Skin disease is one of the most common reasons for dogs and cats to be presented to veterinarians and yet dermatological diagnosis and treatment can often prove troublesome.
Small Animal Dermatology A Practical Guide to Diagnostic
In order to avoid problems, clinicians must take a logical and systematic approach in order to carry out appropriate tests, make an accurate clinical diagnosis and then apply the necessary treatment.
Skin disease is one of the most common reasons for dogs and cats to be presented to veterinarians and yet dermatological diagnosis and treatment can often prove troublesome. In theory, the approach to the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions should be no different to that used for other body systems. Clinicians must first make a diagnosis (or tentative diagnosis) and then prescribe treatment.
However, dermatological diagnosis is complicated by the fact that the skin has only a limited range of responses to a wide variety of cutaneous insults. Hence, the appearance of different diseases may be similar. Furthermore, multiple conditions may be present in the same animal causing overlap of clinical signs.
The evaluation of treatment is also difficult because various agents may have a therapeutic effect with-out achieving clinical cure. What appears to be preliminary success can soon become failure. To avoid these problems, clinicians must use a logical and systematic approach when approaching skin diseases.
The steps in this approach are:
• Taking a history • Performing a physical examination • Identifying the predominant problems • Making a diagnosis or generating a list of differential diagnoses • Performing tests to rule in or out the differential diagnoses (if a diagnosis has not already been made) • Prescribing treatment for the disease, or diseases, diagnosed • Re-inspecting the animal to monitor the response to treatment. This book aims to provide the reader with an easy-to-use guide on working through this process.
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