Skin Problems in Rottweilers

by Quentin Coleman, Demand Media
    Diet, exercise and training are essential for raising a healthy rottweiler.

    Diet, exercise and training are essential for raising a healthy rottweiler.

    The rottweiler's confident posture and sleek coat makes them seem like a canine model of strength and health. They often live up to their image as a sturdy and vigorous companion, but this is not always the case. Rottweilers often suffer from hereditary, dietary or temporary skin problems.

    Diet

    If your dog is constantly itching or shedding, or if he develops rashes, the problem may actually be diet-related. In fact, several health conditions associated with the rottweiler breed are caused or exacerbated by nutritional deficiency, according to Rottweiler Training Tips. If your vet figures out that nutritional deficiency is responsible for your dog's skin problems, consult him about food and meal options. He may recommend an alternative food brand that better caters to your dog's nutritional needs or suggest other types of food that are safe for your pet. Raw meat, vegetables and other "people food" are recommended in some cases.

    Digestive Problems

    Since rottweilers often suffer from an inappropriate diet, it is easy to mistakenly assume that it is the source of their skin problems without investigating other digestive problems. Inflammatory bowel disease is a poorly understood and incurable condition that affects humans as well as dogs. Skin maladies and loss of hair are common symptoms of IBD in canines, according to the Rottweiler Health Foundation. Dietary allergies can cause similar skin symptoms and may be accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea. Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if any other symptoms emerge.

    Skin Infections

    Rottweilers are very protective, so they have a hard time backing down from a perceived challenge. Even if your dog doesn't go out looking for a fight, there's a good chance he won't retreat if another dog threatens him. A dog fight is a great way for bacteria and fungi to travel from an infected dog to a healthy one. Of course, your dog can pick up skin infections off the battlefield as well. Pathogens can infect your dog through parasites, passive contact with other animals and by just being in the right place at the right time. Ringworm, yeast infections and mange are just a few of the skin infections that can irritate your dog's skin, causing hair follicle damage, itchiness and inflammation.

    Skin Allergies

    Rottweilers are not predisposed to a particular type of skin allergen, but that does not mean they may not have an adverse reaction to certain particles. Dogs of any breed can suffer from a hypersensitive immune system that reacts negatively to dust, pollen, plastics or cleaning agents. Clean your house regularly and restrict your dog's access to cabinets, basements and other storage areas to minimize his exposure to household allergens. Talk to your vet about temporary, dog-safe allergy medication to relieve his suffering while you attempt to isolate and remove the allergen from his environment.

    About the Author

    Quentin Coleman has written for several news publications as well as the University of Delaware's public relations department. He also spent more than 10 years working with a local animal shelter to help nurse kittens, treat sick cats and domesticate feral animals. Coleman graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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