Summertime Skincare for Pets


Around the nation, the warm summer weather is getting warmer, and pets and humans alike have to be protected from extreme temperatures and sometimes, poor air quality. No time to waste on complaints, however. Mother Nature clearly isn’t listenin’. For instance, in this part of the country, floods are causing millions of dollars in damage. The intermittent storms that strike are severe and beautifully psychotic; laughing one minute, exploding the next. By late July, summer air in Missouri is thick by 7am and laden with mold. Because of my severe allergies, I take over-the-counter medication just to breathe freely. On a daily basis, my little terrier comes in from her play time, covered with pollen, sending squeamish me on a mad scramble for the inhaler.
Sometimes it seems like the rivers will continue rise, and the deer and wildlife that own this land dance crooked across rural highways to flee the changing flood conditions. At least the Missouri skunks seem cheerful, scampering at a more casual pace, and threatening all with their black and white guns pointed high.

With all of the pathogens, summertime here is peak season for skin infections in dogs and cats. Skin infections are the number one reason pets are prescribed antibiotics. Common pet infections are pyoderma, wounds and absecesses. These skin conditions can be very difficult to treat. Owners often say they notice behavioral changes in their pets long before they detect infections. The hot spots on long haired pets can spread rapidly and be tough to get rid of. Skin infections in animals can be caused by a variety of bacterial pathogens. In dogs, they typically occur with an allergy or parasite infestation. Dogs have skin infections that result from mites, fleas and ticks breaking the skin and making them miserable. Food allergies can also manifest themselves as skin problems in our pets. Pet owners that have been plagued with these problems will be happy to know that veterinarians have several antibiotic options available, and one that’s recently hit the market called Convenia. Convenia reputedly gives pets much needed relief for two weeks.

When it comes to protecting our pets from these skin infections, grooming is key. When summer shows, the thick long hair undercoat has got to go. It is very important to get to the underlying cause with a professional groomer. The undercoat can get wet and matted, and the trapped moisture can breed bacteria, yeast and fungus. The increased summer temperatures and humidity only aggravate these skin infections, making our sweet four legged pals and our strictly budgeted bank accounts blue.

Pet owners must keep in mind that skin infections can also be a sign of hormonal disease. You may see broken hairs, thinning, itching, scabs and rashes, as pets will bite or chew areas like the top of the tail or the legs for relief. Remember, summer’s humidity increased temperatures can greatly aggravate the conditions.

For more information on your pet’s skin health check out

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Post Author: Evelyn J. Jahn

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