How I can manage my dog’s acne?

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Since acne is usually caused by hormones or genetics, it is hard to find any one thing in particular that will prevent acne. It is not known why some dogs get it and some don’t.   Good hygiene and symptom treatment are the best tools for managing acne.

You can try washing your dog’s face after playing outside or eating, using a bit of shampoo on a washcloth, then rinsing and wiping it dry. This may help reduce the oil build up and blockage of pores that leads to acne, as well as prevent bacterial buildup that can cause infection.

Remove plastic dishes and switch to ceramic or metal, as plastic dishes sometimes lead to acne flare-ups. Wash bowls and toys frequently to help keep your pet’s face clean and bacteria free.

For more severe cases of acne, your veterinarian may prescribe a medicated shampoo to help wash away some of the extra sebum, an over-production of the normal oil of the skin. Special medicated cleansing pads, similar to those used by humans, are also made especially for dogs, and can help reduce the severity of the acne.

If you think your dog has developed a bacterial infection, contact your veterinarian. Signs of an infection include painful, red sores and pustules. He may rub his face on the furniture and the carpet, or cry when his face is touched. Your veterinarian can help you manage your pet’s discomfort, and if necessary, prescribe a course of oral antibiotics or topical antibiotics to help clear up the infection. Follow all the instructions carefully and keep your pet as clean and dry as possible.

Finally, always remember that what appears to be acne may be something else. Consult your vet.

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