Common Skin Conditions in Pets

Common Skin Conditions in Pets

Severn Edge Vet Frithjof Praetsch BSc MRCVS discusses common skin products found in our pets…

Your pet’s skin protects it against the environment, regulates its body temperature, and enables it to have a sense of touch. Certain skin conditions can not only become severely debilitating for your pet, but they may also cause very unpleasant symptoms in humans. In recent years significant progress has been made allowing your vet to help most pets with skin conditions quickly and effectively.

The most common skin conditions in pets are atopic dermatitis, flea allergic dermatitis, and ear disease. The former two are often referred to as allergies, but over 70% of cases of ear disease are also secondary to an atopic dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis is an inherited disease, characterized by itchiness and a reddening of the skin. The most commonly affected parts of the body include the paws, the underside of the belly, and the ears. Fortunately, there is now a medication available that is just as effective as steroids for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, but does not cause any side effects.

Flea allergic dermatitis is the most common skin disease in cats, causing itchiness as well as hair loss and scabs. This condition can be controlled with effective ectoparasite treatments, provided reinfestation can be prevented. This may necessitate the treatment of other pets and the affected pet’s home.

Ear disease is more often seen in dogs than cats, and results in persistent head shaking, reddening of the skin of the outer ear, an acidic odour, and often severe pain. Primary factors causing ear disease are bacteria, yeasts, ectoparasites, foreign bodies and trauma. If treatment is started early, most cases of ear disease can be cured with ear drops, but management of an underlying atopic dermatitis and regular ear cleaning may also be required. Severe chronic cases of ear disease can be successfully cured by means of surgery.

If you suspect your pet might be suffering from a skin condition then contact your local Severn Edge branch.

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