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Pet Dermatology Treatment in San Antonio
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:
Skin Scrape – This is probably the most common skin test we perform. It enables both the full thickness of the epidermis and the contents of the hair follicles to be sampled. It is most commonly used in the diagnosis of parasitic infestations such as sarcoptic mange, cheyletiellosis, and demodicosis. Generally several sites are sampled. Mites can be very difficult to find in some cases.
Slide Impressions or smears – This is another very common test that is performed by collected the surface debris from the skin and smearing it onto a microscope slide, which is then observed under a microscope for the presence of bacteria, yeast, and mites.
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, the veterinarian can usually determine the underlying issue.
Allergy Testing – Dogs and cats do not have to suffer as a result of allergies caused by different substances in their environment - allergy to pollens from weeds, trees and grasses, molds, insects, foods and even human skin. We use VARL Liquid Gold serum allergy tests that will help successfully identify and desensitize your allergic dogs and cats to the different allergens that are making them miserable. VARL Liquid Gold is specifically engineered to eliminate false positive results while not introducing equally detestable false negatives. VARL Liquid Gold hyposensitization results have also been shown to be similar to and sometimes better than intradermal skin testing.
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.
If you have any questions about pet dermatology or think your pet might have a skin condition, contact our office today.