Services

The standard services provided by Miami Veterinary Dermatology involve the diagnosis and management of allergies and recurrent ear infections. However, a variety of other diagnostic services are also performed.

 

Allergic Skin Disorders

Diagnosis and Management

Allergies are a common cause of skin and ear problems in dogs and cats, and often the main reason a pet visits a veterinarian dermatologist. Allergies can make a pet very itchy and uncomfortable. Typically a pet will scratch when it feels itchy; however, other signs of itchiness are chewing, licking (especially of the paws), rubbing, scooting and over-grooming (as seen in cats). Allergies can also cause recurrent skin infections and ear infections.

The three main allergies that affect dogs and cats are flea, food or environmental (pollen) allergies. Dr. Rosales will spend the time to investigate which allergy/allergies might be attributing to your pet’s discomfort. Determining which allergy your pet has may require several visits.

For those pets suffering from environmental allergies, Dr. Rosales offers intradermal allergy testing, similar to the skin prick test on humans. Intradermal allergy testing is considered the gold standard for assessing what environmental allergens may be making your pet itchy. Once the specific allergens are identified, an allergen-specific vaccine or allergen immunotherapy is formulated to “desensitize” your pet of its allergies. This treatment is specific for each patient. Allergy immunotherapy is a very effective, non-steroidal way to manage chronic allergies in the dog and cat.

Recurrent Ear Infections

Diagnosis and Management

Recurrent ear infections are common in dogs, but not in cats. When the ear is infected it can cause significant pain and irritation to a pet. Ear infections should be addressed promptly before chronic changes in the ear canal develop. As part of the medical management for recurrent ear infections, Dr. Rosales may use video-otoscopy on your pet. The video-otoscope is an apparatus that appears like an elongated camera with a powerful light source. It is placed inside your pet’s ear to allow for better view of the deeper parts of the ear and ear drum. This visualization technique can help determine to what extent the infection has spread to the middle ear.

Treatment of Other Conditions

Diagnosis and Management

In addition to allergic conditions and recurrent ear infections, Miami Veterinary Dermatology also diagnoses and manages other skin disorders, including:

  • Infections affecting the skin, paws and nails
  • Parasitic infections like mange (mites)
  • Endocrine/hormonal disorders
  • Immune mediated (autoimmune) conditions
  • Keratinization disorders
  • Congenital/hereditary disorders
  • Some neoplastic (cancer) conditions
  • Idiopathic/unknown causes

Additional Diagnostic Services

Skin Cytology

Skin cytology is the best diagnostic test to assess infection on your pet’s skin; various methods are used, ranging from tape sampling to swabbing of the skin. The skin lesion is sampled and then microscopically examined. The test can be done at the time of the visit and results are available within 15-20 minutes.

Ear Cytology

This test allows us to detect infection in your pet’s ears. A sampling of the ear discharge is taken and then microscopically examined. Like skin cytology, the test can be done at the visit and results are available within 15-20 minutes.

Skin Scrapings

A small, dull blade is used to scrape lesion and non-lesion areas of your pet’s skin to detect if your pet’s skin problem is due to mites. This test is simple and quick. At the time of the visit we will know if mites (mange) are causing your pet’s skin condition.

Skin Biopsies

This procedure involves taking a small sample of your pet’s skin under local or general anesthesia. This tissue is then sent to a dermatopathologist (a pathologist that specializes in skin conditions) for review. Biopsies may be necessary for certain types of conditions, such as auto-immune disorders, to allow for definitive diagnosis.

Skin / Ear Cultures

This test involves taking a sterile swab or biopsy of your pet’s skin lesion and submitting it to a microbiology lab to assess what infection (bacterial and/or fungal) is causing your pet’s skin problem. Ear cultures involve taking a sterile sample of the discharge in your pet’s ears and submitting it for bacterial culture.

Various Bloodwork Analyses

These tests will detect systemic / internal conditions or hormonal problems that may be causing your pet’s skin condition.

DTM (Dermatophyte Test Medium)

This test involves taking hair samples and placing them in a special medium for culture. This test can take several weeks to obtain results and is useful in the diagnosis of dermatophytosis (ringworm infection).