What Are Diagnostic Tests Useful to Detect Skin Issues in Pets?

It’s common for pets to experience skin issues like rashes, itching, dry or flaking skin, and even hair loss. When pets suffer from skin problems, they may scratch, lick, or chew on themselves excessively, leading to a nighttime disruption for everyone. Identifying a skin disorder might be difficult due to the similarity between many of them. Vet dermatologists will need to run tests and apply their understanding of allergies and other disorders to determine the root of the problem.

Common Diagnostic Tests for Pet Skin Conditions

Various skin illnesses can affect both dogs and cats. They may also experience skin issues and ear infections due to food allergies or environmental allergens. Furthermore, some dog breeds are more likely to have skin problems than others. Problems with a pet’s skin can cause distress for the animal and its owner. When pets scratch, they often develop secondary skin infections that worsen the original problem.

If you’re curious about the kinds of tests a veterinarian will perform to arrive at an accurate diagnosis for your pet, keep reading.

Skin and Ear Cytology

Studying cells is known as cytology. By gently pushing a glass slide against the atypical area of your pet’s skin or using a cotton-tipped applicator or a little piece of tape, veterinarians can obtain skin samples without causing any discomfort. The vet will check the slide for bacterial and fungal growth.

An ear infection in your pet necessitates a trip to the vet, who will collect a sample of the abnormal discharge from the ear and test it for the presence of ear mites, bacteria, and yeast. Furthermore, it is essential to have your pet examined by an emergency vet if they are experiencing skin disorders. This allows them to give your pet the correct medication. If you are looking for a reliable emergency vet, click here

Tape Strips

Tape stripping is an easy-to-use and adaptable method of diagnosis. It’s simple, cheap, and can reveal some interesting clues about what’s wrong. Because it can detect superficial pyoderma, bacterial overgrowth, some autoimmune illnesses, and parasites, it is a standard diagnostic tool for veterinary dermatologists. 

Moreover, a veterinary lab or a pet pharmacy in Torrance should be contacted if you observe any skin or ear issues in your pet.

Skin Scraping

When parasite involvement is suspected but less invasive tests are negative, skin scraping is a necessary but time-consuming step in the diagnostic process. Demodicosis, scabies, and other mites like Cheyletiella can be diagnosed with it, as can other surface and burrowing mites.

On the other hand, if you’re also keeping your pet up-to-date on vaccinations from credible animal hospitals like Torrance Companion Animal Hospital, you can rest assured that they’ll be protected from contagious skin disorders.

Coat Brushing

This easy test is underutilized yet is a good screening for ectoparasites, eggs, flea farces, and follicular abnormalities. The animal must be stroked over a brown paper or black consulting table. Therefore, it is necessary to gather the hairs and epithelial debris and separate the hair from the scale.

To study the hairs under the microscope, they are first mounted in liquid paraffin with a cover slip and then placed in a petri dish for use with the Wood’s lamp. A cover slip is placed over the scale once it has been mounted in liquid paraffin.


If your pet is experiencing a skin or ear issue, your veterinarian can run these diagnostic tests to determine if parasites or diseases cause the problem. An accurate diagnosis allows your veterinarian to prescribe the most effective treatment for your dog or cat, speeding up the healing process.