Pets can be afflicted with a variety of skin conditions, including pet allergies, reactions to parasites, skin infections, and skin cancer. Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is equipped to diagnose and treat these conditions and many more.
Diagnosing Skin Conditions
Our veterinarians participate in continuing education to remain current on the latest practices in veterinary dermatology. Some of our more common diagnostics include:
- Skin cytology—Cytology testing can identify which pathogen, such as a yeast or bacteria, is causing an infection.
- Skin scraping—This test is often used to check for common skin parasites.
- Ear cytology—Evaluating ears is essential when evaluating conditions of the skin because many skin diseases appear in or around the ears.
- DTM (dermatophyte testing)—Special culture plates are used for diagnosis of ringworm.
- Bacterial culture—In order to determine the most effective treatment option, it’s sometimes necessary to grow a sample of the bacteria infecting the skin.
Symptoms to Look For
Pet owners are often the first to detect when a pet is suffering from a skin condition. Common symptoms include:
- Hair loss
- Red patches
- Flaky or scaly skin
- Odor to the skin or ears
- Lumps or bumps
- Licking or bitig feet and toes
- Shaking head
- scrathing ears
Allergy Diagnosis and Treatment
In pets, allergies most commonly manifest through the skin. Animals can be allergic to the same things as humans, including grass, plants, pollen, mold spores, and even certain types of food.
Some common conditions that suggest your pet should be checked for allergies include:
- Chronic infections
- Hair loss
- Ear infections
- Foot infections
- Licking at paws
- Chewing at the skin
- Foul odor to the skin
To diagnose pet allergies, a sample of blood is required to test for different allergens. Once we have identified the reactive substances, we can determine if an environmental change can correct the allergy or if we need to provide a specific therapy to meet a pet’s needs.
The veterinarians at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital can work with you to diagnose and treat any underlying skin or allergy issues in your pet. Please feel free to contact our team with any questions.