Skin Care

Diagnosis and treatment of skin-related conditions that can cause discomfort, pain, and illness.

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.

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