Preventative & Wellness Care

Dermatological issues

Dermatological issues

Vetted vets can help diagnose and treat rashes and hot spots. A rash, often called dermatitis, is an area of irritated, inflamed skin that is sometimes red, itchy, and can be painful for your pet. Hot spots, or moist dermatitis, can often appear red, moist and oozing. Hair loss may also be seen and often an odor will present. Fear not, pet rashes are not contagious to humans.


There are many different types of dermatitis which can be caused by a number of different sources including allergens and irritants, skin infections, and genetic conditions. Pets often scratch at these irritants, and leave themselves susceptible to bacterial infection on the damaged, inflamed skin. A few of the most common rashes include contact dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis. Before we elaborate on the different types of skin conditions, know that Vetted vets are skilled at diagnosis, and can provide your pet with instant relief. Usually a vet will supply you with a topical ointment that kills the bacteria and soothes the skin. An oral antibiotic may also be prescribed.


Rash/Hot Spots

Vetted vets can help diagnose and treat rashes and hot spots. A rash, often called dermatitis, is an area of irritated, inflamed skin that is sometimes red, itchy, and can be painful for your pet. Hot spots, or moist dermatitis, can often appear red, moist and oozing. Hair loss may also be seen and often an odor will present. Fear not, pet rashes are not contagious to humans.


There are many different types of dermatitis which can be caused by a number of different sources including allergens and irritants, skin infections, and genetic conditions. Pets often scratch at these irritants, and leave themselves susceptible to bacterial infection on the damaged, inflamed skin. A few of the most common rashes include contact dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis. Before we elaborate on the different types of skin conditions, know that Vetted vets are skilled at diagnosis, and can provide your pet with instant relief. Usually a vet will supply you with a topical ointment that kills the bacteria and soothes the skin. An oral antibiotic may also be prescribed.


Allergic Dermatitis

Dogs can have allergic reactions to grooming products, food, and environmental irritants, such as pollen or insect bites. Grasses, trees, weeds, and dust mites can also cause an allergic reaction. A dog with allergies may scratch relentlessly, and a peek at the skin often reveals an ugly rash. Corticosteroids can help with itchy rashes, but the most effective treatment is to identify and avoid exposure to the allergens.  A Vetted vet can help identify the source of the problem and recommend a viable solution.


Yeast Infection

If your dog can't seem to stop scratching an ear or licking and chewing his or her toes, ask your Vetted veterinarian to check for a yeast infection. Symptoms include irritated, itchy, or discolored skin. The infection usually strikes the paws or ears, where yeast has a cozy space to grow. Yeast infections are easy to diagnose and often respond well to a topical cream. In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe oral drugs or medicated baths.


Folliculitis

Superficial bacterial folliculitis is an infection that causes sores, bumps, and scabs on the skin. These skin abnormalities are easier to see in shorthaired dogs. In longhaired dogs, the most obvious symptoms may be a dull coat and shedding, with scaly skin underneath. Folliculitis often occurs in conjunction with other skin problems such as mange, allergies, or injury. Treatment may include oral antibiotics and antibacterial ointments or shampoos.  Talk to your Vetted vet for the best treatment. 


Impetigo

Another type of bacterial infection, impetigo, is most common in puppies. It causes pus-filled blisters that may break and crust over. The blisters usually develop on the hairless portion of the abdomen. Impetigo is rarely serious and can be treated with a topical solution. In a small number of cases, the infection may spread or persist.


Seborrhea

Seborrhea causes a dog's skin to become greasy and develop scales (dandruff). In some cases, it's a genetic disease that begins when a dog is young and lasts a lifetime. Most dogs with seborrhea develop the scaling as a complication of another medical problem, such as allergies or hormonal abnormalities. In these cases, it is vital to consult your Vetted vet and treat the underlying cause so symptoms do not recur.


Ringworm

Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm, but by a fungus. The term "ring" comes from the circular patches that can form anywhere, but are often found on a dog's head, paws, ears, and forelegs. Inflammation, scaly patches, and hair loss often surround the lesions. Puppies less than a year old are the most susceptible, and the infection can spread quickly between dogs in a kennel or to pet owners at home. Various anti-fungal treatments are available.


Shedding and Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Anyone who shares their home with dogs knows that they shed. How much shedding is normal depends on breed, time of year, and environment. Sometimes stress, poor nutrition or illness can cause a dog to lose more hair than usual. If abnormal or excessive shedding persists for more than a week, or you notice patches of missing fur, check with your Vetted veterinarian.


Mange (Mites)

Mange is a skin disorder caused by tiny parasites called mites. Sarcoptic mange, also known as canine scabies, spreads easily among dogs and can also be transmitted to people. However, the parasites don't survive on humans. The symptoms are intense itching, red skin, sores, and hair loss. A dog's ears, face and legs are most commonly affected. Demodectic Mange can cause bald spots, scabbing, and sores, but it is neither contagious between animals nor people. Treatment depends on the type of mange.


Fleas

Fleas are the bane of any pet owner. You may not see the tiny insects themselves, but flea droppings or eggs are usually visible in a dog's coat. Other symptoms include excessive licking or scratching, scabs, and hot spots. Severe flea infestations can cause blood loss and anemia, and even expose your dog to other parasites, such as tapeworms. Treatment may include a topical and/or oral flea killer and a thorough cleaning of the pet's home and yard.


Ticks

Ticks, like fleas, are external parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts. You can spot a tick feeding on your dog with the naked eye. To properly remove a tick, grasp the tick with tweezers close to the dog’s skin, and gently pull it straight out. Twisting or pulling too hard may cause the head to remain lodged in your dog’s skin, which can lead to infection. Place the tick in a jar with some alcohol for a couple of days and dispose of it once it is dead. In addition to causing blood loss and anemia, ticks can transmit Lyme disease and other potentially serious bacterial infections. If you live in an area where ticks are common, talk to your veterinarian about tick control products.


Dry, Flaky Skin

Dry, flaky skin can be a red flag for a handful of problems. It's a common symptom of allergies, mange, and other skin diseases. Most often, though, dry or flaky skin is nothing serious. Make sure you are feeding Fido high quality food. Like people, some dogs simply get dry skin in the winter. If dry skin seems to cause your pet discomfort, consult your veterinarian.


Acral Lick Granuloma

Also called acral lick dermatitis, this is a frustrating skin condition caused by compulsive, relentless licking of a single area -- most often on the front of the lower leg. With the relentless licking, the area is unable to heal, and like a vicious cycle, the resulting pain and itching can lead the dog to keep licking the same spot. Treatment includes discouraging the dog from licking, either by using a bad-tasting topical solution or an Elizabethan collar (the fancy phrase for a cone of shame).


Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is inflammation of the skin resulting from contact with an allergen or irritant, typically resulting in a pink or red itchy rash. Allergic contact dermatitis is the result of an allergy to something that comes in contact with the skin. Examples of substances that can result in allergic contact dermatitis include poison ivy and other plants, fragrances and dyes, certain metals including nickel (a common metal in collars), rubber, and preservatives in skin care and other products.


Nummular Dermatitis

Nummular dermatitis is a skin condition characterized by coin-shaped red plaques seen on the arms, legs and paws. It is most common among older pets and pets residing in hot, arid environments.


Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema, is a form of dermatitis which results in itching, scaling, swelling, and sometimes blistering of the skin. This type of eczema is usually genetic, resulting from a weakened skin barrier which leaves the skin unable to keep out irritants, allergens, and pathogens, and unable to hold onto moisture. It is often associated with allergies, asthma, and stress.


Although many rashes may resolve themselves, some rashes are the result of chronic skin conditions. Other rashes may be the result of bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Vetted vets can assess your pet’s rash, provide a diagnosis, and determine the appropriate protocol for treatment and prevention of further skin irritation. Your Vetted vet can also determine if your pet’s rash is a symptom of an undiagnosed, untreated, or underlying condition, and provide a comprehensive treatment plan to address the root cause of your pet’s symptoms.