We specialize in disorders of the skin, hair, ears, and nails of animals including
Rashes or crusting
Bumps or Nodules
Recurrent Skin and Ear Infections
Itchy diseases like Allergies and Ectoparasites
Hormonal diseases like Hypothyroidism and Cushings Disease
Immune Mediated Diseases like Pemphigus Foliaceus
Brittle or Lost Nails
To help diagnose and treat your pet, Nashville Veterinary Dermatology offers a comprehensive range of dermatological diagnostic tests and procedures.
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 often obtained by pressing either a clear glass slide or piece of acetate tape onto your pet’s skin. Sometimes a fine needle aspirate is obtained. Ear samples are obtained using a cotton swab.
Cytology samples are examined under the microscope to look for for evidence of infection, autoimmune disease, and neoplastic (cancerous) cells.
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 consider in any dog with skin problems affecting haired skin.
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 & 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. Cultures can also provide information on how best to treat an infection.
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 (skin) allergy testing to help guide therapy in dog’s with atopic dermatitis (environmental allergies).
Skin biopsies are used to help obtain deep tissue cultures and/or a sample for histopathology (a classic biopsy). This test can be imperative in the diagnosis and management of some skin diseases. This sample can often be obtained using only local anesthesia, but sometimes sedation and/or anesthesia is necessary.
In some dogs with otitis (inflammation/infection of the ear), video otoscopy will be recommended to better assess the extent of the problem and/or treat deeper infections. We also use this modality to help remove inflammatory polyps in cats. Video Otoscopy is performed under general anesthesia.