Many dog owners do not realize that their dogs can have acne, which normally affects their lips and chin. It is most common in younger puppies as they reach puberty, which can occur between 4 and 8 months of age, depending on the breed and size of the dog. These are benign, and some breeds are especially prone to the acne, including the English Bulldogs, French Bulldog, Rottweiler, and Boxer. However, it is more common with the short-haired dog breeds.
Symptoms and Causes of Dog Acne
The acne is remarkably similar in appearance to what people get and the cause can be puberty in dogs just as with teenage boys and girls. Other times the acne can stem from Dog Allergies, such as Dog Food Allergies.
While dog acne in and of itself is not life threatening, it is important that the dog undergoes a full health examination to rule out any underlying conditions. In mild cases of dog acne, it clears on its own as the dog ages, but some dogs can have a more severe form of acne, develop infections, and require a round of antibiotics.
Just like in humans, acne in dogs is uncomfortable and can be quite tender to the touch, so owners should not touch the acne as it can make it worse and be uncomfortable for the dog.
Treatment Options for Dog Acne
Treatment options vary by the dog and the severity of the acne. Mild cases are generally not treated at all. In more severe cases of dog acne, your veterinarian will give you some benzoyl peroxide gels or shampoos to help control the acne. In extremely severe cases of acne, it may be necessary to treat the dog with antibiotics and sometimes corticosteroids.
It is essential to make sure to keep the dog’s chin cleaned after they eat their meals, especially if they eat canned food. Many puppies eat with gusto and like a child, can make a mess of their chins. A washcloth dampened with water normally does the trick; avoid using any harsh cleaners such as dish soap since this can add to the acne problem.
Prognosis of Dog Acne
Most dogs with adolescent acne outgrow it and their chin clears up as they reach adulthood. If the acne is due to allergies, particularly food or environmental, it may be necessary to have, some allergy tests performed on the dog. You can also try changing their food to a holistic brand since many of the store bought foods have dyes and other ingredients that are difficult for the dog to digest. Always read the ingredient label when choosing a dog or puppy food for your dog. The fewer ingredients, the easier it is for the dog to digest.
If acne is suspected in a dog, have the veterinarian check the severity to ensure there are no underlying infections. In most instances of dog acne, it clears on its own as the puppy grows into adulthood.