Rottweilers look tough and their energy levels can sometimes make you dizzy, but they do have an Achille’s heel – they’re prone to certain skin conditions. Folliculitis, atopic dermatitis, and dandruff are just a few examples of conditions that can make your dog uncomfortable, itchy, or worse!
Today we’re going to talk about 7 common skin problems in Rottweilers and how you can avoid them, or at least help out when your Rottie isn’t feeling their best. Let’s take a look at these conditions and what you can do!
One common problem for Rottweilers is one that some of us are quite familiar with ourselves – dandruff! You might find some shed particles of it on the furniture or notice your dog scratching furiously and a closer check might even show you a little crust looking skin beneath the fur – yikes!
Solution: Dealing with doggy dandruff is a piece of cake. You’ll want to start making sure that your Rottie is getting more vitamin A and Zinc in their diet. Both of these are good for your dog’s skin and their coat and adding a little fish oil to your dog’s food will help to get that dandruff under control.
2. Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic Dermatitis is a skin disease that causes an allergic reaction when your dog inhales dust at home, pollen, or other allergens. This results in very itchy skin, so your dog may chew, scratch, and rub themselves against the furniture as they try to find relief!
Solution: Atopic Dermatitis is going to require a medication from your vet to treat it. You can help with the symptoms, however, by using anti-itch shampoos and ask your doctor about antihistamines, specifically Benadryl. Over the counter, Benadryl can be given with your Vet’s permission and this will help to keep the symptoms minimized so that your dog can spend more time playing and less time itching!
3. Acute Moist Dermatitis
Acute Moist Dermatitis, also known as ‘hot spots’, are skin sores that can quickly develop into large, red patches. Your dog will often make them worse, trying to scratch them, and often veterinary assistance is required in order to properly treat them. The cause is a mild skin abrasion or in some cases, even a mosquito bite, that attracts bacteria due to it being warm, moist, and safely under your dog’s fur.
Typically, a vet will shave the area, applying a dog-safe antiseptic but this is not something that you want to try at home! The area is very painful and sensitive, so your vet may even sedate your dog before clearing the area for treatment.
Solution: If you notice that your dog is scratching themselves in a particular area and you can see that it is reddened, but not fully developed, then there are a few things that you can do. A dog-safe, water-based antiseptic wipe or a spray may be used to treat the area. You can also use a dog0safe antibacterial shampoo and this may help to manage and even stop the developing hot spot in its tracks. If your dog is still scratching at the area after your home treatment, then it’s best to visit the vet right away.
Sometimes mistaken for regular dandruff, Seborrhea or ‘Seborrheic dermatitis’ is a skin condition that Rotties sometimes get that produces flakey skin, dandruff, and sometimes results in a greasy-looking coat on the face, back, and flanks. It’s usually caused by hormones, allergies, or from parasites.
Solution: If your Rottweiler has recurring Seborrhea, then the good news is that you are in luck. There are anti-seborrhea shampoos that contain salicylic acid and tar which can help your dog to stop itching and to heal. To help keep it at bay, foods with omega fatty acids can also help, with fish and fish oil being the simplest source of these acids.
5. Skin allergies
While your Rottie looks tough, as a breed they have notoriously sensitive skin – quite a bit more than most other dogs. If you notice that your dog seems to become sporadically itchy, then it might just be something in the house that is setting off these allergies.
Solution: Your vet can actually run allergy tests to help determine what is making your poor dog so itchy. On your end, try to determine what has changed on days when your pooch can’t seem to stop scratching. Sometimes it’s something as simple as your laundry detergent or even your doggie’s shampoo!
Folliculitis is an infection in your Rottweiler’s hair follicles. This sometimes results from acne that your dog has been picking at, a flare of skin allergies, or the simple build-up of dirt in your doggie’s fur. When it’s present, you’ll often see scabbing on the skin and red, angry-looking bumps.
Solution: Likely your vet is going to prescribe a medicated shampoo or spray for this. If your Rottie tends to roll around a lot outside and get themselves dirty, then a bathing regimen of once every 2 weeks can definitely help to minimize dirt buildup – see if this does the trick!
7. Scaling that manifests as a dull coat
Scaling is a skin condition that can dry out your Rottweiler’s skin, making it itchy and often riddled with rashes in the affected areas. Most often the cause is skin allergies, but Rottie owners in dry areas, such as New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas also see this quite a bit.
Solution: While your vet may prescribe topical treatments to help soothe your poor dog, you can also help from a dietary standpoint. Giving your Rottie foods rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and zinc can help to prevent scaling from rearing its ugly head again.
Some final words
Now that you know the 7 common skin problems in Rottweilers, we hope that you’ll put this information to good use. One recurring thing that can help in many of these conditions is regular bathing and Omega-rich foods, but don’t forget regular vet treatments – often they can get to the bottom of things before they become a problem.
So, keep an eye out for scratching and this time, when it comes, you should be well-prepared to help!