We all know that humans can get ingrown hairs pretty easily, but what about our furry friends? Can dogs get ingrown hairs too? And, more importantly, do they hurt? In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about ingrown hairs in dogs, including whether or not they cause discomfort and how to manage them effectively.
Can Dogs Get Ingrown Hair?
Yes, dogs can indeed get ingrown hairs. These pesky hairs are commonly found on their paws or between their toes. The main culprit behind ingrown hairs in dogs is often cutting their coat too short, which irritates the skin. This can lead to intense itching, causing your beloved pooch to scratch at the area, potentially leading to infection and pain.
It’s worth noting that sometimes ingrown hairs might be mistaken for folliculitis. This condition, caused by bacterial infection, triggers inflammation of the hair follicles, resulting in swelling, redness, itchiness, pain, and other skin lesions. Folliculitis in dogs can appear as red bumps filled with pus. It can also be misdiagnosed as acne, mange, urticaria, or interdigital cysts.
Do Ingrown Hairs Hurt Dogs?
The short answer is yes, ingrown hairs on dogs can be quite uncomfortable. The intense itching caused by these hairs may lead your furry companion to scratch excessively or even chew at the area. Such behavior can cause painful bumps and lesions to develop and may even result in infection.
To ensure your dog’s well-being, it’s best to have any signs of ingrown hairs checked out by a professional. When it comes to cutting your dog’s coat, it’s safer to leave the task to the experts to minimize the risk of recurrence and minimize discomfort.
What Does Ingrown Hair Look Like on Dogs?
Ingrown hairs on dogs can resemble various other skin conditions. Your groomer will have the expertise to identify ingrown hairs and offer suitable recommendations. However, here are a few signs to look out for:
- Small, red, angry lumps or bumps on the skin
- Pus-filled lumps reminiscent of acne
- Crusty patches of skin
- Bald spots
- Excessive scratching or chewing in a particular area
- Pay particular attention to the paws and toes, and for dogs with short coats, check areas with sparse fur like the abdomen.
How Do You Treat an Ingrown Hair on a Dog?
While your dog groomer can identify ingrown hairs during an appointment, the treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, letting the hair resolve itself may be sufficient, but more severe instances may require attention from a veterinarian. They may prescribe a topical scrub and a collar to prevent your dog from aggravating the condition further. For cases that have caused infection, antibiotic treatment may be necessary, and in some instances, the veterinarian may need to remove the hair from the follicle.
If you’re advised to let the ingrown hair resolve itself, resist the temptation to pop any pustules. Doing so will only increase inflammation and the risk of infection.
Should I Remove My Dog’s Ingrown Hair?
It’s crucial not to attempt removing your dog’s ingrown hair yourself. Doing so can lead to infection and a higher chance of the hair becoming ingrown again as it grows back. If your groomer notices an ingrown hair during an appointment, they will provide recommendations on how to treat it and may refer you to a veterinarian. Remember, it’s best to leave these matters in the hands of professionals to avoid causing harm to your furry friend.
Can Ingrown Hair on Dogs be Prevented?
Preventing ingrown hairs in dogs is challenging, but early detection is key to preventing the condition from worsening. However, you can minimize symptoms and the risk of infection by following these steps:
- Brush your dog’s coat daily
- Regularly take your dog to the groomer to prevent a build-up of dry and dead skin
- Refrain from cutting their coat yourself if you’re unsure. Cutting too short can lead to ingrown hairs. Trust the professionals to handle it appropriately.
Dog Grooming Cheshire
If you suspect that your dog is experiencing the discomfort of ingrown hairs, get in touch with us at Katten TrimSalon today. Our experienced groomers will carefully examine your furry companion to assess the severity of the condition and provide appropriate treatment recommendations. Plus, your beloved pet will enjoy a relaxing bath, gentle drying, and expert styling in our salon. Visit Katten TrimSalon for more information.