Veterinary dermatology is a relatively straight forward aspect of veterinary medicine to deal with because the diseased organ
is able to be visualized and palpated by the veterinarian but also by the technician and owner. The technician can and should
play an integral role in cases with skin disease. The technician can help save the doctors time as well as greatly increase
client compliance. The goal of this presentation is to learn valuable techniques for helping the veterinarian deal more successfully
with skin and ear cases.
Obviously each clinic or doctor is different in what roles they may want the technician to play. Some the areas where techs
may be valuable are: setting the exam room for a derm case; weighing the patient; acquiring initial history; determining
basic vital signs; take different skin samples (table one); analyzing samples and recording results; educating clients about
how to properly do things for diagnostic purposes and therapy(table 2).
Table 1 Cutaneous samples
Many technicians will also do initial history questioning and examine ears. Certainly dermatology is an area where the technician
can play a substantial role in helping the veterinarian better diagnose and manage a case.
Table 2 Client education required
Setting the exam room, Routine equipment
Any time a case is being presented for skin or ear disease it is likely that certain equipment will be needed in the exam
room during the examination. The technician should make sure the exam room is adequately equipped so the veterinarian does
not have to take time to go looking for what they need. The essential equipment includes items in table 3:
Table 3 Essential Equipment List
My impression of what is missing in most exam rooms are multiple clean otoscope cones so that each ear of any size can be
examined with a clean cone. Also cones need to be properely cleaned prior to use. This is done by scrubbing then the cone
is placed in an effective disinfectant for at least ten minutes then rinsed and allowed to dry. Another common problem is
poorly charged hand held otoscopes in clinics that do not have wall mounted otoscopes.