Pet Bathing & Grooming
Practicing routine hygiene care greatly improves the life of your pet. You can start by using a good quality ear cleanser on a routine basis to remove wax and dirt build up, helping alleviate painful inflammation, blockage of the ear canal, and possible ear infections. Proper bathing and grooming are also critically important, removing dead skin, loose hair, and contaminants being carried within the coat.
There are all kinds of things that can have a powerful impact on your pets’ hygiene, including the diet they consume, environmental and climate conditions, potential allergies, and many more.
Common problems with ear, skin, and coat care include:
- Fungal Infections in the ears and skin, causing deterioration of skin cells with severe irritation from inflammation that could lead to a secondary bacterial infection.
- Bacterial Infections in the ears and skin, also causing deterioration of skin cells with severe irritation and pain from inflammation, with possible bloody discharge from ears and/or skin.
- Dry & Flaky Skin, or dull, oily, and/or rough coats are commonly attributed to a lack of proper nutrition, poor grooming standards, and/or extremely dry winter weather. Sometimes it can also signal issues with Thyroid function.
Other signs of infection (or other problems) may include persistent scratching and/or chewing by the pet of the affected area, strong odors, and redness of the skin.
To determine if an infection is present, your Veterinarian will take material debris from the ear canal, or a skin scraping of affected skin cells to review under a microscope. This form of laboratory testing is highly effective in determining a proper diagnosis and allows the Veterinarian to prescribe the appropriate medications necessary for treatment. The attending Veterinarian will often recommend a follow up appointment to ensure that the pet is clear of infection, or if more or different treatments may be necessary to resolve the patients’ problem. Timely follow up care is critically important for the treatment of these types of infection. A common mistake that pet owners make is that they do not give all the medication prescribed in a timely manner, as well as allowing a lapse in treatment to occur. By allowing a lapse in treatment, the infection is given time to regroup, re-infect, and spread more aggressively throughout the patient’s body causing the patient more suffering, and costing the owner more money to treat the problem long term. Other diagnostic testing such as cultures, biopsies, and blood work may be necessary to help diagnose and treat certain ailments. Your Veterinarian will discuss all options with you to formulate the appropriate course of treatment.
Chronic skin and ear infections can be attributed to potential allergen problems a pet may be experiencing. Allergy problems can be an often difficult, extensive, and time intensive issue to treat. Both environmental and food allergens can cause severe problems for our pets in the same ways they affect humans. If you suspect that your pet may be suffering allergy issues, our veterinarians can thoroughly explain the different types of diagnostic and treatment options available. Regardless of the reason behind ear or skin issues, the sooner you recognize the problem the sooner the veterinarian can help you make your pet feel more comfortable in its’ daily life.