We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

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A Pomeranian puppy running

Dog Skin Care

Skin conditions in dogs can range from mildly irritating to advanced, painful and overwhelming for both pets and owners. Depending on the nature of your dog’s problem, finding the answer may take time and require diagnostic tests. Your veterinary health care team will work with you to create a tailored treatment plan, while providing support to you and your pet along the way.

What are the causes, symptoms and diagnosis of bacterial skin infections?


Skin conditions can be attributed to parasites, bacterial or yeast infections, allergies, hormonal imbalances or autoimmune diseases. Signs may include itching, redness, flakey or excessively dry skin, thick discharge, hair loss and odour. Your dog’s physical exam along with skin scrapings, swabs, biopsies and blood work may be used to aid diagnosis.

What are the causes, symptoms, and treatment for ringworms?


Ringworm is sneaky – it’s not actually a worm at all! Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection, and certain species are highly contagious to pets and people! Some pets and people can be carriers despite showing little to no signs of the disease. This is felt to be the primary cause of transmission. In other cases, ringworm can live on surfaces such as food dishes and brushes. They can even be found in soil. Typical signs of ringworm include dry, scaly skin and patchy or round bald patches. Ringworm may cause red or ulcerated skin that is often not itchy for pets. Fungal culture and/or skin biopsy is taken to confirm if ringworm is the culprit, and then a treatment plan consisting of topical and/or oral medications is started. Keeping an infected ringworm dog quarantined and practicing good personal hygiene is crucial to prevent the spread of the disease.

What are the causes and treatment of allergic skin diseases?


Most allergic skin disease shows itself between the ages of 6 months and 3 years, and the list is long for possible causes. Food allergies, contact/environmental allergies, hormone disruptions, parasites, breed predispositions and immune-mediated conditions are the primary factors. The choice of treatment will depend on the cause and the overall health of the patient. Your veterinarian will likely recommend a number of diagnostic tests coupled with a systematic approach to rule out causes. These tests are designed to identify the root cause. Although this may seem time-consuming and require multiple visits, it is imperative that you follow directions closely to find relief for your furry friend.

What are the causes and treatment for parasitic skin diseases?


Parasitic skin disease can be caused by a number of external parasites, most frequently fleas and mites. In the case of a flea allergy, it only takes one flea bite to trigger a response, stressing the importance of an effective and consistent parasite prevention program. Some of these parasites cause your pets to itch while others do not. Most will cause hair loss and redness. Simple tests can be run in the clinic to check for most parasitic skin disease. Treatment typically consists of killing off the offending pest. In cases where the condition has been left untreated for an extended period, the pet may have a secondary bacterial infection from scratching. Your veterinarian may prescribe additional medications such as antibiotics or topical anti-inflammatories. If you suspect your pet has a parasitic skin disease, please contact your vet as some of these are contagious to people as well.

What are the causes and treatment for hormonal skin diseases?


Imbalances in an animal’s normal hormone levels can have a negative effect on the skin and haircoat. This leads to hair loss, dry, scaly skin and general poor coat health. These imbalances occur when an organ fails to secrete the proper amount of hormone. Blood work is the primary means of determining if there is a hormone-based health concern such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s Disease, which may be causing or contributing to dermatitis. Treatment for hormone-related dermatitis will typically include medication to restore hormone levels. Repeat blood work is needed to ensure hormone levels are where they need to be and treatment has not negatively affected other organs.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed reception area” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to please call the number posted on our windows. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets and equine, as well as time-sensitive vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 7:30 pm. Saturday: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm and Sunday: CLOSED

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Avon Animal Hospital