BACKGROUND: Dermoscopy is a diagnostic tool that can reveal morphological structures not visible upon clinical examination.
HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES: To assess the usefulness and applicability of dermoscopy for the examination of healthy cat skin.
ANIMALS: Twenty-one domestic short-haired cats from a feline rescue association.
METHODS: Four regions (head, dorsal neck, sacral and abdominal regions) were examined with both a contact hand-held nonpolarized light dermoscope at 10-fold magnification and a videodermoscope at 70-fold magnification. Findings were assessed using histological analysis of skin samples cut both longitudinally and transversely, set as the gold standard.
RESULTS: With a hand-held dermoscope at 10-fold magnification, thick, straight primary hairs surrounded by multiple secondary hairs were observed. With a videodermoscope at 70-fold magnification, hair shaft thickness was measured and the follicular openings and arrangement of vessels were clearly observed. Correspondence was observed between dermoscopic and histological results.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Dermoscopy represents a valid noninvasive and reproducible technique that could be helpful in clinical examination.