Penny arrived today with a condition we see occasionally associated with really fastidious housekeepers.
Actually, this can happen anywhere cleaning products are used, even ones we associate with “mildness.”
Penny has a flakiness on the pads of her front feet. After extensive questioning we ruled out the likelihood of cleaners in Penny’s case. At this point we don’t know why she has flaky footpads, but we’re glad it’s limited to the front feet (which was another clue that it probably wasn’t cleaning products).
Chemical burns can occur with even everyday things we use to clean floors, countertops and carpets. Not only can feet be affected, but the lower chest and abdominal skin can often be burned. Hair loss, red skin, peeling skin with blisters, these are all common signs of such injury.
Dry carpet cleaners one sprinkles onto the carpet and vacuums out are common irritants. Frequently we see problems with these when insufficient amount is removed by the vacuum or an individual pet has an allergic reaction to the ingredients.
Allergic reactions are more likely to affect the skin, causing redness, sometimes blisters, but sparing the hair, at least initially. Hair may later fall out if the hair follicles are sufficiently inflamed, or if the skin becomes itchy.
A good practice is to read the label of all products to ensure they are pet-safe.
When using cleaning products where pets may tread, be sure to wipe thoroughly until dry, or even rinse the product with clear water.
Carpet-cleaning products must be removed thoroughly with the vacuum. Alternatively, leave the cleaning process to professional carpet care experts.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.