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Any speck found on the body of a pet should be a reason for urgent contact with a veterinarian because lichen in dogs can occur regardless of age and conditions of detention. Most often, the disease manifests itself in autumn and winter. Experts associate the seasonality of pathology with a deficiency of ultraviolet radiation and a lack of vitamins. But there are other reasons for the development of lichen. About them, as well as about the features of treatment and prevention of the disease – further in the article.
- How a dog can get shingles
- Symptoms at the onset of the disease
- Photo of lichen in dogs
- Types of lichen in dogs
- Lichen treatment in dogs
- What can be done to speed up recovery
- How to prevent your dog from licking ointment and scratching
- Can iodine be used to treat lichen?
- Nutrition for dogs in the treatment of lichen
- How to apply the ointment correctly
- Can a person or pets become infected
- Is there a vaccination against lichen in dogs?
- Prevention of lichen in dogs
How a dog can get shingles
Lichen in dogs is fungal and viral. A four-legged friend can “catch” a disease in several ways:
- through direct contact with a sick animal;
- through household items (bowl, leash, collar, comb, etc.) belonging to an infected dog;
- through the soil, grass, and so on.
The likelihood of developing lichen increases significantly if the animal has a weakened immune system. This condition may be due to a dog’s pregnancy or lactation, a recent infectious disease, or a poor diet. The defences are also reduced if the pet has been taking corticosteroids for a long time, as well as if he has a malignant tumour.
Stray animals, and those that live in poor conditions, constitute a special risk group. Dampness, lack of hygiene, high density (for example, in shelters) and other factors provoke the rapid spread of the fungus.
Note: Dogs with long and thick hair require special attention from their owners. Due to the nature of the hairline, their skin is poorly ventilated, which makes such pets the most vulnerable to infection.
Symptoms at the onset of the disease
What are the first symptoms of lichen in dogs to look out for? The latent period of the disease, on average, lasts about 10-14 days, depending on the type of lichen. Only after this do the signs of the disease become noticeable.
At the initial stage of depriving, the owner will notice the following manifestations:
- the animal scratches the same place;
- in the area of itching, superficial skin lesions are noticeable in the form of discolouration, broken hairs, cracks, peeling and others;
- gradually the spot increases, new foci appear;
- the dog becomes lethargic.
In most cases, skin lesions occur on the paws of the pet, in the lower abdomen, on the face.
You need to take action quickly, as the disease is spreading at a high speed. In addition, reduced immunity and damaged skin surface favor the attachment of bacterial infections and the development of other diseases.
Photo of lichen in dogs
Types of lichen in dogs
Several types of lichen are diagnosed in dogs, each of which has its nature, symptoms and approaches to treatment. That is why veterinarians insist that if suspicious spots on the skin are found on the pet’s skin, the owners immediately go to the clinic. At the same time, each owner should know what this or that type of disease looks like. This will allow you to quickly take preventive measures for household members (some fungi can be transmitted to humans) and for the animal (to stop further spread).
Rosa lichen is an allergic reaction to an infection, presumably of a viral nature. Most experts associate the development of this type of disease in a domestic dog with a genetic predisposition. Skin lesions, as a rule, occur against the background of viral diseases of the digestive tract, respiratory system, after vaccinations.
Pink lichen is characterized by a chronic course, so it will not be possible to completely cure the animal. The disease occurs every time the pet’s immune system activity decreases: under stress, inadequate diet, frequent illnesses. At the same time, the dog is not a source of danger to other animals and humans. However, if they have the same predisposition and low immunity, the likelihood of infection, even if it is negligible, exists.
How to recognize lichen rosacea in a domestic dog? This type is characterized by the following clinical picture:
- spots do not exceed 2 cm;
- lesions have a pink tint with a yellowish middle;
- the bulk of the rash is localized in the groin, on the face;
- the destruction of foci gradually occurs with the formation of yellow areas with peeling of the epidermis.
Attention: lichen pink can be complicated by the penetration of fungi, bacteria, viruses into the skin, so you cannot hesitate with treatment.
Weeping lichen is a dog’s immune response to an allergen; eczema, which is not based on an infectious nature. An allergen can be any substance (medicine, food, and so on), hormonal disorders. The disease is chronic and manifests itself in the following clinical picture:
- swelling occurs on the surface of the skin, hot to the touch, itching and painful;
- bubbles gradually form in their place;
- baldness occurs in the lesion;
- discharge from the vesicles gradually becomes purulent;
- the most common localization is the cheeks, coccyx, neck.
As it heals, the skin becomes covered with a crust, from under which healthy tissue appears.
Since weeping lichen brings considerable pain to the dog in the form of itching, it begins to scratch the skin strongly. This can provoke an increase in the area of the affected areas and the addition of infection.
Unlike previous species, ringworm (shorn) is a fungal disease. Its development is due to the penetration of fungi of the genus Microsporum or Trichophyton into the skin, causing microsporosis or trichophytosis, respectively. Ringworm is a dangerous and contagious disease that can be identified by the following:
- small foci of skin lesions (about 20 mm);
- the color of the spots is from pinkish to brown;
- their outline is visible;
- localization – the base of the tail, limbs;
- severe itching;
- the baldness of the affected areas.
The infection is characterized by a fast-spreading rate. If you do not take measures, then in a short time the fungus can lead to the death of the dog.
This type of disease is caused by a yeast fungus of the genus Malassezia, which normally lives on the surface of the skin of not only dogs, but also other animals and people. In the absence of damage to the epidermis, strong immunity, the microorganism does not show aggression. Otherwise, the fungus multiplies vigorously, releasing a large amount of corrosive acid, which literally “corrodes” the epidermis.
Another name for lichen is multi-colored. This is due to different shades of lesions: pinkish, brownish, brownish. Another sign is baldness of the affected areas. Since the spots quickly grow and merge, the disease can quickly spread throughout the dog’s body.
Before treating a dog for lichen, you need to diagnose the identified pathology and differentiate it from other skin diseases. Fungal lichen in dogs can be confused with diseases such as dermatosis, pyoderma, seborrheic eczema, weeping and pink lichen.
The following methods are used for diagnosis:
- transillumination with a Wood lamp;
- wool analysis (sowing);
- skin biopsy.
Microscopic examination reveals the presence/absence of spores and mycelium, sowing makes it possible to determine the genus of the fungus. In addition, laboratory tests of the pet’s urine and blood are mandatory. Additionally, the doctor may prescribe allergy tests and tests.
Lichen treatment in dogs
When diagnosing lichen in dogs, complex treatment is indicated. It is aimed at solving several problems:
- destruction of pathogenic microorganisms – the causes of the disease;
- preventing the spread of foci and the addition of a secondary infection;
- elimination of itching, pain;
- normalization of the pet’s immune system.
For this purpose, external and internal medicines are used in the form of ointments, creams, gels, solutions, tablets. If the disease is detected at the initial stage, external preparations are more often used. With systemic damage to the body, tablets and/or injections are indicated.
Topical medications for shingles in dogs
At the veterinary pharmacy, there is a large selection of local drugs for treating lichen in dogs. Which remedy is best used in a particular case – the doctor will say after diagnosing the animal. Self-treatment of lichen is not recommended, as it threatens the aggravation of the disease and the development of complications.
Medicines for internal use
Depending on the condition of the dog, the veterinarian may prescribe additional symptomatic, supportive and antifungal therapy in the form of drugs for internal administration:
- if a significant part of the animal’s body is affected by the fungus – antifungal agents (Fluconazole, Nizoral);
- in the case of secondary infection – antibacterial drugs (Amphotericin, Nystatin);
- to maintain the liver – hepatoprotective agents (Hepatovet);
- to relieve allergy symptoms – antihistamines (Suprastin, Diazolin);
- to normalize the immune system – immunostimulants and immunomodulators (Glycopin, Immunofan);
- for the prevention of disorders of the digestive tract – probiotics (Olin, Lactobifadol);
- vitamins (Aminovit).
Treatment with folk remedies
Home treatment can be accompanied by the use of folk remedies. It should be remembered that some folk recipes cannot cure a fungus in an animal. Such types of lichen, such as ringworm or weeping, can only spread over a large area and aggravate the condition of the dog, therefore, folk remedies are allowed to be used as additional symptomatic ones.
Most often, the methods of home treatment for lichen in animals are represented by external treatment of the affected areas with some kind of composition. These can be apple cider vinegar, tar, minced garlic (it can be mixed with honey, camphor oil, wine vinegar, tea tree oil). Even motor oil is applied to infectious foci. As a rule, stains are treated several times a day.
Attention: Before using any folk recipe, you should consult a doctor!
What can be done to speed up recovery
How to cure a dog of lichen, preventing the development of complications? The main condition is strict adherence to the recommendations of the veterinarian. The drugs should be given to the animal in strict accordance with the prescribed course and dosage, without skipping receptions. Unauthorized replacement of one medicine with another is not allowed, as well as the termination of therapy ahead of time. The owner of the dog should be prepared for the fact that in some cases the treatment may take a month or more.
To speed up the recovery of the four-legged friend, to prevent the spread of infection, treatment with special shampoos, which include antifungal components, will help. Such hair care products are gentle on the surface of the skin, but it is not recommended to use them for a long time. To avoid excessive dryness of the epidermis, follow the instructions.
How to prevent your dog from licking ointment and scratching
Lichen lesions cause severe itching in the pet. When he scratches the affected area, the infection spreads to neighbouring healthy tissues, which significantly delays recovery. The same happens if the animal licks the applied ointment.
If the lesions are single, you can glue them with a plaster or bandage them, having previously applied a gauze swab with ointment to the affected area. To prevent scratching of large areas, it is possible to use a special collar. If the dog resists such a device and removes it, put on a jumpsuit.
Can iodine be used to treat lichen?
The use of iodine for the treatment of lichen in dogs depends on the identified pathogen. So, with a clipping type of disease, this drug has the most effective effect. It is not recommended to use an iodine solution for pink lichen. In other cases, the remedy does not lead to any pronounced result. It should be noted that some veterinarians are categorically against the use of iodine for lichen. Judging by the reviews, you should not try to cure an unusual “stain” on your own, using iodine as a panacea – this can lead to disastrous consequences for the dog.
Nutrition for dogs in the treatment of lichen
Treatment of lichen in dogs must be accompanied by a change in diet. This is especially true of pink and weeping types of the disease, which are allergic. A special diet is designed to minimize the toxicity and allergenicity of certain foods and substances. Should be excluded from the diet:
- smoked meats;
- any products containing dyes, flavors, preservatives and other additives.
With weeping lichen, you will need to remove meat and meat products from the pet’s menu for a while.
How to apply the ointment correctly
The better the affected area of the dog’s skin is prepared for lichen, the greater the effect can be achieved from the medicinal ointment, therefore, every owner should know the algorithm of actions when treating the infectious focus.
- The following items are prepared in advance: medical rubber gloves, scissors with a blunt end, a metal container and matches, a soap solution, an antiseptic (furacilin, chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide), tweezers, gauze napkins, medicinal ointment.
- Before proceeding directly to the procedure, put on gloves.
- The affected area of the skin is treated with an antiseptic solution.
- If there is hair on the periphery of the lesion, the hair is carefully trimmed at a distance of about 5 mm from the affected epidermis. The cut hair is immediately burned.
- If there are scabs, they are impregnated with a soap solution until they are completely softened.
- The scabs are removed with tweezers, and the area is again treated with an antiseptic.
- Remove residual moisture with a napkin.
- Apply an ointment.
At the end of the treatment of all affected areas, the sheared wool and napkins should be burned.
Can a person or pets become infected?
Every dog owner should know what type of lichen is transmitted to humans and other animals. About ringworm, the answer is unequivocal – this disease has a high degree of contagiousness and is very contagious. When diagnosing it, the animal must be isolated from other pets and household members (especially children).
Weeping lichen is not a danger to others, since it is allergic to eczema. The usual hygiene measures when caring for a sick pet are quite enough.
The possibility of transmission of infection with pink lichen is currently in question. The opinions of experts in different specializations contradict each other: some believe that this disease is contagious, others say the opposite. In general, it is generally accepted that if a person has strong immunity, then pink lichen is not dangerous for him. If the immune system fails (due to age, illness, and other reasons), then it is best to stay away from the animal.
Pityriasis Versicolor also does not pose a danger to humans and animals, since the fungus is also present on the surface of their bodies. There is a theoretical likelihood of the development of the disease in households, provided that the immunity is greatly reduced, therefore, if the apartment contains a dog with pityriasis Versicolor, it is better to play it safe and isolate it from children, old people or weakened people.
Is there a vaccination against lichen in dogs?
You can prevent the development of lichen in a dog by supplying a special vaccine. The drugs Vakderm and Mentavak have good reviews. These are intramuscular injections, which contain inactive fungi that cause lichen. Vaccines can be given after examination of a four-legged friend, deworming, examination by a veterinarian. Vaccines can also be used if the animal is already suffering from shingles. Self-administration of injections is not recommended, since the dosage and course require an individual approach.
Prevention of lichen in dogs
It is possible to prevent the development of lichen in dogs by observing several preventive measures:
- protect your pet from contact with strangers and stray animals;
- observe sanitary and hygienic standards, wash the dog on time with suitable means (including prophylactic);
- feed the pet correctly, avoiding the presence of possible allergens in the food;
- make sure that the animal’s diet is complete;
- timely vaccinate;
- do not limit your pet for walks;
- avoid using extraneous bowls, collars and other household items;
- treat the identified diseases in time, preventing a strong decrease in immunity.
Every year, microbes undergo mutation and become more and more resistant to the drugs used, therefore, a single and 100% effective treatment regimen for lichen in dogs has not been developed. In addition, each animal responds differently to the drug and causative agent of the disease, which also affects the speed and effectiveness of therapy.
However, shingles in dogs can be cured. To do this, you need to quickly respond to the symptoms, bring the pet to the clinic, follow the recommendations of a specialist and further follow preventive measures.