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Pet & Animal Dermatology

Allergies, disease or another affliction, we're making sure your pets' skin is in tip-top condition.

Why is My Pets' Skin so Itchy?

Animal skin issues pose a diagnostic challenge because all skin diseases have very similar appearances. Itchy, inflamed skin is usually a symptom, not a disease.

Often itchy, inflamed skin is due to allergies, but these can be inhaled, by contact or from food. Dr. Murphy and our vet clinic staff have extensive advanced training in veterinary dermatology for pets and will guide you through the history, tests, and treatments needed to make your pet comfortable and beautiful again.

Diagnosing Skin Problem Causes

Dermatological diseases in pets are as extensive and complicated as human skin diseases – common causes of allergies include pollens, molds, food, contact, demodectic or sarcoptic mange, staph infections, ringworm, drug-related reactions, or multiple dermatitis issues. 

Our knowledgeable veterinary staff will test to identify the specific cause of your pet’s allergies to treat and cure the problem. We specialize in allergy diagnosis and treatment including RAST diagnosis, drug therapy, holistic therapy, cold laser therapy, and medicated baths and topical treatments.

We concentrate on making accurate diagnoses, which like appropriate vaccinations, are necessary to prevent or treat specific problems or diseases. Correctly diagnosing the cause of skin conditions allows our veterinarian to create the best treatment program for your pet.

Pet Skin Issues Caused by Local Environments

Geography and Weather also play a role in creating or avoiding pet skin issues – many skin diseases and allergic reactions can be geographically based in a climate like Palm Harbor and the Tampa Bay area.

Additionally, for those of us living in the state of Florida, many pets that come from other parts of the United States for the winter can also bring in unwanted bacteria or viruses that can take a toll on your pets’ health.

Dr. Murphy and our veterinary staff are highly trained in identifying known pet skin diseases common in other parts of the United States, as well as Florida-specific allergens that pets can be susceptible to in Palm Harbor.

Our Palm Harbor animal hospital staff is trained in dermatological examinations and testing to identify the type of skin disease or allergic reaction affecting your pet.

Avian & Exotic Bird Dermatology

Avian dermatology is an important part of our veterinary practice here in Palm Harbor. From feather plucking to self-mutilation, our veterinary staff has been highly trained by Dr. Murphy to diagnose and treat many avian dermatology issues.

Along with graduate study in internal medicine and animal surgery for cats and dogs, Dr. Joel Murphy is one of the first veterinarians in the world to be board certified in exotic bird medicine.

Dr. Murphy remains one of the few professionals in the world trained in microsurgical procedures for birds and exotics and his avian dermatology issue experience helps our Palm Harbor vet clinic serve as a valuable Palm Harbor resource for owners of cats, dogs, and their most exotic pets, including birds.

Getting the Better of Pet Dermatology Issues

Along with expertise in different surgeries and exotic bird care, Dr. Murphy has years of experience with skin problems in Florida pet residents. He has successfully diagnosed skin diseases affecting dogs, cats, birds, and the most exotic pets. In the troubling world of dermatology issues, correctly diagnosing the source of the problem is critical to prescribing the right vaccinations, topical symptom treatment, or medication to cure the condition.


Should you use our pet boarding services, we might discover a skin issue while your pet is a guest at our Palm Harbor vet clinic. Our staff sometimes notices skin issues while bathing your pet during an overnight stay; the veterinarian may examine your pet to learn the source of any irritation.

Call us at (727) 784-0558 or request online to schedule a consultation.

Pet Skin Allergies: scabs

Animal and Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor