Millions of Canadian pets suffer from untreated dermatologist issues

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TORONTO, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ – In Canada, 2.4 million dogs suffer from dermatological issues that require a treatment plan from a veterinarian. These skin issues vary in severity but can cause pets great discomfort and significantly reduce their overall quality of life. If left untreated, they can even lead to greater health concerns.

Picture Courtesy Royal Canin
Picture Courtesy Royal Canin

“While some itching is normal in dogs, excessive itching, hair loss, red skin, hot spots and even chewing of paws can be a cause for concern,” says Dr. Juanita Glencross-Winslow, Royal Canin veterinary expert. “These symptoms are all signs that it’s time to make a veterinary appointment to check out your pet’s skin, coat and ears.”

Itchy skin can be caused by a variety of different things, so it’s important to visit your vet for proper diagnosis and effective treatment. Dermatological, i.e. skin related, issues can be caused by many different things, including allergies to things in the pet’s environment or diet, infection, and even excessive bathing or swimming can irritate sensitive skin. Seeing your vet is the only way to ensure that you’re properly identifying the issue and starting the right course of treatment.

“Once identified, most issues can be managed through a combination of the right diet and medication, giving your pet back the quality of life they deserve,” continued Dr. Glencross-Winslow.

Knowing the difference between normal canine scratching and skin issues isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to a pet’s behaviour to help spot any new issues early on, especially during warmer months when skin issues can progress quickly due to heat and humidity.

Excessive scratching or licking are sure signs that your dog’s skin is uncomfortable,” explains Dr. Glenross-Winslow. “Chances are if you actually notice them scratching and licking, it means they’re doing it a lot and it’s time to see the vet.”

Other, less obvious, signs that can indicate your dog may have dermatological concerns, include scaling skin (dog dandruff), staining between toes from licking too much, strong odor; “scooting”; greasy skin or coat and “hot spots”. That said, not all dogs exhibit the same symptoms or behaviours, so it’s important to take a pet’s temperament, breed and lifestyle into consideration.