“Our Commitment To Your Pet Lies In The Quality Of Our Care”

Your Veterinary Care Online Help Site!

234 Power Road, Endeavour Hills, Vic 3802

 

Telephone: 1300-838-738 or 1300-VET-PET

 

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SCRATCHING PETS

“Our Commitment To Your Pet Lies In The Quality Of Our Care”

It is not easy to diagnose scratching in pets. We diagnose scratching using a combination of clinical assessments, imaging technologies, laboratory analysis, skin scrapings, where and how the lesion presents itself, etc. as you can see from the table below:-

Some of the reasons why pets itch and scratch are due to:-Skin scratching

  • Allergy
  • Cold
  • Drugs
  • Dry skin
  • Electrical stimuli
  • Endocrine problems
  • Heat
  • Infection
  • Internal disorders
  • Kidney problems
  • Light

Some of the tests that we may need to do are:-

  1. MICROBIOLOGY TESTS
    1. Fungal culture
    2. Bacterial culture

  2. IMMUNOLOGIC PROCEDURES
    1. Intradermal skin tests
    2. Direct fluorescent antibody

  3. HISTOPATHOLOGY

  4. PROVOCATIVE EXPOSURE
    1. Environment
    2. Diet
    3. Drugs

 

The most likely diseases based on presentation and distribution could be any of the following:-

DISEASE

HISTORY

LESION (S)

DISTRIBUTION

SPECIAL TEST(S)

Very pruritic conditions

 

 

 

 

Sarcoptic mange

May be contagious
Dogs of all ages affected
Non seasonal

Papules, excoriations

Elbows, ear margins, ventral abdomen and chest

Skin scraping, response to therapy

Atopy

Age:1-5 years
Breeds: terriers, golden retrievers, Irish setters
Seasonal and non seasonal

Most cases have only pruritus, later papules, excoriations, erythema, and lichenification occur

Face, ear pinna, axilla, abdomen

Intradermal skin test (IDST)

Flea allergy dermatitis

Dogs and cats usually older than 1 year
Seasonal, except in subtropical climates

Papules, excoriations
Cat: miliary crusty or papular lesions

Dog: tail, head, inner thighs
Cat: neck, back

Response to flea control
IDST with flea antigen

Superficial staphylococcal dermatitis

Usually young dogs- more common during warm months
Can be chronic
Tendency to relapse

Papules, superficial pustules, erythematous collarettes with scales

Abdomen- may generalize

Response to antibiotic therapy

Feline hyperesthesia syndrome

Usually house cats
Any age
Psychologic episodes

Pulling of hair

Usually back, also limbs

None

Feline miliary dermatitis

(see flea allergy dermatitis)

 

 

 

Rhabditic dermatitis

Animals on wet straw

Papular

Ventral-abdomen and legs

Skin scraping

Notoedric mange

Cats-contagious

Papules, excoriations, crusts

Head

Skin scraping

Subcorneal pustular dermatitis

Recurrent vesiculopapular eruptions
Nonresponsive to antibiotics and corticosteroids

Papules, vesicles, erosions, crusts

Body and face (nose and ears)

Histopathology - subcorneal pustules - response to dapsone

Pemphigus (foliaceus and erythematosus)

Dogs and cats of any age
Recurrent lesions

Vesiculopustular eruptions, erosions, scales and crusts

Face, body and feet
Mucocutaneous lesions are rare

Histopathology - subcorneal acantholysis
Positive direct FA

Dermatitis herpetiformis

(see subcorneal pustular dermatitis)

Vesiculopustular eruptions

Body

Histopathology - subcorneal pustules
Response to dapsone

Bacterial folliculitis

Younger short-haired dogs

Papules, small pustules

body

Skin biopsy

Acral pruritic nodule (lick granuloma)

Usually solitary dogs
Constant licking of limb

Nodule with eroded surface

Forelimb

Skin biopsy
Radiography of limb

Drug eruption

Recent drug therapy

Papulomacular eruption

No specific distribution

Response to drug withdrawal

Food allergy dermatitis

Dogs and cats of any age
Non seasonal occurrence
Acute and chronic signs common

Papules, erythematous plaques, excoriations
Lesions may be severe
Cats: may cause miliary dermatitis

Dogs: no specific distribution
Cats: facial, may generalize

Response to hypoallergenic diet
Skin biopsy

Allergic contact dermatitis

Non seasonal occurrence
Signs may wax and wane

Papuloeruptive to erythematous plaques

Ventral: feet, legs, abdomen, chest, axilla, neck

Provocative exposure to potential allergens

Mild to moderately pruritic conditions

 

 

 

 

Pediculosis

Young animals

Scales-small papules

Generalized

None

Cheyletiella dermatitis

Young animals

Scales-small papules

Generalized

None

Demodectic mange

Usually dogs less than 3 years of age

Alopecia, scales, erythema, pustules

Localized- face, legs
Generalized - face, body, ear canals, feet

Skin scraping

Pyoderma

No significant clues

Pustules
Fistulous tracts

Depends on type

Bacterial culture

Dermatophytosis

Young animals

Circular scaling or asymmetric patches of alopecia

Head and legs usually
Body in some severe cases

Fungal culture

Seborrhea

Common in spaniels
No significant clues

Asymmetric patches of scales

Body, face, ears

None

Nodular panniculitis

Recurrent painful or pruritic nodules

Nodules with necrotic centres

Body

Histopathology - necrosis and inflammation of fat

Sporotrichosis

Often develops following skin injury

Nodules suppurative lymph nodes
Cats - erosive nodules

Limbs- may follow lymphatics
Cats - head and face

Cytology
Fungal culture
Histopathology - PAS and methenamine silver stains

As you can appreciate the problems are many and will need to be identified. It is therefore recommended that your pet is seen by us at the earliest, to prevent the problem progressing and causing other complications. Early recognition and treatment means that your pet will recover sooner, and will therefore be far more comfortable. It is not only significantly more difficult to treat a pet in an advanced stage of the disease, as well as far more expensive, but one also has to take into account the significant pain and stress your pet is under by not being treated at the earliest.

We sincerely recommend that you please call us on 1300-838-738 (1300-VET-PET) to schedule an appointment at the earliest. We do not believe in berating our clients for presenting the pets late, as we believe that this is counter productive. It is not our intention to cause you any embarrassment, offence or anxiety. Our approach is now that you have presented your pet to us, how do we go forward from here, not only keeping your pet’s welfare at heart, but also working with your wishes and limiting factors. We do approach all cases presented to us with a level of sensitivity. As pet health care professionals we will present our assessment and treatment in a professional manner and factually as possible.

You may not be aware that in older pets multiple problems often arise as aging affects all body systems. As pets age they become increasingly vulnerable to diseases. The three leading causes of non accidental death in pets are cancer, kidney disease and heart disease. Older animals seldom suffer from a single disease. One problem may markedly influence the course of another. Ageing is characterised by progressive and irreversible change. Pets are likely to start having diseases associated with ageing between 7 and 13 years. Smaller dogs tend to live longer than large dogs. The quality and length of life of older pets can be improved through regular health checks (every 6 months). A thorough clinical examination will help define some of these problems.

Because we do care for the welfare and interest of your pet, we do go out of way to ensure that your pet can access medical or surgical attention in time of its need. It would also interest you to know that:-

  1. We do pride ourselves in the quality of our services.
  2. We do provide a 24 hour on call service.
  3. We also offer payment plans through a third party, provided you meet the criteria as set out by the financing institute.
  4. If you cannot bring your pet to us, we will come to you as we do have a fully equipped pet ambulance.
  5. We also do house calls.
  6. Your pet will receive a very high level of care given the level of diagnostic and monitoring equipment that we have on hand.
  7. We do welcome you to take a personal tour of our facility.
  8. We also provide pet grooming services
  9. We also provide puppy classes. Puppies are trained not only indoors, but also outdoors, being exposed to outdoor noises and traffic in a controlled environment. The puppy training classes are run by Ms Julie Pocknee.
  10. We do care for our wildlife, and work very closely with wildlife carers providing veterinary care where needed.
  11. We take an active part in community services and proudly support Service Dog Training, by way of providing veterinary services to working dogs of individuals with disabilities. Please see www.servicedogtraining.com.au

If you have not used our services before, we do suggest that you try our services and see the differences for yourself. From our analysis we find that over 30% of all new patients are referred to us by existing clients, and a further 25% of all new patients are brought in by existing clients. Our clients travel from as far as Camberwell, Clayton, Fitzroy, Ringwood, Chelsea, St Kilda, Port Melbourne, Pakenham, to name but a few. From the level of service we provide, you would come to understand that we are not your average Veterinary Services provider. We do recommend that you bookmark our web address www.petcarevet.com.au

Our staff are very friendly and courteous. We are very easily accessible. We are located at 234 Power Road, Endeavour Hills, at the intersection of Power Road and Heatherton Road, Endeavour Hills, just off the Monash Freeway. Please note that parking is at the rear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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