What skin problems are common on pets and how can you prevent them?

The summer is here and pets can suffer a number of skin complaints especially cats & dogs. Regular grooming will help keep your pet’s coat & skin healthy. There are a few common skin problems that you can prevent for your pets with simple solutions.

Skin Allergy

You will easily notice if your pet has a skin allergy, as they will constantly scratch & lick themselves. Pets can damage their skin if they continue doing this for a prolonged period due to the loss of fur. The common causes for itching and scratching could be fleas, grass, pollens or dust mites.

You can remove fleas by using the Mikki Flea Combs to comb out fleas & their eggs. It is also advised that you should limit the exposure to the allergy by not walking your pets near bushes, trees, plants or shrubs. You should also wash your pet’s clothing & bedding regularly and keep your house clean & fresh. A good diet also helps with skin allergies – such as wheat or gluten free food or diet that contains protein & carbohydrate i.e. duck & potato.

Sunburn & Skin Cancer

Pets suffer from sunburn the same as human beings. Severe sunburn can lead to skin cancer which is caused by the damage of skin cells. Pale-coloured skin pet are most at risk especially white cats.

Keep your pet out of the sun during the day (11am-4pm) is most important. Provide them with shaded area in the garden especially cats, as they enjoy lying in the sun. You can grow some catnip in the garden to attract your cats there. Sunscreen can be applied to sensitive areas such as noses, ears & forehead. Ensure that the sunscreen is not toxic and specially formulated for pets as your dog or cat may lick their coat after you have applied it. Ask your veterinary surgery for further advice and product recommendation.

Indoor sun can be as bad as outdoor sun. Prevent your pet from lying on the windowsill in the glare of the sun. When travelling in car, you should also apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn through glass car windows.

Hot Spots

Hot Spots can be very nasty if your dogs are diagnosed with. You can recognise Hot Spots easily as they are raw and irritated open wound. They can develop very quickly almost overnight. Hot Spots will cause your pet to scratch & lick at themselves compulsively and this might lead to infection. Hot Spots are caused by various factors such as fleas, mites, external parasites, allergies, etc. Licking an area out of boredom or anxiety can also cause Hot Spots. It is best to seek your veterinary advice for this skin problem. However, there are things that you can do at home in the meantime to help your pet control the itch.

Your pet should wear a ‘lamp-shaped’ collar to help prevent him from licking at the wound further. It is important to sooth the itch & pain by using products with aloe vera gel or oatmeal shampoo. It may be necessary to shave or clip the hair around the wound so that the infected area can be washed with an antiseptic solution. You can also use Mikki Tea Tree Wipes which help soothe cuts and grazes, guards against infection and soothes dry, scurfy, scaly areas.

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