Your pet’s skin is like a road map, providing crucial clues to his or her overall well-being, and because ear and skin issues are so common in both cats and dogs, our Norway Veterinary Hospital team has made dermatology a top priority and key area of study and expertise.
It is important to identify the initial signs and symptoms of allergies and dermatological conditions before they become more serious concerns. These symptoms include:
- Inflamed ears
- Hotspots, especially those that recur
- Rubbing the eyes or mouth area
- Skin lesions
- Hair loss
- Red itchy bumps on the skin
- Asthma-like wheezing or respiratory issues
If your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, please get in touch with us to schedule an exam. Chances are very good that the problem isn’t skin deep. Common culprits behind the above symptoms are skin or ear infections; allergies to fleas, environmental antigens, or dietary ingredients; microscopic mites; ringworm; endocrine issues; and a weakened or otherwise compromised immune system. Left untreated, such conditions can pose serious dangers to your pet’s health.
A typical dermatology appointment involves a slate of relatively non-invasive tests to determine the root cause of the problem. If your pet’s issue appears to be ear-related, we might begin with an ear cytology. This process involves swabbing the inside of your pet’s ear and placing the sample under a microscope, which will alert us to the presence of harmful bacteria, fungus/yeast, or atypical cells.
If you notice a new bump on your pet, we could opt for a skin cytology, which will tell us what the bump – or cutaneous mass – is made of. And, depending on your pet’s symptoms, we might also conduct a skin scrape, which detects a wide variety of parasites, and dermatophyte to rule out ringworm. Finally, we might do a blood draw to see if your pet is allergic to his food or ingredients commonly used in the most popular pet foods.
Suspect your pet might be suffering from a dermatological disorder? Give us a call at (207) 743-6384 today!