Skin diseases in pets have many different causes and can vary from acute problems to chronic pet health conditions. Many skin diseases result due to deficiencies in your pet's immune system. Some examples of skin diseases include mange, bacterial infections, parasitic infestations, autoimmune diseases, fungal infections, cancer and viral infections.
How Skin Diseases Affects Your Pet
What a skin disease will do to your dog or cat depends on what type of disease it has. Most all forms of skin disease will cause your pet's fur to fall out and its skin to become inflamed, crusty and/or smelly. In most cases, your pet will also experience intense itching and/or pain. Depending on the condition, there may also be rashes, swelling or lesions. If open lesions are present, infections can result. Most skin diseases are easily cured and no reason for alarm. There are some serious skin disorders however, such as demodectic mange and skin cancer.
Common Symptoms of Skin Diseases
Symptoms of skin diseases can vary as well depending upon the particular condition that your pet may be suffering from. Nevertheless, the following symptoms are typical of various skin diseases in dogs and cats. Common Symptoms of Skin Diseases in Pets: Hair Loss, Red Rashes or Acne-Like Rashes, Inflammation, Raised, Thickened and/or Swollen Skin, Dark-Colored Skin, Foul-Smelling Skin, Crusty, Flaky Skin, Moist, Weeping Skin, Open Lesions, Intense Itching, Pain in the Affected Area/s and Persistent Scratching and Biting.
Treatments for Skin Diseases
Again, treatment for skin diseases varies depending on your pet's unique condition and how severe it is. For your veterinarian to determine an appropriate treatment route, skin scrapings and/or a biopsy will be necessary. Depending on your dog or cat's condition, hospitalization may be required for a few days. If there are any infections, antibiotics will be prescribed. Anti-inflammatory medication can help with inflammation and pain while corticosteroids and/or azathioprine therapy can relieve itching. Special diets can help in cases where food allergies are present. If your pet is suffering from an infestation disease, your veterinarian will recommend various medications such as Frontline, PetArmor, K9 Advantix or Fiproguard. You will also need to treat your home and yard. Finally, if your dog or cat has skin cancer, surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy may help.
Since there are so many different types of skin diseases, most any breed and age of dog or cat can develop them. However, some animals seem to be more vulnerable to certain skin diseases than other pets, and they are listed here: West Highland White Terriers, Samoyeds, American Eskimos, Maltese, Bichon Frise, Poodles (Especially White), Other White Dogs, White Cats, Other Terrier Breeds and Retriever Breeds.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.