Is your dog scratching itself more than usual? Did you flip him over only to realise that his once clear belly skin is now splotchy and red? Don’t worry – while skin problems will definitely cause some discomfort to your pet, it’s important to know that most skin problems can be resolved or managed.
Before anxiety and worry overcome you, check and see if your pet could be suffering from any of these 9 common skin conditions below, which can be treated and prevented!
*Do note that this article is only meant to be a guide; we recommend bringing your pet to the vet for a professional diagnosis if you notice unusual changes in your pet’s skin condition.
Firstly, what should my pet’s skin look like?
Generally, your pet’s skin should either be pink or black, depending on its breed and genetic history. Every pet’s skin will also be unique, depending on its pigmentation, but as a general rule of thumb, it should feel smooth to the touch and be free of crusting, scaling, black or white spots, itching, and infected, hot, or inflamed areas.
Your pet’s coat should also be glossy and full, with the thickness depending on its breed, and without bald patches, dandruff, and fleas or mites. Your pet may also shed all year round, but usually, it moults the most during the months of summer and autumn (June to November).
What do I look out for?
If you notice any of these signs in your dog or cat, it might be suffering from a skin problem:
- Excessive scratching
- Lesions and scabs
- Hair loss and bald patches
- Dry, flaky skin
- Redness and hot spots
- Swelling and lumps.
Do note that skin covers not just the outside but also the inside of your pet’s ears, so make sure to check them carefully for flaky skin, redness, or brownish discharge too!
So, what are some common skin problems?
1. Hair Loss (Alopecia)
Alopecia can happen for a multitude of reasons, which includes poor nutrition, skin allergies, hormonal imbalance, and excessive scratching or licking, which could be a result of another underlying cause such as a fungal infection and skin parasites.
2. Skin Allergies
If your pet’s skin is inflamed with lesions, hair loss, or darkened skin tone and you see your beloved furry friend scratching itself often – usually around the belly, ears, or along its sides – as well as rubbing its face and chewing its paws, it might be having an allergic reaction!
Allergies can develop at any stage in your pet’s life, and many substances can act as allergens that cause a skin allergy to occur. These include:
- Inhaled allergens such as moulds, pollen, and house dust
- Flea saliva
- Contact allergens such as soaps, household chemicals, and feathers
- Food allergens such as beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, and lamb.
For those of you who notice dandruff-like flaking of the skin, red lesions on the head, chest, forelegs, and ridge of the back, as well as circular patches of hair loss on your pet, it might be a case of ringworm, which is a fungal infection. As ringworm is contagious, it’s best to rush your pet to a vet the instant you detect signs of it! Do make sure to also wash your hands thoroughly after handling your pet, just to be safe.
4. Yeast Infection
Yeast infections are itchy, crusty, and smelly. If your pet’s rash develops into a thickening of skin with an elephant skin-like appearance, your pet might be having a yeast infection. While not contagious, the odour can be particularly off-putting, and the itch will be immense for your four-legged friend. Often affecting the ears, paws, and skin folds, a common cause of a yeast skin infection is an increase in the amount of oils produced on the skin.
5. Hot Spots
Typically well-defined areas of redness, swelling, and hair loss, hot spots can vary in size and are caused by excessive licking, biting, or scratching of a particular area of your pet’s body. While they can occur on any part of the body, they often appear on the head, limbs, and hips, and the affected area may discharge pus or fluid, which in turn leads to crusting and matting of the surrounding fur.
6. Lick Granuloma
Much like a hot spot, lick granulomas are chronic self-inflicted sores caused by excessively licking a particular part of the skin. They may initially appear similar to a hot spot, but over time, the incessant licking of the lesion will result in a thickened, oval plaque, which is the granuloma.
Lick granulomas are often due to allergies, but can also be due to parasites, boredom, stress, or anxiety, so monitor your pet closely to determine the cause of this condition!
A skin infection that causes lesions, pustules, and alopecia, pyoderma is usually bacterial but it can be fungal, or parasitic as well. If you notice symptoms such as red bumps, flaking skin, skin discolouration, excessive shedding, redness, and pustules, which are red and raised with a white pus-filled centre, your pet might be suffering from pyoderma, which can either be superficial or deep, and simple or complex.
A genetic condition that causes skin flaking and peeling, seborrhea develops because of underlying medical conditions, allergies, hormonal issues, or illnesses and symptoms include a yellow or red rash, itchiness, greasiness, and scaling skin.
9. Common skin parasites
If your pet often roams about outside, chances are, it might have skin parasites. These commonly include mites, fleas, ticks, and lice, which can all cause itchiness, inflammation, skin lesions, and hair loss.
Treatment & prevention options
Before you start looking for a solution for your pet, confirm your suspicions with a trusted vet and work out a treatment plan together. If your pet’s skin problems are not autoimmune-related, due to hormonal issues, or a secondary result of other underlying medical conditions, there are steps that you can take as a pet owner to provide some relief to your beloved and improve its skin condition – by switching its usual shampoo with one that is specially-formulated to improve skin health in pets!
Source: @lotus_the_jrt and @epidermisprime
One such brand that targets skin problems in cats and dogs is Epidermis Prime, and their latest EP Pharma Anti-Bacterial Dog Shampoo and EP Pharma Mineral Soap Bar contains collective active key ingredients of Ichthyol®, sea minerals, and 100% pure essential oil blends. This makes it perfect for recurring and persistent skin problems such as hot spots, fungi (yeast) issues, itches, inflammation, flaky dry skin, dandruff, as well as sensitive skin that requires anti-bacterial protection.
A deeper look at Epidermis Prime
EP Pharma Anti-Bacterial Dog Shampoo
If your pooch has recurring skin issues such as rashes, hot spot, dandruff, and allergies that are constantly aggravated by excessive licking and chewing, the EP Pharma Anti-Bacterial Dog Shampoo has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-seborrheic, and anti-itching effects that will pave the way to clear, smooth skin for your canine friend and provide some much-needed relief.
Made with only human grade ingredients and zero trace of paraben, sulphate, colourants, petroleum, and alcohol, some of the key components of this skin-relieving shampoo include the certified trademarked Ichthammol – Ichthyol®, which is an ammonium salt that is often used to treat eczema, psoriasis, and acne, D-Panthenol, a substance derived from vitamin B5 that has moisture retaining and softening effects on sensitive, dry skin and coat, and essential oils with various skin-benefitting properties such as tea tree oil, rosemary oil, and eucalyptus oil.
Other uses of the shampoo includes:
- Promoting and maintaining the skin health of dogs
- Soothing inflammation and itchy red rashes and spots
- Targeting dry flaky skin and dandruff problems
- Balancing the pH level of seborrheic, dry, and crusty skin
- Natural deodorant and insect repellent.
EP Pharma Mineral Soap Bar (for dogs)
Alternatively, if your pooch has a more severe case of skin problems, the EP Pharma Mineral Soap Bar is a more advanced formula with deep sea minerals and sulphur that targets more serious and persistent skin problems like yeast and fungi infection, hot spots, and mange.
Boasting robust anti-bacterial properties, it’s completely free of paraben, colourants, petroleum, and alcohol as well, but it could cause skin dryness for some pets due to its mineral compositions. These include trace minerals from the ocean such as magnesium, sodium, iron, and sulphur, which has detoxifying and healing properties. The minerals also help to stimulate blood circulation, exfoliate the skin to gently remove it of skin flakes, maintain the skin’s chemical balance, and restore its protective barrier.
Here are some other uses of the EP Pharma Mineral Soap Bar:
- Eradicate yeasty and seborrheic skin problems
- Tackle bacterial and fungi issues
- Have a natural repellent against mites, fleas, and ticks
- Clear scaly and flaky skin cells
- Protect and maintain your pet’s skin health.
Essentials Pets Shampoo
Besides the EP Pharma Anti-Bacterial Dog Shampoo and EP Pharma Mineral Soap Bar, Epidermis Prime also has a two Essentials Pets Shampoo suitable for both cats and dogs – the Essentials Moisturising with green tea extract, Pro Vit B5, and grape seed oil for skin nourishing, coat protection, and excessive shedding issues, and the Essentials Deep Cleansing with salicylic acid, menthol, and grape seed for seborrheic skin issues, balancing of the skin acid mantle, and soothing itches and inflamed spots.
Restore your pet’s prime condition with Epidermis Prime
Some of the reviews left on Epidermis Prime’s Facebook page
With countless positive reviews left by grateful pet owners on Epidermis Prime’s social media platforms, it’s safe to say that their products have been proven to be trustworthy and highly effective.
A picture truly speaks a thousand words!
Whether it’s rashes, strong body odour, infections, or other common superficial skin problems, Epidermis Prime has always played a huge part in helping pets onto the road of recovery. Not only does it make life more enjoyable for these pets once more, but it also helps to reduce the hefty medical bills for us pet owners!
For recommendations on which product would best suit your pet, do not hesitate to contact Epidermis Prime’s friendly consultants on their Facebook via direct message with a picture of your pet that best showcases its current skin condition.
EP Pharma Anti-Bacterial Dog Shampoo (250ml / 500ml) | $28/$45
EP Pharma Mineral Soap Bar (100g) | $12 per bar
Clubpets Exclusive Giveaway
In hopes of enhancing your pet’s quality of life and lessening the financial burden on your shoulders, Epidermis Prime is also giving away their products to 6 of our readers! If your precious critter is currently facing skin issues, all you need to do to participate is to:
– Follow Epidermis Prime on Instagram and direct message them a picture of your furkid’s skin/coat condition and let them know what issue you are facing
– Like our Instagram giveaway post here and tag 3 friends in the comment section
– Share the post on your Instastory and tag @epidermisprime!
The products given will be selected based on the pet’s respective skin issues, and entries will be accepted from 6th – 19th March 2020. The 6 winners will be contacted on 20th March. Good luck!
This article was written for CMC Ventures.