Chesapeake Bay Retriever Skin Problems

Are Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Good Family Pets?

Chesapeake Bay retrievers Opens in a new tab.are a very unique breed of dog. These are great dogs for the active family as they love to hang out with “their people!”

They are very affectionate, loyal, and loving and can also be protective, which can be a good quality in today’s world.

Owning any dog takes time for training,Opens in a new tab. exercise, feeding, grooming, and course healthcare. Everyone, including dogs, needs wellness visits to ensure they are growing properly and have no underlying conditions to be dealt with.

You can take excellent care of your Chesapeake Bay retriever but sometimes health Opens in a new tab.issues do rear their ugly heads.

Almost everyone at one time or another has had to confront some sort of skin problemOpens in a new tab. from rashes to dry skin to hives. Dogs are no different.

They can get skin conditions as well. In this post, I’m going to concentrate on Chesapeake Bay retriever skin problems. Opens in a new tab.

I will include Chesapeake Bay retrieverOpens in a new tab. skin allergies and Chesapeake Bay retriever dry skin.

To check your Chesapeake Bay Retrievers’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet Opens in a new for all the help you may need.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Coat and Skin

The Chesapeake Bay retriever is an athletic active breed and has the perfect coat for exercise, especially water sports.

They wear a double coat with an undercoat that is short, thick, woollike, and dense, keeping them warm with all of this insulation.

Their legs are covered with the same wooly hair. The retriever has an oily, kinky topcoat that dries quickly by repelling water.

The coat also protects their skin and the oil keeps it moisturized and hydrated. These retrievers are excellent swimmers with their muscular, strong bodies.

They also make a great first mate if you own a boat as they love the water and have great sea legs!

Are Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Good Family Pets?
Image from PixabayOpens in a new tab.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Skin Problems

Listed below are some skin problems that can be found in some Chesapeake Bay retrievers.Opens in a new tab.

Ectodermal Dysplasia

Ectodermal dysplasia or skin fragility syndrome is a genetic disease that is inherited. Unfortunately, purebred dogs have a higher incidence of hereditary genetic-based diseases than mixed dogs.

Ectodermal dysplasia is a severe disease that affects dogs that inherit a type of protein that generally links together skin cells, but this inherited protein is dysfunctional.

This is usually recognized in retrievers immediately after birth, causing the skin on the mouth, nose, ears, and feet to be semi-transparent, light-colored, and thin.

Skin is prone to sloughing off especially in high friction areas like the armpits and groin. Bleeding can occur from peeling skin, which can lead to skin infections.

The unfortunate part of this disease is that these pups rarely survive a few weeks and if they make it to three months, their coat is almost non-existent. These dogs either don’t survive or are euthanized.

There is no treatment for skin fragility syndrome but genetic testing for this has shed a brighter outlook, by weeding out carriers and not breeding them.

For a Chesapeake Bay retriever to suffer from this condition it must receive two genes, one from the mother and one from the father.

Dogs carrying one gene will not get this disease but are carriers and can pass it on. This is why it is so very important to choose a reputable breeder that performs genetic testing. This way you can side-step this lethal condition.

Follicular Baldness

Follicular baldness or pattern baldness is another inherited skin condition. This causes fur to thin on the Chesapeake Bay retriever in patches, often on hind legs or neck.

The hair breaks very easily and takes time to grow back. This pattern of baldness is like that in humans and does not cause any pain.

Even though humans often use Rogaine or other shampoos to minimize hair loss, there is no treatment for this in dogs, except being gentle with their fur and using mild shampoos.


Hypothyroidism is a disease in humans but also can be found in animals. This is caused when the thyroid gland is not functioning properly and does not produce enough thyroid hormone, affecting your pup’s metabolism.

Symptoms are weight gain, lethargy, and inability to tolerate cold. Symptoms also affect the skin such as redness, rashes, itching, dry skin, and loss of body fur.

Blood testing can diagnose this and treatment is just a matter of replacing those hormones with the drug, levothyroxine.

Your pup will need to take this pill daily for life and routine bloodwork will be performed, sometimes with needed adjusted dosages.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Shedding
Image from PixabayOpens in a new tab.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Skin Allergies

Allergies are another issue that can affect dogs as well as humans. Below are a few causes of allergies in your Chesapeake Bay retriever.


If your Chesapeake Bay retriever is having skin problems such as itching, scratching, and even dry skin and if you throw in some gastrointestinal issues Opens in a new well, they may just be allergic to their food.

From day one, feed your pup high-quality dog food with only real, natural ingredients and without additives.

Wheat and grains are often added to fill your pup up and bulk up ingredients, but they aren’t necessary and can cause allergies.

Other culprits of allergies in dog food Opens in a new tab.are corn, beef, chicken, pork, and soy. There are many wonderful foods today for dogs and many are for dogs with food allergies. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian.

Environmental Allergies

Your Chesapeake Bay retriever can also be allergic to pollen, dust, and other environmental allergens. These can cause upper respiratory symptoms as well as skin rashes and itching.

Vacuum your home often and exercise your pup when pollen counts are at the lowest during the day if they suffer from these allergies. Allergy medication is available, both oral and topical to relieve symptoms.


Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and chiggers will bite and can cause numerous skin issues.Opens in a new tab. If infested with fleas, your pup can suffer from flea allergy dermatitis which causes itching and scratching.

Any parasite can cause infection either from bites themselves or from scratching and eventually broken skin. Consult your veterinarian about which types of flea and tick preventatives will work best for your pup.

Hot Spots

These are not a cause of allergies but can be a result. These are red, raw, itchy spots that your pup licks and chews at and may ooze and even become infected.

This can also cause the fur to come out leaving bare areas of skin. These can be caused by food or environmental allergiesOpens in a new tab. or parasites and can lead to pyoderma which is a skin infection.

These can be treated topically with cortisone, liquid or creams, and sometimes oral steroids. They may also need oral antibiotics or ointment for infection.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dry Skin

Your Chesapeake Bay retriever should not have dry, flaky skin because they have oils in their coat that provide moisture to both coat and skin.

If their skin is dry then it is generally due to one of three causes. The first would be that you are over bathing them and this is drying out their skin and you may also be using too harsh of a shampoo.

The second cause of dry skin would be the nutrition they are receiving. They may be allergic to their food or they are not getting enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

You should check the ingredients and give them food with either vitamin E or Omega 3 oil, which is contained in some fish.

They may even be deficient in vitamins or minerals and need a supplement. Deficiencies and allergies can cause eczema, a skin rash from dry skin and causes itching and flaking. Your veterinarian can do blood testing for vitamin deficiencies.

The third cause for dry skin would be an underlying medical condition such as hypothyroidism, listed above.

The keys to good healthy skin for your Chesapeake Bay retrieverOpens in a new tab. is to practice good hygiene, but don’t overdo it and ensure that they are getting proper nutrition as well as necessary grooming.

Check their skin regularly to make sure nothing is going on under that fur and check in with your veterinarian promptly if you find anything at all out of the ordinary.

Recent Posts