Allergy and Dermatology

Dermatology Treatment & Allergy Testing for Pets

Your pet’s skin can tell you a lot about his or her health and overall quality of life. A well-groomed dog or cat is typically a happy, healthy pet. Similarly, pets with chronic skin or coat issues can have an excellent quality of life when these conditions are managed well. In any case, the more you know about your dog or cat’s skin and coat, the more effective you can be at maintaining your pet’s quality of life.

Dermatology for pets involves two basic areas of care:

Diagnostics

Norwood Animal Hospital offers the full range of dermatology testing for your pets:

  • Biopsy
  • Skin scraping
  • Culture/sensitivity
  • Blood testing for allergies

Skin sampling through scraping is a useful tool to diagnose skin infections such as yeast, dermatitis, or mange. For more complex issues, actual biopsy samples can be taken and examined.

Culture and sensitivity is a diagnostic test that determines what type of bacteria or yeast may be causing skin issues for your pet. Samples are taken from the infected area(s) with sterilized cotton swabs and placed onto specialized petri dishes, where they start to grow (culture). These culture samples not only identify which organism is causing the problem, but also tell us which medication will help heal your pet.

For allergy blood testing, blood is drawn from your pet to check for antigen-induced antibodies in the blood.

Therapy

Once we know your pet’s allergies, we can treat him or her effectively in the following ways:

  • Prescription medicines—A variety of pharmaceuticals are offered in the veterinary industry to help battle allergies and other skin issues. We will identify the right medicine for your pet.
  • Surgical intervention—Sometimes removing a patch of skin is required when a pet’s lesion is extreme.
  • Immunotherapy—This is a long-term treatment that gradually builds immunity to allergens. Immunotherapy is the only treatment that attempts to both “ decrease the allergic disease” and minimize allergy symptoms.
  • Prescription therapeutic diets—Ask us about the foods we recommend for keeping your dog or cat’s allergies at bay.

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