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Skin problems are common in pets and can develop from a broad range of factors, including allergies, infections and systemic disorders. There are such a wide range of specific disorders that can cause skin issues, and it can be tough to diagnose the root cause to determine the appropriate treatment. Plus, many pet skin disorders look very similar with only subtle differences in the clinical picture. Veterinarians experienced in veterinary dermatology can diagnose and treat:
Chronic skin problems
Severe skin and ear disease
Immune mediated skin disease
Skin manifestations of internal disease
Nail and nail bed diseases
Allergy related skin problems
The latest technology available for diagnosing and treating pet skin disorders includes; intradermal allergy testing, hyposensitization therapy, biopsy services, video otoscopy and CO2 laser surgery. Intradermal allergy testing is quite accurate and the preferred technique of pet allergy testing. During this test, the animal is given a mild sedative, and a patch of hair is clipped from the chest area. About 70 allergens are given through intradermal injection for incubation. Pet allergies often display themselves as a slight pink swelling or mark. With these specific results, an allergy vaccine can be given in order to desensitize the animal to these allergies if the vet feels it’s indicated.
It’s important to understand that there are both curable and incurable skin disorders in pets. Veterinarians need to understand what exactly is happening within the skin and its pathological process before recommending therapeutic strategies. Even a curable skin disease can take several weeks to resolve. Often, the curable skin disorders are controlled through specific medications, vitamin supplements, selected diets, sprays and shampoos.
Even curable skin pet disorders like bacterial dermatitis can be chronic and need to be managed. Bacterial dermatitis typically manifests itself in scales, crusts and inflamed eruptions. Another curable, but chronic skin disorder is malassezia. This is a yeast infection often seen in West Highland White Terriers and Cocker Spaniels. Pemphigus and hereditary skin disorders are not curable. Often, topical therapies and supplements can be helpful in management.
If your pet has a skin problem it’s best to see a vet for a diagnosis and proper treatment. Only after a diagnosis is made can effective measures be taken to cure or control the skin problem. Our Fuquay Varina veterinarian at Hilltop Animal Hospital use the most advanced diagnostic tests to accurately identify the underlying cause of your pet’s skin problem. Depending on the root cause, treatment may include allergy vaccines, supplements, dietary change or medication to help manage skin symptoms. Keep in mind that pet skin disorders can cause discomfort for your pet. We take immediate action to help reduce pain, scratching and biting the skin disorder area. Call our veterinarian team today to schedule an appointment. At Hilltop Animal Hospital, we treat your four-legged friend just like family.