Dog Skin Care

Dog Skin Care

Skin is the largest organ your pet has so ensuring it is in optimal health at all times is a big and important job! Skin can become itchy, red, hairless or crusty, the list goes on and on. The team at Seneca Animal Clinic is dedicated to a full body approach to help you keep your dog’s skin in perfect condition.

What are the causes, symptoms & diagnosis of bacterial skin infections?

There are a variety of different causes for bacterial skin infections (pyoderma) but typically there is a disruption to the protective barriers of the skin which allows bacteria to grow and populate in larger numbers than normal. Bacterial skin infections often show up like pimples on your dog’s skin that are likely itchy. The skin can become very red and there may even be self-induced trauma to the skin from itching. Diagnosis of pyoderma is made when your veterinarian receives a complete history about your dog and performs a full physical exam. From there, additional testing such as cytology, can be performed where we examine your dog’s skin cells under a microscope to identify bacteria.

What are the causes, symptoms and treatment for ringworms?

Ringworm, or Dermatophytosis, is caused by fungal infection of hair and layers of the skin. Symptoms include regions of alopecia (hair loss) that are often round or irregular in shape with some amount of scaly skin. This infection may be mildly itchy or not itchy at all. Treatment for Ringworm includes disinfection of the house (this can be a very contagious fungus), topical treatment either through creams or bathing as well as oral anti-fungal medication.

What are the causes and treatment of allergic skin diseases?

There are many causes of allergic skin disease including food allergies, environmental allergies (atopy) and flea bite allergies. Treatment for allergic skin disease is multi-modal and includes decreasing itchiness (pruritus), treating any secondary infection, topical therapy often with bathing and/or sprays as well as addressing the underlying cause.

What are the causes and treatment for parasitic skin diseases?

The most commonly seen parasitic skin disease is fleas and flea-allergy dermatitis (FAD). Treatment for fleas includes environmental hygiene (vacuuming and spraying the house) as well as topical treatment with an insect growth regulator.

What are the causes and treatment for hormonal skin diseases?

Hormones control just about everything that happens within the body so when a hormone is either overproduced or under produced, we see a variety of symptoms. Changes in the production of thyroid hormones, stress hormones and reproductive hormones can all cause changes in coat quality, hair loss (alopecia) and make your pet more susceptible to secondary bacterial infections. The mainstay of treatment would be to address the hormonal imbalance through medication and usually the skin lesions resolve with the treatment of the underlying problem. Your veterinarian may recommend antibiotics or other medications to help make your pet feel better while they get put on appropriate treatment.


Senior dog giving a high five to a human hand

Geriatric Care - Looking After a Senior Pet

As your pet gets older, they need to get regular check-ups with your vet to make sure they are fit and healthy. Senior pets are more likely to have health issues, and monitoring with routine check-ups and bloodwork is a perfect way of keeping ahead of any illness.

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Last updated: December 16, 2020

Dear Clients,

Thank you for choosing Seneca Animal Clinic for your pets' veterinary needs. As we continue to adjust to the "new normal," we have implemented new protocols to keep you and our team safe.

It is still preferred that you stay in your vehicle while we bring your pet in for their appointment. However, as of August 14, 2020, we will be allowing one client to accompany their pet during their visit for urgent, new puppy/kitten, or euthanasia appointments.

Should you choose to come in with your pet, we kindly ask that you comply with the following protocols:

  • Our doors will remain locked. Please call us at 416.494.1109 upon your arrival.
  • Face coverings must be worn to enter the clinic.
  • Physical distance with staff and other clients while inside the building.
  • Use hand santizing station upon entry.
  • Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
  • If you wish to wait in your vehicle during the appointment, when you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.

    If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.


    Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.


    We are OPEN with the following hours:

    - Monday & Tuesday: 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
    - Wednesday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
    - Thursday: 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
    - Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
    - Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
    - Sunday: CLOSED

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at Seneca Animal Clinic