Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
Lifestyle Pets Unleashed

Ask the pet expert: dandruff

 

My cat has dandruff. Is there a safe, organic way to treat that?

Dandruff or dry scaly coat is a condition that we see in cats and dogs, especially during cold weather. However it is important to find out the primary cause of this condition before attempting to treat it. So let's discuss some of the potential reasons that cats can develop dry skin or dandruff.

•Forced dry heat or low humidity can certainly cause dry skin that flakes easily, so winter is the time we notice this pattern a lot.

• Certain mites or fungi can cause dry scaling of the skin. This condition would also cause your cat to itch. Your veterinarian can help in identifying this mite and treating the problem.

•Certain immune-mediated conditions can also cause excessive scaling and flaking of the skin. Again this is something that can be identified or treated by your veterinarian.

•Some cats with food allergies or those that are not on a good-quality food can also have skin that is very scaly or flaky.

Once we rule out any environmental, infectious and immune-mediated conditions, there are some agents that can help with skin conditioning.

•A good-quality food or even a food trial with a skin support diet or a novel protein diet might be indicated based on the initial assessment.

•Skin supplements that have omega 3 fatty acids can prove beneficial in keeping the skin healthy.

•Shampoos or topical sprays that have natural agents to moisturize and condition the skin might be useful as well. Some of these are medicated shampoos that can be obtained from your veterinarian. Shampoos and topical sprays with a natural chemical phytosphingosine has been found to be very useful in managing conditions with dry scaly skin in our experience.

This week's expert is Dr. Padma Yadlapalli, Freetown Animal Hospital in Columbia. To submit a question for a local animal expert, email unleashed@baltsun.com.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Ask the pet expert: chewing paper
    Ask the pet expert: chewing paper

    How can I get my cat to stop tearing and eating paper?

  • Collared: Readers' pets
    Collared: Readers' pets

    Read about local pets, or share your own story. We're interested in cats and dogs, but also hamsters, hedgehogs, turtles, horses, chickens -- the whole pet gamut. For more information, email pets@baltsun.com and be sure to put "Collared" in the subject line.

  • Adoptable pets at Baltimore-area shelters
    Adoptable pets at Baltimore-area shelters

    Here's a collection of a few of the dogs, cats and other critters in the Baltimore area who need homes. Be sure to check with the shelter before you go to verify that the animal you want is still there.

  • Four new dog breeds added to American Kennel Club
    Four new dog breeds added to American Kennel Club

    The American Kennel Club has recognized four more dog breeds, including a Spanish fishing dog and a South African guard dog, in a move allowing them to compete in prestigious canine competitions nationwide.

  • Baltimore Humane Society opening pet-food bank
    Baltimore Humane Society opening pet-food bank

    The Baltimore Humane Society is opening a new food bank for people who need assistance with the cost of feeding their pets.

  • Meet Bay Bay
    Meet Bay Bay

    Meet Bay Bay, the Pet of the Week at the SPCA of Anne Arundel County. She's been waiting for a forever home for a whole year. Visit aacspca.org for more information.

Comments
Loading