scabs on dogs skin

Scabs on Dogs Skin: [11 Reasons, 4 Tips To Prevent]

When your canine has crusty scabs, then the whole family suffers. To handle this situation, here is an article on scabs on your dog’s skin: 11 reasons, 4 prevention.

When your canine has scabs on the skin, it may lead to excessive scratching and licking the affected area. Your canine makes it even more worse by doing it. This introduces various infection-causing bacteria to the affected site.

In such a case, you must go to the vet first. They can give a proper suggestion and reason for your canine’s scabs.

What is a Scab?

A scab is a coating that is formed on the damaged skin. Anything that damages your canine’s skin leads to scabs.

When your canine’s skin is hampered, platelets run to the affected area. These platelets are the blood cells that circulate all the time in your canine’s body. When your canine is injured, the platelets come to the site of injury, and stick together to create a bandage for the wound.

Once your canine’s skin is healed, the scab automatically falls off.

Types of scabs

Itchy scabs – This is the most common scab you will find in dogs. Many canines have scabs originating from infections, parasites, and allergies. These can cause itching in dogs.

Black scabs – Many owners confuse black scabs with other causes of skin lesions. Canines with fleas also have small black specks on the skin and coat. These black specks are not scabs. They are just flea eggs.

Yellow scabs – These indicate the presence of seborrhea. Canines having seborrhea have normal skin disease that results in yellow scabs.

Raised scabs – Raised scabs occur for different reasons like infections, allergies, and parasites. However, if you see a raised scab, it is slightly higher than the surrounding area. Moreover, this indicates that the dog’s skin has become infected or inflamed.

Red scabs – Red scab indicates active bleeding in the affected area. This is very common in skin wounds.

Why Do You Find Crusty Scabs on Dog’s Back?


  • Allergies can be caused by anything around your canine.
  • Laundry detergent, pollens, soaps, chemicals, and even plastic bowls can cause allergies to your canine.
  • Food allergies are less common. However, they do happen and can result in scabs on your canine’s skin.
  • Scabs are one of the most visible signs of a food allergy


  • Ticks nestle into the dog’s skin and suck blood
  • This makes your canine’s skin irritated. Therefore, it initiates itching and scabs.
  • You can remove ticks at home with a tick twister or by pinching the head of ticks with your fingers.
  • Just make sure you take the head of the tick out from the skin. If not, the tick’s body part can remain and cause infection


  • Pests and parasites are the dread for pet owners. These are small bugs that feed on your canine’s skin
  • Fleas are the most common parasite that causes scabs on your canine’s skin.
  • The bites, saliva, and poop cause serious reactions in some canines.
  • Hence, it is better to maintain a good anti-flea schedule for your canine.
  • Companion Animal Parasite Council has national guidelines for parasite control.


  • Canines can suffer from pollen allergies.
  • Moreover, it is common for a canine to have an allergy after inhaling excessive pollen.
  • Canines love to run and dive into bushes and flowers that have pollen.
  • Hence, your canine can get skin irritation and in some cases, dermatitis that causes scabs

Bacterial infection

  • Superficial bacterial folliculitis is a bacterial infection that results in scabs, sores, bumps, and irritation in dogs.
  • It usually develops because the canine is continuously licking, scratching, or chewing the affected skin.
  • Sores can also develop because of bacteria entering your canine’s body via affected skin sight.

Hormonal imbalance

  • Hormonal imbalance is caused by inherited abnormalities in ovaries, testicles, thyroid glands, pituitary glands, and adrenal glands.
  • It causes hair loss that results in scabs and skin irritation

Immune disorder

  • It causes a canine’s skin to lose the fight against infections and bacteria that leads to crusty scabs
  • Moreover, it makes the canine’s immune system fight itself and works overtime.

Nutritional problem

  • A canine’s skin requires appropriate nutrients to stay healthy and balanced
  • If there is a lack of minerals and vitamins in your canine’s diet then he may get crusty scabs all over the body.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

  • Seborrheic dermatitis happens when your canine’s skin produces an excessive amount of sebum.
  • This excessive sebum unbalances the skin’s health.
  • It causes dirt build-up and if you do not bathe your canine regularly then it causes scabs on the skin

Malassezia Pachydermatis

  • According to ncbi, Malassezia Pachydermatis happens because of yeast build up. And it ultimately results in scabs.
  • It commonly occurs near or beside the ear canals and areas that have mucus. Prime examples are the mouth and nose.

Yeast infection

  • Yeast infection is very common in canines
  • Some yeasts are normal and necessary.
  • However, the problem occurs when your canine has excessive yeast
  • It starts growing in moist and warm places and causes itching and irritation on your canine’s skin
  • This ultimately results in scabs on your canine’s body as he tends to scratch, chew, and lick the skin to relieve the discomfort

Treatment for Scabs on Dog

Even if your canine has a small scab, it is because of some trauma. Unless it is not swollen or causing pain, treatment is not necessary. However, if it is causing inflammation, you must talk to your vet about it.

Your vet will recommend E-collar to prevent licking the affected area and will give antibiotics and painkillers. If your canine has a lot of scabs, then do not try to treat them at home. It is better to ask the vet for help. This is because the multiple scabs may indicate more serious skin disease.

The vet will perform a certain test to find the cause of scabs on your canine’s skin. Then he/she will suggest the correct treatment. The treatment can include oral allergy medications, antibiotics, and shampoo.

How to prevent scabs?

For treatings cabs, you need to find the root cause of irritation and attack it medically. And the best way to do it is to visit your vet. Your vet will examine the affected skin and will recommend correct treatment for it.

However, you can try to prevent scabs with the help of some simple remedies as well. Here is a list of things you can do to prevent scabs on your canine’s skin.

Healthy diet

Diet deficiencies are one of the most common causes of scabs. It creates great problems for your canine’s coat and skin. It makes your canine’s skin dry and scratchy. Therefore, make sure you give a balanced and high-quality diet to your pooch.

Include all the necessary minerals and vitamins in your canine’s meals. This is the first step towards keeping your canine safe from scabs.

Regular brushing

Brushing your canine’s coat helps to clean it and eliminate flaky patches and dead skin that causes irritation. Sometimes, scabs are the result of dirt build-up and can be treated via frequent brushing. Hence, make sure you have a grooming kit for your canine.

Use Fish Oil

There are a few essential fatty acids that are important for your canine’s skin health. There are many dogs who do not get enough nutrients in their diet. This leads to various skin issues like scabs.

Hence, you can give fish oil capsules to your dog every day with a meal, in fact, you can also add fish oil directly into your canine’s food to keep his coat and skin healthy.

Regular bathing

If your canine has scabs because of bacteria, build-up, or allergy then bathing can be a good option for keeping the skin healthy. However, make sure you are not using harsh chemicals on your canine’s skin. It can cause more irritation.

Also, please understand not to bathe your canine too much. If you do so, it will dry out the natural oils from your canine’s skin. Many groomers recommend bathing once a week.

How to spot a pet with a skin condition?

Check your canine daily to see any abnormalities on its skin and make notes when your canine has a reaction. You can find your canine scratching himself after mealtimes, in a season, or after you did any housework. It can indicate a specific allergy.

If you find an abnormal skin condition, it is vital to take your canine to the vet clinic. The vet will see your canine’s coat and find out the root cause for the discomfort experienced by your canine.

Try to provide as much information as you can provide. It will be easier for your vet to determine the root cause for the same. Some of the basic information you provide include:

  • When you notice the symptoms – For instance, does your canine scratches more after morning walk or in the evening after going to his basket
  • Details of your canine’s diet – It must include recent changes in your canine’s food
  • Details of underlying illnesses – If your canine has previous health issues, it is better to tell it to your vet in details
  • Symptoms you have noticed – Symptoms like affected areas of itching, hair loss, flaky skin scratching, dull coat, etc.

Final words

In conclusion, I would say that scabs on your dog’s skin is a common thing and can get severe if not taken care of properly. There are simple things that you can do to prevent scabs. You just need to monitor your canine’s skin regularly.

I hope you enjoyed the article. I will be back soon with more interesting and informative pieces of writing. Till then, stay connected. Thank you.

Frequently asked questions

Why does my dog have scabs but no fleas?

Folliculitis – This is one of the most common bacterial infections in canines. It is a bacterial infection of hair follicles. It affects the growth point of the fur. Its end result is scabs, sores, and small bumps on the canine’s skin.

What does scabies look like on a dog?

You may find tiny rashes or just itchy portions initially. After some time, the skin becomes red and becomes flaky. Areas like ankles, elbows, bellies, and ears are most affected. However, some canines can have no symptoms or a different pattern of symptoms.

Can I put apple cider vinegar on my dog?

Apple cider vinegar helps to relieve rashes and itchy skin by poison ivy and yeast. The best way to use it is by mixing it with water in a spray bottle. You can apply it directly to the affected area.