skin and coat problems in pets

Vector graphic of pet dandruff

Dandruff, itchiness, lumps, patchy coats, and other skin and coat issues that may affect dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens

Your pet’s skin and coat are big indicators of their overall health and wellbeing. Bald patches, rashes, and other symptoms are often just the surface of other health concerns. Because so many underlying conditions can also manifest as skin symptoms, we recommend checking in with your veterinary team if you spot any new or unusual pet skin texture, itchiness, colors, shapes, or smells.

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Broken skin can easily become infected. If your dog or cat has a bite or wound, seek immediate veterinary care.

A dog owner scrubbing his big furry dog's hair

Skin flakiness, dandruff, and seborrhea

Dry skin does happen, but if you spot lots and lots of skin shedding, it’s time to talk to the vet. Dandruff has many possible underlying conditions, including allergies, nutritional deficiencies, or hormonal imbalances. Then there’s seborrhea, which adds greasy skin to the mix, as well as scaliness and flakes.

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If you spot lumps, bumps, or masses

Lumps, bumps, or masses could be a wart, cyst, abscess, or even a tumor. Cancerous growths can be aggressive — and an abscess can be life-threatening. Make sure anything new, unusual, or weird on your pet’s skin is evaluated by your veterinary team as soon as possible.

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Inflammation, bacterial infections, and abscesses

Skin irritation has many causes, and it often needs medical help to get better. General skin inflammation is called dermatitis, which can be caused by many other underlying conditions, including allergies or immune issues. Red spots, patchy or itchy skin, or pimples and pustules are often pyoderma, or a bacterial skin infection, that needs prescription antibiotics to get better.

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Is itchiness normal?

Sometimes an itch is just an itch. But if your BFF is constantly scratching, biting, clawing, or rubbing themselves, it’s time to see the vet about parasites, possible skin conditions, and to check for skin breakage and infections.

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Allergies can cause skin issues

If your BFF has allergies, they may show up as itchy, uncomfortable skin. Atopy, or skin allergies, can be environmental, seasonal, or diet-based, so ask your veterinary team for help and solutions to make your pet more comfortable.

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A cat sitting on a veterinary examination table and a young female veterinarian examining the cat using a stethoscope at the Banfield Pet Hospital

Rashes, patches and bald spots

Crusty open sores could mean scabies, while patches of balding, swollen, or reddened skin may indicate a mite overgrowth, or demodectic mange. Another option is ringworm, which is actually a kind of fungus. If your pet is showing any kind of new skin symptom, please see your vet ASAP.

Download more about scabies
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