There are various factors influencing the skin health of your pet. Here are some common causes:
Fleas live in the environment and feed off the blood of animals and humans alike.
Fleas, unlike ticks, do not live on the animal they feed off, but only jump on to feed. After feeding on their host, they will return to a dark crevice and start laying eggs. These eggs will hatch in warm humid conditions. This is the reason for flea outbreaks after each rainy season.
The reason why fleas affect so many animals without owners realising it, is the fact that owners assume that they should be able to see fleas on their pet for there to be fleas.
- Hair loss at the tail base, constant scratching, licking and biting are classic clinical signs that your animal may have a flea problem.
- The skin often becomes red and general hair loss can occur because of the constant scratching.
- Fleas are the intermediate host for Tapeworm. Therefore, if your pet has fleas, they can also have tapeworm. Constant scratching and licking can, if left untreated, lead to secondary infections and a moist dermititis
- Application of a good quality top spot, collar or oral tablet.
- Use of an environmental flea spray
- Washing bedding regularly
Allergies can be caused by a variety of factors and usually ends up being very itchy to the suffering animal. Trying to determine the cause of the allergic reaction is usually a complex process of elimination and in some cases might never be found.
Common factors include:
- Fleas – flea bite allergy – the animal has an allergic reaction to the saliva of the flea.
- Contact allergens – where the skin reacts to contact with certain surfaces or environmental elements. This can include the detergent you use to clean their blankets to the grass in your garden
- Atopy – this type of allergy is due to allergens like pollens, dust mites, human epithelial cells etc.
- Food allergens – certain proteins and carbohydrates are the common causes.
Contrary to popular belief, every dog has been exposed to mites at some point in their lives. It usually is at birth while nesting with mom and can affect all dogs. Demodex canis and Sarcoptes scabeii are the usual cuprits with Sarcoptes of particular interest since it can spread to humans also.