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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, our primary care veterinarians 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 which laboratory tests 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 veterinarians 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 a piece of the affected skin and submitting it to the lab, where it is processed and examined by a pathologist under a microscope.
Serum Allergy Testing – The intention of performing serum allergy testing is to discover exactly which allergens your pet reacts to. To perform the test a simple blood sample is drawn and submitted to the lab to test for common allergens.
Skin Cultures – If your pet exhibits a skin disorder that is resistant to all previously prescribed antibiotic treatment, a skin culture is typically used to test the effectiveness of numerous antibiotic treatments at one time. This will help determine a successful antibiotic treatment to heal the affected skin infection.
If you have any questions about pet dermatology or think your pet might have a skin condition, contact our office today.