Dermatologic Dilemmas

Dermatologic Dilemmas

Veterinary dermatology involves the diagnosis and treatment of animals with benign and malignant disorders of the skin, mouth, hair and nails.

Veterinary diagnosis are made based on the results of specialized procedures such as allergy tests, fungal cultures, cytological smears, microscopic examination of skin biopsies and many other similar tests.

Due to our in house testing abilities and our good working relationship with veterinary dermatology specialists, we are able to diagnosis and treat infectious and non-infectious skin diseases, chronic infections and inflammatory conditions, parasitic skin diseases, allergy and allergy-induced skin diseases and autoimmune diseases.

Often our findings include recognition of the skin manifestations of systemic disease (including internal malignancy), cancer of the skin, cysts and other tumors of the skin.

Some of the methods used to treat dermatologic conditions include applying medications externally, injecting internal medications and sometimes even surgical procedures.

Inhaled Allergies

Food Allergies

Ear Infections

Grass Awns

After a long winter we wait eagerly for Spring in Central Oregon.  Unfortunately, with the new growth comes dread for many of our patients who are challenged with Inhaled Allergies, Ear Infections, and the menacing of Grass Awns (cheat grass and foxtails) that play havoc with the skin and haircoat. 

If there is an orifice on the dog, than the Cheat Grass is likely to take up residence.

I figure that I could at least be a millionaire. In fact I have already speculated on the best way to spend the money. Unfortunately, I don’t have the magic solution quit figured out yet. Mind you that this is not just any magic potion. This solution would solve one of the most frustrating problems facing the dog owner in Central Oregon. This elixir would instantaneously remove those pesky irritants that seem to collect on, or in, the dog every year at this time. Of course I’m referring to Cheat Grass or Fox Tails. If there is an orifice on the dog, then the Cheat is likely to take up residence. Be it the ears, nose, webbing of the feet, or skin, the Cheat grass will undoubtedly show up, eventually causing pain and aggravation to your pet. A few of the tell tale signs are:

Ears- Shaking the head or holding the head to one side
Nose- Sneezing fits
Feet- Constant licking along with a red swollen and often draining tract between the toes or under the foot.

Preventative measures to consider would include:

Having your pet body clipped if it is medium or longhaired animal.
Trimming the hair between the toes as well as the hair around the ears.
Cutting down the weeds around your house
Examining your animal daily to remove the Cheat before it becomes a problem.

If your animal is diagnosed with a cheat grass in the ear we will attempt to remove it. Often times the cheat grass is situated right at the ear drum. If that is the case, any movement by your pet may result in a ruptured ear drum. We typically recommend sedation for your pet as this greatly minimizes the chance of a ruptured ear drum and the pain associated with the removal of the cheat grass.

For those located between the feet or in the nose, the majority of animals require a deep sedative along with a local anesthetic agent to attempt to remove the foreign body. In most cases the cheat can be found, but in a few instances the cheat grass may not be identified. 

Skin Growths


Back to Cornerstones of Care »