What is a veterinary dermatologist?
Dermatological diseases are very commonplace accounting for many
of the cases a small animal practitioner examines each day.
Unfortunately, many of these dermatological disorders can look very
similar if not identical to each other. With the ever expanding
awareness of animal diseases, the American Veterinary Medical
Association recognized the American College of Veterinary
Dermatology (ACVD) as the body
with expertise in diagnosing and managing dermatologic problems.
The ACVD is comprised of board-certified dermatologists that have
undergone intensive training in the field of animal skin, ear, and
allergic diseases. Primary care veterinarians and pet
owners/guardians can now rely on these specialists for consultation
when more extensive dermatologic training is required to help a
How do I schedule an appointment?
Since A&M is a referral institution, you and your primary
care veterinarian need to determine that a dermatology referral is
necessary for your pet. Once a collaborative decision has been
made, you can call for an appointment at 979-845-2351 (small
animal) or 979-845-3541 (equine). For small animal patients, your
veterinarian needs to complete our referral form and send it to the
Dermatology Department along with your pet's pertinent medical
record (including doctor's notes, blood work, skin or ear culture,
and/or skin biopsy reports). The Dermatology Department acts as a
consulting service (not a primary care service) for the Large
Animal Clinic. Horses are to be admitted through the Large Animal
Clinic with the appropriate service (Equine) after which a
dermatology consultation will be requested.
When are you open?
We accept appointments Monday through Friday when the
dermatologist in on-duty. Generally, mornings are limited to
initial appointments with afternoons and Fridays reserved for
rechecks. If your pet is an existing dermatology patient with a
current flare of problems and has not been seen for more than 4
months, then a morning appointment should be scheduled. Please be
courteous and arrive on time for your pet's appointment. If you are
running late, please call with your estimated time of arrival.
Clients arriving one (1) hour past their pet's scheduled
appointment time will be asked to reschedule. Also, late fees may
be applied. Emergency care is provided 24/7 around the clock
through the A&M ER. Appointments for horses are on a case by
case basis limited to when the Equine service and Dermatology
Department can schedule a consultation.
How soon can I get an appointment?
Usually a small animal appointment can be scheduled within a few
days to weeks, but it can vary with the season and the
dermatologist's on-duty clinic time. Appointments for horses are on
scheduled on every other Tuesday morning. Horses presenting for
allergy skin testing are stalled overnight in the Veterinary
Medical Teaching Hospital, so please make any travelling
arrangements/accommodations before arriving to Texas A&M.
When should I arrive to a scheduled appointment and what do I
We look forward to your visit. Preparation on your part will
help us take care of your pet's needs during the appointment.
- Please have your pet's small animal medical record faxed to
A&M (attention: Dermatology) 1-2 business days before the
scheduled appointment. Equine records should be sent to the Equine
Service within the Large Animal Clinic.
- Please have your referring primary care small animal
veterinarian complete and fax our Referral Form (attention:
Dermatology) along with the medical record. The Small Animal
Dermatology Referral Form can be downloaded under the Forms &
- Please download, complete, and bring our Dermatology History
Form (small animal or equine) and the Hospital's Patient
Information Worksheet (small animals) with you to the appointment.
If you chose to complete this paperwork at A&M, then plan to
arrive 20 minutes prior to the appointment. Appointment times for
horses can vary and may not be a specific time of day.
Additionally, horses may be required to be stalled overnight
depending on the condition being examined.
- Please bring any and all treatments (e.g., oral medication,
shampoo, sprays, wipes, ear medication, ear flush) your pet is
Can my pet eat the day of the appointment?
Food should be withheld from small animals after 11:00 PM the
night before the appointment. For appointments scheduled after 2:00
PM a small amount of food (no more than 1-2 measured tablespoons
for a medium-sized dog) may be given before 8:00 AM the day of the
appointment. Water should not be withheld. Please discuss this with
your primary care veterinarian to make sure your pet does not have
any pre-existing medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, feline
obesity) hindering this practice. Continue standard feed practices
for your horse when traveling.
What medications can I continue to give my pet prior to the
Antibiotics, antifungals, flea prevention, heartworm prevention,
insulin, thyroid supplementation, heart medication, anti-seizure
medication, and ophthalmic cyclosporine/tacrolimus for dry eye can
be continued prior to any appointment or skin testing procedure.
Cool water baths with a veterinarian-recommended shampoo can be
used to help soothe the skin and relieve itch up to 3 days before
the appointment. Ears may be flushed with a
veterinarian-recommended flushing agent up to 3 days before the
visit. Please discuss what medications you should continue
administering prior to the appointment with your primary care
What happens during the appointment? Will a student take care
of my pet?
The A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is in fact a
teaching hospital with a mission to train the next generation of
veterinarians. Consequently, your visit with us will likely take
longer than visits to your primary care veterinarian. Furthermore,
horses may be stalled overnight. A senior student will greet you
and your pet before the dermatologist. It is the student's
responsibility to obtain the initial history of your pet and
perform the first physical exam. Once completed, the student will
discuss his/her findings with the dermatologist before the team
returns to the exam room (small animal) or stocks (horses) for the
dermatologist to examine the patient. Once the examination is
complete, a prioritized list of likely diagnoses will be discussed
with you. Please note that for horses, discussion may be relayed
through the A&M attending equine clinician. More often than
not, simple routine dermatological tests such as skin scraping and
cytology will be used to sample the skin/ears to exclude
complicating factors such as infections which add to the pet's
discomfort. It is important for you to know that students, under
the supervision and guidance of the dermatologist (and attending
equine clinician for horse cases) and technician(s), will be
performing these diagnostic procedures on your pet. Additional
testing procedures will be recommended as necessary with
implementation based on your approval. Ultimately, recommendations
and patient-care is based on the experience of the board-certified
specialist in dermatology. Please be patient with our students as
they are learning the verbal and technical skills needed to be a
How long does the appointment usually last?
Since this is a teaching hospital, your visit will likely take
longer than visits to your primary care veterinarian. However, we
strive to be courteous of your time and it is our intent to get
your pet back to you in the timeliest manner as possible. We
recommend you plan to allow us to care for your pet most of the
appointment day, especially for brand new dermatology patients. As
soon as your pet is cleared for discharge we will contact you
immediately. Since the Dermatology Department is predominantly an
outpatient service, we hope to discharge morning small animal
patients by mid to late afternoon. Horses may require overnight
stay depending on the condition being examined; they will be
discharged through the admitting service. Please keep in mind that
all personnel of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital have
dedicated their professional life into the care and well-being of
animals. Therefore, your pet will receive the utmost attention and
TLC while in our hands.
What should I do if I get skin sores?
You should contact your personal physician.
What forms of payment do you accept?
- Check ($30.00 service fee will be charged on any returned
- American Express
- Master Card
Do you bill or have a payment plan?
We at Texas A&M University Veterinary Medicine Teaching
Hospital endeavor to render each patient the best possible medical
treatment at the lowest possible cost. However, funds needed to
support personnel, medication, feed, supplies, equipment, and
utilities are generated from hospital income. Therefore, payment is
due upon patient discharge. Unpaid balances in excess of 30 days
will be subject to a service charge of 1 ½ % per month (18% Annual
Percentage Rate) on the outstanding balance. If the patient is to
receive more extensive testing/procedures or must be hospitalized,
a minimum deposit of 50% the initial estimated charges will be