I previously posted that allergy medications, like Apoquel, Cytopoint or Atopica can be used long term to control the allergy signs of a dog with environmental allergies or atopy.  Another therapy option for this allergy is allergy vaccines or immunotherapy.  I highly recommend allergy vaccines because it can potentially lower your pet’s allergy signs, potentially allow your pet to use less allergy medication in the future and halt the progression of the allergy. Allergy vaccines are made from the results of allergy testing.

Allergy testing, whether through intradermal skin testing or blood allergy testing, should only be done once a pet has been diagnosed with environmental allergies. The point of the test is to narrow down what in the environment (i.e., pollen from trees, grass, weeds, mold, dust mites) is making the pet allergic so that an allergy vaccine can be formulated for desensitization.  Allergy testing is not a test for diagnosis but for therapy or management of the environmental allergy. 

The process of allergy vaccine desensitization can take a year or two to start seeing results. The improvement of a pet’s allergies can range from 50-70%. It is not a cure. The pet, especially those with more moderate to severe allergies, may still need to remain on allergy medications along with the allergy vaccine. The combination of both will usually keep the pet more stable.

Allergy testing should be done early in the atopic disease process. It is easier to desensitize a pet with mild symptoms and at a young age, then to wait until the allergy has become chronic and the pet is older. 

As the years go by, most atopic pets get worse. Allergy vaccines can help prevent the allergy symptoms from worsening. It can potentially halt the progression of the allergy. 

I do not think we are allergy testing atopic pets early enough. If you have an atopic pet, talk to your veterinarian about allergy testing or consider seeing a dermatologist.  Dermatologist have experience on managing immunotherapy for these allergic patients.

#petallergies #atopicdogs #petdermatology #allergyskintesting #vetdermatology #dermatologiaveterinaria #vetmedicine #petownersofinstagram
How do we diagnose environmental allergies or atopy in pets? Atopy is diagnosed through exclusion of other itchy conditions as well as taking into consideration the pet’s medical history and exam findings. This is important to understand because there are other allergies that affect dogs, like flea allergy, food allergy and much less commonly contact allergy. All these allergies are controllable. Flea allergic dogs need flea prevention FOR LIFE. Food allergic dogs need to stop eating the food ingredient that is making them itchy and once you do that, they will be perfectly fine. Environmental allergies is not easy to control, because we cannot control the allergens in the atmosphere. Therefore, there is justification for using allergy medications, like Apoquel, Cytopoint or Atopica, long term if a pet has an allergy like atopy.
For pets whose allergy symptoms are seasonal, meaning the pet has skin problems and is itchy only during certain times of the year and the rest of the year it has no symptoms, then this automatically is seasonal (pollen) allergies. Nothing hard here to diagnose.
The thing is that many dogs and cats with environmental allergies are not seasonal, they have year-round skin problems and there are other conditions that can occur year-round that should be ruled out. Therefore, the diagnosis of environmental allergy is through exclusion of other itchy conditions. 
There is also NO test to diagnose environmental allergies. Allergy skin tests or blood allergy tests are done to narrow down what in the environment is making the pet itchy to formulate an allergy vaccine for desensitization.
Atopy is a diagnosis of exclusion: It’s a hard concept to understand and I hoped this post helped.
#dogallergies #atopy #atopyindogs #environmentalallergies  #petdermatology #vetdermatology #petowners #dermatologiaveterinaria #vetmedicine
The management of environmental allergies or atopy is better now than it was 10-20 years ago. We know more about the disease and we have more medication options like Apoquel, Cytopoint and Atopica, where in the past we only had steroids.

I know there are pet owners reluctant to put their dogs on allergy medications long term for fear of side effects they read on Google, but these medications are in general safe to use when monitored closely by a veterinarian. They can keep a dog relatively itch free and allow it to live a comfortable life.

Once I have diagnosed a dog with environmental allergies my conversation starts with talking about these three allergy medications. Everyone knows about Apoquel and Cytopoint, the new kids on the block. Atopica has fallen out of use, but it is a formidable option when a dog does not respond to the other two. The client and I chose the best one for their pet. I monitor these patients every few months at the start of the medication and once stable those visits get extended out.  These are not drugs that should be prescribed without follow up visits. 

Are there some environmental allergic dogs that do not need these types of drugs? Yes. But usually these are mild cases. And it is possible for mild cases to be managed with supplements and topicals alone.  But, most moderate to severe cases of atopy need allergy medications for life. We want to prevent the dog from scratching, licking, and chewing itself so much that it then creates an infection on its skin which then causes more itchiness.

It is worse to constantly be putting a dog on antibiotics for secondary infection from an allergy that is not well controlled, than to place that dog on lifelong allergy drugs.

No shame should be brought upon pet owners who chose these drugs to manage their dog’s allergies.  Atopy is forever and we now have medications that can make a difference in the lives of the pet and their owners. 

If you have an atopic dog, please speak to your veterinarian about these medications.

#dogallergies #atopicdogs #apoquel #cytopoint #atopica #petowners #petdermatology #vetdermatology #dermatologiaveterinaria #vetmedicine
The number of yeast organisms seen in cytology should not guide the treatment of a Malassezia skin infection. One can be tempted to use only topical therapy if there is a few yeast on cytology, but those few yeasts on a particular patient may be enough to cause a significant amount of itchiness.

My recommendation is to take into consideration the pet’s level of itchiness and the extent and severity of the infection to make your decision on how to treat the yeast infection. Systemic antifungals in combination with a topical antifungal will make the patient feel relief much faster.

Systemic antifungals to consider using are the azole drugs like ketoconazole, itraconazole and fluconazole. Terbinafine is another option as well. Antifungal ingredients to look for in topicals are miconazole, ketoconazole, climbazole, clotrimazole and selenium sulfide. Selenium sulfide is found in Selsun Blue shampoo, but caution that this ingredient can also be drying to the skin. Chlorhexidine also has antifungal properties, but this works best at greater than 2% for Malassezia. 

Topical antifungals come in a variety of forms: shampoos, leave ons, sprays, mousses, wipes, and creams/ointments. My preference for topical treatment of Malassezia is using shampoos. Malassezia is an organism that is superficial on the skin and bathing a dog with a shampoo that has antifungal ingredient will help remove the infection better.

And finally, it is important to control or resolve the underlying cause for the yeast infection. Allergies to food or environmental (atopy) are the main causes. However, endocrine, or hormonal disorders like hypothyroidism is another. If the underlying cause is not addressed, then there will be a reoccurrence of the Malassezia infection.

#yeastskininfection #malassezia #dogallergies #petallergies #petpawinfection #dogpaws #vetdermatology #petdermatology #dermatologiaveterinaria #vetmedicine #petownersofinstagram
When a dog has a yeast skin infection, like the dog in this video, where does that yeast come from?

Malassezia pachydermatis is the species of yeast found in dog skin.  It may surprise some pet owners that this yeast species is a NORMAL part of a dog’s skin, but it exists in low numbers.  There is a big myth that when there is a yeast infection on the skin it is due to the food the pet is eating, and this is false.  The yeast also does not come from the outside environment.  Malassezia is a commensal or normal inhabitant of dog skin.

When the microenvironment of the skin becomes abnormal the yeast organisms can grow in more numbers than there should be, and it then can become pathogenic.  More numbers of yeast on the skin causes the skin to be itchy and irritated. What changes in the skin must happen to allow yeast to grow: changes in the skin pH, increase lipid (or oily) content to the skin, increased humidity (think moisture from licking) and breakdown of the skin barrier (trauma from licking or chewing).

Malassezia is always secondary to an underlying cause, the most common is food allergy or environmental allergies.  These allergies cause the dog to be itchy, there is then trauma to the skin and you can see how that can cause a secondary yeast infection to develop. 

#malassezia #yeastskininfection #dogpaws #pawitchiness #pawyeastinfection #petallergies #petdermatology #vetdermatology #dermatologiaveterinaria
This dog was placed on a prescription diet for the past 10 months to see if there was a food allergy causing its skin problems. However, the pet owner reported that the diet was not making a difference. The pet continued to have skin issues. 

This dog’s skin was not getting better because there was a significant bacterial infection on its skin. It is hard to assess if a diet is working if the skin is infected. Infection on the skin causes itchiness too, and sometimes the itchiness is more than the actual allergy itself.

Veterinarians: my derm tip to you today is before starting a diet trial make sure you are doing skin cytology to rule out how much a bacterial infection is contributing to the skin problem. Yeast infections like Malassezia can also be a factor. If there is an infection on the skin address it properly and start the diet trial.

#dogskincare #dogskininfections #dogallergies #foodallergiesindogs #petownersofinstagram #frenchbulldog #frenchiesofinstagram #petdermatology #vetdermatology #dermatologiaveterinaria #learnoninstagram
We talk a lot about French bulldogs with skin problems and allergies. But another breed that I commonly see with allergies are Staffordshire terriers. Back when isoxazoline flea preventatives were not around, this was a common breed that I also saw with demodex mites.  I do not see demodectic mange that often, but it still should be ruled out in any dog that is itchy, especially this breed.

In my experience Staffordshire terriers with allergies can be quite challenging to manage. They can present their allergies in a variety of ways from paw licking, itchiness in various areas of their body, rashes, and ear infections. Some can also get crusts and bumps on their skin (especially on their trunk) that may or may not be itchy.

I have seen this breed start their allergy signs young, somewhere between 6 months to 1 year of age.

Flea allergy, food allergy and environmental allergy (or atopy) affect this breed. With environmental allergies being the most common. In my experience, and maybe it’s the hot humid state that I practice in, that Staffies with environmental allergy can be quite tough to manage the more chronic the allergy gets. It is not uncommon for this breed to be on lifelong allergy medications and a combination of therapies to keep their allergies controlled.

I highly recommend that Staffies have their allergies addressed early on when the first signs start. Make sure fleas and food allergies are ruled out. If the Staffie has environmental allergies, then highly consider allergy skin testing for allergy vaccine desensitization therapy (or immunotherapy). The earlier the allergy vaccine is started the better the results.

Share this with someone that has a Staffie at home or is considering having this dog as a pet.

#staffordshireterrier #staffie #staffielovers #staffordshire #petownerofinstagram #dogallergies #petdermatology #vetdermatology #dermatologiaveterinaria #vetmedicine
Hair and saliva allergy testing as seen here by this popular product sold on Amazon is not a reliable way to assess allergies in your pet.  The companies that make these tests have no science or research to support their product.  Studies have shown these tests do not have any reproducibility and could not differentiate between normal and allergic dogs.  One study even sent out fake fur and there were positive results!!

These tests should not replace a veterinary visit where a thorough medical history and examination can shed light if there is an allergy causing your pet’s skin problem. 

Do not waste your money on these hair and saliva allergy tests. Save your money and go see a veterinarian or vet dermatologist. 

If you want to do more reading, here are two studies that disprove the accuracy of hair and saliva allergy testing.

Save these references if you have a client that insists these tests are valid. 

Share this with someone you know that has used these tests on their pet.

Hair and saliva analysis fails to accurately identify atopic dogs or differentiate real and fake samples.  Joseph A. Bernstein and Kathy Tater, et.al.  Veterinary Dermatology. Jan 24th 2019.

Hair and saliva test fails to identify allergies in dogs. Kim Coyner and Andrea Shick.  Journal Small Animal Practice. Feb; 60 (2) 2019. 121-125

#dontwasteyourmoney #buyerbeware #petallergies #dogallergies #petownersofinstagram #vetdermatology #petdermatology #dermatologiaveterinaria #vetmedicine
What is the right flea preventative for my pet?

I get this question all the time. I recommend using a flea preventative prescribed by your veterinarian. The most commonly used preventatives are in the isoxazoline class, but this might not be the best one for your pet. 
Preventatives are not “one size fits all”. The right flea preventative is the one you and your vet have discussed that is appropriate for your pet.

Choosing the right product will depend on the species (cat vs dog), age of the pet, breed, lifestyle and any underlying medical conditions or medications your pet may be receiving that could interact with the preventative. Use caution if you have a kitten or puppy, as certain products can only be used after a certain age, also careful with older, pregnant, and nursing pets. 

Flea preventatives prescribed by a veterinarian are safer nowadays. I know there are pet owners that will disagree with me on this, but if you had a pet more than 40 years ago, you had to resort to sprays, dips, powders, and shampoos that had no residual activity.  Meaning within just a few days the pet was back to having fleas and the problems associated with them.  These products were harsh smelling, messy to deal with and even toxic.  As we understood more and more about fleas and their life cycle better products were created that targeted the adult flea and its life stages, and here arose topical flea preventatives and now oral flea products with fast action and longer activity. 

There are certain areas of the United States that have fleas year-round and it is important for pets to be on flea prevention, even if they live indoors.  Fleas carry parasites that can not only make your pet sick, but also make you sick.  Talk to your veterinarian about what is the right flea preventative for your pet.

#flea #fleaallergy #fleaprevention #fleas #petdermatology #vetdermatology #dermatologiaveterinária #vetmedicine #vettech #petowner #petownersofinstagram
It is easy to confuse these lesions with hives, but they are actually a bacterial skin infection. 

If you see these lesions on a dog, before you call them hives, part the hair well and take a closer look at the skin and the bumps.

Hives are smooth flat raised welts on the skin that appear and disappear quickly.  There is usually no dryness, peeling, scaling or crust associated with hives. Bacterial skin infections can present as papules and often confused with hives. The papules are inflamed, red, firm and often have some degree of scaling and small crusts. Papules will cause the skin to be raised and from far away look like hives, just like in this video.

Steroids are a justified treatment for hives, and it will make the welts go away quickly.  However, if the lesions are a bacterial infection, steroids will also make the bacterial infection LOOK LIKE it is going away, only for the lesions to return shortly after the steroids have finished.  Steroids are powerful drugs and can make any condition with inflammation temporarily look good. 

A thorough examination of the skin and skin cytology can help you differentiate between hives and a bacterial infection on the skin. 

#hives #urticaria #dogskininfection #petownersofinstagram #dogskin #dogskinallergies #vetdermatology #petdermatology #dermatologiaveterinaria #lookatme
These are two cats with indolent ulcers. These lesions are part of the eosinophilic granuloma complex, and a type of cutaneous reaction pattern seen in cats with allergies. These lesions are not usually pruritic. Surprisingly, these lesions do not cause discomfort and the owner often does not even notice it is present.

They may present as bilaterally symmetrical, asymmetrical, or unilateral (like in these two cases).

Bacteria are often present in these lesions and likely play a role in the inflammation and severity of the lesion. I highly recommend doing cytology of these lesions.

A workup of the underlying allergy cause is essential. Look for flea allergy, food allergy and environmental allergies.

Treatment involves anti-inflammatory medications like steroids or cyclosporine, and antibiotics if bacteria is present. These lesions should be treated as a deep pyoderma and require a long course of antibiotics, 4-6 weeks has been recommended in the literature.

Other differentials for these lesions would be squamous cell carcinoma, herpes infection or other infections like fungal or other neoplastic conditions. History, signalment, exam findings (of other areas of the body) can help you differentiate. If in doubt, biopsy the lesion and send off for histopathology review.

#catallergies #indolentulcer #rodentulcer #catmouth #catsofinstagram #catowners #catownersofinstagram #vetdermatology #petdermatology #vetmedicine #dermatologiaveterinaria #gatos #gatosdeinstagram
This doesn’t happen a lot but we do get pet owners confused on which ear to treat when their pet has an ear infection that is unilateral. I’ve had clients treat the wrong ear 🤦🏽‍♀️. 

When a veterinarian says to apply drops to the left ear, rest assured the vet means YOUR dog’s left ear.  it’s just when you are looking directly at your dog the left ear is opposite of what you think it is. 

#dogearinfections #dogear #petsofinstagram #petownersofinstagram #leftrightleft #vethumor #vetmedicine #medicinaveterinaria #vetdermatology #dermatologiaveterinaria
I know I post about skin and ear conditions and I will get back to that shortly, but I wanted to use this platform to share about my new doggie’s medical problem to create awareness on a disease that is so easily preventable. 

He has heartworms. I knowingly adopted him with this condition thinking his chances of adoption might be minimal because who wants a sick pet.  I suspect his original owners surrendered him for this and if they didn’t they sure weren’t using prevention. 

Heartworm infection is preventable. 

Preventatives may seem expensive but treatment if your pet becomes infected with heartworm is so much more expensive.  And not treating is life threatening. 

Listen to Dr. Prosek @floridavetcardiology as he shows us what heartworms actually look like. Save it and share it with anyone you know that has a dog not on prevention. 

#heartwormdisease #heartwormawareness #heartwormpositive #heartwormssuck #vetmedicine #medicinaveterinaria
As I posted about a few days ago, I adopted a dog that is heartworm positive. I took him to see Dr. Prosek @floridavetcardiology to get him evaluated further.  Here is a short clip of Dr. Prosek explaining Shadow’s echocardiogram.  I found this to be quite fascinating and wanted to share it with you. As well as create awareness on heartworm disease and the importance of prevention. I can only imagine my little guy was given up by his owners because of this diagnosis. 

#heartworms #heartwormpositive #heartwormprevention #heartwormssuck #echocardiogram #vetmedicine #medicinaveterinaria
I always do the happy dance in my head when I see fleas on a pet. 

These cases can be a slam dunk because now I know why the dog is itchy and can easily fix it. 

And for many pet owners seeing is believing!! 

Of all the allergies that can affect pets, flea allergy is a good one to have. It’s easy to fix and control. 

#fleaallergyindogs #fleas #fleaprevention #vetdermatology #petdermatology #vetmedicine #dermatologiaveterinaria #dancingguy #balletdance
Our family has been without a pet for 4 years.  It was time for furry creatures in the home and so we decided to adopt.  My daughter saw this little guy on the @drsfdoxies Dachshund Rescue website.  We inquired more about him and besides the heartworm status we thought he was a great fit.  We have only had him for 2 weeks and he is settling in well.  He just wants to be cuddled up next to a human.  I can’t imagine who gave up this little guy.

This is my first little dog.  I have always been a big dog girl.  Getting used to a little dog.  The best part is the poop pick up. 😂

Where are my little dog pet owners?  Give me your experience, tips, and suggestions. 

Anyone have a dog with heartworm? I am a dermatologist, so this is new territory for me.  Today this little guy has an appointment with the best cardiologist in town @floridavetcardiology 

Please send your love to our Shadow!  And please adopt!  So many pets are in shelters and rescue organizations that need homes. 

#newpet #adoptadog #pleaseadopt #shelterdogarethebest #rescuedogs #heartwormpositive #littledogpetowner #chiweenie
August is Itchy Pet Awareness month.  An itchy pet is an uncomfortable pet.  It is not normal for a dog or cat to be constantly itchy.  Just like it is not normal for a person to itch and scratch constantly it is not normal for a pet to do this too.

An itchy pet strains the human animal bond.  It can be emotionally stressful for a pet owner to see their dog constantly itchy or their cat overgrooming all the time. 

Figuring out what is making a pet itchy is not always easy and it may not be a quick fix.

For veterinarians and support staff: it is a no brainer that if a client calls that their dog is limping that you ask the client to come in for a work up.  An itchy pet should be the same.  Telling the pet owner over the phone to just try Benadryl is likely not going to work and only puts a band-aid on the underlying problem.  Itchy pets need to be examined and worked up thoroughly. 

Zoetis has great information on their website for veterinary professionals on how everyone in the team can help assist an itchy pet. Go to: https://www.itchypetawarenessmonth.com

If you are a pet owner with an itchy pet, please reach out to a veterinarian or dermatologist for an appointment.  Let us help you give your pet the comfortable life it deserves. 

(For those wondering: This is a Pomeranian with Alopecia X that I am working up for allergies. Most of his hair fell off because of Alopecia X not the itchiness. Poor baby was so itchy!)
#itchypetawarenessmonth #itchydog #itchycat #itchypet #zoetis #vetdermatology #petdermatology #vetmedicine #dermatologiaveterinaria
It takes time to do a dermatological exam on a dog with long hair like this Papillon or a dog with thick fur like a Chow Chow.  I am sifting and parting and sifting and parting the hair for several minutes to look at every inch of the dog and make sure I evaluated its skin well. 

Pet owners with dogs with skin problems often do not realize what could be underneath all that hair.  Case in point this Papillon I saw the other day.  The owner thought their dog was doing very well with no lesions on the skin, until I reached the tail base area and then lifted the tail.  I saw a few crusts. I shaved the area to get a better look, and it was much more extensive than realized.  This dog was not itchy so there was no clue to the pet owner that their dog had an infection on its skin.  I know clients with long haired dogs or thickly coated dogs are fearful of clipping their pet’s hair worried it won’t grow back normal, but sometimes it is necessary to see the skin lesions better and to also do medicated baths properly. 

Make sure to take your time when examining the skin of a long haired or thickly coated dog. 

#longhaireddogs #thickcoateddogs #papillon #dogskininfection #vetdermatology #petdermatology #vetmedicine #dermatologiaveterinaria
How many of you are doing skin cytology in cats?

Skin infection in cats is not common in comparison to dogs. It is possible cats have more skin infections than we realize because we are just not looking for it.

I present a case here of a 10-year-old FS DSH cat that came to our practice about a month ago. The cat had a 6-year history of nonseasonal itchiness. Pruritus improved but not resolved on steroids, and the last depo Medrol was March 2023 by the referring vet. The pet was not on flea prevention. The owner admitted seeing fleas on the pet the weeks prior. This cat lived with ten other cats!

On the exam, you can see the lesions on the head/neck and upper lips. This was one of the worst indolent ulcers I had ever seen. I was worried that it was not indolent ulcers, but a tumor. Besides the skin problems the client also reported the cat had weak hind legs, was losing weight despite excellent appetite and was polydipsic.

This is one of those cases where the client had financial limitations. She knew that her cat needed bloodwork, but she wanted to focus on spending what funds she had on the skin because her cat was uncomfortable. I could only do skin cytology, and this showed bacteria.

I did not send this pet with steroids because I was concerned about what was going on internally. I only prescribed antibiotics and placed it on flea prevention. I asked the client to have a relative take this cat temporarily as I was concerned about its exposure to fleas in the home.

Approx. 4 weeks later, you can see the results. I honestly was not expecting this. The cat is currently living at another relative’s home. Flea prevention only started a week prior to this follow up. The antibiotic was completed a week ago. No steroids. I was surprised how antibiotics alone could lead to such improvement.

Indolent ulcers and eosinophilic plaques can be secondarily infected with bacteria. You may want to consider antibiotic therapy in your cat skin cases and see how much that alone could reduce pruritus. No need to jump to using Depo Medrol on all cats with skin problems. I also hope this case prompts you to do more skin cytology on cats.

 #catsofinstagram #vetdermatology
We cannot prevent a food allergy. Any food ingredient can cause an allergy. You can be feeding your pet the best, most expensive food for years and your pet can suddenly become allergic to its food.

Elimination diet trials are still the gold standard way to assess food allergy in pets. It involves switching the pet to a prescription novel protein or hydrolyzed food that can only be prescribed by a veterinarian. Some dermatologists like to do a home cooked novel protein diet for diet trials, and this is perfectly acceptable if the food is nutritionally balanced. During the diet trial the pet needs to eat the food strictly for 8-12 weeks.

Despite what I stated above, there are still misconceptions in the vet community and amongst pet owners of what constitutes a good diet trial.

Here are some points to consider:

Commercial pet store diets, even the limited ingredient ones, are not adequate for diet trials. There is no quality control on these foods, and studies have shown that there is cross contamination of other foods that manufacturer makes. This concept of cross contamination is something we may all understand as you have seen people food with precautionary allergy labelling, wording like: “produced on shared equipment with…” or “produced in a facility that also processes ….”

Having the pet continue to eat treats, home food, flavored supplements (i.e., cosequin), flavored medications and flavored toys or chews (i.e., dental sticks) is a break in the diet trial. The pet’s main food may not be what it is allergic to, it could be the daily treat or the beef flavored medication it takes daily for its joints.

Even eating other dog poop or better yet cat poop can be a break in the diet trial.

If there are other pets in the home the pet’s MUST separated when eating. 

A small amount of any other food besides the prescription diet could be enough to set off a pet with its allergy symptoms if it is food allergic.

What questions do you have about diet trials?

#dogfoodallergy #canineadversefoodreaction #foodtrialsinpets #petdermatology #bestdogfood #petownersofinstagram #vetdermatology #dermatologiaveterinaria #vetmedicine
Caution should be used when considering pet store ear cleaners if you note your dog has an ear problem. There are ingredients in ear cleaners that not only could irritate the ear and make the ear problem worse but also cause ototoxicity. Ototoxicity is when there is hearing loss or vestibular signs (head tilt, balance problems, repetitive uncontrolled movement of the eyes) associated with chemicals entering the inner ear. The only way this could occur is if the ear drum was broken. Ear infections can lead to rupture of the ear drum. This is why it is important before applying anything into your pet’s ear that a veterinarian examines the ear first. 

Many ear cleaners have detergent-like ingredients that are good in breaking down wax, but these types of chemicals if they enter the middle ear can be irritating and worse can be ototoxic.

When I looked at the ingredients in these ear cleaners, one of them had propylene glycol, which is a well-known ototoxic agent.

Should you happen to apply one of these products into your dog’s ear and you see that it causes a reaction, immediately rinse off the ear with saline (or eye wash solution) and see your veterinarian or ER clinic.

Now, if your dog’s ear has no signs of infection (redness, odor, discharge, itchiness, pain) then we can presume the ear drum is intact and these ear cleaners should be safe. However, I would still recommend you speak to your veterinarian to make sure the product is safe and it might be best if you use a product prescribed by your vet.


#dogearcleaners #ototoxicity #dogears #petdermatology #vetdermatology #petearcleaners #petsofinstagram #petownersofinstragram #dermatologiaveterinaria #vetmedicine
Pet owners often confuse the different skin diagnostic tests that veterinarians may perform on their pet with dermatological problems.

Fine needle aspirate is where a thin small needle is inserted into an abnormal area of skin or growth to obtain cell samples. The cell samples are placed on a microscope slide, stained, and then analyzed under a microscope by either a veterinarian or vet pathologist. The sample taken may help guide the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal skin. You will often see a veterinarian do this if your pet has a bump on its skin and they want to see what type of growth it could be, for example, like mast cell tumor or histiocytoma. This is a minimally invasive procedure that is often done before considering a tissue biopsy.

Skin scrapes are performed by taking a dull blade or spatula to scrape the skin to look for mites. The scraped skin is placed on a slide with mineral oil and analyzed under a microscope. This test may look like a biopsy because it is making the skin bleed, but it is completely different than a biopsy. In this type of skin scrape videoed, the skin is made to bleed because demodex mites live deep in the skin. There is a superficial skin scrape method that looks for superficial mites like sarcoptes. Skin scrapes heal on their own.

A skin biopsy can be performed in several ways. The video shows a biopsy done with a punch biopsy instrument which takes a core sample of abnormal skin or growth. This type of biopsy will usually require sutures or stitches. The tissue biopsied is then sent out to a lab for analysis.

The last video is of skin cytology using the tape method. This is primarily done to assess what kind of infection is affecting the skin, whether bacterial or yeast.

#skinsamples #vetdermatologydiagnostics #dermatologytests #vetdermatology #petdermatology #dogskin #dermatologiaveterinaria
I asked a client today: “is your pet itchy?” The client said no not itchy.
I am examining the dog and I see that its paws look a bit red.
I asked again about itchiness, but this time I asked, “is your dog licking its paws?”
And this time the client says, “yes my dog is constantly licking its paws.”
This is a game changer because the dog then IS itchy, and this means the allergy meds I had the pet on are not working that well. (Is it because the paws are now infected?)
Honestly, I should know better than not to specifically ask about paw pruritus.
Some clients think it is normal for a dog to lick its paws and consider it a grooming behavior. But if the paw is red and irritated then the paw licking they notice is not normal.
Moral of the story: Ask specifically about paw licking, see what answers you get.
Licking = itchy

#dogpawlicking #dogpaws #dogsofinstagram #dogallergies #vetdermatology #petdermatology #dogskincare #vetmedicine #doggrooming
I posted previously about how the ear has a self-cleaning mechanism and how this is disrupted when there is otitis. 
When there is chronic damage to the ear canal this self-cleaning mechanism can become permanently damaged. This is important to keep in mind in those cases you see with abnormal ear canals, as these dogs may likely require maintenance ear cleaning for the rest of their lives. 
#dogearinfections #dogearcleaner #petgrooming #petearinfections #otitis #earcanal #vetdermatology #petdermatology
The self-cleaning mechanism of the ear involves an epidermal migration mechanism that starts from the ear drum out to the pinnae. In this migration sloughed skin cells, wax and debris move out of the ear.
As you can imagine, when otitis is present the inflammation of the ear canal interrupts this migration and leads to the accumulation of dead skin cells, wax, and debris (especially produced by the secondary infectious organism) in the ear canal.
This is why it is important to use an ear cleaner when otitis is present. It also underscores the importance of anti-inflammatory therapy, like topical and/or oral steroids, in the treatment of otitis to reduce the inflammation of the ear canal.
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