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Dermatological issues can be a bit sneaky. 

First of all, the skin is the body’s largest organ – so there’s lots of physical space for issues to arise. 

Second, animals are furry! Their skin can often be hard to see, so you might not notice redness, inflammation, bumps, lesions, or other issues right away (not to mention how difficult it can be to get a good look between toes or inside ears). 

Finally, because there are so many factors that can contribute to skin irritation – environment, diet, trauma, hygiene, parasites, or other diseases, to name a few – treatment is rarely simple or straightforward. 

Keeping on top of any issues your companion might have helps prevent more significant problems down the line. Here are five ‘spot checks’ that you can add to your regular wellness checklist to make sure you note any subtle signs of skin concerns:

Eyes – Your companion’s eyes should be clear and bright. Redness or thinning/missing fur around them are signs of irritation.
Skin and Coat – Their skin should not be red, flaky, or dry, and their coat should not be greasy. Use a flea comb to check for fleas, and keep a careful watch for ticks.
Ears –  Your companion’s ears should not be red, painful, odorous, or have any buildup or discharge. Notice if you see them frequently shaking their head, scratching their ears or rubbing their face on the floor.
Paws – The pads of your pet’s feet put up with a lot, whether it is enduring cold, muddy winters or hot summer sidewalks. Make sure to check their feet regularly for any redness, pain, odour, or sores.
Fur Coverage – With the exception of breeds who are naturally hairless, your companion should be covered in fur. Any ‘naked’ spots cropping up should be assessed by your vet.

Regardless of the cause, skin issues are usually itchy and irritating. You will likely notice your pet scratching, licking, rolling, or rubbing against things in an effort to ease their discomfort. If you notice any signs of concern, don’t hesitate to book a veterinary consultation so we can help get to the bottom of this itchy issue.