The American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD) is the official certifying organization for veterinary specialists in large, small, and exotic animal dermatology. A dermatologist is a diplomate of the ACVD who has completed 4 years of veterinary school, a postgraduate internship, and 2-3 years of a dermatology residency. Board-certified dermatologists focus on diagnosing and treating diseases of the skin and ears. Dr. Alison Flynn is one of only a few hundred ACVD Diplomates in the world.
It is likely that your family veterinarian has referred you and your pet to the dermatology department at Pet Specialists of Monterey if your pet needs to be treated for one of the following:
- Ongoing allergies
- Severe ear infections or ear disease
- Autoimmune diseases of the skin, ears, or nails
- Parasitic or infectious diseases of the skin and ears
- Benign or malignant cancer of the skin, ears, or nails
- Hormonal and metabolic imbalances affecting the skin, ears, or nails
Treating Ear Infections with Video Otoscopy and Myringotomy
Ear infections are caused by overgrowth of bacteria and/or yeast. Basic treatment for an ear infection often consists of an ear cleaner and an antibiotic that is applied on the outside of the inner ear. Unfortunately, pets frequently suffer relapse and antibiotic resistance when ear infections occur more than a few times per year. We recommend that pet owners visit our veterinary dermatologist when your pet experiences the following:
- Ear infections occurring more than 3–4 times per year
- Infections that do not respond to treatment or return within a few weeks of finishing treatment
- Unusual behavior, such as head tilting, abnormal eye movements, wobbly gait, vomiting, or facial paralysis
A video otoscopy, myringotomy and bullae (middle ear) irrigation is the gold standard for diagnosing and treating chronic and/or severe ear infections which often have middle ear infections as a component of the ear disease.
Video otoscopy is a procedure where a small, digital, high definition camera is passed through your pet’s ear canal and into a portion of the middle ear. This camera significantly magnifies the field of view and allows dermatologists to evaluate the ear canal for masses or signs associated with allergies or a middle ear infection.
Myringotomy is a specialized procedure where a small hole is made in the eardrum and discharge, wax, and other foreign material is removed from the middle ear. This is the only direct treatment for middle ear infections. The middle ear is then thoroughly cleaned and medication is placed inside.
Intradermal Skin Testing
Intradermal skin testing (IDST) is the gold standard for identifying the skin allergies. After an IDST is performed, immunotherapy (also called hyposensitization or allergy shots) will be formulated based on your pets’ test results. We offer two forms of immunotherapy—liquid given in the mouth or injections under the skin. IDST is still the recommended approach to formulated immunotherapy regardless of how it is delivered. Success rates are similar between the two delivery options, approximately 65–75%. The major difference is that oral delivery requires twice daily dosing indefinitely, whereas the injection typically occurs every 7–14 days.
Before Your Visit
- Please do not bathe your pet
- Bring with you all current medications
- Do not put any medication in the ears
- If your pet is taking any oral medications, please continue as directed
- If this is your first visit, please fill out the forms below. This will save time when you arrive at your appointment.
- If you are a returning patient within the last 6 months, please fill out the form below.
What to Expect
The dermatologist will review information provided by you and your family veterinarian, perform a complete and thorough physical examination of your pet, and based on these initial findings, additional tests and care may be recommended.