Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Trichography (hair plucking)

Contributor(s): Karen Campbell, David Godfrey, David Scarff

Introduction

  • Hair examination is a valuable aid to differential diagnosis of skin and hair disorders.
  • Useful technique - analysis for fungal diseases, parasitic diseases, congenital/hereditary diseases.
  • Differentiate self-trauma from other causes of hair loss/damage.

Uses

Definitive diagnosis
  • Self-inflicted (versus non-self-inflicted) hair loss.
  • Trichorrhexis nodosa.
  • Shaft disorder of Abyssinian cats Abyssinian.
  • Pili torti.

Of diagnostic assistance in

Advantages

  • Easy technique.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Accurate.
  • Alternatives may be expensive, eg biopsy, fungal culture; and more invasive, eg biopsy Biopsy: skin.
  • For a definitive diagnosis of dermatophytosis it complements a positive culture as trichography (like biopsy) provides evidence of active infection while false positive cultures are possible due to contamination.
  • A fur pluck may be more readily collected than a scraping Scraping: skin  from cretain patients and certain areas of the body, eg face or feet and may be adequate to diagnose (but not to rule out) demodicosis.

Disadvantages

  • Time consuming.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Miller W H, Griffin C E  & Campbell K E (2013) Muller and Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology. 6th edition. Philadelphia: W B Saunders. p 81-83. ISBN 0 7216 4850 9 (Detailed account with photographs of normal and abnormal hairs.)
  • Moriello K A & Mason I S (1995) Handbook of Small Animal Dermatology. 1st edition. Oxford: Pergamon Press. pp 23-25. (Hair examination for fungal elements.)


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