We provide the most up-to-date information on diagnosis and management of skin diseases. We dedicate a lot of time discussing with our clients about the various options available for diagnosis and treatments, to ensure the most suitable treatment plan for their pets. We also continue to have frequent communication outside of the consultation to help owners with the care of their pets.
We accept referrals for any skin condition. Some of the more common skin conditions include:
- Atopic dermatitis (or atopy) is the most common skin disease we see in dermatology and is equivalent to eczema in people. Animals can be allergic to pollens, dust mites, mould spores and insects just like people can. Common symptoms of atopy include scratching, biting, chewing and licking excessively at one or more parts of the body, scooting and ear infections. At MVSC, we perform intradermal skin allergy testing (similar to skin prick testing in humans) and sometimes we also use blood allergy testing (Heska allercept test) to identify what the patient is allergic to. If avoidance is not a possible option then an allergy vaccine (allergen specific immunotherapy) can be formulated based on the results of the allergy test. This aims to help manage the allergies and minimise or eliminate the need for mediations and reduce or prevent relapses of skin problems.
- Ear disease and infection is also a large part of our work. Ear infections can be very uncomfortable for the animal and cause long-term damage to the ear canals if they are not treated correctly. Our dermatologists are highly skilled and use specialised equipment such as a video otoscopes, MRI and hearing machines to diagnose and treat ear problems. We are also able to manage long standing ear problems (medically) to try and minimise the need for surgery.
- Nail issues is also another specialised area of dermatology. There are many different reasons for deformed, brittle, sloughing or painful nails. Our dermatologists are experienced in performing biopsies of nails to enable a correct diagnosis and devise an accurate treatment plan. In many cases nail and nail bed issues are able to be completely resolved or at least well controlled.
- Immune mediated diseases that affect the skin, nails or nose tend to be less common but require great skill in managing, which is where the experience of a specialist dermatologist is really important. Some of these diseases cause crusting and loss of pigment of the nose, around the eyes, gums, lips, nails and skin in general. There are many different presentations and many different immune mediated diseases that can occur. Most of them are very manageable with specialist knowledge. Animals with an immune mediated disease can live a relatively normal life with correct management of their condition.
- Bacterial and fungal infections can present in many different ways and can be very common as secondary problems associated with other skin diseases. Our dermatologists are skilled at preliminary tests, like cytology (looking under a microscope) in order to diagnose and treat skin infections and then prevent relapses.
- Sunburn and skin cancers make up a small percentage of our patients. Once a correct diagnosis is achieved, treatment may involve medications or even use of the CO2 Laser for specific lesions.
- Bee and wasp allergies can be life threatening and at MVSC we diagnose and treat insect sting allergies (usually caused by bee). The treatment consists of desensitisation injections and is generally very successful in preventing repeat life threatening reactions.