Canine Skin Conditions with Jacksonville Veterinarian: FAQ
Would you believe there are over 160 possible skin disorders that afflict dogs? Making the right diagnosis is a challenge, but our veterinarian at the Animal Hospital of Onslow County in Jacksonville works with you to find the solution to your pet’s misery.
What Are the Symptoms of Canine Skin Disorders?
The primary indication is your dog's incessant itching and scratching. The coat may be dull and the skin dry and flaky. You may also notice bald or raw spots, sores and lesions that ooze or are crusty.
What Are the More Common Skin Disorders?
Fleas: The skin issue most commonly treated by our veterinarian is fleas. Although getting rid of a flea infestation is a gargantuan task, the problem for dogs arise when they are allergic to the flea saliva. Symptoms include itching, red pimply marks and possible hair loss from scratching. Treatment involves getting rid of the fleas while perhaps administering a course of antibiotics. Our vet will give you information on how to eradicate fleas from your pet and your home.
Dog food allergy: Feeding dogs low-quality foods can lead to symptoms including flaky skin, dryness, irritated skin, scales and scabs and a dull coat. In addition, your dog may be allergic to specific foods. The easiest treatment is to put your pet on a high-quality, nutritious dog food. Our vet can recommend a number of possibilities.
Skin allergy: In addition to flea bite allergy, dogs are also prone to other allergies which manifest on the skin. Common allergens include cleaning products, soaps and shampoos, plastics and rubber, paint, carpet, wool, paint, and more. Seasonal allergies such as to grass, pollen, and other outside sources can cause skin disorders. Symptoms of these are similar to other skin disorders and it takes our keen vet to distinguish among them.
Infections: There are a number of infections that affect the skin including ringworm, bacterial or viral infections, cysts, and mange.
How Are Skin Disorders Diagnosed?
Since there are so many causes of skin disorders, your Jacksonville veterinarian will run tests to determine what exactly is making your dog miserable. These include:
- Clinical examination
- Examination of the dog’s skin under special lights
- Biopsy of the affected area of the skin
- Blood tests
How Are Skin Disorders Treated?
You and the vet must become a team to treat your dog and heal his or her distress. If an allergy is the culprit, finding what your pet is allergic to is a process of trial and error – taking away a food, keeping him or her off grass, and so on. The goal is to take away or minimize the pet’s exposure to the substance. If infection is the cause, antibiotics, antifungals, or some topical medications may be prescribed. In the meantime, we will suggest soothing shampoos and lotions to make your pet’s itching lessen.
Don’t let your pet suffer from the discomfort of a skin disorder. Call our Jacksonville vet for an appointment.