What is Eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition that refers to inflammation of the skin. It is also known as dermatitis and is characterized by itching and dry, scaly red patches. Not only does eczema cause tremendous discomfort for an animal and it can also often result in unexpected flare-ups triggered by allergic reactions, fleas or environmental factors. This condition affects both cats and dogs of all breeds and is most common in animals with sensitive skin.
With most types of eczema the following symptoms may be noted with regards to your pet:
- Itching that may range from moderate to severe in certain areas
- Lesions on areas of skin that become sparsely haired (back of the paws, abdomen, muzzle, and lips).
- Inflamed areas that may bleed when scratched or ooze watery fluids
- Cracked, painful skin
- Persistent scratching of a particular area
- Persistent licking of a particular area
- The appearance of a red, painful-looking sores, often overnight.
- Scaly, rough or oozing areas on the skin, usually accompanied by hair loss.
Related conditions include:
- Flea-bite Dermatitis (Caused by flea saliva residue on your pet’s skin)
- Allergic contact dermatitis (your pet’s delayed hypersensitivity to allergens such as bleach, fertilizers, carpet cleaners and flea collars)
- Atopic dermatitis (an allergic-type reaction that is accompanied by wheezing, asthma, and very dry skin).
- Seborrheic dermatitis (yellow, greasy scales like dandruff on the skin of certain breeds – especially those with wrinkles or folds).
- Autosensitization dermatitis (itchy rash that occurs in response to an intense inflammatory process somewhere else on the body, especially fungal infections).
- Lichen simplex chronicus (rash caused by long-term scratching of an area producing thickened skin).
- Pyotraumatic dermatitis (Often referred to as a "hot spot" - red, moist, hairless, painful-looking sore that appears suddenly. Often, this licking and scratching goes on at night, so the sudden appearance of the sore can be an unpleasant surprise)
- Canine acral lick dermatitis (a fairly common skin condition in dogs. Affected dogs usually spend a considerable part of their day licking at one particular spot on one leg. An infected, wound eventually arises at the site).
- Canine sarcoptic mange (an extremely irritating condition caused by the Sarcoptes mite most often affecting a dog's abdomen, chest, legs, and ears)
- Feline notoedric mange (similar to canine sarcoptic mange, Notoedres cati is a microscopic mite that infests the skin of cats typically affecting the ears, face, and neck).