"Our mission is to provide high quality care for our patients and their owners at all times"
Dermatology is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and management of skin diseases. These include allergies, bacterial and fungal infections; parasitic infestations and skin disorders related to internal diseases.
This is the most important part of the investigation because the diagnosis of skin diseases often relies on obtaining an accurate and relevant history from you, the owner. A 20 to 30 minute consultation is usually set aside during which a detailed history will be taken.
This is conducted during the consultation and involves looking at both the skin as well as other aspects of the patient. Some disorders of the skin can be related to or arise from disease elsewhere in the body, so it is important that a "holistic" approach is made.
Patients will often have to be admitted to the Veterinary Hospital for the day to conduct special tests such as skin scrapings; hair pluckings; blood samples and allergy tests. Sedation is often necessary, and in the case of skin biopsies, a general anaesthetic will be necessary.
We have facilities at the hospital to examine skin samples in our laboratory and other test samples are sent to external specialist veterinary laboratories.
Diagnosis and treatment
It is important to appreciate that a specific diagnosis can only be made after carefully ruling out a list of possible diseases that may fit the symptoms shown. Many skin diseases look alike, but require quite different treatments in order to effect a cure.
Unfortunately, a significant proportion of skin disorders may not be cured, but only managed. Inhalant allergies, for example, come in this category. Treatment for the duration of the animals life is sometimes necessary. However, it is important that we have a strategy in place for the control of incurable chronic skin disease, particularly to keep your pet as comfortable as possible.
Treatments come in many different shapes and sizes. Often it is the oral administration of tablets, capsules or medicines, but we also use shampoos, washes, gels, ointments, creams & "spot-ons" on the surface and sometimes courses of injections. Surgical treatment may occasionally prove necessary. All treatment options will be discussed with you.
Re-examination of patients, particularly with chronic skin disease, is important for successful treatment and management of a skin problem. Your observations of the patients progress are noted, and further tests may sometimes be required. Feedback, may occasionally be by telephone. We find that good communication is the key to avoiding frustration and disappointment in this challenging branch of veterinary medicine.
The investigation and treatment of skin disease requires both time and expertise that is paid for by you, the patient’s owner. In our experience cutting corners to avoid expense often turns out to be a false economy in the long run. Please do ask for an estimate of the cost for any suggested investigation or treatment. Pet Health Insurance will normally cover dermatology fees.
Sanjaya Kanagasundaram BVSc (Massey) CertVD MRCVS has a special interest in veterinary dermatology. He obtained the RCVS Certificate in Veterinary Dermatology in 1996, and sees most skin cases within the Veterinary Hospital Group which undergo diagnostic work. Such cases will frequently be identified by one of our veterinary surgeons and referred for assessment.
Sanjaya is a member of the British Veterinary Dermatology Study Group (BVDSG) and The European Society of Veterinary Dermatology (ESVD).
For an appointment with the dermatologist, simply telephone Reception at The Veterinary Hospital on (01752) 702646.