Nashville Veterinary Dermatology offers a comprehensive range of dermatological diagnostic tests and procedures.
- Skin and Ear Cytology
- Skin Scrapes
- Bacterial and Fungal Cultures
- Allergy Workups
- Skin Biopsies
- CT scan and Video Otoscopy
Skin and Ear Cytology
Skin and ear cytologies are simple, noninvasive procedures critical in determining the cause of your pet’s skin problems. These diagnostics are performed on almost every new case and frequently throughout treatment to help guide therapy. Skin samples are obtained by pressing either a clear glass slide or piece of acetate tape onto your pet’s skin. Ear samples are obtained using a cotton swab. Cytology samples are examined under the microscope for evidence of infection and to determine the types of cells associated with your pet’s skin condition.
Skin scrapes are simple, relatively noninvasive procedures used to determine if mites or other ectoparasites could be the cause of your pet’s skin problems. Not all mites are easy to find, but this diagnostic test is important to perform in any dog with skin problems affecting haired skin. Skin scrapes are performed at the initial visit if indicated and throughout treatment if your pet’s skin condition changes or becomes unresponsive to treatment. This sample is obtained using a dulled scalpel blade. Several small areas are scraped until the skin just begins to bleed (this is necessary to find most species of demodex mite).
Bacterial and Fungal Cultures
Cultures are recommended when knowing the exact identity of an infectious organism is helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet’s skin problems. Methicillin resistant Staphylococci (bacteria) are becoming more and more common, so cultures are recommended when a pet has failed empiric therapy and/or has a history of frequent antibiotic use. Cultures are most often obtained using a sterile cotton swab, but sometimes a deeper tissue sample obtained through a biopsy is necessary.
Allergy workups are one of the most common things we do at Nashville Veterinary Dermatology. Using your pet’s history and a series of diagnostic/treatment trials, we will help you come up with a long term plan to manage your pet’s allergies. We offer both serum (blood) and intradermal allergy testing to help guide therapy in dog’s with atopic dermatitis (environmental allergies). Intradermal (skin) allergy testing is performed under sedation.
Skin biopsies are used to help obtain deep tissue cultures and/or determine the cause of your pet’s skin problem in a smaller percentage of cases. This sample is can often be obtained using only local anesthesia, but sometimes sedation and/or anesthesia is necessary.
CT scan and Video Otoscopy
In some dogs with otitis (inflammation/infection of the ear) a CT scan and video otoscopy will be recommend to better assess the extent of the problem and/or treat deeper infections. These tests are performed under general anesthesia and are available on site.