Pet owners are often surprised to find out that even their furry companions can suffer from heat rashes. If heat rashes are annoying and painful for humans; they are even more misery-inducing to one’s pets. Indeed; a heat rash on dog or a heat rash on a cat can cause a great deal of irritation, itching, inflammation and anxiety to the pet.
Symptoms of heat rash on dogs and heat rash on cats
Heat rashes on dogs and cats mainly appear on the gentle skin in the abdominal region, on the backside, in the folds of the skin, under the neck and tail or near the pet’s ears. Often, pet owners have mistaken the heat rash on dogs and heat rash on cats to be due to fleas or other parasitic infestations. However, heat rashes are mainly a result of Staphylococcus pathogen aggravated by hot and humid environmental conditions.
A heat rash on one’s pet can begin as a minor skin irritation where the dog or cat might scratch frequently; but very soon it can transform into an oozing, red rash that may be accompanied by pimples, boils, scabs and a bad odor.
In case of a heat rash on dogs, the animal may bite, lick or even chew the site of the rash frequently. This can lead to worsening of the condition and, if overlooked, may lead to extensive hair loss or bleeding and open wounds. Furry dogs (or even hairless dogs like the Chinese Crested that has tufts of hair all over its body) are more prone to heat rashes in the summer months.
Likewise, a heat rash on cats can begin as bumps or red blotches on the skin that may be pus filled or oozing. Apart from these red blotches, cat owners have also noted signs like dry skin, falling hair, acne or abrasions which are some of the other tell-tale signs of heat rash on cats.
Treating heat rash on dogs and heat rash on cats
Before rushing off to buy some over the counter products for treating such skin infections on your pet, make sure you have your pet examined by an experienced vet (or a dermatologist). Often, regular vets may not be able to identify such conditions and a dermatologist may be more experienced in recommending the right products for helping treat the heat rash.
Heat and humidity are the main culprits of heat rash on dogs and heat rash on cats. At the first signs of infection, make sure you cool the pet down using a cold towel dipped in ice cool water. Home remedies for treating a heat rash on dogs or a heat rash on cats mainly consist of application of Calamine lotion or creams containing less than 1% hydrocortisone. These can help reduce swelling and inflammation and bring down the itchiness and redness. Aloe Vera gel (taken directly from the plant or in the form of lotions and gels) can also be applied to the heat rash on dog or heat rash on cat. Hydrocortisone creams must not be used for more than three days (or as recommended by the dermatologist) since excessive use of such products can be harmful to pets.
Never use any harsh or artificially scented skin creams or perfumes that can cause allergic reactions in the pet and worsen the heat rash. It is important to prevent the animal from going out in the sun as sun burn can aggravate the condition. Do talk to your dermatologist regarding the use of sun screen or other gentle sun protection for the pets.
Preventing heat rashes in pets
There are many great products available in the market today that can help address many of your pet’s skincare concerns in a holistic manner. Several of these skin and coat formulas are abundant in nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids and other B vitamins. All of these nutrients work together to stimulate tissue repair and also help create an oily layer on the animal’s skin to keep it healthy, moisturized and supple. Do talk to your vet or dermatologist regarding supplementing your pet with vitamin C (and other vital nutrients like Biotin etc) to encourage natural collagen formulation which, in turn, can help prevent heat rash on dogs and heat rash on cats.