It will surprise many people to learn that animals may become allergic to plastic. Areas of skin that contact the plastic become inflamed and often bleed. Once the normal dermal barrier is damaged, bacteria and fungi often develop secondary infections. Pictured below is the chin of a dog who received an automatic plastic feeder for Christmas. The lesions often start on the chin and spread to the lips and nose.
Treatment involves removing the plastic exposure and treating the secondary infections. In this case, I recommended placing a metal or ceramic pan in the automatic feeder. Given appropriate therapy, most patients will recover within two weeks.
Unfortunately, there can also be problems associated with metal bowls (shocks from static electricity) and ceramic bowls (easily broken and lead paint). Please see my next blog for the pros and cons of the different materials used in food and water bowls.