PET DERMATOLOGY FAQs
Your Top Pet Dermatology Questions Answered
Skin and hair loss problems can plague your pets, making them uncomfortable or even sick. Fortunately, our La Mesa veterinarian is here to provide answers to your most frequently asked questions about pet dermatology.
What is pet dermatology?
Just like humans, our pets can sometimes suffer from the symptoms of skin problems. Our professional staff has been trained in pet dermatology to diagnose, treat, and prevent dermatological problems.
How can I tell if my pet has a dermatological problem?
Signs your pet may have a skin problem can include a foul odor coming from your pet’s ears or skin, hair loss, scabs, dandruff, lumps, or a change in the texture or color of your pet’s skin or coat. Behavioral signs include licking, chewing, biting, scratching, or repeated shaking of his or her head. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms in your pet, schedule a pet dermatology appointment with our La Mesa veterinarian immediately.
What are the common causes of pet dermatology problems?
The most frequent causes of dermatological issues in pets are allergies and parasites, but dermatological problems can also be the result of bacterial and fungal infections, auto-immune disorders, hormonal imbalances, cancers, and organ disorders. If you notice your pet displaying any symptoms which might suggest he or she has a dermatological problem, it is important to schedule an appointment for diagnosis right away.
Can dermatological problems cause my pet pain?
Yes. Allergies, parasites, and other dermatological problems can be painful for your pet. Pets often cut their coats while scratching or biting at their itching skin. Schedule an appointment at the first sign of a dermatological condition.
How will my La Mesa veterinarian diagnose my pet’s condition?
Depending on your pet’s specific symptoms, our veterinarian will begin by testing for a skin allergy or parasites. If you pet’s symptoms are localized to a single area, then the veterinarian will perform a test looking for parasites like ringworm, mange, fleas, mites, or lice. If your pet’s symptoms seem to cover most of its body, then the veterinarian will likely test for allergies. More serious underlying disorders will require further testing for diagnosis, which usually involves a blood test.
Are my pet’s skin conditions treatable?
Yes. Your La Mesa veterinarian can treat and sometimes prevent your pet’s dermatological problems. If your pet is diagnosed with allergies, your veterinarian will propose a change to your pet’s diet, prescribing hypoallergenic pet food, and might recommend that certain chemicals (household cleaners or perfumes) be removed from his or her environment. A deep-cleaning bath might also be necessary to remove any allergens stuck deep within your pet’s coat.
Dermatological problems caused by parasites can often be treated and prevented with bathing and oral or topical medications. Bacterial and/or fungal infections, hormonal disorders, and auto-immune disorders are treated with medications as well.
If you pet has a skin tumor, your veterinarian will likely recommend removal in a simple surgery. After removing the tumor, it will be sent to the lab for a biopsy, ensuring any more serious conditions are caught right away.
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