dog at vet

Ingrown Hairs in Dogs

Dogs’ coats consist of a set of hairs that cover the skin of the animal, also called fur. The length of fur depends on the species; for example, boxers and bulldogs have shorter hair, whereas Retrievers and Bichons have long, silky or curly hair. Lively and brilliant, dull and brittle, it is a complete reflection of the health of the animal.

retriever long hair
    Golden Retrievers are particularly well known for their long flowing hair.
Bulldogs have short, stubby fur.

Dermatological diseases in dogs are a key reason for consultation in veterinary medicine (apart from vaccinations obviously). Dogs are particularly sensitive.

dog visiting vet
If you suspect your dog has an infected ingrown hair you should seek veterinary advice.

Their hair is composed of two parts; a visible, emergent which is the stem of the hair, its fundamental base is keratin (protein of the skin), the other hidden under the dermis, the follicle.

Improperly done grooming, bad shaving, poor hygiene or other parasitic problems (such as scabies, ringworm), or an underlying disease such as diabetes, hormonal disorders, hypothyroidism, as well as cancers cause visible issues on a dogs fur. One or more hairs can become wedged under the skin , forming a kind of ball, evolving into simple, diffuse or nummular form, sometimes more complicated (pustular). Clinical diagnosis is very easy to recognise with this issue. You will notice irritation of the skin, follicles filled with pus under the coat and itching.  This is accentuated depending on the affected area, especially where the skin is thinner like the abdomen, between the pads and the face.

dog at groomers
Poorly done grooming and shaving can lead to ingrown hairs.

These infections are usually due to staphylococci, bacteria normally present on the skin of the animal causing the dog’s pyoderma. Depending on the case, they can range from a simple superficial infection of the skin to a folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle), deeper localised or generalised.

Healing is conditioned by the general condition of the animal as well as the extent of the lesions, the treatment ranges from the simple application of topical and emollient, to the generalized treatment with massive administration of antibiotics and a balanced diet.

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