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Skin Infections

Skin infections are prevalent in cats and dogs, yet they are rarely the primary disease in our pets. Skin infection is often secondary to other diseases, including allergies, endocrine disease, immune-mediated and auto-immune diseases, and parasites (mites, ticks, and fleas). Your veterinary dermatologist can assist you in diagnosing and managing both the infection and the underlying cause through extensive diagnostic work-up and tailored treatment plans for each patient.

Common symptoms of skin infections in your cat or dog include:  

  • Itching 

  • Scratching 

  • Biting at the skin 

  • Excessive shedding and hair loss 

  • Excessive scaling (dandruff) 

  • Malodor 

  • Redness 

  • Crusting (scabs) 

  • Erosions and ulcerations  

What Veterinary Dermatology Can Do 

Your veterinary dermatologist will take a thorough history of your pet’s signs to determine the most likely underlying cause of the skin infection. This may include but is not limited to performing cytology, culture, blood work, and biopsy. In the case of allergy, your veterinary dermatologist may recommend an elimination diet trial or intradermal allergy testing and allergen-specific immunotherapy to help desensitize your pet to their food and environmental allergens. 

Management Options for Skin Infections 

Your veterinary dermatologist may prescribe oral and topical therapies to manage your dog or cat's skin infection. Often, combination therapy offers the best, fastest, and most long-lasting relief from infection and the itch related to it. Our goal is always to provide quick and effective therapy to treat existing problems for our pet and then determine what maintenance therapy will best keep your pet from experiencing frequent relapses.