Monday, October 14, 2019

Happy National Veterinary Technician Week





Happy National Veterinary Technician Week. 🐴🐶🐾😻🦜🦎🐇🐄🐹 Thanks for all you do! ❤️👍
#vettech #dermatologyforanimals

October 13-19, 2019
Veterinary technicians are critical to the day-to-day function of veterinary practices, and play vital roles in preserving animal health and welfare. National Veterinary Technician Week provides an opportunity to recognize veterinary technicians’ contributions. 🥰

 Make sure to thank your favorite tech!

I have been in the veterinary field since 1994.  I started out at the bottom and quickly learned the ropes.  It is not knowledge that appears overnight.  The information is passed to you from doctors, techs, assistants and other support staff. Things they have learned, losses they have had and victories they have achieved.  Everything I have learned about veterinary medicine has made me the person I am today.  I have been the pet sitter, the kennel person, the veterinary assistant, the receptionist, the front office manager, the IT person, the hospital administrator, the janitor, the office manager, the dog walker and the team member.

Veterinary Medicine is challenging!  Your'e happy one minute to see the new puppy and sad the next to euthanize the older, kidney failure cat.  I can't express enough that this wasn't my career of choice.  I was lucky enough to fall into this field in 1994.  I met a doctor that said, "come work with me"!!  She was my first mentor, my first inspiration and an amazing person.  I worked for her for 8 years and wonder to this day if she hadn't had to change her life - would i still be working with her?  I would say yes, but then I wouldn't have learned all the many new & different "things" I have learned - or would I have?!

This veterinary field can take you anywhere you want to go but you have to want the challenge and need to have the drive to succeed.  Failure is there but you have to learn daily to make the changes you want to see in yourself.  


I remember the first euthanasia I was ever part of :(  It was an older cat that had been making some improvement with different treatments.  I would help this cat at the appointments by administering SQ fluids and snuggles.  I never thought in a million years I would be there for his last breath.  I was so hard!  I was taught in technician school "do not let the client see you cry".  How in the world does this get taught and how can it be?  Needless to say I cried - as I am doing now.  It was hard but best for the cat that was failing to thrive.  This was when I worked in general practice - which I did for more than 1/ 2 of my career.  

Wow! What a career it has been.  I have gained most of my fur babies through different clinics, met most of my best friends and my mentors!  I am proud to be a CVT - Certified Veterinary Technician!  Proud to say I have helped that pet, loved that pet, administered medications, anesthesia, put in IV catheters,  can proficiently use a microscope, have trained employees, assisting in surgery, performed xrays, drawn blood on a furry moving target, looked into the eyes of a parvo puppy, helped with c-sections and brought puppies into this world,  weighed bladder stones that were 1/2 the weight of a Yorkie and made the paw print of a deceased dog so their family would have a last memory.  Not to mention the different doctors and practices that  I have shared many years with...  I've been lucky enough to enjoy - general practice, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, start up practices, the sale of a practice, sitting on different boards for certifications, writing online CE's, AAHA inspections, protocol writing, Rehabilitation medicine, urgent care and specialty.  I would like to say I have come full circle!  I started with going to art school in the 80's - graphic design & commercial art, tech school in the 90's and now I am a CVT & Marketing Coordinator for an amazing company.

I have loved every aspect of this field, made great friends and learned to work with many different styles of doctors, all wonderful in their own way.  There has always been one common goal - "doing what is best for the pet".  Sharing our love though our passion and knowledge!

Happy Veterinary Technician week to all my friends and all the technicians/assistants in our big, amazing and wonderfully growing field.  Cheers & enjoy this special week!  🐴🐶🐾😻🦜🦎🐇🐄🐹 

Laura Rice, CVT
Marketing Coordinator, 
Social Media & Website Design
Dermatology for Animals


Friday, October 11, 2019

Ear Mites - Also Known As: Otodectes cynotis

Ear Mites - Also Known As: Otodectes cynotis 

Transmission or Cause: Ear mites are passed from one animal to another through close contact. Humans rarely also can get a skin rash from the parasite, and, on rare occasions, can get the mites in their own ears. Good hygiene usually will prevent mites from affecting people. 

Affected Animals: All animals, including humans, can get mites. 

Overview: Highly contagious, ear mites are a common cause of many ear problems in cats and, less commonly, in dogs. Ear mites are found in cats of all ages, but kittens tend to be infected more commonly. These mites can cause intense itching. Severe trauma to the infected area may result when cats scratch the irritated skin. Often, but not always, a dark, granular substance will be present in the ear canal of a cat with ear mites, and signs of irritation and itchiness will be evident. Diagnosis can be achieved through visual identification of the mites under a microscope from debris or skin scrapings. The prognosis for ear mites is excellent with proper treatment, which generally involves topical application of a miticide to the affected areas. 

Clinical Signs: Clinical signs of ear mites develop as the mites feed in the ear canal. The feeding causes irritation and the canals will fill with wax, mite debris, and blood. The ear canals typically have a dark, coffee ground-like substance in them. Cats may have itching of the ears, but not always. The mites also can crawl to other parts of the body and can cause itching there. Symptoms: See clinical signs. 

Description: Otodectes cynotis is a type of mite that lives on the surface of the skin, rather than tunneling into it. The mite is able to reproduce in the ears and live approximately two months. They cause an intense hypersensitive reaction that leads to severe itching in many animals. Some animals cause a significant amount of trauma to their ears by constant scratching. Ear mites are very contagious. In addition, they can migrate to other parts of the body and cause itching. Ear Mites 

Diagnosis: Diagnosis commonly is made by using a cotton-tipped applicator to take a sample of the debris in the ear canals. The material then is viewed in mineral oil under a microscope to determine if mites are present. Other ways of diagnosing ear mites include looking into the ears with an otoscope to identify mites visually. The light from the otoscope warms up the mites so that they can be seen crawling around. Skin scrapings, performed by using a dull blade gently to scrape the skin, sometimes are helpful to determine the presence of mites on other parts of the body. The material then is evaluated under the microscope. 

Prognosis: With proper treatment, ear mites can be cured. However, all animals that have been exposed to the infected animal must be treated as well, since mites are highly contagious. 

Treatment: Treatment starts with a very thorough cleaning of the ears to get all the debris and wax out of the canals. If the ears are not properly cleaned, mites can survive the treatment because the wax and debris protects them. There are several medications available for the treatment of ear mites. Some contain miticide only; others will have antibiotics and/or a medication to help break down wax and debris. A typical treatment involves applying a topical medication directly into the ears for several weeks; each animal may not respond to certain medications, so treatments may vary. The use of flea sprays, powders, or topical preparations will be necessary to help prevent mites from re-infecting the ears. Consult with a veterinarian about the various medications that are available. An alternative treatment involves using an injectable or oral medication called ivermectin. Although ivermectin is a highly effective and common treatment, this use is considered extra-label, and should NOT be used in certain breed of dogs, such as collies, Shetland sheepdogs, Old English sheepdogs, and any herding dogs or their crosses. Side effects in these breeds can lead to death. Ivermectin usually is very safe for cats, however, and can be especially useful in animals that are difficult to treat or that are outdoors and hard to catch daily. 

Prevention: Effective prevention requires proper medical treatment of all animals that have mites, or that have been in contact with animals carrying mites. The use of an effective flea control product that stays on the animal for several days helps to control the spread of mites to other parts of the body. Disinfecting the environment with appropriate insecticides also is very helpful. Consult a veterinarian about the use of safe insecticides in the animal’s environment. It is particularly difficult to control the spread of mites in catteries and kennels because so many animals are housed together closely.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Cytology-Microscope Tips!


At Dermatology for Animals we have many services that help us better evaluate your pets skin.  When we set up an in-house fungal test we wait for the plate to change and when it's ready we get the cytology/slide ready for viewing with the microscope.  Dr. Frost has made a short video to show you how to properly make a cytology/slide to easily view a fungal culture.  What is a cytology?

Skin Cytology 

Cytology of the skin is used to identify infection and cells that are indicative of autoimmune disorders. A slide or piece of tape is pressed to the animal's skin (in this case from the fungal plate), picking up samples of the cells and hairs and any microorganisms present.