How do you know when it’s time to take your pet to a dog dermatologist? Some veterinarians will openly recommend visiting a specialist if they feel stumped about your dog’s condition. In other cases, you may have to make the decision on your own.
I like to think that my regular veterinarian can handle everything related to my dog’s health, but the truth is that sometimes you need to see a specialist. There are countless skin infections and issues that a regular vet cannot diagnose. In which case, your dog may require the specialized eye of a veterinary dermatologist.
What is a Dog Dermatologist?
A Dog Dermatologist, more specifically known as a Veterinary Dermatologist, is a veterinarian with specialty training and expertise in diagnosing and treating skin, ear, nail, hoof, and mouth ailments. Not all veterinary offices have a dog dermatologist on staff. You may need to visit a specialty pet hospital to make an appointment. Ask your veterinarian if he or she has any good recommendations.
Veterinary dermatologists can perform allergy tests on dogs to uncover exactly what your dog is allergic to. A dog dermatologist is also trained to diagnose underlying infections and rare conditions. Which leads us to the first sign your dog should visit a vet who specializes in dermatology…
1. Your Regular Vet Doesn’t Have the Answers
Have you tried everything your veterinarian has recommended without any sign of improvement? Is your vet still unsure what the underlying cause of the issue relates to? If you answer ‘yes’ to either question, you might want to consider visiting a dog dermatologist.
2. Your Dog’s Condition is Not Improving
If your pet’s skin condition is not getting better or appears to be getting worse, it might be time to visit a dog dermatologist. Keep in mind, skin irritations like infections and eczema can cause discomfort, which leads to itching, breaks in the skin, and a greater likelihood of secondary infection. In other words, the longer you wait, the worse the problem could become.
3. The Problem is Reoccurring or Chronic
If ear, skin, or paw problems reoccur again and again, or have been diagnosed as a chronic condition, it might be worth investing in a visit with a dog dermatologist. They may have new insight, solutions, and treatment methods that could help.
4. Your Dog Has Been Diagnosed with A Rare Disease
If your regular veterinarian has limited experience working with your dog’s condition, it might be worth visiting a specialist to learn more about how you can better your pup’s situation.
5. Your Dog Has Allergies But You Don’t Know What They Are Allergic To
Veterinary dermatologists have the tools to test for specific allergies in dogs. While there is some controversy over the consistent accuracy of these results, testing for allergies can still offer valuable insight.