Normal skin conditions of the Blue Great Dane

Puppy Pimples

Acne can affect pets of all species and ages, and diagnosing and treating these skin lesions in a timely manner can promote healing, while lessening the chance for the formation of serious and painful infections like abscesses. But with Great Danes which naturally have more sensitive skin, and even more so in blue Great Danes which have the most sensitive skin, akin to the skin of humans, pimples tend to be worse. They can have them around there head and mouth, which is most common and will usually go away if you clean the mouth area after each meal, I like to use warm water and/ or alcohol , and in some more extreme cases a diluted soap with warm water followed by a warm water and or alcohol rinse. Others will develop them down their back, on their rump, tails or even on their bellies; these are best treated with Omega 3 oil which will boost the skins natural immunities, and patience. In Great Danes, the puppy pimples generally do not last past 5-6 months but can last as long as a year.

According to Dr. Michael Levine, DVM, acne comes in two common forms. The more traditional pimple forms when dirt, bacteria or dead skin cells block a pore, leading to inflammation and infection. The sebaceous cyst forms when a skin pore or hair follicle is blocked, leading to the accumulation of sebum, an oil that keeps the skin moist and supple. The sebum cannot escape, so it builds up beneath the skin's surface.

Common locations for pimples in pets include the face, muzzle and under on the cat or dog's chin. Oils from foods and dirt from sniffing and exploring the world can clog pores, leading to a bout of acne. Plastic food bowls are also notorious for triggering break-outs in pets, as minute scratches in the plastic's surface harbor bacteria which is then transferred to the pet's face during meal time.

The stomach and chest are also common areas for the formation of pimples and cysts in dogs, cats and other pets, as the thin fur in these areas, combined with the close proximity to the ground, allows for easy contamination of the skin's surface which in turn leads to pore and follicular blockages. Pimples are often more easily noticed on the chest and stomach due to the thinner fur in these regions.

Puppies and other juvenile animals are often more prone to developing acne than adults, as hormones are also believed to play a factor. Frequent bathing is another common cause of cysts and pimples in pets. The shampoo strips the skin of its natural oils, triggering an increase in oil production, which results in clogged pores, follicles and infection.

Cysts and pimples in pets vary in terms of their treatment. Pimples are generally small pockets of infection that will develop and begin draining relatively quickly and without much intervention, aside from daily washings and disinfecting. Redness and swelling is common at the site.

Cysts, on the other hand, can grow quite large and do not always drain on their own. Many require repeated lancing and draining, and during this process, infection is common, only compounding the situation. If infection is not present, the vicinity of the cyst filled with a thick paste the consistency of toothpaste will not necessarily be red or swollen. Once a large cyst drains and heals, the site will be prone to cyst formation again in the future due to the pore/follicle damage that resulted from the initial cyst. So removal of the damaged tissue is often necessary to avoid repeated cyst formation problems in pets.

Heat Rash

How to spot it, What it is and What causes it

Allergic Dermatitis

Skin Allergies. Your Great Dane can have an allergy to something as simple as grass or the laundry detergent you've been washing his favorite blanket with, it can be cause by excessive exposure to heat (above 85) or excessive exposure to grass, yes grass, as most great Danes love to roll, crawl, and lounge in the grass which can cause small grass cuts which combined with heat and/or hormones will result I a flair up. Allowing your pup to come in and cool and dry off every hour for an hour will often prevent or lessen a flair up. Also stress will play a large role in when your pup will experience a flair up, during the first year your pup is growing so fast that his hormones are running wild so any stressor, such as emotion separation, a vets visit, getting in trouble to often, extreme heat or cold can trigger a reaction. Allergic Dermatitis is usually characterized by redness, swelling, itching, flaking, and runny eyes. It can be caused by anything, including hormonal imbalance. Sometimes the culprit is parasites (think along the lines of fleas and mites) so keep him on a good flea control product like revolution. Most young Blue Great Danes will have some form of an allergy during the first year, due to your puppies raging hormones, and un-fixed dogs will generally have a flair up during time of heat cycles, pregnancy, birth, and mating. The intact male may experience problems any time a female goes into heat within a 5 mile radius. Once mature, and fixed, your pup should experience good coat health, unless he becomes very stressed out, this can be causes by a vacation on the parents part, lack of affection, poor food quality, an extended stay at a friends house or vets office, or being left outside for to long of periods of time during extreme temperatures, below 40 or above 85. The Omega 3 fatty acids naturally boost the skins immunities and should be given through out your blue Great Danes life to help prevent these problem, but even on the omega 3's most Blues will still have small out breaks up to a year old, but they will be much milder and shorter lived than if he was not on the oil. The oil most of the time will prevent adult skin problems entirely. Generally these rashes are characterized by a patch of small red bumps, light to moderate hair loss over the affected area and watery red eyes. The affected area can be as small as a dime to as large as a dollar bill, with only one spot or numerous spots over a broad body area. Sometimes it can appear more rash like and spread out over a large portion of the body. It may or may not be itchy and or swollen; the eyes also may have accompanying red bumps around the soft tissue surrounding the eye. Generally it will last from 5-12 days.

What to do

Baby Benadryl may be given but as always when you give your Great Dane any new medicine he must be watched for the first 2-3 hours for any sign of an allergic reaction. You may also double your Omega 3's fatty acids during a flair up to lessen the time and intensity of the reaction. You should also limit his out door activities during flair up.

Supracaudal Gland Infection

How to spot it

Hair loss patch ranging in size from 1-3 inches, about 2/3 the way down your puppy's tail, it may range from mild hair loss to complete hair loss in the effected area, and may be accompanied with puppy acne. The condition normally starts from 6-12 weeks of age and lasts up to a year old.

What it is

There is a sebaceous gland near the base of the tail in both dogs and cats that sometimes becomes over-active during times of hormonal change or growth in pups. In cats, this condition is called "stud tail" even though the problem sometimes occurs in females and castrated males.

In dogs, the same condition is usually just called by its medical name: Supracaudal Gland Infection or Supracaudal Gland Hyperplasia. In domestic dogs this gland is inactive; in cats and wolves this is an active sent gland, which releases a scented oil used to rub against objects in order to mark boundaries in the territory.

What causes it?

In young pups during hormonal change during their first year, most especially in Great Danes because of their rapid growth, this gland swells causing the skin to become irritated, tight, and either excessively dry or oily, which in turn causes hair loss over the gland.

How to treat it

If no underlying problems (typically fleas) are found, then treatment consists mostly of cleaning with degreasing shampoos and possibly short term steroids and antibiotic therapy( not normally recommended as the problem will subside on its own). Doubling your omega 3 fatty acids will help the intensity and shorten the longevity of the condition, but generally this will go away on its own with out any help between 6-12 months of age. It does not normally itch or cause the pup any discomfort and it is mainly just an unsightly condition of a growing Dane pup.

"He is your friend, your partner, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader.
He will be yours, faithful and true to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."