Clinical Activities and Procedures

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The skin can develop many diseases or may develop changes secondary to internal illness. The Dermatology Service deals with common and unusual skin problems in cats, dogs, horses and other animals.

Among the conditions we diagnose and manage are:

  • Allergies that affect the skin. These include allergic reactions to external parasites, food and reactions to pollens and molds in the environment
  • Identifying causes of hair loss
  • External parasites
  • Yeast and bacterial infections
  • Unusual skin infections: mycobacterial, fungal and viral skin diseases
  • Hives
  • Ear infections
  • Skin cancers
  • Auto-immune skin diseases
  • Cutaneous drug reactions
  • Inherited skin diseases

Diagnostic tools:

  • Sampling from the skin for cytology to look for the presence of bacteria or yeast
  • Sampling from the skin for culture of organisms
  • Skin testing for pollen and mold allergies to customize allergy shots
  • Serum allergy testing for pollen and mold allergies to customize allergy shots
  • Food elimination diet trials for possible food allergies
  • Obtaining skin biopsy samples for analysis by a pathologist
  • Video otoscopy or CT scans for evaluation of ear infections
  • Blood tests to evaluate overall health

Treatment options depend on the disease diagnosed and each animal's needs.

Treatment options for allergy include:

  • Evaluation of and recommendations regarding food allergies
  • Allergy shots
  • Establishing strict control of external parasites
  • Medications to control itching