Dog Skin Care
Skin conditions are as varied with their presentation as the pets who are afflicted with them. There are many different causes, and a thorough examination and history by your veterinarian is the only way to really help your pet.
What are the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of bacterial skin infections?
Bumps, rashes, redness, itchy, flakey, hair loss, infected and painful skin can be caused by external parasites (fleas, mites), bacteria (hot spots), yeast (dark, oils), allergies (seasonal or foods) and many different allergies (foods, topical reactions) etc.
What are the causes, symptoms, and treatment for ringworms?
Thankfully this condition is not terribly common in most pets. It is actually a fungal infection, rather than a “worm.” The reason it was initially called “ringworm” is that it appears as a number of round crusty lesions (sores) that can appear over the whole body. Serious ringworm is more often seen in places where many animals are housed together, in stray animals or very young or immunosuppressed pets. Spores from this disease can be spread through brushes and in kennels and can be transmitted to people. Treatments vary depending on the extent of the disease.
What are the causes and treatment of allergic skin diseases?
Allergic skin conditions are very common. We have seen increases in rates of food allergies in our dogs and cats (mirroring what is happening in the human population interestingly). We commonly see allergies to proteins in a particular food, requiring a proper food trial to try and diagnose the cause. We often recommend proper prescription low allergen foods to initiate this trial so that ingredients are certified, and in some cases, proteins are hydrolyzed to reduce reactions. (New paragraph). Seasonal allergies are also exceptionally common. If your pet is quite normal during the cold winter and itching, scratching and irritation start as soon as the warmer season is underway, he or she may be suffering from allergies brought on by blooming plants, trees or grasses. (New para) In many cases, it may be difficult to determine the cause of allergies. There are many treatments available to alleviate the distress of skin disease.
What are the causes and treatment for parasitic skin diseases?
Parasitic skin conditions are best prevented these days with topical or oral medications that keep fleas, ticks and mites from taking hold of your pet, or in the house. Fleas are transmitted by jumping between pets but can be present in the yard for a short time if stray animals pass through. Ticks are blood-sucking insects that are found in grasses, parks, bushes and active anytime the temperature is over 4°C. Mites (ear mites and skin mites or mange) are passed directly between pets. We don’t recommend the many sprays, powders, and collars anymore. Treatment is much easier with topical drops or oral medications.
What are the causes and treatment for hormonal skin diseases?
The most common hormonal skin condition that we see in dogs is hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels). This usually causes weight gain, greasy skin, sometimes hair loss, poor healing and chronic infections. A blood test can determine your pet’s thyroid level. There are certain breeds more prone to the condition, and treatment is supplementing the thyroid hormone back to your pet. (new para) Cats with hyperthyroidism tend not to have skin-related issues. These are usually older cats (especially males) with rapid weight loss and voracious appetite.