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What you need to know about your pet’s skin and ear conditions


What you need to know about your pet’s skin and ear conditions?

As pet owners, we all want our pets to have healthy and happy lives, and a big part of that is understanding how to take care of their skin. 


Understanding your pet’s skin is crucial!

The skin is their largest organ and provides protection against the environment, microbes, and allergens. 


It also helps with homeostasis (A state of balance among all the body systems needed for the body to survive and function correctly). 


Skin conditions can be frustrating for both the owner and vet as these conditions can be lifelong and require ongoing maintenance/treatment. 


What you need to know about your pet’s skin barrier

It’s an essential component of their skin! Here’s what you need to know: 

  • Their skin barrier is the layer on top of the skin that protects the body from foreign invaders like allergens (pollen), bacteria, viruses, and fungi. 

  • Some animals are born with a defective skin barrier, which means that the skin cannot prevent the entry of allergens (pollen) bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This means everything on the skin can penetrate deeper and elicit an immune response to prevent harm to their body. This can result in inflammation and very itchy skin.




  • Most animals with Atopic dermatitis are born with a defective skin barrier. It is a lifelong condition and requires continuous treatment and maintenance and it is not preventable 


  • Atopic Dermatitis is mainly caused by allergens in the environment such as: 

    • Pollen 

    • Dust mites (indoors & outdoors) 

    • Moulds 

    • Grasses 

    • Trees


Allermyl® Shampoo is a micro-emulsion, neutral-pH, unscented shampoo, used to help soothe irritated skin. A dermatological shampoo for use in dogs and cats. It aids in the management of Atopic Dermatitis by focusing on restoring the skin barrier.




Did you know the ear canal is an extension of the skin?


Otitis externa is a inflammatory condition of the outer ear and ear canal

Primary causes results in inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal due to: 

  • Allergies- remember that the ear is an extension of the skin. If your pet does have a skin problem, they are more likely to develop otitis externa. 

  • Parasites e.g. ear mites 

  • Foreign bodies e.g. grass awns 

  • Endocrine disease e.g. under-active thyroid 


Predisposing factors that alter the local ear canal environment and increases the risk of developing Otitis Externa are: 

  • Hair in the ear canals 

  • Increased cerumen(ear wax) production 

  • Stenotic/Narrow ear canals 

  • Changes in the external environmental temperature and humidity 

  • Swimming 


Perpetuating factors do not initiate inflammation but worsens the inflammatory process eg. Infection caused by bacteria or yeast.


 Symptoms of Otitis Externa

  • Discharge

  • Odour

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Head shaking

  • Pawing at the ear

  • Your pet may develop a head tilt




Once your pet has struggled with otitis externa, their ear struggles to maintain proper hygiene and to protect itself against microbial overgrowth. Using an effective ear cleaning solution will help prevent potential ear problems.


Just one pump a day keeps the bacteria at bay!

The Virbac range of pet products is available from your local Vet or online Vet Store




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