepherds are folliculitis and cellulitis. These are deep skin infections that become more severe in German shepherds than in other breeds of dogs. Folliculitis and cellulitis are bacterial infections that may occur after stressful situations or an illness such as hypothyroidism or allergies.
The symptoms of these conditions are skin ulcers and lethargy, and may need to be treated with antibiotics to treat any infection that is present.
If you are considering purchasing a German shepherd, be certain to do so from a reputable breeder that screens for health conditions.
If your German shepherd has any persistent symptoms of skin disease, consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.