Skin is the largest organ in the body, but is often overlooked by pet owners. Pet owners are more likely to worry about possible heart, lung, or kidney diseases than skin conditions. However, skin problems are much more common. Particularly common this time of year is allergic dermatitis, caused by allergies to all the pollen in the air.
When you go in to have your pet’s skin looked at by your veterinarian, they will be looking at your pet’s combination of symptoms, as well as diagnostics such as skin scrapings, allergy testing, and microscopic evaluation, to determine what type of skin condition that they are most likely dealing with. Once a diagnosis has been made, your veterinarian will decide on a course of treatment. Skin problems usually require a multi-modal approach, involving oral medication as well as topical treatment.
There are multiple treatment options for environmental allergies (atopic dermatitis), including oral therapies and allergy vaccine. When it comes to food allergies, your veterinarian can help you determine an appropriate diet for your pet that excludes any problem foods. Keep in mind that allergies are usually not cured but managed, and may require long term treatment.
Treating parasites (fleas, ticks, and mites) has become much more easily managed in the past few years. There are multiple effective treatment options that do not involve messy options such as dips or powders.
Infections will often be treated with oral medications (antibiotics or antifungals) as well as topical therapy (shampoo, creams, ointments, sprays, etc.) or a combination of these.
Over the counter products are often ineffective, and you may save money by a getting professional diagnoses and treatment plan incorporating products that really work at the start.
Skin conditions usually have symptoms that are much more obvious than symptoms of other conditions. Since skin conditions are so visible, watch out for problems such as these and schedule an appointment sooner than later. Early intervention is more effective and less costly.
- Dry, flaky skin
- Lesions and scabs
- Bald patches
- Hot spots
If you see any of these signs in your pet, call us today – 321.727.2421