Hours of Operation
We are available to see your pets for all of their dermatology needs Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. We also offer drop off appointments for your convenience for any recheck appointments or procedures, which can be scheduled Monday – Friday. Pets can be dropped off as early at 7:15 a.m. and picked up as late at 6:00 pm. Please contact our office at 713.693.1155 for further details, or to schedule an appointment.
- Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Saturdays: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
The goal of allergy testing is to identify specific substances that are causing an allergic reaction, so that desensitization through allergy shots may be attempted. There are several types of allergy tests performed by Veterinary Dermatologists.
Most Veterinary Dermatologists use a method of allergy testing known as intradermal skin testing. This involves the injection of very small amounts of pollens (from trees, weeds, and grasses), molds, and insect extracts into the superficial layers of the skin. The test is administered under a light sedative/analgesic so that the patient (dog, cat, or horse) feels no discomfort. This is the only type of allergy testing used at Gulf Coast Veterinary Dermatology & Allergy (except in very rare cases), as we feel it is the most reliable method.
Many non-specialists routinely use blood testing methods. There is a great deal of controversy about the reliability of blood testing, since the organ that is affected (the skin) is not the organ being tested for a reaction. There are several different types of blood tests offered by biomedical companies. These tests results may vary in accuracy and the success rates when given allergy shots are based on these results.
An important point to understand is that neither blood testing nor intradermal skin testing are useful for identifying food allergies. Although some companies offer blood tests for food allergy, we cannot promote their use. For this reason, we do not offer skin testing for food allergies. Instead, we use specialized hypoallergenic diet trials containing novel or hydrolized ingredients.
There are many causes of ear infections. Some of the most common causes include allergies, parasites, abnormalities of the skin, and anatomical (breed-related) abnormalities. Most infections begin in the outer ear. If these infections are not treated properly, they may spread to the middle ear, which then requires aggressive medical and sometimes surgical treatment. The dermatology and allergy department at GCVS is able to offer the most advanced services when diagnosing and treating various ear disease. These services include consultations from board certified Veterinary Dermatologists and Radiologists that specialize in ear disease and the diagnostic techniques used to determine the extent of the pet’s condition. We also use state of the art equipment such as a video-otoscope, which allows visualization of the entire ear canal, eardrum, and the middle ear. Using the video-otoscope, we are able to collect samples, clean the ear, and apply medications. The scope also enables us to take pictures of the ear canal and eardrum, which assists in monitoring response to therapy and in explaining ear disease to our clients.