Sign in

Contagious Pet Skin Conditions: What You Need to Know

Contagious Pet Skin Conditions | For any pet owner, protecting our beloved companions is paramount. Our pets also depend upon us to give them the very best life and keep them safe.

This year, Colorado is challenged with two highly contagious skin conditions: sucking lice and walking dandruff. Here at the Ken Caryl Pet Spa, we have seen several cases of each of these nasty pests!  While not initially life-threatening, they are serious, progressive conditions that need to be identified and treated to prevent further infestation and additional medical issues.

If your pet is continuously scratching, rubbing, biting at their skin, restless, suffering from skin redness, irritation and hair loss, they could be suffering from one of these two skin diseases.

Here’s what you need to know about each one and how to address them.

SUCKING LICE 101

What:

  • Sucking lice are one of two species that infest dogs. These tiny parasites grip their host’s hair with their well-developed claws and suck blood through the skin.
  • More commonly found on long-hair breeds and in colder climates.
  • More common in young puppies, malnourished or senior dogs living in unsanitary conditions.
  • Species-specific; cats, people and other animals cannot get sucking lice from dogs.

Symptoms:

  • Itchiness, scratching, rubbing
  • Biting their skin
  • Skin irritation/redness
  • Dry coat
  • Matted or clumped fur (hiding an infestation)
  • Will seek out skin abrasions for the moisture they love
  • Fur loss (around the neck, ears, upper back, groin and rectum)
  • Severe infestations can cause: anemia (low red blood cell levels), lethargy, weight loss and arrested development in puppies

Where:

  • Direct contact with an infected dog (at dog parks, boarding kennels, grooming and breeding facilities and animal shelters, etc.); or
  • Contact with a contaminated object (including kennels, bedding, furniture, carpets, rugs, brushes, crates, leashes, collars, dog apparel or even outdoor spaces).

How to Treat:

  • Treatment: Topical Insecticide

WALKING DANDRUFF 101

What:

  • Extremely contagious and non-seasonal skin disease caused by whitish mites with a 21-day life cycle; a type of mange.
  • Can spread to – and infect – other species through direct contact including dogs, cats, rabbits and even humans. Can also be ingested and lead to an infestation.
  • Live and move around under the scales (or dandruff) of a cat’s skin looking like moving dandruff (dry, flaky skin similar to human dandruff).

Symptoms:

  • Itchiness (mild to severe)
  • Excessive scratching, rubbing and licking causing skin sores
  • Dandruff (or scales) and lesions especially along the back
  • Raised red bumps
  • Dry, red and shedding skin
  • Hair loss (anywhere on the body)

Where:

  • Direct contact with an infected animal (including dog parks, boarding kennels, grooming and breeding facilities and animal shelters, etc.); or
  • Contact with a contaminated object (including kennels, bedding, furniture, carpets, rugs, brushes, crates, leashes, collars, dog apparel or even outdoor spaces).

How to Treat:

  • Possible skin scraping by a vet to rule out other underlying medical diseases like scabies (cats); or hypothyroidism, a skin infection or Omega-3 deficiencies in dogs).
  • Treatment: Topical Parasite-control Product

 (If you suspect your dog or cat has one of these contagious conditions, visit your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan especially before taking them around other dogs or cats, grooming or boarding facilities, the dog park, doggy day care, etc.)

 

Keep Pests Away with Regular Bathing and Grooming!

Ken Caryl Pet Spa
Keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy and gorgeous with our grooming services.
We check every pet for ticks, lice, fleas & other topical parasites!
Our Thera-Clean Micro Bubble system helps soothe skin & ease itching too!
Just call us at 720-981-7387 or email us at info@KenCarylPetSpa.com today.


Share this post



← Older Post Newer Post →