"The seven year itch...." that can be cured...
Probably one of the most common conditions for which owners bring their pets to the veterinarian is for skin problems. Whether it is for an itching dog due to allergies or a skin tumor that has enlarged, the skin is the largest and most visible organ system and, therefore, most noticed by owners. The good news is that most skin conditions are not life threatening and can be treated effectively.
Even though pets can’t express themselves through words, they provide us with some specific signs that let us know that there is a problem with their skin. Some of the signs you might observe are:
Redness or irritated skin
Hair loss or alopecia
Scratching or rubbing of the face or ears
Licking of the legs, feet, and/or body
Excessive chewing or biting
Scooting across the carpet
If your pet is displaying any of these symptoms, chances are they may be indicative of a dermatologic disorder.
Pet Skin Conditions
Our veterinarians regularly treat a wide variety of pet skin disorders. Some of the more common conditions are ear infections, ear mites, skin mites, fungal and bacterial infections, tick and flea infestations, and skin tumors. We also treat patients that are suffering from food allergies and skin conditions caused by endocrine disorders—such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Cushing’s disease.
When a pet is experiencing a skin disorder, we have numerous veterinary diagnostic tools at our disposal. These range from fungal cultures, which are used to diagnose conditions like ringworm, to impression smears for identifying bacteria or yeast on the skin. We also perform skin scrapings, biopsies, and blood work when needed. Once the underlying cause of your pet’s skin condition has been diagnosed, our veterinarians will work closely with you to determine the best course of treatment. If your pet is experiencing a minor skin disorder, our veterinarians will often recommend topical treatments to help him or her heal. These could include creams, sprays, or medicated pet shampoos. We also carry flea and tick products to help you eradicate these persistent parasites. We also offer in-house medical bathing services for your convenience. In some cases, oral pet medications will be prescribed such as antibiotics. Pet nutritional counseling may also be helpful, depending on your pet’s diagnosis. We carry an array of hypoallergenic pet foods, as well as prescription diets tailored to meet the special needs of our pet patients.