Skin Disease in Pets

My pet and skin disease

Skin disease and disorders are a common problem seen in pets. The condition of your pet’s coat and skin is an important indicator of their overall health.

As with allergies or skin reactions in people, these conditions can vary from acute, self-limiting problems to chronic or long-lasting problems requiring life-long treatment.

The many conditions that cause itchy and damaged skin can be grouped into a few categories which have similarities to those seen in humans. These groups include:

  • immune related skin disease
  • contact allergies
  • insect allergies
  • airborne allergies
  • food allergies
  • hormonal diseases that may be non-skin related but show up on the skin such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid disease) or Cushing’s disease

Ear disease can often be an extension of skin disease in pets. The ears are a deep, dark area that can harbor and grow infection because of the moist environment.
Talk to your local Greencross Vets to learn more

What are the different types of skin disease seen in pets?

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopy is a common skin disease causing itchiness of the skin. It is a reaction by an individual animal’s body to airborne pollens from grasses, weeds, trees, mould spores and house dust.

Common areas that atopy symptoms are found include:

  • ankles
  • muzzle or nose
  • wrists
  • underarms
  • groin
  • face (especially around the eyes)
  • on paws and in between toes

External Ear Infections (Otitis Externa)

Infections of the external ear canal (outer ear) by bacteria or yeast, is one of the most common types of infections seen in dogs and cats. The most common causes of ear infections include allergies, heattrapped moisture due to baggy ears, and excessive earwax or hair in the ears.  It can also be caused by ear mites, foreign material like a grass seed, or an unknown growth.

Aural Haematoma

What is an aural haematoma?

An aural haematomoa is a blood blister of the ear. It forms when one or more of these vessels rupture and the leaking blood pockets into the space between the two layers of skin.

Skin cancer in pets

Did you know, dogs and cats can get skin cancer as well? Certain breeds such as ginger or white haired cats, and white short haired dogs are more susceptible. See our comprehensive guide to skin cancer in pets here. 


If your pet suffers from itchy or irritated skin, contact your local Greencross Vets team or make an appointment online today.


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