Animal Dermatological Services
How can a veterinary dermatologist help?
Animal Skin Scraping
Skin scrapes are used to diagnose any parasitic component that could be causing allergy symptoms in your pet or animal. A dull blade is used to scratch the skin to acquire samples of skin cells and any parasites that may be present.
Skin Cytology and Trichogram
Cytology of the skin is used to identify infection and cells that are indicative of autoimmune disorders. A slide or piece of tape is pressed to the animal's skin, picking up samples of the cells and hairs and any microorganisms present.
Fungal culture and PCR
Dermatophyte cultures are used to identify ringworm (a type of fungal infection). A gel-like substance is used to isolate and identify ringworm organisms. Fungal PCR is used to more rapidly identify ringworm organisms in animals.
Bacterial Culture and Susceptibility Testing
A sterile swab is used to collect a sample from infected skin in order to grow and identify the bacteria causing the skin infection in your pet. Antibiotic susceptibility testing is performed on the isolate to generate a list of antibiotics effective at treating the specific bacteria cultured.
Hypoallergenic Pet Food Trial
A hypoallergenic food trial is used to diagnose food allergies. A pet is placed on a six to eight week diet trial that consists of a protein source (such as rabbit, kangaroo or venison) and a carbohydrate source (such as potato) that the pet has not been exposed to before. No treats may be given during this time.
A biopsy samples the cutaneous portion of the skin for classification and possible identification of the changes within the tissue sample.
Intradermal Allergy Testing (IDAT)
An IDAT immediately identifies the environmental irritants that cause allergic symptoms. Various pollens and molds are injected under the skin and evaluated for the degree to which they stimulate the immune system. They appear as bumps and the more red and raised they are, the more allergic the pet is to that environmental irritant. Based on these reactions, Dermatology for Animals formulates an allergen that is injected into the pet for maintenance of allergy symptoms.
The video otoscope is a valuable tool that allows for accurate diagnosis and treatment of challenging cases of chronic otitis. It utilizes a highly magnified camera lens to examine the deeper parts of the ear canal, eardrum and middle ear. It is useful in identifying foreign objects and tumors in the ear canal, abnormalities of the eardrum, and infection of the middle ear. Instruments can be inserted through the video otoscope to grasp objects in the ear canal or to flush debris out of the ear canal and middle ear.
Laser Surgery for Pets
The carbon-dioxide laser is a very precise instrument used for the removal of small, superficial masses. The benefits of performing this surgery include less pain and bleeding, faster recovery, and no suture material.
Cryotherapy is a procedure where liquid nitrogen is applied to a skin lesion for a few seconds, which freezes and eventaully destroys the affected skin cells. Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy is well suited for multiple small to midsize benign nodules since general anesthesia is not necessary. Oftentimes only local anesthesia is required, making this a strong option for older patients.
We are experienced in managing horses with skin problems and allergies. Equine skin allergies and chronic hives, and allergic airways disease can be be improved through intradermal allergy testing and immunotherapy.