Pet dermatology involves the diagnosis and treatment of various skin diseases that affect dogs and cats. Skin diseases are one of most common reasons for visits to veterinarians, according to the veterinarians of Fullerton Animal Hospital of Baltimore, who provide a comprehensive range of pet care services.
Allergies are a common cause of skin problems in cats and dogs of Baltimore, Nottingham, Parkville and Carney. In reaction to allergies, pets often lick, chew and scratch, which leads to more skin damage than the allergies themselves cause.
Many pet dermatology problems, however, do not involve allergies. Other causes include external parasites, infections, metabolic or dietary problems and stress. And a combination of causes may be involved.
In addition to scratching, licking and chewing, common symptoms of pet skin problems include hair loss and bald patches; dry, flaky skin; pet rubbing face against carpeting or furniture; round, scaly patches on face or paws; rashes; lesions; scabs; swelling and skin discoloration.
Causes of Pet Skin Problems Include:
- Fleas, whose bites can irritate a dog’s skin. And fleas’ saliva, entering the bites, can lead to allergic reactions. Ironically, some pets are sensitive to flea treatment products and flea collars.
- Parasites, such as mites and lice. The skin disease sarcoptic mange is an inflammation caused by the Sarcoptes scabei mite.
- Ringworm, a highly contagious fungal infection, which must be treated immediately to prevent spread to other pets and people.
- Seasonal allergies affect not just people, but pets too. Pollen, weeds, dust, mites, trees, mold or grasses can cause allergic reactions in pets, which react by scratching, rather than sneezing like their human companions. And like people, dogs can get dry, flaky skin in the dry winter months.
- Food allergies, which can be caused by common pet food ingredients in dog foods, leading to itching and rashes.
- Grooming products, such as shampoos. Use only grooming products made specifically for pets.
- Metabolic or hormonal problems, which can trigger change in a pet’s skin color and coat.
You should bring your pet for a veterinary visit when you notice signs of skin disease as mentioned above – and when your pet begins to excessively scratch, lick and/or bite areas on his fur.
The veterinarians of Fullerton Animal Hospital can conduct a variety of diagnostic tests to find the underlying causes of pet dermatology problems – to determine the best course of treatment.
There a number of practices you can adopt to prevent skin problems in your pet.
- Talking with your veterinarian for advice on prevention of skin problems
- Regular brushing to prevent hair matting
- Use of hypoallergenic shampoos recommended for pets
- Regular housecleaning
- Use of pet food made without filler or artificial ingredients
- Parasite prevention or flea treatment program recommended by your veterinarian.
- Provide a calm environment for your pet to prevent stress
For more information on pet dermatology, contact the veterinarians of Fullerton Animal Hospital at (410) 892-1212.
General Questions About Pet Dermatology
At Fullerton Animal Hospital, we are committed to treating all of your pet’s veterinary needs, including those pertaining to the skin and fur. Many pets live with chronic or recurring dermatological problems. It is our goal to identify those problems, treat them, and help educate pet owners about the ways those conditions may be managed or prevented in the future. Whether it is your first visit or you are a long-time client, we know you may have questions about our pet dermatology services. Please review the following answers to our most frequently asked questions, and contact our office at (410) 892-1212 for further information.
What is pet dermatology, and why is it important?
Pet dermatology is a term that refers to the diagnosis and treatment of skin problems in animals. It is important to seek treatment for pet skincare problems from a veterinarian that has been trained and is experienced in pet dermatology.
What are the signs my pet may need dermatological care?
Pets show signs of dermatological problems in many of the same ways humans do. They may develop rashes, scabs or changes in skin texture. Often, the fur falls out or changes color or texture. In addition, pain and itching may cause pets to begin exhibiting unusual or repetitious behaviors, such as licking or biting at the skin.
Pet Dermatology at Fullerton Animal Hospital for Baltimore, Nottingham, Parkville and Carney
What can I expect during a pet dermatology visit?
A dermatological visit usually begins with an examination of symptomatic areas. Often, problems are isolated to specific areas, which may be a clue as to what type of condition is causing your pet’s symptoms. Parasites, ringworm and mange are examples of conditions that may cause localized symptoms. If symptoms are present all over the body, however, the veterinarian may conduct diagnostic testing to screen for allergies.
How does your office treat pet skin problems?
Treatment is available to manage, cure or prevent a variety of pet dermatological problems. For example, a pet that tests positive for allergies may require a change in diet or elimination of environmental factors that may be contributing to symptoms. If skin problems are occurring as a result of an infection, a topical or oral medication may be administered. In some cases, dermatological issues are related to underlying health problems, such as hormonal imbalances or auto-immune disorders. In these cases, pets will need further treatment to resolve symptoms.
Is there anything I can do to prevent additional skin problems in my pet?
Many issues can be avoided with proper grooming techniques, frequent brushing, and the use of hypoallergenic products. If your pet has a history of flea or parasite problems, talk with your veterinarian about treatment programs that may help with prevention.
If your pet is showing signs of a skin problem, we invite you to contact our office to schedule an appointment. Call us today for more information at (410) 892-1212. We look forward to serving you soon.