Specialist Dermatology Services

Who is a veterinary dermatologist?

Like in human medicine, veterinarians can undergo further studies and pass examinations to become a specialist in a particular field. A veterinary dermatologist is a veterinarian who has undergone further training in the diagnosis and treatment of animal skin, ear, hair, nail, hoof and mouth diseases. These include infectious, parasitical, allergic, auto-immune, ear disease, seborrhoeic diseases and skin tumours. In particular, a veterinary dermatologist has significant training and experience in the management of allergic skin and ear diseases.

The training involves a minimum of 3 years of intense specialty training, participation in conferences, active research, publications in journals, lecturing, and passing a rigorous 4-day examination (in Australia).

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How can a veterinary dermatologist help your pet?

Dr Meng Siak is an Australian recognised veterinary dermatologist with extensive experience treating pets with skin and ear diseases in Western Australia. By working alongside your primary care vet at Vetwest, we can help in the diagnosis and management of skin and ear diseases.

For your convenience, Dr Meng is now at Vetwest Whitfords every month. We can perform numerous diagnostics and procedures including:

  • Intradermal and blood allergy testing to identify offending airborne allergens including grass, weed and tree pollens, moulds, insects, house dust and storage mites: this would allow us to formulate an allergy vaccine for your pet. Note – currently neither skin nor blood testing for food allergens are accurate and therefore not recommended.
  • Discussion on the management of the chronically itchy pet using the various anti-itch medications available.
  • Skin scrapes to diagnose parasitic diseases and the formulation of an appropriate treatment plan.
  • Skin and ear cytology to check accurately for secondary bacterial and/or yeast infections.
  • Skin biopsies may be required to confirm a diagnosis for more unusual diseases or complicated skin and ear diseases, including autoimmune diseases and skin tumours. Knowledge on where to biopsy is essential to ensure the best outcome of tests to achieve a definitive diagnosis for you.
  • If required, we can schedule for deep ear flushing using the video-otoscopy at WAVES. This is helpful in the treatment of pets with chronic ear infections, ear masses/polyps and pets with neurological diseases due to inner ear disease including vestibular disease (head tilt) and Horner’s disease. Using the video-otoscope, we are able to thoroughly exam and clean the ear canals and perform advanced diagnostics such as removal of polyps and masses, and sample middle ears.
  • Advice on the management of the pet with chronic sunburn and on prevention of further development of skin tumours.

Do You Need Specialist Dermatologist?

Many skin problems can be managed by your regular Vetwest vet, however, in some cases, referral to a Specialist Dermatologist is needed for advanced procedures or treatment.

A referral from your regular Vetwest vet is required for specialist services such as to a dermatologist like Meng. If you’d like to make an appointment with your Vetwest vet or discuss getting a referral please contact your local Vetwest clinic or make an appointment online.

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Sassy’s Success Story

Sassy is a young cat who developed a catfight wound on her head, which was non-responsive to routine antibiotics. She was then referred to Dr Meng. Diagnostic performed included cytology which revealed the presence of unusual infectious organisms and a CT scan which revealed two deep puncture wounds through her skull. With these results, Sassy had the wound surgically flushed and was started on combination antibiotics. We are happy to report that Sassy has improved significantly within 2 weeks and is expected to make a full recovery.

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