VCA Bay Area Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Hospital

What Is A Board Certified Veterinary Dermatologist?

A veterinary dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of benign and malignant disorders of the ears, skin, mouth, hair, and nails. A veterinary dermatologist has also had significant training in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic disorders in pets.

While your general practitioner veterinarian can diagnose and treat many routine skin ailments, certain diseases and injuries require the care of a doctor who has had specialized training in veterinary dermatology in order to provide the very best outcome for your pet.

Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Dermatologist?

While your general practitioner veterinarian can handle many aspects of your pet's care, just as in human medicine, sometimes there is a need for the attention of a specialist. If your pet has a complicated or difficult problem, your pet may need the care of a veterinary dermatologist. You can be assured that a veterinarian who knows when to refer you and your pet for more specialized diagnostic work or treatment is one that is caring and committed to ensuring your pet receives the highest standard of medical care for his or her problem.

While in some cases, your veterinarian may be able to simply consult with a specialist in veterinary dermatology about your pet's care, in other cases it is necessary to actually refer you and your pet to the specialist for more advanced diagnostics and treatment.

What Special Problems Does A Veterinary Dermatologist Treat?

Skin problems are some of the most common reasons owners bring their pet to the veterinarian. Most routine skin problems can be handled by your general practitioner veterinarian. Certain skin problems, however, can be difficult to diagnose and treat and the help of a specialist may be required. These include skin problems associated with allergies, parasite infestations, infectious, autoimmune, and endocrinologic (hormonal) diseases, chronic or recurrent ear infections, diseases of the feet, footpad, or nails, and skin cancers.

While it is important to realize that your pet's skin problems, especially those that have been developing over a period of time, often aren't solvable overnight, most can be cured or made much more manageable with the help of a specialist.

The following general conditions are among those that frequently require the assistance of a veterinary dermatologist:

  • Parasites
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Systemic Diseases
  • Skin Cancer
  • Allergic Conditions

Most of the allergic disease that occurs in dogs and cats affects the skin. These allergies include reactions to food items (food allergy), air borne and contact substances (atopic dermatitis), and fleas (flea allergy dermatitis). Allergies can be difficult to diagnose and treat and are the kinds of cases where involving a specialist early can not only help diagnose and resolve the problem earlier but also potentially save the pet owner money in the long run.

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?

Your veterinary dermatologist will work together with your veterinarian as part of your pet's total veterinary health care team. Your general practitioner veterinarian will still oversee all aspects of your pet's care, but with the added, specialized input of a veterinary dermatologist.

Did You Know?

  • Dogs suffer from seasonal allergies just like people, but unlike us, they tend to scratch rather than sneeze when they are allergic to something.
  • Atopy (allergic inhalant dermatitis) occurs in approximately 10% to 15% of the dog population, usually starting between the ages of 1 and 3 years. Pets can even be allergic to the skin dander from other pets in the same household!

If you believe your pet is in need of a veterinary dermatologist, talk to your VCA vet or find a VCA board certified veterinary dermatologist near you.

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General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:

 

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Emergency Care

If your pet is having a medical emergency, please do not hesitate to bring your pet in. If you need to contact us, please call:

(510) 483-7387

We offer emergency and urgent care and critical care services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including weekends and holidays, allowing us to carefully monitor your pet and provide continuous medical care. We accept walk-ins as well as transfer cases from area veterinarians.

The Emergency Service is available exclusively to treat pets in an emergency, when the family veterinarian is unavailable. Once the pet's condition is stabilized, the patient will be released or returned to the regular veterinarian for continued care.

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