Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to bring copies of my pet’s veterinary records with me to my first appointment?
No. After you setup your appointment, we will call your veterinarian’s office and ask them to fax us all of your pet’s records and lab work.
Does my pet need to be up to date on all vaccines before visiting Veterinary Dermatology of Richmond?
All patients (dogs and cats) need to either be up to date on their rabies vaccines or need to have a recent normal test result for rabies titers.
Can my pet have food and water before the appointment?
Please withhold food for 12 hours prior to your pet’s scheduled appointment (this is only for your first visit to our office) unless otherwise directed. Withhold water for 2 hours prior to your pet’s appointment. Please let us know at the time of scheduling your initial visit if your pet has a medical condition that would prevent withholding food or water.
How long will my appointment take?
We schedule one hour for new patient appointments. Please arrive 15 minutes early for your visit so our receptionist can enter your information into our computer system. If you are not able to submit the admission form on our web site, please plan to arrive 30 minutes early so that you can fill one out here in our office.
After you arrive, Dr. Williamson will read both your admission form and the records from your regular veterinarian. Following that she will talk with you about your concerns and examine your pet. Based on the related information, she will decide what tests (if any) are needed for your pet. If your pet needs skin allergy testing, biopsies, or other lengthy procedures, plan on leaving your pet with us for several hours.
What is the initial cost of the consultation?
The consultation is the examination only, diagnostics are additional and are necessary in order to properly diagnose your pet. An estimate will be provided after the doctor examines your pet.
How can I pay for my visit?
We offer many ways to pay: cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Care Credit. Care Credit is a credit card that can be used at some medical offices offering 6 months with no interest, convenient monthly payment options, no up-front costs, no prepayment penalties, and no annual fees. You can apply online at www.CareCredit.com. They will tell you immediately if you are approved and you can print out your account information and bring it with you.
Should I bathe my pet before seeing Dr. Williamson?
Ideally your pet should not be bathed for a minimum of one week prior to the visit. This allows us to obtain better samples for a diagnosis.
Should I clean my pet’s ears before seeing Dr. Williamson?
Ideally your pet’s ears should not be cleaned for 3-7 days prior to the visit.
Can my pet be taking medications at the time of the initial visit?
Ideally oral and topical steroids (Prednisone, Prednisolone, Temaril-P, Mometamax, Otomax, Cortisone, etc.) are discontinued for 2-4 weeks prior to the initial visit, although we understand some patients cannot be taken off of steroids prior to the initial visit due to the severe scratching that occurs when steroids are withheld. Oral and topical antihistamines (Benadryl, Hydroxozine, Temaril-P, Clemastine, Tavist, Claritin, etc.) should be discontinued 10-14 days prior to the initial visit. Steroids and antihistamines need to be discontinued only if the patient may need skin allergy testing for environmental allergies at the initial visit. If unable to stop steroids and/or antihistamines, Dr. Williamson will still be able to see the patient and begin managing their condition, so it isn’t mandatory, just advised for the convenience of the client. Sedatives should be withheld for 24-48 hours prior to the visit.
DO NOT STOP ANY OF THESE MEDICATIONS PRIOR TO YOUR APPOINTMENT: antibiotics; anti-fungal medications; anti-yeast medications; seizure medications; diabetes medications; thyroid medications; endocrine disorder medications; heart medications; heartworm prevention; flea and tick control; and dietary supplements should ALL be given normally.
If you have questions about specific medications, please ask us when you are scheduling an appointment.
What do I need to bring with me to the initial visit?
Please cut out the ingredient labels on all of your pet’s foods including the name of the food,treats and supplements and bring them all in with you. Dr. Williamson also needs any medications and shampoos that you have at home, even if you are not presently using them.