You’re petting your dog when all of a sudden you feel a small bump on the back of his neck. After closer examination, you notice that this bump on your dog’s skin is actually a blister.
While it may be a surprise to you, dogs can also develop many of the same skin conditions that their human counterparts are affected by. There are a variety of different factors that can cause blisters on dogs. As your pup’s trusted owner, it’s important that you know the symptoms and side effects so that you can get your dog proper treatment.
While most of the time these burdening blisters are temporary and curable, they can also be a symptom of a more severe and life-threatening issue.
What are blisters?
Vesiculopustular Dermatoses, commonly known as skin blisters, are defined by any general abnormality in the dog’s skin involving blisters or vesicles. These blisters can be caused by a number of different complications, ranging from autoimmune diseases to allergic reactions in dogs.
Blisters are elevated bumps on the skin, filled with either a clear serum of white blood cells or pus, which is a mixture of cellular debris, dead tissue, and white blood cells. Depending on the severity of the blister, they can sometimes burst, causing inflammation, infection, or painful sores on your dog.
What causes blisters on dogs?
One of the most common causes of dog blisters is a condition called Pyoderma. Pyoderma occurs when an area of the dog’s skin becomes infected with bacteria, leading to redness, blisters, inflammation, and hair loss in dogs. Typically, this skin infection is caused by a weakened immune system where the body can no longer defend itself against common bacteria.
Warm and moist areas can also cause an overgrowth of bacteria, making it harder for your dog to protect himself from harmful canine skin conditions.
Skin Fold Dermatitis may not apply to all dogs, however, it is very prevalent in Bulldogs, Pugs, and other breeds that have loose, folding skin. Skin Fold Dermatitis occurs when a dog’s skin becomes irritated within the folds, causing redness, blisters, and inflamed skin. This condition needs to be cared for as soon as possible as it is known to escalate quickly if left untreated.
Another cause of dog blisters is Dermatophytosis (also known as ringworm), which is a common fungal infection that is linked to skin complications in dogs. At the beginning stage of this infection, the body develops small sores and blisters that eventually turn into a rash with bald spots. Parasitic infestations can be treated with oral or topical medications prescribed by your veterinarian.
Aside from these main causes listed above, a dog can also develop blisters through allergic reactions from food, fleas, or other external factors. If the cause of the reaction is due to something your dog has consumed, blisters may form in his mouth, paws, or other parts of his body.
Lesser-known causes may also include autoimmune diseases, skin injuries, and other conditions that suppress the immune system.
Diagnosing Blisters on Dogs
Since there are many causes of blisters on dogs, forming a proper diagnosis may be challenging and will need the attention of a professional. Take your dog to the veterinarian at the first sign of a blister. This is a critical factor since blisters may be a secondary side effect of a more severe underlying issue.
When talking with your veterinarian, make sure to provide them with a detailed list of your dog’s medical history, the type of dog food they eat with it’s listed ingredients, and any medications they may be taking. From there, your veterinarian will examine the location, size, and type of blister that is present on your dog.
Once they have examined the blister themselves, they may order a blood test or allergy test. A skin biopsy may also be done in order to see what kind of bacteria is causing the reaction.
In minor cases, blisters can be cured by topical and oral medication that is prescribed by your veterinarian. In more severe occurrences, your dog may need his blisters surgically removed or drained.
If you notice your dog is suffering from blisters or any other type of skin condition, take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The faster your dog receives professional treatment, the sooner he will be able to get back to his happy, normal self!
- “Skin Blisters (Vesiculopustular Dermatoses) in Dogs.” PetMD, Accessed 16 Aug 2017. www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/skin/c_dg_dermatoses_vesiculopustular.
- “Skin Blisters and Pustules in Dogs.” PetMD, Accessed 16 Aug. 2017. www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/skin/c_dg_bullous_pemphigoid.
- “Skin Blisters and Pustules in Dogs – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost.” WagWalking, Accessed 16 Aug. 2017. www.wagwalking.com/condition/skin-blisters-pustules.
- “Yikes – My Dog Has A Lump!” Petwave, Accessed 16 Aug. 2017. www.petwave.com/Dogs/Basics/Lumps-and-Bumps.aspx.
- “Pododermatitis in Dogs.” The Veterinary Expert| Pet Health, 15 Sept. 2014, Accessed 16 Aug. 2017. www.theveterinaryexpert.com/skin-problems/problem-paws-pododermatitis-dogs/.