Does My Dog Have Acne or Pimples, and Are There Natural Cures?
What Is Acne And Who Gets It?
Just like in people, acne is a problem when dogs develop swollen and infected hair follicles, usually on their chin.
Young Pugs and adolescent Rottweilers are a few of the dogs affected, and although they do not spend too much time in front of the mirror checking for socially unacceptable bumps their owners usually notice and want to do something to relieve their dog´s suffering. We also see it a lot on dogs with short hair chin like Dobermans, boxers, Great Danes, and German shorthaired pointers.
In some dogs it can become crusty and itchy and, although the dog is never responsible for food delivery at a fast food restaurant during her teen years, it is usually easy to clear up with a combination of time and traditional medicine.
Some dogs might develop demodectic mange infections on the chin, so if you can clear this up at home your dog will be healthier.
Clearing it up should be a fairly straightforward process. Here are some alternatives:
What Is The Easiest Way To Clear Up Acne Naturally?
How Can Canine Acne Be Treated?
The most important part of treating acne in your dog is really the easiest, although it will take a little bit of time each day. You need to take a warm washrag and hold it on the face for a few minutes and then use a mild soap to clean the chin and remove all of the pus.
If you take your dog in to the vet at this point, most veterinarians are going to recommend washing the face with benzoyl peroxide and the application of an antibiotic cream.
Aloe vera gel is a natural treatment you can use after washing with soap and water.
Aloe vera has been used for a few thousand years, and besides killing the bacteria it also controls any fungal infections and cools the skin. You can purchase the gel or keep an aloe vera plant and just break off a small portion to use each day. It grows back and is a lot easier, safer, and cheaper than buying antibiotic in a tube.
You can also try a herbal tea made out of nettle leaves, but you will probably have to buy the leaves so it is more of a headache.
If the acne is severe (get a second opinion on this because any acne is going to look severe to a concerned owner) you can use a herb to help strengthen your dog´s immune system. Garlic, Reishi mushrooms, Echinacea, and Cats Claw (a herb from Peru) are all known for their ability to stimulate the immune system.
If you choose to use garlic as an immune stimulant you can give one clove for each twenty pounds of weight.
Are There Other Alternatives?
None of the herbal immune stimulants have scientific studies behind them to prove their effectiveness, and since they are not backed by large pharmaceutical companies they never will. This product has been used for a long time, by several indigineous peoples, and it does work. Follow the dosing instructions on the label.
If the alternative therapies do not work you will need to look into other causes of your dog´s acne. If it itches it could actually be a case of mange and scraping will reveal the little cigar-shaped demodex mites. You can try putting him under a black light and the vet may end up pulling a few hairs to culture for ringworm. If both of these are negative you can try to culture the chin and put the dog on a long course (maybe eight weeks) of antibiotics.
What happens if you just ignore it? You will not have to worry about your dog complaining about her social life but she might take her pus-covered chin and rub it all over your couch.
I prefer the aloe.
© 2012 Dr Mark