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For the clients

Dermoscopy

Dermoscopy or dermoscopy is a rapid, noninvasive method that can recognize some skin diseases that would otherwise have to be diagnosed by biopsy or fungal culture.
The Studio Dermatologico Veterinario own the tools (polarized and non-polarized light dermatoscopes) that allows for accurate and thorough evaluation of skin lesions.

The dermoscope

The dermoscope or dermatoscope is an instrument equipped with a high-quality magnifying glass that allows in vivo observation of the skin and structures immediately beneath the skin surface at 10-times magnification. With the dermoscope, a close examination of skin and hair structure can be made and parasitic, fungal and some skin cancer diseases can be diagnosed. The dermatoscope is connected to a digital camera system that allows photographs to be taken and stored on a pc. The ability to have high magnification digital photographs makes it possible to identify more accurately and earlier the signs of different hair and skin diseases and to monitor their progress over time.

Applications of dermoscopy in the dog and cat

This diagnostic technique is already widely used in humans for the in vivo study of skin tumors and for the study of scalp and hair diseases.

Currently in Veterinary Medicine, dermoscopy is a technique used for:

  • Display directly on the coat of the dog and cat parasites such as mites (Cheyletiella spp) and lice that otherwise would not be visible to the naked eye.
  • Identify alterations in the hair shafts (comma-like hair) associated with fungal hair infections (dermatophytosis or ringworm)
  • Observe changes in follicular ostia suggestive of parasitic infection (demodicosis) and some forms of alopecia
  • Recognize some skin tumors (angiomas, sebaceous hyperplasias, keratinizing infundibular acanthomas) and assess the need for biopsy sampling

Video: Pest visualization

Frequently asked questions

How is dermoscopy performed?

The dog or cat is observed with the dermatoscope looking for identifying signs of various diseases. In case it is necessary to visualize deep structures such as blood vessels in the thickness of the skin, it may be necessary to cut the hair at the skin surface to be examined and apply a gel to make the skin translucent (transparent) before applying the instrument.

High magnification photographs are then taken. The photographs are saved and will be available to monitor the evolution of the lesions over time.

Is dermoscopy a painful procedure?

Dermoscopy is a completely painless technique, so it does not require any special sedation or restraint of the animal.

What is trichoscopy?

Trichoscopy, or scalp dermoscopy, is a rapid, noninvasive examination useful for diagnosing and monitoring hair and scalp diseases over time.

This technique is also highly indicated in dogs and cats since their skin surface is entirely covered with hair, particularly to investigate all those diseases that cause alopecia.



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