There are a lot of different reasons that your pet’s skin may be itchy, stinky, or sore. It is our job to get to the bottom of your pet skin problem woes so that we can appropriately treat them. Dermatological problems are one of the most common reasons for appointments at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital. Luckily we are equipped to help diagnose and treat a wide variety of pet skin problems.

Causes of Pet Skin Problems

Common reasons that a pet may be experiencing trouble with his or her skin include:

Parasites – Probably the most common cause of pet itching is the flea. Some pets are extremely sensitive to flea saliva, setting off an allergic reaction of epic proportions even with just one bite. Luckily we have many quality flea preventatives available to help combat this problem. Other parasites such as skin mites (sarcoptic and demodectic mange) can also result in issues.

Infection – Bacteria and yeast live on our pet’s skin all the time, but when conditions are right they may begin to grow out of control. This can result in itching, swelling, and a wonderfully stinky odor.

Allergies – Humans who suffer from allergies often have respiratory symptoms, while our pets suffer more often from dermatological (skin) reactions. Airborne allergens, environmental allergens, and food sensitivities can all result in pet skin problems.

Atopy – Some pets suffer from a defective immune system in the skin, resulting in multiple allergic sensitivities.

Endocrine problems – Problems such as low thyroid hormone or increased steroid production (Cushings syndrome) can also lead to skin trouble in many pets.

What’s a Pet Owner to Do?

Skin problems can be very frustration for both you and your pet, especially if you’re not sure of the source of the problems. Letting us get to the bottom of the issue is the most effective way to be sure that everyone gets some relief. There are things you can do at home as well to help a pet with skin trouble.

  • Be sure to keep your pet on quality, veterinary recommended flea prevention. Even if fleas aren’t the primary problem, pets with skin problems don’t need any additional trouble.
  • Feed a good quality diet.
  • Use a good quality omega fatty acid supplement to maintain skin health (ask for dosing information).
  • Keep up to date on your pet’s wellness visits and recommended lab work.
  • Remove allergens and soothe skin by bathing with a recommended shampoo.
  • Keep your pet groomed to decrease allergen accumulation in fur.
  • Utilize foot soaks to help paw-licking pets.
  • Reduce allergens in the home by vacuuming and mopping regularly.
  • Minimize allergens in the home with air filters and avoid perfumes, aerosols, and smoke.
  • Utilize an anti-histamine as prescribed for your pet.

Pet skin problems are no fun, but your friends at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital are experts in the field. Let us help you with your furry friend’s dermatologic troubles so we can get everyone more comfortable faster.