Does Your Pet Have a Skin Problem?

Environmental conditions, pests, and irritating substances are just waiting for a chance to cause a pet skin problems. They’re inside and outside of your home. They’re sneaky and sometimes difficult to avoid.

Some skin problems remain asymptomatic, so they aren’t easily detectable. Others can make your cat or dog visibly uncomfortable and agitated. Sometimes a pet skin problem causes twice as much difficulty because they also affect humans.

Does your cat or dog have a pet skin problem?

As a pet parent, it’s up to notice if your cat or dog is struggling with a pet skin problem. Here are a few common conditions to look for.


Ringworm (Dermatophyte Infection) is a fungus infection that affects mostly younger pets with immature immune systems. You might not always see the circular ringworm rash on your pet’s hair-covered body. In cats and dogs, ringworm often shows up as hair loss, broken hair, red skin, dandruff, scales, and other visible problems.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains, ringworm can be asymptomatic in your pet but still spread to humans and other animals. Both animals and humans can also catch ringworm from towels, blankets, and other contaminated objects. Vets diagnose ringworm by doing a fungal culture.


Just like members of their human families, pets have allergic reactions to chemicals, detergents, sprays, insect bites, food, pollen, and other substances. You easily notice an allergy-related pet skin problem when your cat has itching, infections, redness, dry skin, and inflammation.


Pet parasites are difficult to avoid because your pet provides the perfect environment for them to thrive.

Flea bites

A single flea can establish a home on your pet and begin producing offspring within hours. Fleas lay eggs that fall from your pets to carpet, upholstery, your pet’s bedding, and other areas. Under optimum conditions, they hatch and mature within days and begin hatching a new generation of fleas.

When young cats scratch and bite at an infected flea, they can pick up Bartonella henselae infection (cat scratch disease). Cats usually remain asymptomatic but they pass the infection to humans by licking a human’s open wound or scratching hard enough to break the skin. Human symptoms include skin irritations, exhaustion, and painful lymph nodes. Humans and cats sometimes develop rare complications.


A tick can easily attach itself to your cat or dog from locations in wooded areas and on other animals or humans. When they feed on your pet (and on you) they cause irritation and medical problems such as Lyme disease.

You can’t always avoid ticks, but you can use preventative products to repel them. You should always check for fleas after leaving a wooded area. If you find a tick attached to your pet, remove it immediately, but be careful. A tick’s fluids can cause infections in pets and humans.


Mites are microscopic creatures that usually infest young pet’s ears. Pets encounter mites on infected bedding and other contaminated surfaces. Sarcoptic mange mites burrow into your pet’s skin, causing severe itching, hair loss, rash, and secondary infections. They also cause problems for humans. Demodex mites cause mange in cats, although it occurs infrequently.

Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital

If your cat or dog is miserable because of a pet skin problem, contact your veterinarian for guidance. Your vet might recommend solutions ranging from nutritional changes to anti-fungal medications.

If you’d like to learn more about diagnosing and treating a pet skin problem, visit our contact page or give us a call at (860) 228-4324.