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Your Germantown Veterinarian Answers FAQs About Pet Dermatology

The most common reasons for pets to develop a skin irritation or rash are fleas, seasonal allergies or food allergies. While some cats and dogs can have a few fleas and not experience skin issues, other pets suffer an allergic reaction to flea saliva. Flea dermatitis symptoms include intense itching, scabs, hair loss and painfully inflamed skin. Signs of a food allergy often manifest through the skin by causing pets to scratch incessantly, lose hair, vomit and have swelled, reddened patches of skin.

small kitten in the palm of her owners hands

Do Human Skin Products Work to Relieve Pet Skin Irritations?

Only Vitamin E oil should be used on a pet's dry skin. Most over-the-counter skin treatments for people contain strong ingredients that could exacerbate your pet's skin problem. In addition, pets often lick areas of their skin that are itchy or painful. Pets could get sick or even poisoned by licking skin ointments that are formulated for humans.

What is Pet Skin Mange?

Caused by mites burrowing under an animal's skin, mange is seen mostly in outdoor animals and can be easily treated by your Germantown veterinarian. Symptoms of mange include hairless patches of inflamed skin, pimple-like bumps and constant scratching by the pet with mange. Diagnosis of mange is done by a vet analyzing a scraped sample of skin under the microscope. Medicated shampoos, dips or injections are all successful methods of getting rid of mange mites.

Are Lick Granulomas a Type of Skin Rash?

Anxious pets are often diagnosed with lick granulomas, or self-inflicted skin sores caused by the animal excessively licking and/or biting an area of skin. A lick granuloma can be as small as a quarter or cover half the animal's body. Since lick granulomas are primarily due to psychological issues involving boredom, separation anxiety or breed-associated nervousness, treatment for lick granulomas typically include pet owners addressing these problems constructively or having their veterinarian prescribe anti-anxiety medication for their pet.

Why Do Some Pets Need Antibiotics to Treat a Skin Irritation or Rash?

Extreme scratching often tears a pet's skin, causing bleeding and allowing bacteria to enter the small wound. Infected skin irritations will swell, become painful and sometimes exude foul-smelling pus. Your Germantown veterinarian may put your pet on a regimen of antibiotics to clear up an infection before starting to treat the actual skin problem.

Can Poison Ivy Hurt Dogs and Cats?

Fortunately, dogs and cats are not sensitive to oil in poison ivy that makes humans break out in an itchy, red rash. However, if your pet brushes up against poison ivy, that oil may be passed from their fur to your hands. If you think your pet may have gotten into poison ivy or sumac, give him or her a bath to remove any oil on their coat.

Contact Forest Hill Animal Hospital For More Answers To Your Questions

If your pet is suffering a skin condition, don't hesitate to call Forest Hill Animal Hospital today at 901-754-5007 to schedule an appointment.