Why Your Dog Has Crusty Scabs on His Back & Neck

Dog Crusty Back

As soon as you cut your skin, special cells called platelets are activated. They come together like glue to form a kind of seal, also known as a clot. As it dries out and gets hard, it becomes a scab. This natural process for us humans also happens in dogs. The problem comes when your pet develops crusty scabs on his back and neck without any garnering any type of wound. It is definitely some kind of skin disease or irritation.

Possible Causes of Crusty Skin on Dogs

Diagnosing your dog’s crusty skin on his back will be difficult without a vet’s expert opinion because there are a lot of diseases that can make the skin form flaky scabs. We will go through the most common causes:

1. Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis, also known as Seborrhea, is a disorder that causes the skin to flake up or become greasy. In some instances, the flakes become crusty patches on certain areas of your dog’s body. This happens because the sebaceous glands of the skin produce too much sebum, which may also be the reason why your dog has a distinct smell.

2. Malassezia Pachydermatis

Malassezia Pachydermatis is simply a yeast infection in dogs and cats. It is characterized by itchiness, scaly and inflamed skin at areas like the lips, ear canals, neck, armpits, between the toes and in the folds of the skin. An abnormal overgrowth may cause skin inflammation.

3. Parasitic Infestation

There are different kinds of parasites that your dog can have. There are ticks, lice, fleas, mites, and even flies – most are external parasites that could cause the dog’s skin to form scabs that could become crusty.

4. Malnutrition

Yes, if you’re not feeding your dog correctly, his immune system could weaken. If he already has parasites on his skin, his body may not be at its tip-top shape to fight off the infection.

What To Do at Home When Your Dog Has Crusty Scabs on His Back

All of the causes can be managed at home as long as the crusty scabs on your dog’s back and neck are minimal. The first three causes, for example, have specialized soaps and shampoos which you, typically, use on your dog twice a week.

As for nutrition, vitamins may be necessary. You should consider changing your dog food into something more of high quality as well. Try something new too, like raw meat of different kinds (kinds that your pet has never tasted before).

On the other hand, it’s a totally different story in severe cases. There may be an underlying cause for your dog developing scabs on his back and neck. If you observe that your dog is weak, has a fever, isn’t eating much, is scratching himself raw, or shows any signs of discomfort, then it’s time to go to the vet.

How Will a Vet Approach Treatment?

There are different ways to identify what type of skin condition your dog has. Since he has crusty scabs on his back and neck, the vet will take some skin samples, do a fungal and bacterial culture, cytology (taking skin samples with a clear piece of tape and then examining it under a microscope), and allergy testing.

Then, whatever your vet finds out, it’s when he or she will suggest appropriate treatment. Topical or oral medication combined with medicated shampoos or soaps could be suggested. On your part, all you have to do is follow what the doctor ordered.

How Can I Prevent My Dog from Having Crusty Scabs on His Back or Neck?

Yes, there is a way for most cases. Simply keep your dog clean and provide him with the best possible nutrition through his diet. It’s all about keeping your dog happy and healthy so his body can fight off any potential disease.

John at My Pet Child

is the Founder of My Pet Child, where he shares his tips on living with a dog in an apartment.

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