When humans have skin-related issues, they may seek help from a dermatologist. Pets can also benefit from seeing a specialist. Just like humans, pets can suffer from allergies, ear infections, skin conditions and other related issues. Veterinary dermatologists specialize in the treatment of skin, hair, nail and ear problems in pets. Allergies are often the underlying cause of these problems.

What to Expect on Your Initial Visit

When you bring your pet in for an initial visit, you’ll be asked to fill out a form that will tell the doctor about your pet’s history. The dermatologist will review this information with you and discuss any previous treatments that have been tried. Then, armed with that information and the results of the physical exam, they will develop appropriate treatment options. 

Common Dermatological Issues

A smelly dog is usually a sign of some sort of infection. A veterinary dermatologist can examine your dog to diagnose whether it is from an allergy or something more serious like cancer or an auto-immune disease.

“We start by treating the infection,. “From there, it depends on how severe the symptoms are and how difficult it is to get to the heart of the problem.”

Dog allergies are quite common, but they can be troublesome for both pets and owners. A lot of times pet owners notice scratching or excessive licking. If they’re scratching, licking, rolling, scooting to the degree that the owner notices it, it could be a problem.

Dogs suffering from allergies can also be whiny and scratch itchy skin to the point that neither they, nor their owners, get much sleep.

The first step is to treat the symptoms and stop the itching. Next, is to try an allergy medication. If that doesn’t work to control your dog’s allergies, the dermatology specialist will conduct allergy testing to discover what is actually triggering your dog’s symptoms.

If your dog is pawing at his head or is tilting or shaking his head a lot, it could be a sign of an ear infection. Believe it or not, this is a condition that veterinary dermatologists treat frequently.

The ear canal is lined by skin so it doesn’t surprise us when a dog with flaring allergy symptoms also suffers from an ear infection.

A collection of material from the ear, looked at under a microscope, can help identify which bacteria are present. Then, the dermatologist can prescribe an appropriate antibiotic. Ear flushes or oral pain medications may also be prescribed.

Ear infections are often a symptom of another underlying problem, so it’s important to address the allergy or other root problem to fully resolve the issue. we use tools like a video otoscope to look deep inside the ear. Check out this video to see what this looks like.