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Skin disease or irritation can cause serious distress for our furry friends. To relieve that suffering, we offer dermatological testing and treatment that can help your pet live comfortably. During your appointment, the veterinarian will discuss your observations and perform a comprehensive physical examination to determine the cause of your pet’s skin problems. Sometimes, various laboratory tests will be necessary to arrive at a diagnosis, many of which can be completed here in our clinic or sent out to a reference lab for fast and accurate results.
Common dermatological issues for pets:
· Auto-immune disorders
· Chronic ear disease
· Disease of the foot
· Ear infections
· Flea allergy dermatitis
· Hair loss
· Hormone disorders
· Parasitic, bacterial, or fungal infections
· Skin allergies caused by contact, environment, or food
· Skin cancer
What does treatment involve?
Our veterinarian will work with you and your pet to determine a treatment plan that is manageable. Trying to find the best method of therapy is an ongoing process that may take several attempts in order to discover an effective treatment.
To help with diagnosis, we may perform the following tests to supplement our initial prognosis of your pet’s condition:
Skin or Ear Cytology – A sample is taken from the affected area on your pet with a cotton swab or similar technique and placed on a microscope slide. This slide is stained and evaluated under the microscope by our veterinarians to determine what sort of infection may be present. Common infectious agents found in the ears and on the skin include mites, yeast, and several types of bacteria. Once our veterinarians have determined the infectious agents present, they can formulate an individual treatment plan for your pet.
Skin Cultures – If your pet exhibits a skin disorder that is resistant to all previously tested forms of treatment, a skin culture is typically used to test numerous treatments at one time. This will help determine a successful treatment to heal the affected skin without continually unsettling your pet. Antibiotic resistance is becoming increasingly common amongst pets and people, and a skin culture will help our doctors determine the most effective medications for your pet.
Biopsies – A biopsy is often performed to diagnose various skin cancers and autoimmune skin disorders. A biopsy is executed by removing the affected skin and sending it to a veterinary pathologist who will process the sample and examine it under a microscope.
Intradermal Allergy Testing – If necessary, our veterinarians can refer you to a board certified veterinary dermatologist for allergy testing. The intention of performing intradermal allergy testing is to discover exactly which allergens your pet reacts to, and begin to desensitize your pet to these allergens through a variety of methods. To perform the test, a patch of hair is shaved, and a grid is drawn on the skin. Common pet allergens are injected into separate squares on the grid. The dermatologist then examines the grid after a waiting period of 20 minutes. All swollen, red injection-sites indicate a positive allergen.
Video Otoscopy – Video otoscopy is used to diagnose and treat chronic ear infections and diseases. A magnified camera is inserted deep into the ear canal while your pet is heavily sedated to identify any abnormalities, tumors, or foreign bodies that might exist. If immediate treatment is needed, tools can be attached to the otoscope to flush waxy build-up, perform surgery, or remove foreign objects.
If you have any questions about pet dermatology or think your pet might have a skin condition, contact our office today.