History, examination and initial evaluation

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A dermatology case can be a challenge. Given that many conditions can present with similar clinical signs, a logical and thorough work-up is critical to successfully diagnose and manage the case. This is a time-consuming task and the veterinary surgeon needs to be skilled and systematic and to work with the owner and the animal in a very structured way. If insufficient time is allocated for a thorough job, the chances of making the correct diagnosis are decreased. This chapter looks at: Signalment; History; General physical examination; Dermatological examination and Initial evaluation.

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2.3 Dermatological history sheet for a dog.
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2.4 Dermatological history sheet for a cat.
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2.5 Pruritus scale. The owner marks the bar at the appropriate level. This will give an estimated pruritus score (0–10) for the animal.
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2.6 Dermatoscope. This is a tool that allows a close-up examination of skin lesions.
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2.7 Primary skin lesions. Melanotic, perianal maculae in a dog with a testicular tumour. Papules. Large pustule on a dog with pyoderma and hyperadrenocorticism. Nodules: oral papillomas in a young dog. Interdigital tumour (histiocytoma). Wheals (urticaria).
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2.8 Secondary skin lesions. Collarette in a dog with pyoderma. Erosion. Ulceration over pressure point due to vasculitis in a dog with leishmaniosis. Hyperpigmentation, alopecia, lichenification and excoriations in an atopic German Shepherd Dog with secondary overgrowth. Footpad fissures in a dog with metabolic epidermal necrosis/hepatocutaneous syndrome.
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2.10 Skin lesions that can be primary or secondary. Alopecia in a Lagotto with follicular dysplasia. Scales. Crusts. Follicular casts in a dog with sebaceous adenitis. Comedones in a dog with hypothyroidism. Hypopigmentation of the nose.

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