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What are Rashes?
A change in the skin that affects color, appearance and texture is defined as a rash. A rash may be localized to one area of your pet’s body, or it may spread to uniformly cover the skin.
A rash may cause your animal’s skin to change color and cause much discomfort for your pet – as skin can itch, become warm, bumpy, dry, cracked or blistered, swell and cause pain.
What Causes Rashes?
Rashes may have a number of causes and point to one of many conditions. Rashes are most commonly seen in disorders of the skin – such as eczema and dermatitis (both contact dermatitis and flea-bite dermatitis), superficial stings or insect bites.
However, in other cases a rash may result on your pet as a secondary condition to an underlying cause, such as a food allergies or hormonal disorder. Most rashes are particularly itchy, which will cause your pet to scratch incessantly often until the skin is raw, weeping and even bleeding.
This also causes hot spots of skin that may lose hair and become bald from constant scratching or licking at the itchy area. Diagnosis is determined by a physical check up at your vet, where an inspection of your animal’s skin will be undertaken.
Your vet may also perform specific tests if an underlying disorder is suspected. Depending on the cause, treatment may involve topical creams and may include antihistamines; however these may also have the potential for side effects.
More Information on Rashes
Tips related to rashes:
- Do not change diet suddenly as this may cause intolerance to certain foods and a skin allergy.
- A tablespoon or two of olive oil added to the food a few times a week can help improve skin and coat health.
- If you suspect that a dietary intolerance may be the underlying cause of your pet’s rash, start by providing your pet with a natural, unprocessed diet.
- Dry your pet thoroughly after washing, as shampoo residue can dry on the skin and cause itching and rashes.
- Vitamin A helps to maintain healthy skin. Sources include carrots, squash and sweet potatoes that can be added to your pet’s diet.
- Watch out for infection – if your pet has been scratching with dirty nails, and breaks the skin, a bacterial infection may arise. If your animal’s rash develops pustules consult your vet.