If there is ever a time of year that I am overwhelmed with questions /concerns on skin and coat issues with dogs and cats it is Autumn and Spring. Why, you ask? Please allow me to elaborate.
There are two things all dog and cat owners need to be informed on when it comes to skin and coat issues during these seasons of the year. Instinctively, cats and dogs need to adapt to change or suffer consequences… Relating to Autumnal and Vernal changes in weather their bodies are trying to adapt to the dramatic, and sometimes, unpredictable weather conditions during these months. As the sunlight increases this effect to the pituitary gland causes (dramatically in the Spring to Summer) our pets begin to loose/shed their thick winter coats and prepare for the upcoming warmer weather. When this happens the pet owner can expect to see an increase in appetite, as their hair is made up primarily of protein, this being the case, it is absolutely to be expected that their appetite would increase due to the protein need/demand to grow their new Spring/Summer coat. Secondly, pet owners can definitely see an increase in scratching almost to a point the owner have lost his/her cool on the animal. Scratching increases are due to the body’s response to a buildup of bacteria on the skin due to the undercoat. When air cannot get to the skin the buildup of bacteria increases substanially on the skin. A comparison would be to the human condition of sunburn itch, obviously during the peeling effect. It is imperative at this time for the pet owner to brush thoroughly trying to remove as much undercoat as possible, consider an undercoat rake or a furminator (a terrific brush) for that job. Also, consider a great topical spray Emu Oil/Spray, an all-natural antibacterial product. By the way, “Kenic” provides a nice product. The same effect occurs during early fall into winter as the animal’s bodies prepare for colder temps. Shedding increases, appetite increases due to the pet’s bodies demand for the imminent change, this time due to the decrease in sunlight hitting the dog and cat’s pituitary gland. Understanding the cause and effect of nature and its seasonal effects on all living things can help bring light to the pet owners frustration. Next blog, look for an explanation for UTI’s in our pets….and how you can all but eliminate them from returning...or even occurring!