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What is a veterinary dermatologist? What does board-certified mean?
While some veterinarians may have a special interest in dermatology, only board-certified veterinary dermatologist have the in-depth knowledge and training to make an educated decision on the best options for your individual pet.
Why should I see a veterinary dermatologist?
Just like in humans, allergies, ear disorders, and skin infections can make life miserable for a pet and the people around him or her. Some disorders can even threaten the life of your pet. Like in human care, there are times when your primary care provider, in this case, your primary veterinarian, cannot provide the extent of care needed for a certain ailment. This is when seeking the care of a specialist in your pet’s area of need is recommended.
Our board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Amy Randall is highly experienced and trained in diagnosing and treating allergies and disorders of the skin and ear in small domesticated animals. Her primary concern is to diagnose your pet’s skin and/or ear condition and develop a treatment plan to minimize the severity of symptoms. Many of the conditions treated in dermatology can not be cured, but they can be managed. The goal of treatment is simple to control the underlying disease process so that the pet’s skin or ear problem is less painful and troubling without having to rely heavily on medications with potentially harmful side effects.
Our board-certified dermatologist can offer the guidance and experience that will enable you to select the best treatment strategy for your pet – from the most conservative therapies to the latest dermatological procedures and diagnostic testing options.
Do I need a referral?
You do not need a referral from your primary veterinarian to schedule an appointment with our office. Routine veterinary services, such as health certificates and vaccines, should continue to be provided by your primary veterinarian. We will report all test results and treatments to your primary veterinarian along with providing him or her with complete records for your pet’s chart. We’ll always be there for any of your pet’s allergy problems.
What will my pet's first appointment be like?
After the examination, if the doctor determines that your pet will benefit from allergy testing, there are certain protocols that you need to follow, both if the allergy testing is done that same day or if we will be scheduling it for a future date.
What are the benefits of having my pet tested for allergies?
Why should I have my pet's allergies treated at the Animal Allergy and Ear Clinic?
What should I do to prepare for allergy testing?
If you wish to do testing the same day as the initial examination, please ask the receptionist about the required protocol when you make your appointment.
What do clients need to know about allergy testing for Atopic Dermatitis?
After the veterinarian diagnoses atopic dermatitis, allergy testing is performed to determine what the animal is allergic to in the environment, ideally so the animal can start receiving allergen-specific immunotherapy (allergy vaccine). Allergy testing can be performed via intradermal skin testing. Intradermal skin testing is considered the gold standard.
Why should I have an allergy test performed on my pet?
Generally, if your pet has any of the following symptoms, a comprehensive exam should be considered:
- Excessive itching and scratching
- Licking or chewing of a paw, tail, or patch of skin or fur
- Discoloration (redness) of the skin
- Recurring skin infections
- Recurring ear infections
- Unpleasant odor from the skin, fur, or ears
- Recurring “hot spot” or rash
When is skin cytology necessary and how is it done?
Skin cytology – the microscopic evaluation of material collected from the skin – provides valuable information that helps determine:
- the type and degree of infection present
- if there is evidence or suggestive features of parasites
- if a normal or abnormal immune response is present
- if immune-mediated or neoplastic diseases are present
Important items identified on cytology include:
- acantholytic cells (cells present in pemphigus foliaceus or, more rarely, dermatophytosis)
- neoplastic cells
Technicians can collect samples for skin cytology via direct impression smear using clear adhesive tape to lift the sample, a cotton swab to obtain exudate, or metal spatulas to obtain material from nail beds. Different slides need to be used for different locations and lesions, and the slides will be labeled accordingly.
Visit us at one of our convenient locations.
13025 SW Millikan Way Suite 100
Beaverton, OR 97005
M, Tu, Th, Fri: 8am - 6pm
Greensboro, NC 27410
By appointment only