As distinctive and stately as they are, Rottweilers can have skin issues that may be short-lived or even lifelong conditions. Learn about the potential variations in skin problems as well as how to avoid and treat them easily.
Do Rottweilers have skin issues? Yes, Rottweilers do have skin issues in a lot of cases. They can be prone to many different kinds, including skin allergies, mange, eczema, and rarer issues such as seborrhea, amongst others. If you’ve got a life-loving Rottie at home, you’ll want to keep reading below for some tips on the different potential kinds of skin problems, where their causes come from, and how to deal with them. All of this will help you better care for your doggo!
The most popular skin issues in Rotties
While this is not an exhaustive list, the options below are the most popular skin issues that Rotties are known for. These can occur in puppyhood, but you’ll find that most of these happen in adulthood more-so.
Also due to their sensitive skin, you may find that Rotties have more skin allergies than other doggos. Since their skin is sensitive to anything foreign, it means that many ingredients — such as those used in some dog shampoos or even in laundry detergent — may cause them to have a skin-related allergic reaction.
This is particularly common in Rottweilers, though this is an issue in a lot of doggos that spend their lives on the streets as well. It is a skin disease that is thought to be caused by parasitic mites. It often manifests I a thin, dull and blending coat in your pooch. Since Rotties have sensitive skin, mange can impact them more than other dog breeds.
Many humans with sensitive skin will suffer from eczema, and your Rottweiler is no exception. In Rotties, eczema could take on the form of inflamed red skin with either pustules or lumps. You’ll find the skin will feel tight and warm to the touch. Your doggo may suffer from bare skin patches and dandruff in those areas as well.
This is a big fancy term, but it basically means that your doggo has an infection in their hair follicles. This could be due to some dirt build-up or it could be from an irritation that they picked away. The hair root infection just looks like a bit of swelling under the base of their fur.
This is a generic term that can be rashes, raised bumps, high skin, sensitive skin or, basically, anything. It’s basically a skin-related response to something that has irritated your doggo’s skin!
Acute moist dermatitis
Also known as hot spots, this when a patch on your doggo’s skin gets attacked by, for example, a mosquito and then your pooch picks at into the point that it gets hot and sore and red. It develops into a hot spot that often requires treatment.
This quite a common issue for Rotties. It either looks like they have lots of dandruff or that they have particularly greasy fur. This is when the skin releases too much of the oil that is needed for their fur’s consistency and it makes for greasy fur.
Ringworm, fleas and ticks can also cause some strong skin-related reactions in a Rottweiler. That’s part of why proper immunizations are so important!
What causes a Rottweiler’s skin allergies?
Amongst all of the potential issues you may have with your doggo’s skin, you may find that many of them come back to their skin allergy. A skin allergy can actually have a variety of causes and it may take some serious logging to see which one is the root for your pooch, in particular!
Known for their sensitive stomachs, Rotties often require specialized food for their breed. However, going with the wrong food either can trigger a food allergy (which sometimes gets confused with a skin allergy), or it can lead to malnutrition. A Rottie who is malnourished can be prone to developing skin allergies. This could be not eating enough of a certain mineral or vitamin, or it could be a simple as a calorie count.
Where they are living can also have a serious impact on causing or triggering skin allergies. Perhaps they are sensitive to a certain kind of pollen, or a particular insect, or even something within your home such as dust.
From the dog-related products such as shampoo and sunscreen to the more general household cleaning products such as laundry detergent to bathroom cleaner, any and all of these could cause a mild or severe issue with your Rottie’s skin.
Fleas and ticks
While fleas and ticks will wreak havoc on most dogs’ skin, Rotties may suffer from a serious reaction to either or both of these. Catching them quickly can help minimize their discomfort.
Pests that cause skin problems for Rottweilers
Speaking of pests, what else should you know about those particular pests that can cause pain and discomfort for your poor Rotweiler’s skin? There are a few to watch out for.
This fungal infection could just impact your pooch with some spots here and there, but it often will create hair loss that is usually temporary. The good thing with a yeast infection is that it can easily be identified by a slight smell to it, so treatment is often faster.
Fleas and ticks
You already know that fleas and ticks are on the list, but you’ll want to remember that this is the case even if they do get their immunizations. These pests can create serious reactions in your pooch faster than some of the other dog breeds since their skin is already sensitive.
Tricky to notice right away and known for being contagious between pets, ringworm is a normal immunization coverage, but, again, Rotties tend to pick it up at some point. Treated quickly, it can minimize the reaction. However, it can be more serious if you don’t inspect regularly (more on this in a moment).
Can Rottweilers get skin cancer?
If all of this talk about sensitive skin has left you worried about skin cancer, you’re not alone. Yes, Rotties can get skin cancer. The most common kind would malignant melanoma. However, this can be easy to prevent by all of the same measures that you would take with other doggos and humans.
For example, limit how much time they have in direct sun and make sure that you have the right sunscreen for them if they are enjoying time at the beach or out and about with you in the full sun. When in doubt, keep them inside until it’s shaded!
While melanoma may be the most likely skin cancer, many breed experts say that Lymphoma is more likely in Rottweilers. One of the good things about this, however, is that it can be detected and diagnosed in something as simple as a blood test!
Rottweiler skincare toolkit
Okay, so now that we know all about the intimidating skin issues that Rotties can how, how do we work with that to help you as pet parents take proper care of them? You’ll be happy to know that a lot of it is going to be preventative. Here are the essentials you’ll want to include in your Rottweiler skincare toolkit.
Fragrance-free laundry detergent
If you use fragranced laundry detergent and/or fabric softener, you’ll want to switch to a fragrance-free alternative, even if it’s just for laundry that your Rottie uses. For instance, his bed and toys. However, remember that you’ll also need to keep this in mind for your bed sheets if he sleeps in your bed!
Even if your doggo isn’t allergic to those particular detergents, it may trigger a sensitivity down the road, especially if you switch brands. Keep everyone safe by going fragrance-free.
Sensitive skin shampoos
Bathing your Rottie may not be a regular weekly thing, but when you do give him a bath, make sure that you rely on sensitive skin shampoos. These tend to be extra lightweight, fo course, but they’ll also help make the skin stronger, too in some cases. That being said, don’t get human sensitive skin shampoos! Go for the dog products that are also hypoallergenic and/or designed or sensitive skin. When in doubt, ask your vet for support!
You already know that your pooch should wear sunscreen, but make extra sure that you are getting a sunscreen that agrees with your Rottie, in particular. What works with one may not work with the other, either. Test it in a small area of his skin and remember to watch for any kind of reaction, no matter how mild.
Soft brushes and cleaning cloths
When grooming your hottie or cleaning them off (see below), you’ll want to try on soft tug-free brushes and especially soft and gentle cloths. Not only will your Rottie appreciate the soft touch in general — hello, face licks! — but their skin won’t be as traumatized from the pulling and rubbing that cloths and towels can create after a bath.
Scar or dry skin treatment
If you are treating your Rottie for a scar or healing skin from a hot spot, for instance, be careful to pick the right moisturizing agent. Just like in humans, well-moisturized skin will be stronger skin and it can help the fur grow back faster as well, which offers better protection for their skin on top of it! Since picking the right skin treatment is difficult, ask your vet for some help!
How to keep your Rottie’s skin clean
Feeling a little calmer now? Good. There’s more, though! Part of helping reduce a likelihood of a skin issue in your Rottie is going to be in keeping their skin clean and clear of anything that could bring contaminants or weaknesses to it.
Keep your house clean
I know, I know, it takes a lot of effort, but it’s important for your pooch! Just look at that face, it’ll help! No? Okay, well you don’t need to clean up every little inch. Just do what you can to dust regularly and vacuum and sweep up general debris.
Make sure that their dishes and bedding are washed regularly as well and that any of their frequent snoozing spots, such as the couch or your bed, are cleaned regularly as well.
Clean them after coming inside
After they’ve had a lot of fun outside, you’ll want to clean them off thoroughly when they come back in. Even if they visibly look clean, you can never be too sure. Take the time to clean them off with a damp soft cloth. Pay special attention to their paws, too, as they can be known to lick them a lot!
Avoid plastic as much as possible
While it may seem like a strange request, avoid things like plastic bowls for eating or drinking. Experts believe that plastic can lead to skin-related issues for Rottweilers. So, from feeding to drinking to even cleaning off their feet, go with stainless steel bowls.
Regular grooming and skin inspection
Grooming is a great way to bond with your pooch, but it’s also great for keeping their fur clean and clear. This leads to healthier skin and especially helps with reducing the likelihood of hot spots or folliculitis.
Grooming also gives you the perfect stress-free opportunity to carefully check your Rottie all over for signs of a skin issue. The sooner that you catch it and treat it, the better it will be for your doggo.
On that same note, if you see something that is abnormal — even if it’s a tiny thing — talk to your vet! It’s always a good idea to blow it out of proportion and sure that everything’s fine than the expensive and painful alternative, after all.
While Rottweilers may be prone to skin problems, you have many methods of attack as a responsible and loving pet parent!