12 Common Dachshund Skin Problems

Like most breeds, Dachshunds are unfortunately susceptible to a variety of different skin problems, though many of them are quite easy to prevent, detect and treat.

Here is a detailed rundown of the 12 common dachshund skin problems, how to identify them, and most importantly how to prevent/treat them for your beloved dachshund.

Most Common Dachshund Skin Problems

As you are about to find out, there are quite a few skin problems that your doxie may suffer from. Let’s find out exactly what they are. 

dachshund at a vet

1. Dermatitis

One of the most common skin problems that your dachshund may suffer from is dermatitis, a condition that also affects humans.

This generally refers to common skin irritation, although prolonged and relatively severe in nature.

Dermatitis may be caused by a variety of allergies, whether foodborne or environmental, or grooming products, and in some cases may even be a reaction to scratching. 

For the most part, dermatitis will look like a red rash, and your doxie will look quite itchy. A red, itchy, and sometimes crusty rash is what dermatitis looks like.

There are treatment options for it, such as topical lotions, but that said, the best way to prevent dermatitis from occurring is to remove the allergen (or other cause) from the equation.

Keep in mind that the most common form is contact dermatitis, which happens when your dog comes into direct contact with a specific allergen that causes redness, itchiness, and general inflammation of the skin.

There are also a few other types of dermatitis out there, such as ones that may be caused by food related allergies.

Just in case your dachshund looks like it has eczema, a condition where the skin appears dry, crusty, scaly, and itchy, this is actually a form of dermatitis.

Eczema is technically known as atopic dermatitis. 

2. Yeast Infections

Veterinarian doctor making check-up of a dachshund

Another common skin problem that dachshund may suffer from is yeast infections.

Generally speaking, yeast infections are caused by a small organism known as malasezzia pachydermatis, although this is not always the case.

Your dachshund may actually be allergic to yeast itself. Moreover, various allergies to foods, fleas, and a litany of substances found in the environment may also be to blame. 

The issue here is that yeast infections have many different causes, especially in dogs, so determining the exact cause can be an issue.

That said, identifying that your dachshund has a yeast infection should not be too hard, because there are some telltale signs that you should see.

For one, yeast infections, especially when they are caused by that organism we mentioned above, will occur on the belly, the neck, on the toes, and inside of the ears.

Dogs who have yeast infections will often scratch and chew on their paws and ears like they are demonically possessed.

There are also other indications of a doxie with a yeast infection, including a greasy coat, crusty skin, hair loss, and color changes in discharge.

Now, if the yeast infection is caused by said organism, then some topical creams or oral medications will do the trick.

This is also the case if the cause of the yeast infection is something other than malasezzia pachydermatis, although the underlying cause will still need to be dealt with as well. 

3. Scabies AKA Mange 

Yeah, you have probably heard of scabies before, a condition that is usually associated with humans who have less than stellar personal hygiene.

Although this may of course be the case with humans, the fact of the matter is that scabies is actually caused by mites.

Technically speaking, the scabies skin condition is caused by the sarcoptes scabiei mite, which is a super contagious and resilient skin parasite.

While it may have something to do with humans not being clean, when it comes to dogs, it’s just a normal parasite that can come from a variety of places.

It’s a mite commonly found on both wild dogs such as foxes, coyotes, and wolves, and domestic ones too. 

These mites actually burrow under the skin, feed on the tissue of the dog, and reproduce under the skin as well.

This is one of the most severe skin conditions out there because it causes extreme itchiness and discomfort for your poor pooch.

You may also notice general redness, hair loss, and crusty skin, as well as small red spots. This most often occurs on the hocks, ears, and elbows of your dog.

Beware because the scabies mites don’t discriminate. There is the potential for you to get them as well.

You will need to see a vet for proper treatment, which may include injections, medicated baths, topical creams, pills, oral medications, and more. 

4. Folliculitis

dachshund with Folliculitis

Folliculitis is a common skin condition in dogs (and humans too actually), one which is characterized by the follicles of the hair become irritated and inflamed.

This may be caused by a variety of fungi and bacteria. When it comes to your dachshund, it is most likely bacterial folliculitis, or in other words, is caused by bacteria. 

In terms of what it looks like, you may notice that your doxie looks like it has small red bumps or white headed pimples growing around hair follicles, with hair even sometimes appearing to come right out of them.

This can then eventually look like a full blown rash that is very red in nature, may look crusty, and will definitely cause a lot of itchiness for your dog.

This is a skin condition that can happen all over your dachshund, although it commonly occurs on the back, stomach, and other such areas.

If your dog has folliculitis, you may also notice that it is suffering from a very dull coat, excessive shedding, and scaly skin.

The good news here is that this is a relatively simple bacterial infection to treat with medicated washes and shampoos.

However, this infection may be stubborn in some cases, in which oral antibiotics will likely be required. 

5. Ringworm

Ringworm is a very common condition in dogs, one also known as dermatophytosis.

This is an infection that often occurs on the skin and hair, but can also occur on the claws of your dog.

In dogs, ringworm is actually caused by a fungus, or technically speaking, three different fungi.

70% of ringworm cases are caused by Microsporum canis, 20% are caused by Microsporum gypseum, and 10% by Trichophyton mentagrophytes. 

Any of these fungi can be picked up by contacting another infected dog or any infected area. It is a fungus that is commonly found in the wild.

Keep in mind that ringworm is contagious from dog to dog, and yes, from dog to human too, as well as from human to human.

Scratching and petting a dog with ringworm may very well result in you getting it too. 

In terms of visual signs, you should see these circular shapes, kind of like red rings, hence the name ringworm.

What is interesting to note is that ringworm rarely results in itchiness. Ringworm can also result in lots of scabs on the skin, very dry fur, hair loss, and even brittle claws.

The ringworm rash should be cleaned, with a good dose of antifungal creams being required.

There are a number of ringworm treatments, although topical medications will often be enough. 

6. Seborrhea 

Ok, so here we have a skin problem that all too many people and dogs suffer from, one that is more commonly known as dandruff.

Ok, so seborrhea is technically a more advanced or severe form of dandruff, but realistically, this is what it is. 

If your dog has dandruff, you will see a lot of itching and scratching going on, and this is because dandruff is also related to having very dry skin.

This excessive scratching may also lead to redness, bleeding, and scabbing (if the cause is not treated).

Although dandruff itself is not a huge deal, albeit a bit nasty when your house is covered in white skin flakes, the issue is finding out what the actual cause of it is. 

Dandruff may be caused by improper nutrition, skin sensitivities, or excessive dryness. You may also see these yellowish-brown greasy scales on the skin.

Fatty acid supplements and antiseborrheic shampoos or sprays tend to be the two go-to treatments for doggy dandruff. 

7. Acanthosis Nigricans

This is a relatively common skin condition that occurs in dachshunds and other canine breeds, and it is a skin condition that will usually reveal its ugly head before your dog’s first birthday.

This is a condition that usually results in the discoloration of the skin, particularly a darkening of the skin.

It is also characterized by the thickening of the skin, especially near skin folds, which is why it often occurs near armpits and other such areas.

This condition may also result in the skin feeling both flaky and greasy, and it may even result in severe hair and skin loss.

This is a relatively severe condition that can spread across your dog fairly fast, but it is manageable if treated early. Some people also refer to this as hyperpigmentation, because it causes the skin to darken. 

This commonly occurs in dachshunds that are overweight, but more commonly occurs when the dog suffers from hormonal imbalance issues which can be caused by hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and Cushing’s disease, all things which dachshunds are susceptible to.

Various shampoos, medications, and steroid ointments may be used as treatment. 

8. Pinnal Alopecia

This is a fancy term for hereditary pattern baldness in dogs. Yes, this is a hereditary condition, which means that if the parent dogs have it, then the chances of the pups having it too are very large.

Now, there is absolutely nothing that can be done about this. 

When it comes to dachshunds, hair loss will usually start around the outer ears and then expand from there, and by middle age, the dachshund’s hair may very well be gone.

The results are a virtually hairless doxie, and that skin can then also become very dark, either completely or in patches.

9. Hypothyroidism 

Hypothyroidism is a hormonal condition that occurs when the thyroid glands do not produce enough thyroid hormone.

This is a hormonal issue that often results in a variety of symptoms including the thickening of the skin, discoloration of the skin, skin dryness, and hair loss. 

Moreover, because this is a hormonal issue, you may also notice that your dog is very tired and lethargic, intolerant to the cold, and you may also notice behavioral issues. 

Now, this condition is not life threatening in any way, but it does take a toll on your dog. With that being said, it is treatable.

However, keep in mind that there is no cure for hypothyroidism, but there are treatments that can supplement their thyroid hormone levels in order to prevent the symptoms from flaring up.

10. Food Allergies

dachshund food allergies

Some of the most common allergens in dogs, at least as far as food is concerned, include corn, wheat, rice, soya, and animal proteins. Now, this is of course an issue because most dog food pop at least one of those things in them. 

If your dog suffers from food related allergies, you may notice that they often have diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomachs.

However, food allergies can in some cases also lead to skin outbreaks, such as redness, itchiness, and fairly severe rashes.

It is not uncommon for doxies to even be allergic to food coloring and chicken.

If you think that a food allergy might be to blame for your doxie’s skin condition, then getting an allergy test done is a good idea. 

11. Environmental Allergies 

This breed of dog is also fairly susceptible to having or developing allergies from the environment that they live in.

These environmental allergens include things like pollen, trees common grass, mold, and various other plants. 

Many dachshunds just like humans, are also susceptible to seasonal allergies, or in other words ones that are usually caused by plant pollen.

The best way to go about this is to make sure that the allergens that affect your dog are kept to a minimum. Purifying the air in which you live can help a whole lot here.

There may also be some medications that can help keep allergic symptoms to a minimum.

12. Fleas & Ticks

dachshund with fleas

Another very common thing that will cause skin irritation in your dog is both fleas and ticks.

Fleas are little critters that live on the skin of your dog, and feed on your dog too.

They actually reproduce on your dog as well. If your dog has fleas, you should actually be able to see those little black critters. 

If a dog has a severe flea infection, you may see little fleas running around your house, and when you go to step on a carpet, you may see a little wave of fleas fleeing from your feet.

Fleas cause a whole lot of itchiness and red spots too, so they should not be too hard to spot. Fleas are easy enough to treat with common flea treatments.

If it is the take that we’re talking about, thankfully these don’t really multiply, but they do borough into the stink of your dog and suck on their blood.

Ticks can cause irritation, itchiness, and redness, but of course, the main threat with ticks is Lyme disease.

13. Sunburn 

The 13th and final skin issue that your doxie may suffer from is a simple sunburn.

This is especially common in short haired dachshunds that don’t have much fur to protect their skin.

Sure, you could put some sunscreen on your dog, but this is not really a great idea.

Generally speaking, the best thing to do in this case is to just keep your dog out of excessive sunlight.

How To Prevent Dachshund Skin Problems

preventing dachshund skin problems

Alright, so now that we know what all of the most common skin conditions are that your dachshund may suffer from, let’s talk about all of the possible preventative methods that you can put to use.

Now, do keep in mind that this is going to be a fairly general list of tips, because preventing an exact issue requires an exact preventative measure.

1. Regular Skin Checks

Now, regularly checking the skin of your dog may not actually prevent allergic reactions or other skin conditions from occurring, but with that being said, regular skin and fur checks will allow you to quickly identify any skin conditions that may be developing.

Remember, for the most part, the earlier you can identify any of these conditions, especially before they spread, the easier they are to manage and to treat.

Therefore, you should check the skin and fur of your doxie at least once per week to make sure that its skin and fur are both healthy.

2. Regular Grooming

Regular grooming may help prevent skin issues from occurring due to general hygiene. When you groom your dog, you are removing a variety of parasites, fungi, bacteria, dirt, and other common allergens.

No, of course you aren’t going to be able to brush away a bunch of parasites or bacteria, but you may remove some of them.

Some simple grooming may also just help you to see that your dog has a skin condition in the first place. 

Remember that grooming does also involve bathing to a certain extent, and yes bathing can help relieve a variety of skin conditions, or even prevent them from occurring in the first place.

That being said, there are some dogs that will actually develop skin issues due to bathing, so this is kind of hit and miss. It really depends on the exact dog.

3. Tick & Flea Prevention

Ticks and fleas especially will cause a whole lot of skin irritation, and ticks do also have the potential to cause disease in your dogs, so taking care of them before they latch onto your pet in the first place is essential.

Some simple pick and flea prevention is definitely called for here, which may come in the form of little droplets that you put on the neck of your dog, or in the form of a collar.

4. Doing Allergy Tests

Dachshunds are of course somewhat susceptible to both environmental allergies and foodborne allergies, so a sensible thing to do with every dachshund before you really start providing it with a steady diet is to do an allergy test on it. 

Doing a simple allergy test will help you identify any allergens that may cause your dog to break out in symptoms, and will therefore allow you to keep your dog away from those things.

Of course, keeping your dog away from environmental allergens is a lot harder than keeping them away from foodborne allergens, but knowledge is power, and if you know what the problem is, then you can do everything in your power to work towards a solution.

5. Avoiding Various Irritants

There are also plenty of other irritants out there that can cause your dog to break out in allergic reactions.

More so, there are also plenty of irritants out there that will just irritate the skin, regardless of an allergic reaction.

Various chemicals, pesticides, and much more can all have severe effects on the health and state of your doxie’s skin.

There are also many other culprits here including household cleaning products, fragrances, detergents, smoke, and more.

6. Maintaining a Healthy Diet 

Another thing that you can do to help prevent skin conditions from occurring in your dog is to simply maintain a good diet.

Even if your dog is not allergic to the food that they are eating, a lack of various nutrients and minerals may still lead to some general skin conditions from occurring. 

Also, keep in mind that nutrients and minerals are essential for the healthy immune system of your dog.

If your dog is not getting enough nutrients and minerals, it may affect its immune system to the point where it becomes susceptible to various skin disorders.

7. Treating Underlying Conditions

There are of course various underline conditions that may cause skin conditions to occur.

One of the most common ones is hypothyroidism. Therefore, treating any underlying conditions is essential when it comes to preventing skin problems from occurring.

How To Treat Dachshund Skin Problems

This is a bit of a tricky question to answer, because after all, how you treat a dachshund’s skin problem really depends on the exact problem in question.

If you suspect that food allergies are to blame, then the treatment is of course to change the food. Yes, you will first have to do an allergy test to figure out what your dog is allergic to. 

If the cause of the skin conditions are environmental allergies, then keeping your dog away from those allergens is really the only viable option.

There may also be some antihistamines that can be given to dogs. If your dog’s skin condition is caused by something like hypothyroidism, then the treatment is to treat the underlying condition, in which in this case is the hypothyroidism.

If you notice that your dog often has ticks, or may have a flea infection, then the appropriate course of action is to remove the ticks and fleas, and then to take the proper preventative measures to prevent these critters from taking hold of your dog again.

Of course, with that being said, many skin conditions will require a variety of oral or topical medications in order to treat.

Once again, we can’t really give you a straight answer here, because treatment all depends on the underlying condition.

How Can I Find Out What My Dachshund Is Allergic To?

Ok, so the only real way to figure out what your dachshund is allergic to, if it is allergic to anything at all, is to have a vet perform an allergy test. This is a surefire way to determine if there are any allergies your dog might suffer from. 

If you think that your dog is allergic to any food it might be eating, then the best way to go about it is to eliminate a specific food from its diet to see if there are any improvements.

This kind of trial and error testing is a bit painstaking, but it is a good way to see if your doxie has food allergies.

When it comes to environmental allergens, simply keeping an eye on things to see if and when your dog has an allergic reaction is really all you can do. 

When Should I See a Vet?

If you are wondering whether or not a trip to the vet is necessary, to err on the side of caution, we would say that if you have done everything that common sense dictates, and you cannot figure out what the specific skin condition is, what is causing it, and if you haven’t been able to treat it, then go see a vet.

If it’s something that doesn’t go away on its own after a few days, and you can’t identify what it is, then go see a vet.

Remember, your dog may be in more discomfort than they are letting on, so a vet may be the only person that can help. 

There you have it folks, everything you need to know about all of the possible skin conditions and issues that your dachshund may suffer from, as well as all of the best possible preventative and treatment options out there.