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 Infections
- Autoimmune Skin Diseases
- Environmental Allergies (Atopy, Atopic Dermatitis)
- Parasite Infestation (Fleas, Ticks, Lice)
- Fungal Infections (Ringworm)
- 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 used as directed to prevent ticks and fleas as well as other common intestinal parasites. Finally, a balanced diet can prevent future complications by providing optimal nutrition for skin and hair health.
Because of the many causes of skin abnormalities, diagnosing the problem is sometimes complicated. If you suspect your pet may be experiencing dermatological issues, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with your Bethany Family Pet Clinic veterinarian immediately.