Dandruff in dogs what can it mean dr. Sam

Dandruff in dogs – what can it mean?

Often at the beginning of summer or winter increased dandruff is observed in dogs. But even outside these periods dogs can be affected by mild or severe dandruff. This includes not only dogs, but also cats and pets.

The initially cosmetic aspect, scaly coat does not look nice, is sometimes also caused by Itching and obvious discomfort of the dog to a serious problem.

What are dog dandruff actually?

The Skin is one of the largest organs and has many very different functions in interaction with the whole organism. The skin is built up in layers. On the outside, partially visible to us, is the epidermis. It is built similar to a brick wall. At the bottom, towards the inside of the body, there is a solid membrane on which further layers of skin cells are formed towards the outside. Thus, when there is exfoliation on the skin to the outside, new cells can come to the surface. This maturation process of the cells is also keratinization (keratinization) called. At the end of the maturation process, dandruff then reeds off in the coat. The interaction of individual factors, such as signals from the body or also changes in the environment in which the animal lives, also stress and changes in feeding, can influence this maturation process. Therefore it is necessary if there is a noticeable amount of dandruff, the cause is called to be determined exactly.


At excessive appearance of dandruff a detailed anamnesis must be taken. Basically, any skin disease can also cause dandruff. Congenital changes in the skin's metabolism can also lead to severe dandruff right at the start, or even as the dog ages.

The 7 most common acquired, i.e. not congenital causes can be:

– parasites, such as mites, fleas, lice – infections by bacteria, fungi, viruses – nutrition, especially deficiencies of zinc, fatty acids and protein intake – hormonal changes – metabolic changes, such as z.B. Liver diseases – environment in which the animal lives

Furthermore can also cause various diseases, in which the immune system plays a role, as well as tumor diseases, the cause of strong dandruff can be.

Source: Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock.com

Symptoms and diagnosis

As a dog owner, you will first notice dandruff. The Dandruff in dogs can be white and dry and also itching and bald spots can occur concomitantly. If there are only a few dandruff, these can usually be treated by light brushing removes in the long term become. If however enormous quantities of dandruff accumulate or are these Oily, greasy and difficult to remove, so there is a serious problem behind it.

The following 4 steps lead to the diagnosis:

A clinical examination can now already give slight clues as to whether an underlying disease may be the reason for the dandruff, or whether it could be parasites or fungus. 1. In many cases a dermatological examination in which the skin, individual hairs and scaly patches are examined in more detail and any itching is classified. For this purpose, it may be necessary to make so-called skin scrapings and thus to be able to analyze the cell picture of the skin, as well as parasites with the microscope. Also is examined with a special lamp or a hair sample for fungi. 2. It will also be after Feeding, housing conditions and other important factors asked. Sometimes a blood picture must be made, especially if one suspects a disease, which can be hormonally caused. 3. pathologist in the laboratory the cells. analyze glands of the deep skin layers.

Therapy against dandruff

If there is a slight formation of dandruff, the no itching, bald spots caused, can be helped with light brushing of the coat. Brushing not only removes the dandruff, but also promotes blood circulation in the skin. Here natural brushes are preferable.

Straight Puppies or dogs in the change of coat can show slight scaling. Here the skin can be supported also with an adapted feeding. The content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and good, easily digestible proteins is important here. At strong dandruff must always a veterinarian be consulted to find out the cause and start the individually suitable therapy early enough. Also oils rich in omega-3 fats can make the skin more supple and the coat shinier. In the store of Dr. You can find SAM Preparations that help to reduce dandruff in dogs contribute. Click here to go to the store.

Prevention of dandruff in dogs

Basically, the Food always well selected become. Depending on the breed and coat here may have to be selected specifically. Also the correct and balanced care of the coat Is important and depends on the coat texture. Coarse wiry brushes can damage the skin, natural brushes are more suitable. In the case of stress-related dandruff, behavioral interventions can be made in order to better manage the situation in the future. Special shampoos and other preparations for external use, which help the skin to regenerate, are available. However, their use should always be discussed with a veterinarian.

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