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Acral Mutilation Syndrome
Addisons Disease
Bloat / Torsion
Canine Sprue
Cleft Lip / Palate
Contact Dermatitis
Corneal Dystrophy
Degenerative Myelopathy
Elbow Dysplasia
GlycogenStorage Disease
GSD Foot Pad Syndrome
Hip Dysplasia
Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy
Idiopathic Canine Colitis
Idiopathic Onychomadesis
Imperfect Dentition
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
Mitral Valve Defect
Non-fusion of the Anconeus
Osteochondritis Dissecans
Pancreatic Hypoplasia
Patent Ductus Arteriosis
Pemphigus Vulgaris
Pemphigus Erythematosus
Perianal Fistula
Pulmonic Stenosis
Premature Closure Ulna
S.I. Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome
Sebaceous Adenitis
Selective IgA Deficiency
Spina Bifida
Symetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Tricuspid Dysplasia
Umbilical Hernia



  Contact Dermatitis


Common names or abbreviations:

Contact Dermatitis


Description or definition:

Contact dermatitis is the least common of all the types of “allergic” skin conditions.  This skin condition develops after direct contact or over exposure to certain materials that irritate the skin.  Some of the common irritants include flea collars and caustic or corrosive substances such as bleach, strong acids or alkalis, salt, fertilizers, carpet cleaner or other cleaning solutions, poison oak or ivy, etc.  Contact dermatitis may also develop when a pet becomes sensitive to a substance that is normally not an irritant, such as bedding material, wood, grass, or other plants.



Contact dermatitis may cause itchy red skin over the parts of the body that have been exposed to the irritant.



Since dermatitis is likely to result from an allergy or other ongoing irritant, the animal’s routine, habits, and lifestyle should be monitored and discussed with a veterinarian.   Treatment often includes identification and elimination of the irritant.  For example, pets with a suspected contact dermatitis may be placed in a restricted area such as a kennel until the symptoms subside, and subsequently re-exposed to each substance suspected of causing the dermatitis. Treatment can also involve the administration of prednisone or corticosteroids to reduce the skin’s reaction against the contacted substance and calm the itching and inflammation.


Related skin conditions:

bulletPyotraumatic dermatitis/hot spots/ moist dermatitis: This condition manifests as a red, moist, hairless, painful-looking sore that appears suddenly.  Hot spots develop when incessant scratching and biting damage the skin enough to break down its barrier function.  Normal bacteria that inhabit the skin then proliferate, causing more irritation.  Hot spots frequently develop at the site of a flea bite but may result from allergic reactions, infections, or other irritants.
bulletCanine acral lick dermatitis/ lick granuloma: Common skin condition that is caused by excessive licking at one particular spot.  An infected wound eventually arises at the site.
bulletFlea allergy dermatitis:  Sensitivity to flea saliva (not the flea itself) results in severe, unremitting itching, hair loss in the affected areas, and hot spots over the haunches and tail.  A skin allergy test can be preformed to determine if a dog is allergic to flea saliva.
bulletAtopic dermatitis/inhalant allergy: Canine atopy is a common condition that is caused by in immune system hypersensitivity or allergic reaction to breathing in one or more substances in the environment such as pollen, dust mites, mold, etc.  It typically starts between the ages of one and five years.  The symptoms include scratching, biting, chewing at feet, constant licking, red irritated skin, excessive grooming.  The itching is generally most severe on feet, flanks, groin, armpits, and ears.
bulletPyoderma: Medical term used to denote bacterial infections of the skin.  The symptoms include itchy small red rash like bumps or pustules (pimples).  The organism responsible for pyoderma is almost always a variety of Staphylococcus.  The bacteria will not usually cause disease on normal skin, but some other underlying skin diseases cause some changes in the skin surface making it susceptible to infection, leading to pyoderma. Common underlying causes of pyoderma include allergic diseases (food allergy, atopy, flea allergy), parasites (demodectic or sarcoptic mange), seborrhea, and hormonal imbalances.  Treatment includes oral antibiotics and special shampoos.
bulletFood Allergies:  Food sensitivities in a dog may manifest as itchy skin, scratching at ears, shaking of the head, licking and biting at the hind quarters or feet, rubbing faces on carpeting, ear inflammations, coughing, sneezing, asthma like symptoms, behavioral change and vomiting.


Links to sites about this disease:



This summary provided by:

bulletJessica S
bulletWildfire Kennel 



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Copyright © 1998 - 2009. Shiloh Shepherd Dog™ Club of America.
All rights reserved. Revised: January 2008

The information on this website was written by ISSR breeders and other concerned individuals, however we are are NOT veterinarians. This information is being provided as a general overview, from information we were able to find about each disease through our own research. These summaries are not intended to be relied upon as medical or veterinary advice, nor do we consider ourselves experts in the veterinary field or in any of these conditions. While we do our best to provide the most up to date information, new research is constantly being done on these diseases. We recommend that you do further study and talk to your veterinarian on any topics you see here, as we cannot guarantee that the information posted here is the most current information available.  This site was originally designed and maintained by Debbie Knatz.