Animal skin is a highly dynamic organ that constantly adapts to changes in its environment. It provides the body with a structural, physiologic and immunologic barrier to the outside world.
The health of the normal skin barrier can be compromised by physical damage such as scratching or damage caused by parasites, loss of moisture (usually due to poor shampoos), or inflammation (usually an allergic reaction to plants, pollens or parasites). We may not be able to prevent exposure to some of these things but we can help keep the skin barrier in optimal condition using a balance of correct diet, shampoos and topical products. By doing so we help to reduce the amount of inflammation and damage to the normal skin barrier, and thus the amount of exposure to damaging agents.
Your choice of shampoo is very important for your pets' skin health. Human shampoo is not good for animal skin, as human skin is 6 times thicker than dog skin and has a different pH. If your dog has sensitive skin, a soap free shampoo might be appropriate. A conditioning treatment after shampoo will help to keep the skin as moist and healthy as possible, and some of the conditioners may be applied daily as a spray in much the same way we would apply moistureiser to our skin. We also stock a range of all natural sulphate free shampoos especially designed for different skin types, as well as medicated shampoos for those who need a little more care.
Please ask any of our staff for advice on shampoos that are safe and effective for your pet.
Between shampoos, you can apply products like Essential 6 which is a spot-on-pipette of a natural blend of essential oils and omega fatty acids. This product improves coat shine and skin condition as well as reducing dandruff and odour. It is taken up by the sebaceous glands in the skin and released slowly over 1-2 weeks to provide ongoing skin care.
Many premium diets are designed to help protect the normal skin barrier by providing high levels of fatty acids in an appropriate balance. Fatty acids naturally prevent skin inflammation as well as helping to replace some of the normal moisture lost through everyday wear and tear on the skin. We are happy to discuss diet with you at any time. We also stock a range of prescription diets for specific skin problems.
If you pets skin is very inflammed, itchy or weepy, you may need medication to help settle the problem and prevent its return. During a consultation, we can advise you as to what is the best way to treat the problem now and offer you options to help manage long term problems.
Don't forget flea control. Fleas damage the skin by causing inflammation and physical trauma from scratching. There are a range of very effective monthly spotons or tablets that will help prevent fleas in your environment and on your pet.
Please ask us for advice about the right product for your pet.