Lab Talk 

On this page you will see how we use our in-house laboratory to investigate some of the medical conditions affecting pets brought to the clinic

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The following photos show some of the little visitors we don't want calling on our pets. Some of these parasites give rise to itchy skin or ears, others (like the demodex mite) can cause hair loss with or without an itchy coat). Thankfully, there are ways of treating affected pets and getting rid of all these parasites. 

All photos on this page are of actual microscopy specimens taken from cases seen at our clinic in 2010 and 2011. We used an Olympus microscope and a Canon digital camera.

So, here's our rogue's gallery


A dog louse. Not common these days but still occasionally seen. This is a' biting louse' and causes intense skin irritation. They often affect the skin of the head and edges of the ears. They respond well to modern parasiticides.


The common flea. Flea allergy dermatitis is one of the most common causes of skin irritation in dogs and cats. Not all treatments are equally effective at controlling these parasites - check with your vet for up-to-date advice.


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Cat ear mites. Usually seen in young kittens but sometimes in adult cats too. During examination at the time of vaccination and neutering all good vets routinely check ears for signs of these parasites.


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This is the rabbit skin mite Cheyletiella. It causes an itchy skin problem sometimes called 'walking dandruff' -you can imagine why.


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This tiny mite is the demodex mite (enlarged on right). All dogs carry this mite as a normal skin inhabitant but some dogs (for reasons not fully understood) have far too many of them and develop alopecia (hair loss), often on the face or head. Sometimes a bacterial infection will follow resulting in an itchy rash. Treatment of these cases means using an effective agent against the mite and antibiotics to clear the bacteria.

So, these are some of the causes of itchy skin or ears in dogs, cats and rabbits. There are other non-parasitic causes too. Some dogs and cats have pollen allergies that cause skin irritation in the Spring and Summer. Occasionally food intolerances may cause pruritus (itchy skin) and there are bacterial and fungal causes too. Thankfully there are lots of modern treatments to deal with these problems. Our pets don't have to suffer in silence any more.












Contact Details
19 Station Street
Rhondda Cynon Taf
CF40 1EA

Tel: 01443 430944
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Opening Times

Mon - Fri:9.00 - 12.00
 1.30 - 3.30
 4.00 - 6.00
Saturday:9.00 - 11.30
All consultations are by appointment

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