Pet Dermatology:

Solving Annandale & Alexandria VA Pets’ Skin Disorders

Woman with hairless dog

Beauty may only be skin deep, but it’s possible that your pet’s skin disorder may not be. If your pet is experiencing skin infections and hair loss, the underlying cause could be anything from allergies to hypothyroidism. That’s why bringing your pet in at the first sign of trouble is the best course of action. This will enable our experienced veterinarians to diagnose your pet’s condition and provide treatment and relief before the problem escalates.

Pet Skin Disorder Symptoms

Pets are usually very good at hiding pain and discomfort. However, in the case of skin disorders, their symptoms are typically much easier to recognize. These include:

  • Chronic itchiness
  • Hair loss
  • Odor coming from the skin or ears
  • Excessive licking.

Additional symptoms of ear irritation include: frequent shaking of the head, scratching of the ears, the presence of a discharge or odor, and obvious discomfort when you touch your pet’s ears.

Potential Underlying Causes

There are many conditions that could be causing a pet to experience skin and ear issues. Allergies are one of the most common. Pets are often allergic to the same inhalant allergens that humans are, including pollen from trees and weeds, as well as dust and mold spores. At Columbia Pike Animal Hospital, we offer allergy testing services as well as customized treatment plans for pet patients.

Cats and dogs also can be highly allergic to fleas. One bite can be enough to trigger a reaction. If your pet has these pesky parasites, we can provide recommendations regarding flea treatments to eradicate them.

Endocrine disorders will often lead to pet skin conditions. Hypothyroidism causes a range of systems, but one of the most recognizable of these is skin disease, which is nearly always present. In addition, more than 50% of pets with this disorder also will experience hair loss, most notably in the collar and tail regions. Cushing’s disease also results in symptoms of skin infections and hair loss.

Other common maladies include:

  • Sarcoptic mange (scabies)—This disorder is caused by a microscopic mite and is characterized by very itchy skin.
  • Ringworm—Despite it’s name, this pet skin condition is actually a fungal infection.
  • Yeast infections—These can affect the skin and the ears, and they cause a terrible odor.
  • Ear mites—A distinct symptom of ear mites is itchy ears accompanied by the presence of a black discharge.

Treatments for pet skin conditions will vary depending upon their underlying causes. They may range from medicated pet shampoos, ointments, and drops to specialized drug therapies. Our veterinarians will carefully tailor your pet’s treatment plan to suit his or her specific condition.

If you would like to learn more about these and other pet health topics, please visit our library of pet health articles. Of course you are also welcome to contact us any time. We are always happy to hear from you!