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Dermatology & Allergy

  • I was told my pet is allergic to fleas but I never see fleas on him/her. How is that possible?

    If your dog or cat is allergic to fleas, they will work very hard in order to remove them. Furthermore, if your pet is sensitive to the fleas, sometimes all it takes is just a few exposures in order to create extended uncomfort.

  • Can my pet’s allergies be cured?

    Unfortunately, allergies can be a life-long problem. If the underlying allergy can be identified, then therapeutic options can be discussed to manage the symptoms.

  • I am interested in pursuing allergy testing. What medications should be avoided before the skin test and for how long?

    Antihistamines and steroids, including oral and topical therapies, should be avoided.  A wash out period of 2-3 weeks is needed prior to performing the skin test as they could interfere with obtaining accurate results.

  • Is allergy testing uncomfortable?

    Allergy testing on pets is no more uncomfortable than the allergy testing performed on humans. Humans describe a mildly irritating sensation through which they are instructed to remain still. Since your pet can’t be instructed to remain still during the testing, a sedative may be used to help reduce any potential unease that your pet may experience.

  • What does the intradermal allergy test entail?

    In order to reach the skin, a small patch of hair is shaved off of the chest, near the elbow. Then, very tiny amounts of 63 different allergens are injected into the skin. A specific amount of time is allowed to elapse (8-15 minutes) and then the test site is evaluated. Since pets often can’t remain still like a person would during the testing, a sedative may be used to ensure a safe and efficient testing process.

  • If I am coming in for an initial visit should I discontinue medications prescribed by my primary care Veterinarian?

    Topical therapies including ointments, creams, and shampoos should be discontinued at least 2 days prior to the appointment as they could inhibit diagnostics that need to be performed the day of. Oral medications should not be discontinued prior to your visit unless specifically directed to do so. If adjustments need to be made in your pet’s protocol, we will make recommendations at the initial exam.

  • What happens during a typical dermatologic appointment?

    A complete and thorough medical history is essential to understanding your pet’s disease process. The dermatologist will perform a physical and dermatologic examination. Minor procedures such as skin scraping (for mites), cytology (for secondary pathogens like bacteria or yeast), and cultures are often recommended to assess complicating factors. Diagnostics and therapeutic choices will be made based on the assessment of your pet’s individual situation, and estimates will be provided for major recommended procedures such as biopsies, video-otoscopy and allergy testing.