Frequently Asked Questions

We proudly serve the pets of Richmond, VA and beyond

Below are some frequently asked questions that will help you prepare for your first appointment. Please call us at 804-740-9555 for any other concerns about your pet.

Do I need to bring copies of my pet’s veterinary records with me to my first appointment?

No. After you set up your appointment, we will call your veterinarian’s office closer to your appointment date (to ensure we have all the up-to-date records) and ask them to send us all of your pet’s records and lab work results.

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 be up to date on their Rabies Vaccine.

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 a one-hour block for new patient appointments, but please allow up to two hours for your appointment. Please arrive 15 minutes early for your visit to fill out new client paperwork prior to the start of your appointment time. The admission form is required at least a week prior to your appointment so records can be finalized.

After you arrive, Dr. Williamson or Dr. Shumaker will read both your admission form and the records from your primary care veterinarian. Following that, they will talk with you about your concerns and examine your pet. Based on the related information, they 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 to properly diagnose your pet; treatments/medications are also additional. An estimate will be provided after the doctor examines your pet.

How can I pay for my visit?

We offer many ways to pay: 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 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 the appointment?

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 the appointment?

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?

The following medications/supplements need to be discontinued only if the patient may need skin allergy testing for environmental allergies or other sedated diagnostics at the initial visit. If you are unable to stop any of these medications, we will still be able to see your pet however, it may limit the diagnostics we are able to perform at the consultation.

Medications/supplements that need to be DISCONTINUED prior to the consult include the following:

  • Ideally, oral and topical steroids (i.e., Prednisone, Prednisolone, Temaril-P, Mometamax, Otomax, Cortisone, etc.) are discontinued for 2-4 weeks prior to the initial visit. However, 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 or due to other health concerns. Steroid injections (depo-medrol, kenalog/vetalog, dexamethasone)- your pet will need to be off of these for 4-6 weeks prior to the appointment.
  • Oral and topical antihistamines (Benadryl, Hydroxyzine, Temaril-P, Clemastine, Tavist, Claritin, etc.) should be discontinued 2 weeks prior to the initial visit.
  • Certain sedatives and behavior modification medications will need discontinued by your primary care provider (Acepromazine, clonidine, Amitriptylline). Fluoxetine and Trazadone will be on a case-by-case basis and at the doctor’s discretion.
  • Herbal and holistic supplements (esp. any allergy supplements) will need to be discontinued 2 weeks prior to the appointment.
  • Hemp and CBD supplements will need to be discontinued 2 weeks prior to the appointment.
  • Fish Oil and Fatty acid supplements will need to be discontinued 2 weeks prior to the appointment.


  • Apoquel, Cytopoint injections and cyclosporine should be continued as directed by your primary care provider and WILL NOT interfere with skin testing.
  • Antibiotics; anti-fungal medications; anti-yeast medications; NSAIDS, seizure medications; diabetes medications; thyroid medications; certain sedatives (such as Gabapentin), Librela and Adequan injections; endocrine disorder medications; joint medications; heart medications; heartworm prevention; flea and tick control, and probiotics should ALL be given normally.

***If you have questions about specific medications, please ask us when scheduling an appointment.***