Article Text

Companion Animal Practice
Collection and interpretation of clinical samples for dermatological analysis
  1. Peter Forsythe

    Peter Forsythe graduated from Edinburgh in 1983. After 14 years in mixed and small animal practice, he undertook a two‐year residency in dermatology at Edinburgh. For the past six years, he has provided a dermatology referral service based in Glasgow, and is also an honorary lecturer in dermatology at Glasgow veterinary school. He holds the RCVS certificate in small animal dermatology and the RCVS diploma in veterinary dermatology.


UNLESS the aetiology is immediately obvious, many dermatology cases in veterinary medicine present a diagnostic challenge. Signalment, history and physical examination allow a differential diagnosis to be formulated, and various tests and therapeutic trials may be employed to reach a definitive diagnosis. This article describes how to collect samples and interpret the results of a variety of diagnostic tests that, for the most part, may be performed within the practice laboratory.

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