Most pet owners are unaware that scratching, licking, biting, and chewing are tell-tale signs of an underlying skin problem. While there are over 150 different skin diseases that can affect pets, managing skin problems is possible.
Skin disease or irritation can cause distress. To relieve that suffering, we offer dermatological testing and treatment that can help your pet live comfortably. In trying to diagnose and treat skin disorders, your role as a pet owner is essential. Discovering what causes flare-ups and irritation will primarily be your job. Pay attention to your pet’s reaction after eating, playing outside, and interacting with other animals. During your appointment, the veterinarian will discuss your observations to determine a series of laboratory tests that will help diagnose or treat your pet’s skin issues.
Common dermatological issues for pets:
Chronic ear disease
Disease of the foot
Flea allergy dermatitis
Parasitic, bacterial, or fungal infections
Skin allergies caused by contact, environment, or food
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:
Biopsies – A biopsy is often performed to diagnose various skin cancers and autoimmune skin disorders. A biopsy is executed by removing the affected skin, processing it, and examining the sample under a microscope. By enlarging the area, a veterinary pathologist can usually determine the underlying issue.
Skin Cultures – If your pet exhibits a skin disorder that is resistant to all previously tested forms of treatment, a skin culture and antibiotic sensitivity panel 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.
Otoscopy – Otoscopy is used to diagnose and treat chronic ear infections and diseases. A cone is inserted deep into the ear canal to identify any abnormalities, tumors, or foreign bodies that might exist.
Occasionally, allergy testing is needed for patients with seasonal allergies that are persistent or unresponsive to other therapies. Referral to a dermatologist for Intradermal Skin Testing is the best way to diagnose environmental allergens. For convenience or when referral is not an option, we do offer in house Allergy Blood Testing.
Intradermal Allergy Testing – The intention of performing intradermal allergy testing is to discover exactly which allergens your pet reacts to. 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. Allergy vaccinations are then manufactured specifically for your pet.
If you have any questions about pet dermatology or think your pet might have a skin condition, contact our office today.