Our canine and feline companions are just as subject to skin conditions as humans are. Unfortunately, they do not always have ready access to the medications that we can usually source over the counter to return our skin to glowing health. In fact, we, as pet owners need to be constantly on the lookout for dermatological problems that might be affecting the quality of life that we want our pets to enjoy. By having a knowledge of basic dermatology for pets we can enlist the help of experts in the treatment of any problems that may arise.
Here is some basic dermatology for pets to keep an eye out for – and if necessary seek professional help.
- Itchy skin.
If your pet is scratching all the time it may be the result of a condition known as pruritus – or inflamed skin. This can have a number of causes including environmental conditions. Constant scratching makes both pet and owner miserable. Given that there can be numerous causes it is best to consult a veterinarian or those at an animal hospital to get the correct diagnosis and explore treatment options.
Just as human beings can suffer allergies caused by a variety of environmental factors – so can pets. In fact, this type of dermatological issue is usually caused by the aforementioned environmental factors – but also by allergies to fleas or food. In the case of flea bites – normally it’s just a short-lived irritation, however, there are pets that show hypersensitivity to flea bites. This means that a flea bite can trigger gnawing, chewing and scratching behavior that lasts for an extended period. Environmental factors such as pollen or dust mites can also trigger allergic reactions in pets. In this case, visiting a vet who can administer shots that help control allergic reactions is the right course of action. Food allergies are relatively uncommon. Once again the advice of a vet who knows basic dermatology for pets is absolutely essential in helping to identify the ingredients in the food that is causing the problem – and then help eliminate that problem.
- Sores and ‘Hot Spots’.
‘Moist dermatitis’ or ‘Hot Spots’ can quickly become a serious dermatological issue. They cause incessant biting and licking and can quickly spread. Any moist, inflamed sore on the body of the pet requires the attention of a veterinarian who knows dermatology for pets. Insect bites (that can lead to bacterial infections) can also cause dermatological problems.
- Shedding and Hair Loss.
If there is one thing that will break a pet owners heart it is the site of bald spots on the body of their furry companion. There are simply so many causes of hair loss that the only way to actually be certain of the cause and find a correct treatment is to examine a skin scraping under a microscope. This is a job for a skilled veterinarian who deals with basic dermatology for pets a lot. There could be a myriad of causes, ranging from the easily treatable Demodex mite infestation to the far more serious thyroid diseases to Cushing’s disease – which is an adrenal disorder.
Knowledge of basic dermatology for pets is essential in order to allow pet owners to spot the warning signs of a problem and seek professional help. A little research and a sympathetic veterinarian will make all the difference to the happiness of your pet. Seek advice sooner, rather than later.