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Skin and Ear Assessments

New and extremely effective parasite controls have significantly decreased flea and tick numbers and helped lessen our numbers of dogs and cats with skin disease. However, in our warm, moist environment dogs and cats are very susceptible to allergic, bacterial and fungal ear and skin disorders.

Skin and ear disorders require in-house pathology to establish the underlying cause of skin and ear problems to manage them most effectively. All our veterinarians are well trained in ear and skin disorders and can detect microscopic changes.

Microscopical we can detect a range of things happening at the skin level.

Discharges on the skin layer may contain 1000s of neutrophils. This is an indication of pus.
Ear smears may show bacteria. These microscopic rods shaped bacteria can be difficult to treat.
Ear smears often contain the yeast malassezia.
Mixed bacteria and neutrophils from a skin infection.
Brown pollen spores are commonly found on allergic feet. Note the yeast just above it.
Microscopic ticks can cause skin irritations.

Some conditions do however need samples to be sent to an external laboratory to isolate the organisms causing disease or to look at a sample of skin to understand the problems behind the disease.

Acute ear and skin disorders need to be intensively managed. Your veterinarian will have the expertise to prescribe appropriate antibiotics, antifungals and/or antipruritic medications.

A thorough investigation of ear and skin disorders, followed up with a maintenance plan is really helpful in limiting recurrent problems. Regular rechecks when on medication are essential for best outcomes.

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Malassezia (seen above) is a common yeast that causes itching and inflammation.