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Animal Dermatology – Treating Pet Skin
photo of a dog with demodectic mange | Whitworth Animal Clinic

No matter what the cause it is always hard to see our pets suffering from health conditions including skin problems. Dr. Whitworth can diagnose and treat all problems including demodectic mange as seen in the above photo.

Lovely to look at and essential to well being; healthy skin is happy skin. For pets and humans alike, this largest organ in the body serves an indispensable protective role. A better understanding of skin’s functioning makes it clear why pets need dermatologists too.

The many functions of skin

Skin is a unique organ made of several tissue layers that can contain specialized glands and hair follicles. The hair follicles found on mammals help to retain body heat while giving them a distinctive appearance. Glands provide oils that protect the fur and outer layers of skin. They can also produce the scents that many pets rely on for communication with allies and enemies.

Acting as a physical barrier between the inner organs and the outside world, intact and healthy skin helps to keep moisture in and infection out. When the barrier is breached, immune cells embedded in the layers of the skin act as a ready line of defense against infection. Damage to either the skin barrier or immune function can create skin discomfort and increase the risk of infections.

Conditions treated by pet dermatologists

Designed to attack threats to health, the immune system can malfunction and attack otherwise harmless substances. These substances, known as allergens, can be as various as house dust, fabrics, food additives or a pet’s own dander. No matter the cause, allergies tend to include a similar set of symptoms such as itching, sneezing, flaking, loss of fur and redness of the skin. Pets with allergies can also appear lethargic or unwilling to be handled. Untreated allergies can make pets downright miserable while placing them at risk for skin infections.

A veterinarian, such as Dr. Whitworth, who treats pet dermatology, can help identify and treat skin conditions, and will see pets with allergy symptoms. Allergy treatments can include a change in diet, soothing soaps or medications. Such small steps can make a world of difference for a pet suffering from allergies. Owners of furry animals can expect their pets to regain their softness and sheen after alleviating allergy symptoms. When properly treated, pets with allergies can lead healthy, normal lives.

Whether due to untreated allergy or the result of trauma, damage to the skin can lead to infection. A specialist in animal dermatology can provide the best diagnostic and therapeutic aide for skin infections. Distinguishing the lumps of infection from the bumps of tumors is another important part of animal dermatology and one of the many services provided by the Whitworth Animal Clinic.

The neighborhood animal dermatology center

Located in Madison and serving the greater Huntsville metropolitan area, Whitworth Animal Clinic is Northern Alabama’s first choice for pet dermatology care. Contact our team of animal care experts to learn more about your favorite four-legged friend’s skin care options.