The Dermatology service at SASH is lead by specialist Dr. Linda Vogelnest and Registrar Dr. Philippa Ravens. Linda and Philippa have a particular interest in long-term management of chronic problems, including allergies and ear disease, which can be very frustrating for owners and debilitating for patients without effective control plans. Typically, these patients need ongoing care over a long period of time, which means the relationship between the referring veterinarian, the owner and the Dermatology team at SASH is a priority to ensure the best outcome for the patient.

Specialist dermatology consultations are available at SASH for a full range of skin problems in dogs and cats. Problems routinely investigated include allergies, skin & ear infections, itchy dermatitis of many causes, and hair loss disorders.

An important aspect of dermatologic disease is an appropriate diagnostic work up. At SASH, we offer a range of non-invasive or minimally invasive diagnostic tests that are performed on-site including, intradermal allergen testing, video otoscope-guided ear flushing for chronic/severe ear cases, skin surface & ear cytology sampling (tape preps, scrapings, trichograms and impressions) and skin biopsies, including microscopic analysis of samples.

Much of our time is spent discussing and assessing long term care via telephone with owners and referring veterinarians and we encourage you to call to discuss any concerns you may have. We are available for consultations on all aspects of skin disease, including:

  • Itchy dermatitis: the key is finding the specific cause, and starting focused treatment
  • Skin lumps and bumps: are they benign or do they need removal?
  • Atopic dermatitis (pollen/dust mite allergies): allergy testing, immunotherapy (desensitising), and short & long-term control strategies
  • Ear infections: acute and chronic; effective infection treatment and longer-term control plans are both important; we have a video-otoscope to enable thorough examination and cleaning of severe ears, including the middle ear cavity
  • Immune-mediated diseases: pemphigus, lupus, vasculitis (these are rare diseases, but can be very aggressive, and require quick recognition and thorough treatment plans)
  • Hair loss diseases: Hormonal (eg. thyroid or Cushing’s disease), and cosmetic hair cycling/growth disorders
  • Foot diseases: nail and footpad problems
  • Acute/chronic, mild/extensive, and unusual or non-specific skin problems

An initial consultation is allocated 60 minutes, during which time we analyse the history of the problem to date, examine the skin thoroughly, collect surface skin samples if indicated, and discuss the best investigation and/or treatment plans.

We focus on confirming a diagnosis and treating with the most appropriate options for that diagnosis; and recognise that optimal choices may vary depending on each individual owner/patient situation.