dry skin in petWhen you notice your pet’s dry skin, do you wonder if it’s due to an allergy, parasite or infection? Or do you spout Garfield’s motto and say: “No big fat hairy deal”?

While a lot of cases of dry skin can be remedied with a medicated shampoo, the correct diagnosis for your pet’s symptoms is the best place to start.

For instance, if your dog is 4 months old or younger, he could have a case of puppy dandruff. It’s something you tend to notice on dogs with dark coats, and it’s simply caused by underactive oil glands. Most puppies routinely outgrow the problem.

Other diagnoses require more active intervention. An example of such a condition is Hypothryoidism which may manifest itself in your cat or dog with symptoms like lethargy, a low heart rate and dry brittle hair. This condition would necessitate a lifetime thyroid supplementation.

Some cats with scaling on their noses and ears have trouble with solar dermatosis or sunburn. While cats with white ears are particularly susceptible, sunburn is also a concern for dog breeds like Collies and Shelties.

Avoiding the sun during peak hours isn’t difficult for cats that tend to prefer the night life but may be more of a challenge for your dogs. You may want to consider sunblock or even tattooing your dog’s nose as a sun protection measure. If this is your pet, you’re going to have to think like a mom with a fair skinned child – minus the tattoo on the nose idea.

Other possible causes for dry itchy skin are flea allergies or flea bite hypersensitivity, and this problem can affect dogs and cats. Besides solving the flea issue, pets may need to be prescribed steroids and antihistamines to control the itching.

Some cats suffer with mosquito hypersensitivity. They have severe allergic reaction to mosquito bites, commonly found on their noses, ear tips, footpads, lips and chins. There have been cases where this is only resolved after the cat is hospitalized and away from a mosquito-filled environment.

One of the most frightening diagnoses for your dog’s dry scaly skin on the nose and ears would be Leishmaniasis, conveyed by parasites. Thankfully, it’s rare in the United States, but Leishmaniasis can be transmitted to people who would suffer severely. Because of the potential of spreading to people and since treatment for dogs is not curative, the diagnosed dog may be euthanized.

These are just a few of the possible causes of your pet’s dry skin. The good news is that a cure may be as simple as oatmeal shampoo or a slightly changed diet or supplement. Talk to us discover the cause of your pet’s dry skin. A correct diagnosis is the first step to the cure.