What are Skin Irritations?
Dogs and cats often suffer from the same skin irritations as we do. There are various types of skin irritations and problems which range from dermatitis, pruritus, seborrhoea, acne, eczema, lesions and warts. Animals usually start scratching, itching and biting themselves when their skin is irritated.
Red bumps, lesions, inflammation, hair loss and excessive licking of the paws are frequently common signs that the skin is irritated. Your dog or cat’s scratching and licking may get completely out of control and lead to infection which in turn may spread to other areas of the skin.
What Causes Skin Irritations?
When skin irritation occurs, it is usually as a result of an allergic reaction to flea bites, food ingredients, inhaling certain substances or due to a yeast or bacterial infection. Sometimes, an underlying condition such as thyroid problems, a weakened immune system or a build up of toxins may also contribute to skin irritation developing.
Diagnosing Skin Irritations
As soon as you notice that your pet is scratching or itching excessively, and the appearance of his skin has changed, consult your vet immediately. A thorough physical examination will be performed and your pet’s medical history will be reviewed. Samples or swabs of the skin will be taken and a skin biopsy will be performed to determine the type and cause of the skin irritation.
Help for Skin Irritations
Treatment depends on the type and cause of skin irritation in dogs or cats. Various medications, topical treatments and certain dietary changes may be recommended.
Medications such as antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat bacterial skin infections while soothing shampoos and leave-in conditioners, antihistamines and corticosteroids may be recommended for other skin irritations. Regular home maintenance becomes extremely important if your pet suffers from recurring skin irritations.
Natural remedies have proven to be a highly effective alternative to treating skin allergies in both humans and pets. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are safe and gentle to use without the unwanted side effects of conventional medications.
Carefully selected ingredients such as Arum triph, Viola tri, Comocladia, Chamomilla and Cina support skin health and provides symptomatic relief for itchiness, scratching, redness and burning of the skin. In addition, Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort), Calendula offinalis and Plantago lanceolata contain anti-inflammatory and soothing properties and act as an excellent tonic for the skin.
More Information on Skin Irritations
Tips to prevent and manage skin irritations in pets
There are several things that you can do to prevent and manage skin irritation in dogs and cats and these include:
- Feed your pet high quality commercial food or an all natural diet without preservatives, colorants or additives
- Avoid making sudden changes to your pet’s diet. Gradually introduce new foods and then monitor what effect they have on your pet
- Use stainless steel or ceramic food and water bowls instead of plastic – plastic may cause an allergic reaction
- Avoid exposing your pet to irritants such as pollen, smoke, household detergents, fertilizer or pesticides
- Use a flea repellent recommended by your vet to get rid of fleas
- Bathe your pet as directed by your vet, with a medicated shampoo specifically prescribed for his skin type if he suffers from skin problems
- Make sure that pets with long haired coats are clipped or shaved to make bathing easier
- Clean your home thoroughly by vacuuming carpets and dusting furniture to ease both you and your pet’s respiratory allergies
- Include omega 3 fatty acid supplements to your pet’s diet to help condition the skin
- Use products specifically prescribed for your pet’s skin type and avoid using human and over-the-counter products
- Detox your pet regularly to get rid of unwanted toxins
- Keep your pet’s living clean by disinfecting regularly