Pet Dermatology (Skin Issues)
Itchy skin can make both you and your pet crazy in a very short period of time. Your pet attacks the itch with the only tools it really has at its disposal, its claws or nails. This drives the owner crazy because the pet usually scratches too hard and draws blood. Even worse is that if you leave the problem untreated, serious health problems can develop for your pet. Dermatology problems such as skin and ear diseases can leave your pet not only uncomfortable, it can affect the quality of the pet’s life. These skin-type diseases are among the most common reason for a visit to the vet.
There are many causes of skin issues with pets and include allergies, autoimmune skin diseases, hot spots, parasitic skin diseases, nutritional imbalances, chronic ear infections and even more serious diseases that present themselves first as a skin problem.
Veterinary dermatologists perform many tests that will help diagnose the cause of your pet’s skin issues. These include many types of allergy tests, skin biopsy tests, use of a microscope to examine skin cells and the skin biopsy specimens mentioned above. Other tests and diagnostic tools include cytological smears, fungal cultures and potassium hydroxide preparations.
All of these tests provide clues to help the veterinary staff determine what the underlying conditions are that are causing your pet to have skin problems. Once they are found, the team puts together a treatment regimen that can provide your pet with effective treatments to that will prevent it from having years and years of itchy and irritated skin.
There are treatments available today for pet allergies, endocrine (glandular) disorders, autoimmune skin diseases, parasites and infectious diseases. Other treatments are available for a host of potential problems with your pet’s skin.
There are medical shampoos and wipes that help heal external skin problems and can also rid your pet of parasitic hangers on. Also for external use is some ointments and lotions that ease the irritation your pet feels and goes after.
There are medications that are sometimes given orally or injected into your pet as a treatment. Pet dermatologists may also use cryosurgery, which means freezing of the area to kill or remove the source of the irritation. A host of other treatments including laser surgery, nail surgery and traditional surgery can be used as well to remove skin growths or other lesions that are found during examination.