You Be The Vet: Spotting Skin Problems
Skin disease is one of the most common problems in pets – let’s learn how to spot it!
Imagine being constantly itchy. The feeling of your skin burning all the time, distracting you from daily activities. Exhaustion from nights of interrupted sleep. Skin disease is one of the most common problems in pets – let’s learn how to spot it!
Step 1 – Behaviour
Dogs and cats who are itchy may scratch, lick, bite, or over-groom themselves. Itchy cats can be difficult to spot, as they often hide while grooming. Pets with less severe itchiness will scratch less often, and perhaps only at night. Remember that not all skin diseases are itchy.
Step 2 – Examine the Skin
E your pet all over, using all of your senses (perhaps not taste!). Part the fur to see the skin. Look for redness, hair loss, moistness, dandruff, scabs and pimple-like lesions. Note yeasty-smelling areas, particularly the feet and ears. Don’t forget to examine their tummy and bottom!
Step 3 – Beware of “Normal”
Skin allergies are so common in some breeds of dog that it has become considered “normal” for these dogs to have bright pink skin. Staffordshire Bull Terriers (Staffies), Bull Terriers and West Highland White Terriers, are just some examples. Many other breeds are also predisposed to skin conditions.
Step 4 – Fixing the Problem
Prevention is the best treatment. Year round flea preventative treatment means that your pet remains flea free, and reduces the risk of developing flea allergies. Once our pets become allergic to fleas all it takes is one bite to set their skin off. A high quality pet food gives the immune system all the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
If your pet does develop a skin problem, seek veterinary attention before it gets worse!