Client FAQ - Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in College Station, Texas Client FAQ - Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Client FAQ

For small animal appointments call (979) 845-2351 Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Emergencies accepted 24 hours a day

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 beloved pet.

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 bring?

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 & Links page.
  • 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 currently receiving.

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 appointment?

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 veterinarian.

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 veterinarian.

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?

  • Cash
  • Check ($30.00 service fee will be charged on any returned check)
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Master Card
  • Visa

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 requested.