Skin problems in pets are often serious and can lead to distress and even premature death. Identifying the signs of skin problems and early treatment can make a huge difference to your pet’s happiness and health, according to veterinarian Iain Booth.
He explains that thousands of cats, dogs and other small furry pets suffer from minor to acute skin problems without their owners being aware of their suffering.
“Just like humans, the skin of our pets is an organ – and it is vital to protect our furry friends from infections, caustic substances, dehydration and the harm of ultra violet light,” said Iain.
“Not only does a skin irritation impact your pet’s health, but it can also severely change his or her personality as the itching and discomfort associated with a skin problem can make your pet stressed, moody and reluctant to be stroked.”
One of the key triggers to skin problems across a wide range of pets is the reaction to biting parasites, such as fleas and mites. Because of their delicate immune systems, hamsters, rabbits and smaller dogs and cats cannot take very strong treatments, however there are a number of specialist treatments for the smaller pet. These include products which are proven to kill parasites that cause infestation both inside the body (endoparasites) as well as those living outside the body, on the skin (ectoparasites). Ivermectin is used in many species for the control of mites, roundworms and lice.
Skin problems are more prevalent in dogs due to the many allergens that them. Iain recommends using specially formulated foods designed to help reduce the itch/scratch cycle caused by many types of allergic skin disease. In cases of food allergy switching to the new diet exclusively can eliminate the allergic response in eight weeks.
“Some of the signs to look for in your pet for a skin problem include reddened flaky itchy skin, overall poor coat quality, a smelly coat, gnawing, scratching and biting of the skin and possibly diarrhoea in certain cases.
“It is highly recommended that you see your vet for a thorough clinical work up to determine the cause of your pet’s skin irritation and then implement a treatment process,” concludes Iain.