There are currently a substantial number of diseases of the skin that are recognized in cats, dogs and other small companion animals. Many of these skin conditions are treated and managed by general practice veterinarians. For more complex cases, including autoimmune and endocrine disorders, tumours, congenital defects, fungal/viral/bacterial/parasitic infections, as well as allergy testing and therapy, the primary care provider may refer the patient to a veterinary dermatologist for specialized care.
Veterinary dermatology is concerned with various specialized testing/diagnostic and treatment procedures. Skin scrapings are performed when looking for mite infestations. Samples collected from the skin or ears are utilized to diagnose seditious cells and infections. Biopsies and cytology are performed for the purpose of determining the most appropriate treatment for the presenting skin disease; a small amount of the affected skin is processed, stained and observed under a microscope to look for infections, cancerous cells and inflammatory cells. Skin and ear discharge cultures are taken for animals suspected of having a bacterial or fungal/yeast infection in order to assess the appropriate antimicrobal treatment to pursue.
The methods of therapy employed by the dermatologist include ingestible (oral) treatments, externally applied topical ointments, sprays and shampoos and injected medications.
The dermatology team at the VEC consists of board certified veterinary dermatologists, Drs. Stephen Waisglass and Karri Beck, and a staff of registered veterinary technicians and assistants that specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases that affect the skin, ears and nails. This group works closely with the primary care clinician as well as the client, in order to provide a wide range of services and to ensure the comfort and well being of the patient involved.
Consultations with Drs. Waisglass and Beck are available by referral from a primary care veterinarian.
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