You work hard to keep your pet healthy on the inside, but what about his or her external well-being? Many pet parents are unaware that their animal companions are susceptible to many of the same skin conditions that humans can experience. These conditions can cause everything from minor itching and discomfort to downright pain and even lessen your loved one’s quality of life.Scratching-Dog2

The professional pet dermatology and allergy management services at Ingersoll Animal Hospital will help pinpoint precisely what is bothering your four-legged friend so that we can develop a customized treatment plan to address and eliminate symptoms altogether. Together, we can help your furry comrade live a more comfortable life.

The condition of your pet’s skin is like a window into his or her overall health. There are a vast number of skin disorders known to affect pets. These disorders may be the result of parasite infestation, or allergic reaction, infectious or noninfectious disease. Generalized health conditions may also affect your pet’s skin.

We can often detect and treat other veterinary conditions that may be affecting your pet based on clues the skin may provide. Because many of these skin diseases bear close symptomatic resemblance to one another, proper diagnoses and treatment may require specialized testing to help determine the cause. Our veterinarians maintain a special focus on diagnosing, managing, and treating a broad range of pet skin conditions.

At Ingersoll Animal Hospital, we offer a wide range of dermatological diagnostics, including:

  • Skin scrapings
  • Fungal and bacterial cultures
  • Cytology of the skin and ears
  • Biopsies
  • Allergy testing— serum testing
  • Video otoscope – allowing a magnified view inside the ear canal

Diagnosing the cause of skin problems can be like detective work — ruling out one possibility at a time. It is important to use a methodical approach to be certain of the root cause, and we always try simple solutions before ordering more expensive diagnostics and treatments. This saves you money and prevents unnecessary stress for your loved one.

Some of the common dermatological conditions we can provide assistance with include:

  • Alopecia (hair loss)
  • Atopy (environmental allergy)
  • Autoimmune skin diseases
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Endocrine and metabolic skin diseases
  • Flea allergy dermatitis
  • Food allergy
  • Fungal skin diseases (such as ringworm)
  • Nutritional skin diseases
  • Parasitic skin diseases
  • Seborrhea and acne
  • Skin cancer
  • Diseases of the foot or nail
  • Otitis (ear disease)

Once we’ve determined exactly what we’re dealing with, we’ll get to work developing the best possible treatment plan to address the problem. In most cases, we are able to implement a treatment plan that will eliminate symptoms and provide a cure to the underlying condition. Some skin conditions, however, can only be managed and not resolved. In these cases, we will need to see your pet on a routine basis for follow-up care and continued treatment.

Occasionally, we will see an animal that is suffering from a more advanced case or more complex skin condition. In these instances, our veterinarians may recommend that you consult a dermatology specialist for which we will gladly provide you with a referral. Our goal is always to ensure that your pet receives the best possible care, regardless of where that care is ultimately provided.Scratching-Gray-Tabby-Kitten

Some of the signs that a pet may be experiencing a problem with his or her skin, ears or feet include, but are not limited to:

  • Excessive scratching
  • Biting, chewing or licking the affected area
  • Bald spots
  • Unusual lumps or bumps
  • Foul odor coming from the ears
  • Scabs or flaking skin

You love your pet and want to see them enjoy as happy and healthy a life as possible. If you suspect your loved one may be suffering from some type of dermatological problem, don’t wait another moment. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. Let’s work to provide that little guy or gal with a happier, more comfortable life.