Despite the layer of fur on top of it, your pet’s skin is susceptible to issues that dermatology can address. In fact, the skin can tell much about your pet’s underlying health — you just need to know how to read the signs. But you don’t need to try to do this alone. Dr. Todd R. Burnett at Brentwood Animal Hospital can help by diagnosing your pet and offering treatment. Some of the common conditions to look out for are listed below.

Skin Irritation and Rash

The first sign of skin irritation or rash is likely going to be a change in your pet’s behavior, where they are constantly scratching, licking, or biting at their skin. Upon closer inspection, you might see redness or inflammation. There may be scaly patches or flaking on their skin, often accompanies by scabs or bald spots.

More severe issues will present with advanced swelling, lumps, or even pus. This is why it’s important to see Dr. Burnett when the symptoms first showed up. But even if you did not have a chance to take your pet to the vet at first sign of illness, don’t give up. A visit to your vet will involve a careful examination as well as a review of medical history to rule out conditions until the source of the irritation, rash, or other skin affliction is identified.

Hair Loss

Hair loss in pets is a symptom of illness and therefore can betray any number of problems, including parasites, nutritional issues, hormonal issues, reactions to medicine, or even anxiety. Again, treatment will depend directly on what is causing the hair loss.

Localized hair loss may be a sign of mange, where there is an overgrowth of the parasite in a particular spot. Hair loss is one of the first signs, but then skin crusting, scabbing, and even discharge can form.


Pets can develop allergies and show a lot of the same symptoms as in humans: itchy skin, watery eyes, inflammation, and sneezing. The most common allergy in pets is flea dermatitis, triggered by flea bits. Specifically, it is triggered by proteins in flea saliva to which the afflicted pet is hypersensitive. it is unknown why allergies develop, but treatment can involve minimizing exposure to the triggering influence, antihistamine treatment, and anti-inflammatory medications as needed.

When skin allergies become chronic, they may become a condition called atopic dermatitis, with excessive itching around all of the pet’s extremities.

Don’t dismiss seemingly minor skin irritation.  The earlier we start treating any health condition, the better your pet’s outcome will be. Contact us here at 850-434-2646 today!