Management of recurrent bacteria and yeast infections
Allergen specific immunotherapy (ASIT)
Environmental allergies or atopy is a diagnosis of exclusion. This means all other causes of itching have to be ruled out or treated including parasites, bacteria, yeast and food sensitivities. Neither the blood or skin test is used to diagnose environmental allergies because even non-allergic animals can have positive reactions. The reason the "test" is done is to decide what should be included in the allergy vaccination after the diagnosis has been made. Allergy vaccines work well and are the only method of treatment that actually change the underlying disease process by building immunity to the things in the environment that are causing the reaction. They take several months to help reduce symptoms so medication is often needed to help relive the itch.
Another one of the most common reasons I see patients for 2nd or 3rd opinions is for relapsing or unresolved skin infections. Just like with ears, the primary problem is not the infection but an underlying trigger. Repeated rounds of antibiotics can lead to the development of antibiotic resistant "superbugs" so it's important that the correct medication is used and for the correct length of time. Proper steps need to be taken with these cases to determine why the infections are happening and making long term plans to help prevent them from relapsing using topical therapy.
Here are some of my areas of interest and services offered
Chronic ear problems
Ear infections are the #1 reason dog owners end up at the Veterinarian. It is never normal for any breed of dog to have ear infections. Certain types of ears are predisposed due to the structure of the ear and lifestyle of the pet. The most common reason for chronic ear problems is uncontrolled allergies and until these are properly managed the infections will continue to come back. Chronic infections are painful and can lead to permanent deafness over time. Simply treating the infection over and over with drops in chronic cases will never solve the problem long term.
Food is the foundation of good health and choosing the proper diet for a pet with chronic skin disease can be challenging. Unfortunately there are no accurate tests for food allergies in dogs and cats so strict food trials are the only option to determine if a food allergy exists. I can work with clients interested in raw food and formulate balanced home cooked diets in addition to making recommendations on commercial dry food diets.