Some pet skin conditions need to be diagnosed and treated by a veterinary dermatologist. Here, our Cordova vets, explain the causes and symptoms of some common cat and dog dermatology issues, as well as how to prevent them and when to seek treatment.
Dog & Cat Dermatology Issues
Inevitably, most dogs and cats will experience symptoms of skin problems at some point in their lives.
Fortunately, in most cases the underlying cause will not be serious and the condition can easily be treated.
That said, some conditions do need to be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian specializing in veterinary dermatology for cats and dogs.
Symptoms of Dog & Cat Dermatology Issues
Signs of skin problems in pets can include:
- Strange bumps or lumps on their skin
- Red, irritated skin or sores
- Excessive scratching or licking
- Obsessive biting or chewing of their skin
- Dry or flaking skin
- Constant rubbing of the face or ears
- Loss of hair/fur
Causes for Pet Skin Conditions
Much like people, substances in your pet's environment (such as the chemicals found in cleaning products) can cause him or her to develop skin problems due to allergic reactions. Other pets may have reactions to pet food ingredients, parasites or underlying health conditions which can cause their skin to become itchy, sore or otherwise uncomfortable.
Some of the most common causes of skin problems in pets include:
- Environmental allergies
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- Skin allergies
- Parasitic bites
- Bacterial infections
- Hot spots
- Ear mites
How to Tell if Your Pet Needs Veterinary Dermatology Treatment
Skin problems in pets can be distressing for both owners and their animals. If your dog or cat has been biting or scratching at their skin to the point that sores have appeared or bleeding has occurred, it's time to schedule a dermatological appointment with the vet.
Rapid loss of fur, red irritated patches of skin, or the development of bumps are also indications that your pet should be seen by the vet. Excessive scratching or licking may lead to open sores or lesions which can become infected and cause serious health issues for your dog or cat.
Ways to Help Prevent Your Cat or Dog From Developing Skin Problems
The cause of your pet's skin problem will dictate the type of preventive measures you can can take. Once your dog or cat has been diagnosed and treated, your veterinarian will be able to recommend steps you can take to help prevent the issue from recurring.
Changing your pet's diet, soaps and/or grooming products are all possible actions you can take to help keep your pet's skin healthy and free from irritations. Your vet may also recommend parasite prevention, grooming changes, or creating a quieter environment for an anxious pet.