Brush up on skin and coat care.
Your pet’s skin and hair are good indicators of their overall health. Unfortunately, these parts of the body are prone to a variety of ailments and conditions. Dermatological issues are common in pets and are a leading cause of veterinary appointments.
While some licking and scratching are normal, prolonged itching can be a sign of ongoing dermatological problems. Special care should be made to regularly check your pet’s coat for redness and inflammation, scabs, dry irritated skin, rashes, lesions, abnormal hair loss and discoloration. These symptoms are signs of underlying medical complications that may be afflicting your cat or dog.
A broad range of skin and coat problems can affect your pet; common disorders include:
- Bacterial/Fungal Infections
- Autoimmune Skin Diseases
- Parasite Infestation (Flea, Tick)
- Food Allergies
- Metabolic or Hormonal Problems
Practicing proper hygiene can prevent many skin problems. Regularly washing your pet with hypoallergenic shampoo will keep their coat healthy and periodic brushing helps keep the hair from matting. Anti-parasite medicine should be applied as directed to prevent ticks and fleas. Finally, a balanced diet can prevent future complications by providing optimal nutrition for skin and hair health.
Because of the many causes of adverse skin conditions, diagnosing the problem is particularly complicated. If you suspect your pet may be experiencing dermatological issues, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.
One of the most common causes of pet dermatological conditions are allergies! An allergic reaction occurs when your pet’s body has an adverse response to environmental substances, which can range from from hardly noticeable to potentially fatal. Most reactions occur when the allergen is inhaled, ingested or through skin contact.
Common Allergic Reactions
- Scratching or itching
- Reddish, moist or scabbed skin
- Runny eyes
Similar to humans, specific allergies are unique to each pet, but common allergens include pollens, mold spores, dust, cigarette smoke, foodstuffs, prescription drugs, household cleaners and shampoo. Unfortunately, determining the cause of your pet’s allergic reaction can often be difficult due to the large number of substances they interact with on a daily basis.
If you suspect your pet has allergies, please contact our veterinary hospital immediately. Using your pet’s medical history, a comprehensive physical examination, skin and blood tests and an elimination diet, we can discover what your pet’s specific allergies are. Once determined, our veterinarians can then design a customized allergy regimen that involves removing environmental and food-based allergens from your pet’s daily routine, as well as prescribing pet allergy medications if necessary, dramatically improving your pet’s quality of life.