Veterinary Skin & Ear: Specialized Care to Serve Pets With Skin or Ear Diseases

New specialty pet clinic opens at 11335 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles.

By Toi Creel

67 percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

While pet care always comes with challenges, it can be extremely frustrating and anxiety-provoking if your pet has severe allergies or recurrent skin and ear issues. A new veterinary dermatology clinic, opening in West LA, wants to help to ease those worries.

“Since the age of five I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I wanted to do my version of it,” said Dr. Austin Richman, owner of the new Veterinary Skin & Ear clinic.

Dr. Richman was inspired to pursue advanced specialty training after his own experience with his Shar-pei, Sandy.

“My own dog, Sandy, had horrible skin and ear problems throughout her life. I went to a veterinary dermatologist right before starting veterinary school and they really helped me turn her around. My own personal experience led me down this path and has allowed me a deeper connection with my clients as I educate them on managing their own dog’s issues,” Richman said.

Unlike most traditional veterinarians who go to veterinary school for four years, a veterinary dermatologist is a veterinarian who completes an additional four years of advanced clinical training and studying all of the details of any diseases that pertain to an animal’s ears, skin, hair and nails. There are only 300 practicing board-certified dermatologists in the country and Dr. Richman is one of them.

“I spent years in a very busy dermatology practice working and studying a lot and I saw many cases over that time to add experience to my years of study. I have worked with some of the best dermatology specialists around the world and taken multiple certifying exams. I worked hard to be board certified. All I do is veterinary skin and ear diseases. I love it. I diagnose, manage, treat and really try to help people and their pets using my knowledge and experience,” Richman said. “I’ve put in the time to know I am giving each patient my best.”

One of the most common issues pets will go to Veterinary Skin & Ear for, will be allergies. Dr. Richman says pets with allergies have immune systems that react hyperactively to allergens like trees, grasses, weeds, dust mites or flea bites. Normal pets can get bitten by a flea and have no reaction or a mild issue. For a pet that has an allergy to fleas, they can get rashes, experience severe itching, or even severe skin reactions.

In addition, the clinic also specializes in ear disease, this is a particular area of expertise for Dr. Richman. Proper control of ear disease is very important; a practice which Dr. Richman says can prevent amputation of the ear.

“At Veterinary Skin & Ear we have latest specialized videoscope with HDMI cameras to go inside of the ear and clean impactions, infections or remove polyps or growths to help a pet get past their ear issue and in some cases save an ear from complete surgical removal,” Richman said.

On top of their expertise and equipment, what makes the clinic different is a personal approach. They spend more personal time with clients getting to know the details of the individual pet and developing a custom health treatment plan specific to each pet and owner.

“If a pet has something a little bit harder to treat or a rarer specific condition, a lot of the times they’ll [clients+pets] be bouncing around to different primary veterinarians. [With us] we’ll talk and do a detailed ear and skin exam, then come up with a plan based on the issue or most likely issue. We make the people’s lives less stressful because they’re not worrying about their pet and their animal’s life is more comfortable.”

The Veterinary Skin & Ear clinic will open in early Fall 2020

For more information visit their website at veterinaryskinandear.com

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