Siberian Huskies are the great beauties of the dog world with their thick, luscious coat and stunning eyes. However, underneath that beautiful coat, Huskies can, unfortunately, suffer from various skin problems.
Thankfully, there are things we can do to prevent and treat any Husky skin problems that may arise.
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8 Common Husky Skin Problems, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
Here are some of the most common skin problems in huskies. Knowing these, causes, symptoms, and treatment options will help you take care of your husky.
1. Zinc-responsive dermatitis in Huskies
One of the more common skin problems that Siberian Huskies face is known as zinc-responsive dermatitis. Siberian Huskies are more prone to suffer from zinc deficiency.
Most Siberian Huskies are getting the appropriate amounts of zinc from their daily diet, so it is believed that the cause of their zinc deficiency is malabsorption.
Huskies might bite and chew on their feet too to help relieve itchiness caused by zinc deficiency.
Once diagnosed, treatment consists of ensuring the dog is getting an adequate diet and adding zinc as a supplement as well as treating lesions with various ointments and medications.
See our recommendations for the best supplements for huskies.
2. Hypothyroidism in Huskies
Hypothyroidism is another health concern that can result in symptoms presenting with a Husky’s skin. Hypothyroidism refers to a health issue where a dog’s thyroid is underactive.
An underactive thyroid primarily results in a dog’s metabolic processes slowing down significantly, which can affect every aspect of the body.
The main cause of hypothyroidism is lymphocytic thyroiditis where the immune system thinks the thyroid is foreign and tries to attack it. However, it isn’t well understood why this happens.
As far as skin and coat are concerned, hypothyroidism can cause significant hair loss resulting in a very thin or almost bald coat. This should be mistaken for your husky shedding. They can also get dark pigmentation on their skin and have an increased susceptibility to various skin infections.
To treat hypothyroidism, visit your local veterinarian who will likely prescribe oral synthetic thyroid hormone replacement.
3. Hot Spots in Huskies
Hot spots (pyotraumatic dermatitis) are sores that can appear on a dog’s body as a result of allergies or trauma from scratches. Hot spots are more commonly seen in dogs with thick coats that might not get enough airflow or retain moisture, like Huskies.
The inflamed area or sore can ultimately lead to serious secondary infections, so it is important to monitor closely and treat it as soon as possible.
In some cases, hot spots can resolve with home treatments like cleaning with soap and water and applying an antibiotic ointment. However, if not resolved within 24 hours, it will likely be necessary to visit a veterinarian to help resolve any infection.
4. Atopic Dermatitis in Huskies
Atopic dermatitis (allergic dermatitis) is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that is the result of irritation from allergies. Huskies can have allergic reactions to various things like food, grooming products, insect bites, or environmental allergens like mold or pollen.
Huskies will usually scratch themselves in various spots to try to find relief from the itching. Because of all the scratching, hair loss is a common symptom. Many dogs with this skin condition have a genetic predisposition to it.
Treating atopic dermatitis requires figuring out what is causing the allergic reaction and removing it. Your veterinarian can help you figure this out.
5. Acral lick dermatitis in Huskies
Acral lick dermatitis, unfortunately, is caused by Huskies themselves. Some can develop a compulsive need to lick the same spot on their body repeatedly.
This licking ultimately results in hair loss and an open wound on the skin. With a dog’s persistent licking, the wound is unable to heal and only gets worse. One common area to lick is your Husky’s paws.
The best treatment option for this skin concern is a cone or Elizabethan collar so the dog can’t lick the wound. There are also some bad-tasting topical solutions that vets can prescribe to discourage the dog from licking the spot.
6. Flea allergy dermatitis in Huskies
Another common skin condition that Huskies, like all dogs, can face is flea allergy dermatitis. Fleas are unpleasant and itchy, but some dogs who get them are actually allergic to them.
More specifically, some Huskies are actually allergic to the saliva that touches their skin when the fleas bite them.
Besides itchy skin and inflammation, other symptoms can include:
- Loss of fur
- Sores that are open, crusty, and sometimes weeping (in more serious cases)
The most important thing is to get rid of the fleas with flea treatment for the dog. You should also be sure to treat the house and yard with a flea treatment.
Beyond that, most veterinarians will prescribe an ointment or medications that will help provide relief from the itching. Read our guide to the best flea and tick treatment for huskies.
7. Yeast dermatitis in Huskies
Yet again, another form of dermatitis is yeast dermatitis. Yeast and other forms of bacteria and fungi can commonly be found on the skin.
In small amounts, this can be perfectly normal. However, when the yeast starts to overproduce and overgrow, it can result in the skin becoming very inflamed and irritated.
Yeast infections can be found anywhere on the dog’s body and are identifiable by red, inflamed sometimes scaly, and usually itchy skin.
There are various oral and topical medications that can be used to treat it.
8. Mange in Huskies
Another skin condition that Huskies can sometimes get is Mange. It is a skin disease that is caused by mites that dig and burrow their way into the skin. Unfortunately, it is a very common disease, especially for dogs that have been neglected or found as strays.
In the most severe cases, the skin becomes almost entirely covered in oozing sores or crusty patches, and the dog suffers from extreme hair loss. In fact, some dogs almost look like their skin is made of rock. These, of course, are extreme cases.
There are two different types of Mange caused by different mites:
- The first is called Sarcoptic Mange, or sometimes is also simply referred to as scabies.
- The other is Demodectic Mange, also known as Red Mange or Demodex.
Scabies, if left untreated, can quickly spread and become even worse.
If left untreated, Red Mange can sometimes spread but may also be present in random patches. Treatment for both includes applying products to get rid of the mites and baths with medicated shampoos to help heal their skin.
Final Thoughts About Husky Skin Problems
Huskies, like most dogs, can sometimes be prone to various health issues including skin problems.
If you notice any skin concerns with your Husky, it is best to consult with a veterinarian right away for diagnosis and treatment. After all, no one likes to have itchy skin!
To help prevent skin problems, make sure you are regularly grooming your husky. Need help putting together a grooming kit? Check out my recommended husky grooming tools.
If you need to shave your husky for medical reasons, use the best clippers for huskies.
Does your Husky have skin problems?
Share your experience in the comments below.
Are Huskies prone to skin problems?
Yes, unfortunately, Huskies are prone to certain skin problems including zinc-responsive dermatitis, hypothyroidism, hot spots, atopic dermatitis, acral lick dermatitis, flea allergy dermatitis, yeast dermatitis, and mange.
Does shaving cause skin issues in Huskies?
Yes, shaving can cause skin issues in Huskies. Learn what happens if you shave a Husky.
What are common skin problems in Huskies?
Common skin problems in Huskies include allergies, dermatitis, zinc deficiency, and various skin conditions.
Can Huskies have allergies?
Yes, Huskies can have allergies. They may develop skin allergies that cause redness, itching, and other symptoms.
Are Huskies prone to zinc deficiency?
Yes, Huskies are prone to zinc deficiency. Zinc is important for maintaining healthy skin, and a deficiency can lead to skin problems.
Can skin diseases be a problem for Huskies?
Yes, Huskies can be prone to various skin diseases, which can cause itching, lesions on the face, pigment loss, and other symptoms.
Can hypothyroidism affect a Husky’s skin?
Yes, hypothyroidism can affect a Husky’s skin. It can cause balding, skin infections, and other skin problems.
Does shaving a Husky cause skin problems?
Shaving a Husky can open a pathway for various skin disorders. It is recommended to avoid shaving a Husky to prevent skin issues. Huskies should not be shaved unless it’s for medical reasons by your vet.
Can food allergies affect a Husky’s skin?
Yes, food allergies can affect a Husky’s skin. Certain food intolerances may cause skin reactions and other allergy symptoms.
What is “collie nose” in Huskies?
“Collie nose” is a term used to describe a condition in which a Husky’s nose becomes excessively dry, cracked, and inflamed. It is primarily caused by autoimmune disease.
How can I keep my Husky’s skin healthy?
To keep your Husky’s skin healthy, provide a balanced diet, regular grooming, protection from harsh weather, and avoid shaving them.
How can skin problems in Huskies be treated?
The treatment for Husky’s skin problems depends on the specific condition. It may involve medications, topical treatments, and addressing any underlying causes.