We started last month with skin problems in dogs and cats in the area of fleas because that’s the biggest problem. Now let’s go through the rest that we see encounter.
Dogs and cats suffer from allergies just like people. It shows itself a lot of times on the skin. When dealing with allergies in pets we first look at what you’re feeding. Your pet does not need corn in their diet. Check your ingredients on the food bag. If corn is the first, second or third ingredient get rid of it. I know the higher quality food is more expensive but here’s the thing, if there is less filler in the food, your pet will eat less. Think about it: if you get up tomorrow and eat steak and eggs you are likely to not be hungry again until dinner. But if you get up and eat oatmeal you are going to get hungry again sooner. Same for Fefe, if she is eating a better quality food she will eat less. Eating less means going less. That makes training a whole lot easier. We use and recommend Victor Dog Food. You can get it from our local feed stores and they also have a grain free line.
Pets can also have seasonal allergies and environmental allergies. Your vet can help diagnose these issues. But if you are dealing with allergies start with a food change. Allergies of any kind can cause yeast infections as well as hair loss.
Yeast infections can happen on your pet or in their ears. It can spread from the ears to the skin. Yeast can start under mats. Like any yeast, it will grow in dark, damp places, like under mats. If Fefe is matted then she is more likely to get yeast. It takes time and effort to get it under control. Using oral meds and shampooing twice a week. Yeast will be yellowish and flaky. It has a very distinctive smell, and it will cause your pet to be very itchy. Your vet can prescribe medication and we can recommend home remedies to help.
Speaking of ears, ear mites are little parasites that live in the ear of pets. They also have a very distinctive smell, like dirty gym socks. Your pet’s ears will also be black from the “dirt” they leave behind. They make removing the hair from the ears more painful. They can also throw off equilibrium if left untreated. Our local feed stores sell products to kill them.
Did you know animals can suffer from dry skin? We see this often. It can just be something they have or can be caused from over bathing with a shampoo that’s not detergent free. Your vet can prescribe shampoo to help as well as fish oil. We don’t see a lot of dermatitides but it is worth mentioning. Your pet will have a rash and be very itchy. It’s usually environmental that causes this and your vet will recommend treatment.
Hot spots cause your pet to lose patches of hair. A lot of times it is stress related. You can buy sprays from Walmart to treat them. Try to keep them from licking the spot. This is easy to treat and can be reoccurring.
Ringworm is not a worm at all but instead a fungus. It is highly contagious to other pets and people. It is difficult to rid of and takes about 17 weeks to treat. Cats are worse about getting it than dogs. It will look like a round, scaly and discolored spots on the animal’s skin and will itch. You can use over-the-counter fungus treatments from the drug store or your vet can prescribe oral meds and shampoos.
Mange is a type of skin disease caused by parasitic mites. Because mites also infect plants, birds, and reptiles, the term “mange”, suggesting the poor condition of the hairy coat due to the infection, is sometimes reserved only for pathological mite-infestation of nonhuman mammals. Thus, mange includes mite-associated skin disease in domestic animals (cats and dogs), in livestock (such as sheep scab) and in wild animals (for example, coyotes, wolves and bears.) (Wikipedia). There are 2 types of mange. Demodectic mange is red mange and is the type they are born with. It is still contagious but not as bad as sarcoptic mange. To get it and not be born with it the pet usually has a weaker immune system. The treatment is hard and takes time. Your pet should be spayed/neutered as soon as possible as hormone changes can cause a flare up and are expensive and time consuming to treat. Sarcoptic mange or scabies is not as hard to treat. You can have a mangy squirrel in your yard that your pet never actually touches but can get mange from. Highly contagious even to people this mite will cause itching and hair loss.
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