The owner is usually the first to notice the skin problems of her animals e.g. itch, redness, dandruff, constant scratching and rubbing, warmth, loss of hair and hardening of the skin. These are all typical symptoms for various skin diseases. The culprit can be a parasite, allergy, external irritating agent, trauma or infection. Infections can be broken down to be caused by various different microbes such as mold, fungus, bacteria or virus. A general scientific term for all these conditions is dermatitis.
Veterinarian is the best person to analyse the comprehensive clinical situation and define the right treatment.
The regulating body for animal welfare and protection legislate that it is the owners obligation and responsibility to care for the animals in his/her care. If diseases are not able to be treated sufficiently, sometimes the most merciful decision is euthanizing the animal.
It is worth noting that the disease mechanisms underlying these typical skin problems in cats, dogs, horses and people is alike, as is their skin structure. Hence the rational of the treatment for these skin diseases is nearly identical. Good rule of thumb is that, do not apply on the skin of these animals anything you would not be willing to put on your own skin.
Typical symptom of skin infections is red, warm and itchy skin. Wide variety of microbes can cause skin infection.
Mud fever is a secondary infection with primary causative problem.
Itchy skin is usually first and most common symptom of allergies.
Summer eczema is the most common allergic skin condition in horses.
DRY FLAKY SKIN
Winter is often more problematic for animals with dry skin.
INSECTS & ITCHING SKIN
Insect bites cause allergic reaction to majority of the cats, dogs and horses, just like they do to people.
SUN BURN SKIN
The hair of cats, dogs and horses protects their skin from the UVA and UVB radiation of sun.
CHAFES & GRAZES OF THE HARNESS
Chafes can be due to mechanical stress. The sporting equipment is usually the cause of mechanical chafes.
Smaller cuts and wounds can easily be taken care of in home environment.
In thrush the frog deteriorates and eventually gets infected. Thrush is common especially in wet weather, like in autumn.
The basic skin care for the cats, dogs and horses is similar due to their analogues of the skin structure and function. The differences are due to the various behavioral and living conditions of these animals. Self grooming of cats and dogs will need to be considered carefully when choosing care products, please ensure that the ingredients are suitable for cats and dogs. Specifically with cats, one needs to consider, that cats unlike dogs, are unable to metabolize many of the substances in essential oils. Proper skin care requires follow up on the animal’s skin condition. Knowledge of how healthy skin looks and feels is a pre-requisite in recognising unhealthy skin with problems.
Basic care for healthy skin is proper nutrition and appropriate outdoor exercise.
HORSE SKIN CARE
Skin is animals’ largest organ. It provides mechanical barrier towards external irritants e.g. pathogens. Basic care for healthy skin is proper food and appropriate outdoor exercise.
SKIN STRUCTURE & FUNCTION
The basic structure of skin in cats, dogs and horses is very similar to human skin. Skin is divided into three basic layers.
ANIMAL CARE PRODUCTS
What you should know about animal care products.
WASH OF THE ANIMAL
Reserve adequate time for washing your animal. Wet hair and skin thoroughly.
GROOMING – HAIR/TAIL/MANE CARE
The oil glands in dogs, cats and horses secrete fatty acids providing natural shine on their coat.
DIARRHEA AND GENITALS
Diarrhea often leaves a dirty bottom for cats and dogs. Significant part of animals’ hygienia is purity of the genitalia.
CARE OF PAWS
Occasionally dogs and cats will need additional care with their paws.
CLEANING DOGS’ EARS
It is important to check dog’s ears regularly and clean as needed.
SKIN CARE OF HAIRLESS PETS
The animals hair/coat is designed to protect it’s skin.
Cats’ metabolism differs from dogs’ metabolism.
Basic care for horses’ hoof maintenance is regular shoeing and trimming of barefoot horses