Veterinary dermatology: from allergies to toenails.

Just like humans, pets can suffer from allergies, ear infections, skin conditions and other related issues. If you find yourself constantly saying, ‘Stop it!’ because your pet is scratching or licking a lot, you could have a dermatology problem on your hands.

Veterinary dermatologists specialize in treating skin, hair, nail and ear problems in pets. Allergies are often the underlying cause of these problems. If your pet is licking or scratching excessively, get them checked out by your family veterinarian. If, after treatment from your vet, the symptoms don’t go away, you may be referred to a veterinary dermatologist.

A BluePearl veterinary dermatologist uses a device to look inside a dog’s ear.

A veterinary dermatologist can help.

BluePearl dermatology specialists are board-certified, so they’ve had years of training in this field. They can use many different diagnostic tests to pinpoint a problem. When it comes to dermatology, they have the experience to recognize and treat most issues.

Often, the dermatology issues that pets face don’t have quick fixes. Much like with humans, it’s more about managing the condition. But, the first step is to see a veterinary dermatologist for an exam.

Check out this video to see how dermatologists find out exactly what your pet is allergic to so they can make custom-made vaccines unique to your pet’s allergies.

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Conditions we treat:

  • Allergies
  • Autoimmune diseases, like lupus and pemphigus
  • Chronic ear infections and inflammation
  • Cysts and skin tumors
  • Hormone-related skin diseases
  • Hot spots
  • Nutrition-related skin problems
  • Skin cancer
  • Skin parasites
  • Toenail problems

Common dermatological issues:

A smelly dog is usually a sign of some sort of infection. A veterinary dermatologist can examine your dog to diagnose whether it's from an allergy or something more serious like cancer or an auto-immune disease.

Usually, the first step is treating the infection, but that doesn't necessarily fix the underlying problem. From there, it depends on how severe the symptoms are and how difficult it is to get to the heart of the problem.

Dog allergies are quite common, but they can be troublesome for both pets and owners, especially if you notice excessive scratching or licking. If they’re scratching, licking, rolling, scooting to the degree that you're aware of it, it could be a problem.

Dogs suffering from allergies can also be whiny and scratch itchy skin to the point that neither they – nor you – get much sleep.

The first step is to treat the symptoms and stop the itching. Next, is to try an allergy medication. If that doesn’t work to control your dog’s allergies, the dermatology specialist will conduct allergy testing to discover what is actually triggering your dog’s symptoms.

Some BluePearl hospitals offer intradermal (meaning “into the skin”) allergy testing that injects tiny amounts of allergens under the skin, just like in human allergy testing. This method provides up to five times more information than standard blood allergy testing.

If your dog is pawing at his head or is tilting or shaking his head a lot, it could be a sign of an ear infection. Believe it or not, this is a condition that veterinary dermatologists treat frequently.

The ear canal is lined by skin, so dogs with flaring allergy symptoms are often also suffering from an ear infection.

A collection of material from the ear, looked at under a microscope, can help identify which bacteria are present. Then, your pet's dermatologist can prescribe an appropriate antibiotic. Ear flushes or oral pain medications may also be prescribed.

Ear infections are often a symptom of another underlying problem, so it’s important to address the allergy or other root problem to fully resolve the issue. Dermatologists use tools like a video otoscope to look deep inside the ear.

A dermatologist and vet tech check a dog's ear.

Find your nearest dermatologist.

We have over 100 specialty and emergency pet hospitals throughout the country.

Not all services are available in all BluePearl hospitals. Contact your local BluePearl for services available at that location.