Your dog or cat:
Whenever you find yourself in these situations in a cronic way or that keeps coming back or that you can not solve, it can be useful to go for a dermatological examination.
There are hundreds of different skin diseases currently recognized in dogs and cats. Many of these differ only by small clinical features. Dermatologists are able to focus on these subtle differences to get the correct diagnosis and consequently establish the best possible treatment.
The dermatological examination is made of three parts:
The history is the collection of all the information that the owner can give us about the problem, the animal life, the previous treatments and so on. In Dermatology history has enormous importance and is particularly accurate.
The clinical examination consists especially of observation of the whole patient skin searching for the presence of primary and secondary lesions.
Diagnostic tests are those who can confirm or rule out the various diseases that the dermatologist suspects, on the basis of information gathered with history and clinical examination. These tests will be therefore different in each case.
Routine diagnostic tests are, for example, cytology, skin scrapings for ectoparasites, observation with Wood's lamp for dermatophytosis, collection of samples for cultures (bacterial, fungal).
Examples of tests made only in some cases, when it is necessary, are the biopsy for histology, allergy testings etc.
Some diagnostic tests may continue over time (eg. the diet for the diagnosis of food allergy).
See also the dictionary for more infos.