Your Veterinarian in Santa Barbara Offers Pet Dermatology Services
Pet dermatology is a branch of veterinary medicine involving the testing, diagnosis and treatment of animal skin diseases. All pets can suffer dermatological disorders that symptoms ranging from mild itching and "hot spots" to widespread sores and extreme hair loss. In fact, skin problems affecting pets is the most common reason people take pets to their veterinarian in Santa Barbara, especially when treatment prescribed by another vet is not working and they want a second opinion.
Overview of Pet Dermatology Services in Santa Barbara
Formulating a correct diagnosis regarding dog and cat skin conditions requires detailed answers to questions about your pet's medical history, lifestyle, dietary choices and timeline of the animal's symptoms. After gathering this information and physically examining your pet's skin conditions, your vet may be able to provide an immediate diagnosis or request further testing be performed.
Examining samples of fur, scabs and skin biopsies under a microscope for evidence of bacteria or fungal pathogens, performing blood tests if food allergies are suspected or employing skin patch tests are a few examples of how our pet dermatology services can have your pet feeling happy and healthy again. In addition to our onsite clinical lab, we also have access to off-site labs specializing in completing a wide variety dermatological tests.
Why Your Dog or Cat May Need to See a Pet Dermatologist
The most common reason pets scratch, chew and lick their skin non-stop is because they are allergic to something, whether it is seasonal pollen, commercial pet food, parasites (fleas, lice, mites), fungal infections (ringworm), metabolic disorders, underlying systemic infections or a combination of two or more of these reasons. Thinning hair, bald patches, flaky/scaly skin, scabs, skin discoloration and swelling of affected areas are also classic signs your pet has dermatological problems.
Sometimes, a dog or cat may be losing hair but does not scratch, chew or bite at their skin. Loss of hair, poor coat quality and/or flaky/scabby skin may be due to hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism (elevated cortisol levels), hormonal disorders, staph infection or an undiagnosed autoimmune disease. Additionally, certain breeds of dogs are prone to suffering hereditary or congenital skin conditions, especially standard poodles, Shar-peis, American bulldogs and Dobermans.
Getting a Second Opinion from Your Veterinarian in Santa Barbara
Most pet skin conditions are curable with the right treatment plan. Some dermatological disorders may require long-term management with prescriptions and dietary changes to suppress an overactive immune or endocrine system. If you have taken your pet to a veterinarian for help with skin issues but your pet is still scratching and losing hair, please call La Concepcion Animal Hospital today to get a second opinion from a pet dermatology specialist.