Our hospital offers extensive Dermatology Services. Our veterinarians will perform a detailed history, physical examination and basic medical diagnostics in order to diagnose and treat many routine skin ailments. Common diagnostics performed include skin scrapings, Wood's Lamp examination, hair (fungal) culture, and punch biopsies. Pruritis (itchiness) is common with many skin diseases, and treatment will target not only the infection, but management of itching as well. Rechecks are important to prevent relapse or recurrence of the infection, and to prevent resistant infections.
Dermatology Services also include assessment of ear conditions, which can be extremely uncomfortable and even painful. Symptoms like head shaking, scratching and pawing at the ears, rubbing the ears on the floor or furniture, whining, and abnormal odors are common. Conditions of the ear occur frequently in dogs and cats and result from a variety of causes. Determining these causes is vital to the long term resolution of the symptoms. As with any other health issue, gathering a detailed history and performing a full examination of the patient are critical. Careful examination of the ear with an otoscope, visualizing the full length of the ear canal and the ear drum, provides information important to the diagnosis. Pain is common in ear disease and some patients will require sedation or anesthesia to be properly evaluated. Additional diagnostic tests are often warranted. Gathering samples to check for mites, inflammation, bacteria and yeast is a common first step. Cultures are sometimes needed. In uncomplicated ear disease, treatment may be straight-forward when the proper information is gathered. However, most recurrent cases of ear disease involve multiple causes like allergy, infection, foreign bodies, tumors, or ear mites. Treating only one cause will limit the response to therapy. Rechecking the ear after each stage of the treatment is critical to providing a long term resolution to the problem.
If your veterinarian feels your pet has a specific disease or injury requiring more advanced care or if they have not responded to therapy in an expected manner, they may refer you to a board-certified veterinary dermatologist for further evaluation, such as Dr. Cohen at the VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in Weymouth. A veterinary dermatologist specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of benign and malignant disorders of the ears, skin, mouth, hair, and nails. A veterinary dermatologist has also had significant training in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic disorders in pets.
If you are seeing your veterinarian for an ear problem, contact the staff before administering medications or ointments as these may prevent a full examination.
Did you know that your pets can have allergies to common environmental factors just like you?
Do you ever notice your pet????????s skin becoming uncharacteristically red or itchy? This could be an allergic reaction. Pets can suffer from allergies to elements in the environment around them, as well as certain ingredients in their foods just like people can.
Some signs your pet may be suffering from an allergy can include:
If you suspect that your pet could be suffering from an allergy, it is recommended that you schedule to have an examination and consultation with your veterinarian. Your doctor will be able to assess your pet, discuss his or her symptoms, and conduct any necessary tests to help isolate the allergy. Together, you can decide on which course of medication, or diet will help make your pet healthy.