How to perform and interpret dermatophyte cultures - Veterinary Medicine
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How to perform and interpret dermatophyte cultures
Use this guide—put together by a veterinary dermatologist—to maximize your success with this indispensable in-house test.



Diagnosing dermatophytosis in companion animals can be challenging. However, with appropriate quality control and practice, your in-house dermatophyte cultures will be more successful—and you may even reduce your need to send samples to a reference laboratory.

Nevertheless, if optimal culture media storage and dermatophyte culture incubation conditions, daily observation of fungal colony growth and media color change, and subsequent microscopic identification of suspect fungal organisms are not feasible in your clinic, then submitting samples of surface skin debris and hair (placed in a sterile red top tube) from suspect cases to a veterinary reference laboratory for fungal culture is recommended to avoid misdiagnosis. Even some veterinary dermatologists elect this option to minimize the chance of false negative or false positive dermatophyte culture results.

Kimberly S. Coyner, DVM, DACVD
Dermatology Clinic for Animals of Las Vegas
5231 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89146


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