by Gary Pfalzbot
About the Author
Dermatitis, in a simple definition, is an inflammation of the skin. It is widely believed that any form of rash is dermatitis but this is not entirely correct. Each condition is different just as exactly what causes each condition is different. The overall appearance of dermatitis is characterized by a rash which in most cases, is itchy and red, and may have distinct margins. The character of each rash is largely dependent upon how long it has been present. Acute dermatitis has blisters. Subacute dermatitis has scaling and crusting. Chronic dermatitis has lichenification.
Initial research indicates the following types of dermatitis associated with goats: Staphylococcal, labial, pustular, interdigital, alopecic exfoliative, malasezzia and herpetiformis.
In dealing exclusively with goats, most consider balding areas where scales, scabbing and crusting is present, to be dermatitis. In many cases, simply washing the affected area repeatedly and applying a topical such as mineral oil daily will solve the problem. In many cases, such conditions are caused by lice and mites (especially in the ears). However, there are other conditions that will present as dermatitis, and not be effectively contained using the above mentioned methods.
The types of dermatitis known are as follows (some of these may or may not apply to goats):
Allergic contact dermatitis - A delayed hypersensitivity reaction involving allergens and antibodies.
Irritant contact dermatitis - Exposure to irritating chemicals or detergents.
Atopic dermatitis - An allergic-type reaction that is accompanied by hay fever, asthma, and very dry skin.
Stasis dermatitis - Occurs on the ankles and lower legs of people with venous insufficiency.
Diaper dermatitis - A type of irritant dermatitis caused by long exposure of the skin to wet diapers.
Dyshidrotic dermatitis (pompholyx) A type of dermatitis on the hands or feet that is characterized by redness, scaling, and deep blisters.
Nummular dermatitis Coin shaped patches that occur anywhere on the body in relation to dry skin.
Seborrheic dermatitis (cradle cap) Yellow, greasy scales like dandruff on the scalp and hair-bearing areas of the head, neck, and upper chest.
Autosensitization dermatitis (Id reaction) An itchy rash that occurs in response to an intense inflammatory process somewhere else on the body, especially fungal infections.
Lichen simplex chronicus A rash caused by long-term scratching of an area producing thickened skin.
As I continue to research the subject of dermatitis, I will provide articles that are pertinent to each dermatic condition.