To bring you information in a structured way, we've decided each month will have a theme. December will be our Dermatology month, so we will bring you info and tips about various skin conditions in dogs and cats!
Acral Lick Dermatitis is a skin disease secondary to an underlying cause. It is also called a lick granuloma. There are many possible causes which range from allergies to joint issues and behavioral disorders, among others. The pet often obsessively licks the affected area and causes hair loss and skin lesions that look like sores.
Often, it can be difficult to find the underlying cause but there are certain skin tests that can be performed to investigate.
The basic skin tests include:
· Dermatophyte testing: checks for fungal diseases such as ringworm
· Skin scraping: checks for mites, such as Demodex
· Skin cytology: checks for bacterial infection
More advanced skin tests include:
· Bacterial culture and sensitivity: identifies which type of bacteria are present (if any)
· Food elimination diet: used to screen for food allergies
· Intradermal allergy testing: helpful for atopic or allergic dermatitis
· Skin biopsy: to check for neoplasia (cancerous growths)
Like many diseases, bloodwork and radiographs can also be used during the screening process.
If you’re looking for a diagnostic plan for acral lick dermatitis, consider the tests above! They may help your vet narrow down the list of causes so a targeted treatment plan can be built for your furry best friend.
1) Veterinary Partner. Veterinarypartner.com
2) Tilley, L. P., & Smith, F. W. (2005). The 5-minute veterinary consult: Canine and feline. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
3) Yin, S. A. (2010). The small animal veterinary nerdbook. Davis, CA: CattleDog Pub.