Veterinary dermatologist Dr. Melissa Hall wants to make sure you're not just scratching the surface of this common dermatologic disease.
Allergy season is upon us, so more pruritic dog and cat appointments may be popping up on your schedule. When it comes to atopic dermatitis, Melissa Hall, DVM, DACVD, from the Animal Dermatology Clinic in Tustin, California, wants you to avoid these blunders:
1. Scheduling too little time. One of the primary mistakes general practice veterinarians make when treating canine atopic dermatitis is trying to squeeze the initial appointment into a traditional time slot. This doesn't leave enough time to get a full history or get into the nitty-gritty of what a particular client and patient require. “It's important to realize with these cases that each one is individual and the disease is multifactorial,” Hall says.
You'll most likely be providing several different therapies in conjunction to get control of the dog's itching and make it more comfortable, so allow yourself enough time to work up the patient thoroughly.
2. Not educating the client. Because atopic dermatitis is such a complex disease, client education “is super important,” Hall says. Again, this means taking extra time. Whether you're talking about repairing the barrier function with topical therapy, suppressing the immune system to help control the itch, or treating secondary malassezial and staphylococcal infections, clients need time to absorb and understand it all.
The good news? “Education will improve your client compliance,” Hall says-and that means less suffering and discomfort for your patient.
Hear more from Melissa Hall in her own words: