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Skin & Ear Issues? We Hear You!

18th October 2018

SKIN & EAR ISSUES? WE HEAR YOU!

Spring and warm, muggy weather is here and it's at this time that we tend to see an increase in skin and ear infections triggered by allergies.

As vets and vet nurses, we wish we had one simple solution for your pet’s skin problems, but multiple diagnostic tests and elimination trials may be needed to reach the diagnosis.

‘WHAT CAUSES SKIN DISEASE?’

There are a number of causes for skin disease including:

  • Parasites such as fleas or mites
  • Allergies to environmental factors such as pollen, plants, mould, insects and grass
  • Allergies due to food, preservatives or ingredients in human or animal products
  • Bacteria or yeast overgrowth, either as a primary problem, or secondary to an allergy
  • Underlying medical or genetic conditions that can contribute to poor skin health.

With a list of factors that complex, you can start to see why it often takes more than one test or elimination trial before we find the cause. Even after diagnosis, regular check-ups may be needed. When your pet’s skin condition “flares up” we recommend speaking with your vet, who may do some more testing to see whether the condition has changed, or whether secondary infection is present that needs specific treatment. This will ensure your pet’s skin heals effectively and results in shorter treatment periods. This not only saves money in the long run but most importantly, makes your pet feel better, sooner!

‘HOW CAN I PREVENT SKIN DISEASE?’

Unfortunately this is not always preventable, but there are steps we can take at home to minimise certain factors.

For animals with allergies, bathing with Aloveen Shampoo will help to remove allergens from the coat and soothe dry, irritated skin. For animals prone to skin infections, bathing with Malaseb Medicated Shampoo, Paw Mediderm/Nutriderm Shampoo/Conditioner or Pyohex Medicated Shampoo once a week to once a fortnight all year round, can reduce bacteria and yeast numbers and prevent overgrowth.

For more information on skin disease please speak with one of our vets or nurses or make an appointment today.

EAR INFECTIONS are a common health problem, and they can be caused by allergies, yeast, ear mites, bacteria, hair growth deep in the ear canal, and more. Symptoms your pet may have with an ear infection include:

  • Head shaking or head tilting
  • Ear odour
  • Vigorous scratching
  • Lack of balance
  • Unusual back-and-forth eye movements
  • Redness of the ear canal
  • Swelling of the outer portion of the ear
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge

Always take your pet to the vet if you think it has an ear infection. In most cases, cleaning and medicating the ear canal will quickly clear up an infection. However, surgery can be needed for chronic infections or if forceful head shaking results in the rupture of a vessel within the outer part of the ear, called an aural haematoma.

Cleaning your pets ears:

Using a recommended ear cleaner from your vet clinic, fill the ear canal and give the base of the ear a good massage for half a minute. Using a cotton ball or chux cloth wrapped over your finger gently reach into the ear canal and wipe up and outwards to the edge of the ear, repeat a few times. If there is still a lot of debris in the ear refill with ear cleaner and repeat. It's ok if your pet shakes its head as this will help to dislodge any particles further down in the ear. Avoid using a cotton tip in your pet’s ear, as it could damage the ear drum.

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