There are four main skin disorders commonly seen in dogs and cats. These include excessive itching, hair loss, bacterial skin disease, and skin lumps. Because the skin offers the pet protection, traction, and defense, it is important to treat skin disorders as soon as symptoms appear. Severe or prolonged itching can be caused by several things including an external parasite, allergic dermatitis, food, flea, or contact allergies, or bacterial infection. Most of these are treated by medications or a change of environment. Excessive hair loss can be a sign of high stress, malnutrition, hormonal imbalances, or ringworm. Bacterial skin disease is treated by first identifying and addressing the underlying cause and then using medicated ointments and antibiotics for the irritation. Skin lumps can be anything from an abscess or cyst to a tumor and, like any skin disorder found on your dog or cat, should be immediately reported to a veterinarian. For more information on pet skin disorders, consult a veterinarian in your area.