Skin Problems: Not Just A Surface Issue

When broaching the topic of common skin problems in pets, consider that the cause of skin problems can be exceptionally complex. If your pet is suffering from itching, usually caused by allergies, consult with your local Banfield veterinarian. Once your pet has been examined, your veterinarian will help determine the cause and recommend the best treatment plan for your pet’s particular skin condition.

The below guidelines offer a general overview of this topic to help you recognize and determine potential causes of skin abnormalities in your pet. Many pets’ skin conditions fall into one of the following three categories.

Parasitic

External parasites, such as fleas, lice, or mites, can lead to severe discomfort in pets, manifested by itching (pruritus), aggressive chewing, and the development of a rash. Use a monthly preventive as recommended by your veterinarian and examine your pet’s skin and coat carefully after being outdoors. If you have any questions about how to identify an external parasite, or if you find one on your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Nutritional

Skin problems resulting from nutritional issues are generally caused by food allergies or nutritional deficiency. Symptoms of nutrition-related skin cases can include patchy hair loss, excessive dandruff, pruritus, or the appearance of a dull, non-shiny coat. If your pet presents these symptoms, your veterinarian should examine your pet to determine the diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan, which may include the integration of fatty acid supplements, or a more involved dietary change.

Environmental

Environmental allergens, such as dust mites and pollens, often result in an itchy condition known as atopic dermatitis. This condition, which can begin as a seasonal problem, often progresses to a year-round condition as pets get older. Pets with atopic dermatitis are also prone to developing bacterial and yeast infections of the skin and in the ears. Several forms of treatment exist to help your pet if diagnosed with atopic dermatitis by a veterinarian.

Need More Information?

If you have specific questions about the health of your pet’s skin, speak with your veterinarian to address your pet’s unique situation.