Do you know the old joke about dermatologists?
Why do dermatologists love their practices? Three reasons:
Their patients never die,
They never have emergencies,
And they never get well.
It’s a joke I tell almost all new clients, especially those whose pets have atopy and Flea Bite Allergy, but not to be funny.
I tell it because it’s true!
As I’ve said before, I like dermatology because of the unique combination of gratification and challenge. Part of the challenge is differentiating one skin condition from another.
Another huge challenge is teaching clients to understand that they must be on board for the long road ahead because, in the case of allergies, we can never make the allergy go away, we can only hope to control it and the secondary problems that occur as a result of the allergies.
Some dermatologic problems, however, can be cleared. Some ear infections, even chronic ones, may be permanently resolved. It does a practitioner’s heart good to see the change in a pet who has suffered for years with otitis as he becomes happy, energetic and pain-free.
While there are other skin problems that can be “cured,” many of the disease processes we deal with in veterinary dermatology require lifelong attention.
Some of those also outdo the capabilities of the general practitioner, at which time we here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast call in our favorite board-certified veterinary dermatologist, Dr. Steve LeMarie’ of Metairie, LA. He sees patients in nearby Gulfport on a monthly basis (and sometimes comes twice in a month, depending on caseload). We lean heavily on his caring and expertise.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.
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We had an Abyssinian cat that had very bad skin problems. Her fur would come off and she’d lick and lick at her skin until it was infected. 🙁 She was treated by a dermatologist with steroids. It was the only thing that would take care of it. It finally got to where she’d break out and we’d take her in for a steroid shot. It cleared it up within hours it seemed like. I believe he said it was eosinophilic granuloma. We never did find what triggered it. She also had asthma.
Anyway, it was great to have a dermatologist to go to for help.
You are correct, Jenny, having a board-certified veterinary dermatologist available can be a lifesaver sometimes!