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Skin Cytology Test in Dogs

A skin cytology is a non-invasive, affordable dermatology test.

If your dog develops a skin problem, skin cytology is one of the tests your veterinarian might recommend. If so, don't be alarmed. It's a non-invasive test that is usually quite affordable.

Signs of Skin Problems in Dogs

If your dog is suffering from a skin condition, you might see her exhibit some or all of the following signs:

  • Excessive licking and/or scratching
  • Hair loss
  • Change in skin color or texture
  • Saliva staining on fur
  • Bumps or oozing on the skin

If you see any of those signs in your dog, make an appointment with your veterinarian right away.

What Is Skin Cytology?

Skin cytology is a test done by a veterinarian during which he or she collects a sample of cells from a dog's skin and examines them under a microscope to aid in a diagnosis.

To collect the cells, the veterinarian rolls a swab firmly over some affected skin and then over a clean microscope slide to transfer cells. Then the doctor prepares the slide, usually by heat fixing and staining it. Then he or she can examine the slide under the microscope and identify cells that might be involved in the abnormal condition, such as bacteria, yeast, or parasites.

Sometimes, the results will only suggest a diagnosis or be inconclusive, and then further testing may be required.

A skin cytology test is not invasive or painful and doesn't require specialized equipment other than a microscope.

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Skin Cytology Test in Dogs

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