By Dr. Andrew Jones
Acne is a skin condition that not only occurs in un-wanting teens, but also our dogs and cats. Acne is an infection and inflammation of the hair follicles; the result are small red bumps and pustules at the base of the hair. This condition occurs often in cats with their entire chin read and swollen. In dogs this is also seen with pustules and bumps at the base of the chin.
The causes of acne in animals are similar to that in people. It is often seen in young animals who are maturing and first producing the sex hormones. It can be seen from animals that drool excessively and fail to properly groom themselves; the saliva and dirt are great environments for bacteria to multiply. In cats especially it can be caused by a primary underlying allergy; the inflammation then allows bacteria on the outside of the skin to enter the hair follicle and become infected.
There are a number of effective home remedies.
CLEAN IT DAILY. Wash the chin with an antibacterial soap and a warm cloth. It will open the blocked pores, clear surface debris and allow the pimples to heal more quickly. Use a warm, but not too hot cloth. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
WARM COMPRESSES. A warm-water compress will open blocked pores and increase blood flow helping the body remove the infection. Soak a cloth in warm water and hold it onto the area until it turns cool. Repeat daily until the acne clears up.
THE PLASTIC CONNECTION. Some pets react to plastic, causing acne to break out. This is very common in cats, and as such you should always give your cats a non plastic food and water bowl. Glass or ceramic dishes, cleaned daily, are the best idea.
CALENDULA. Will soothe the skin and help stop infection. Soak a cotton ball or gauze pad with the tincture and apply to the sore until it cools. It can be used in conjunction with a warm water compress.
ALOE. Also helpful; apply a thin layer of gel from an Aloe Vera plant to soothe the skin.
HERBAL TEA RINSE. Daily skin rinse of cooled chamomile, plantain, or calendula tea may bring relief. Wipe the affected area with the tea, and allow it to drip dry.
Acne in dogs and cats responds well to many of the above suggested home remedies. In serious cases it may require specific veterinary medication, but most can be treated naturally. I encourage you to consider removing plastic bowls, applying topical Aloe and Calendula, and cleaning with an antibacterial scrub.
Heal Your Pet At Home!
Dr Andrew Jones, DVM
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