Skin Biopsy

What is a skin biopsy and how does it help the diagnostic process?

Histology Skin

Histology Skin

A skin biopsy is a technique in which skin lesions are removed and examined closely using a microscope by a dermatohistopathologist. Although many skin conditions can look similar to the naked eye, under the microscope there can be many differences in appearance which allow us to offer a definitive diagnosis or at least rule out other conditions.

When we remove theses skin lesions, we send them away to a dermatohistopathologist for examination.  There are only a very small number  of these skin pathology specialists in the UK and we have a great working relationship with several of them.

Cases that often require skin biopsy  include those that require  investigation of hair loss, in disorders whether there is a lot of scale production, ulcerative skin  diseases, suspected  autoimmune skins diseases or when a tumour is removed.

Skin biopsies are performed either under general anaesthesia or under sedation. Most cases will involve taking several punch biopsies, where a small piece of full thickness skin between 4-8mm in diameter is removed and placed in fixative solution.

Histopathology - cat with footpad hyperkeratosis

Histopathology – cat with footpad hyperkeratosis

The samples are then sent to the lab where the tissue is processed. The biopsy is embedded in paraffin wax and sections one cell thick are sliced off and mounted on a microscope slide. They are then stained with special stains prior to being examined.

As soon as we receive the results of the biopsy, we’ll notify you and endeavour to explain the result in as simple terms as possible. We’ll also notify you of the next course of action for your pet.
FREE Telephone consultation from Dermvet

Are you concerned that your pet is suffering from some form of skin or ear condition? Do you worry that it may not be important enough to book a full appointment with a dermatologist?

At Dermvet we appreciate that you may just require a phone call with a specialist to get some advice about which steps to take next.

For your FREE telephone consultation with our highly experienced dermatologist, simply fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you to book a time for your call.

This service is for potential clients who are able to travel to Leicester, if necessary, to have their pet’s skin or ear condition investigated and treated.

If you’ve noticed skin or ear problems in your pet, it’s vital that you contact specialised veterinary professionals before symptoms worsen. To book an appointment with our small animal skin and ear experts, simply call us below or email us on


Contact Us


April 2024. There is currently a 6-8 week waiting time, depending upon whether the case is surgical, before new cases can be seen.