We Take Care of Your Pets’ Skin & Coat: Dermatology Services at CCVH
The skin and coat reflect the overall condition of every dog and cat. Healthy skin, free of parasites or lesions, and a lush, shiny coat are indicators of good health and vigor. Center City Veterinary Hospital offers dermatology and allergy consultation to help keep your pets looking and feeling great.
Skin Problems & Allergies
Skin problems on pets can occur at any age and for a variety of reasons:
- Fungal or bacterial infections
- Metabolic changes
The most typical symptom of skin problems is extreme itching, resulting in excessive scratching, chewing, rubbing, or licking.
Fleas are the most common source of skin irritation in pets. Some dogs and cats have an allergic response to the saliva deposited by a flea bite. As an added concern, many pets are sensitive to flea treatment products, and some over the counter brands can be irritating or even toxic. Always consult your Center City vet prior to using flea control products.
Allergies can be the result of seasonal irritants such as molds, pollen, and grasses. Many pets develop allergies to specific ingredients in pet foods, including specific proteins or carbohydrates. Both seasonal allergens and food sensitivities can cause itching, rashes, and infection.
Infections are another common skin problem in pets. Many infections occur as a secondary problem, resulting from allergies, cuts, scrapes, or other injuries to the skin. Ringworm is a fungal infection that causes hair loss, inflammation, and scaly patches of skin. This highly contagious condition can easily spread to other pets and your family members, so it is best treated promptly.
Diagnosing Skin Problems
If your dog or cat is scratching, chewing, licking, or rubbing, contact us to determine the source of the problem. Other symptoms include:
- Hair loss
- Lesions and scabs
- Lumps and swelling
Food allergies may require a special diet, eliminating the possible offending substances and observing the symptoms. If your pet does have a food allergy, we offer prescription diets that are nutritionally sound and less irritating to your pet.
For select cases, we send our testing out to a diagnostic laboratory or consult with board certified veterinary dermatologists. However, many diagnostic tests can be done in house. Our doctors are diligent in finding the source of discomfort, working hard to bring relief to our patients.
Home Grooming for Dogs & Cats
Regular grooming is essential to a healthy pet and, when performed properly, keeps the skin and coat looking fresh and smelling great. Brushing, bathing, cleaning ears, trimming nails, and cleaning the teeth are part of an effective grooming routine. Brushing removes surface dirt and distributes healthy oils through the coat. Bathing helps remove stubborn dirt, debris, and pests. Dental care helps maintain fresh breath and clean teeth.
A regular, comprehensive grooming routine allows you to handle your pet all over, look for any lumps, lesions, tumors, parasites, or other concerns, while developing a positive, trusting relationship with your animal companion. This routine helps you identify any developing problems between wellness visits, before they become serious or painful for your pet.
Always contact our hospital if you identify any problems with your pet’s skin or coat. We are happy to advise you regarding effective products and procedures or, if necessary, schedule your pet for a veterinary exam.
Some general bathing and grooming techniques are outlined in our At Home Grooming handout.
Education & Support Online
The ASPCA offers these helpful articles about pet skin care: