dog

Dermatology FAQ

What can I expect at my first appointment?

Dermatology accepts appointments Monday through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00p.m., depending on the day of the week.  Plan to be here for at least for a couple of hours to a full day, especially if any lengthy procedures are taking place, i.e. video otoscopy or intradermal testing.  Your pet will receive a physical and dermatological examination.  We will suggest a diagnostic work up and give an estimate.  If you agree to the work up, depending on the length of time it may take, you may leave your pet and return later in the day if necessary.   At that time, we will discuss our findings and recommendations for treatment.  Intradermal tests may or may not be performed on an initial appointment. 

How do we prepare for our appointment?

It is helpful if you know the medications and foods your pet is currently receiving or has received in the past.  Please bring a list with you so you will not forget at your appointment.  If possible, have your pets medical records faxed to us at 217-244-9554 to the attention of the dermatology department, or hand-carry them to your scheduled appointment.  Please make every attempt to be present for the appointment rather than have another family member or friend bring the pet since more often than not, they cannot provide an accurate and detailed history of your pet’s problem and cannot make decisions on your behalf.   Also, it is helpful to fill out and print our special dermatology history form, and bring it with you to your appointment.

In the event that the dermatologist recommends that an intradermal test should be performed, medication withdrawal times for intradermal tests are as follows:  Topical (including ear medications) and oral steroids:  4 weeks.  Injectable steroids:  6 weeks.  Antihistamines:  2 weeks.  Do NOT discontinue any medications without first discussing this with your local veterinarian or your pet’s dermatologist!  In most cases we will use sedation to perform a skin test, so we ask that your pet be fasted for that appointment.  This means NO FOOD after 10:00 p.m. the night before your appointment, however you may provide fresh drinking water at all times.

Will we have to come back?

Most dermatological problems require recheck appointments in approximately 2 weeks to 1 month.  You will know when you need to return at the time of your pet’s release.  In most situations it is preferable for us to perform the recheck appointments.
Recheck appointments can be shorter, however can still involve a few hours total time depending on the problem.

why do you have to repeat some of the same diagnostics my own veterinarian has already performed?

In most instances we will need to repeat certain diagnostics like skin cytology, skin scrapings, or fungal cultures, even if they have been performed in the past. We will do this only if we feel they are necessary and because certain things may have been overlooked or simply that the results could have changed since they were last performed.

How much will it cost?
The typical cost of an initial dermatology examination is roughly $130-$200.  This is for the most common diagnostics in uncomplicated cases, and does NOT include any medications or food that might be prescribed. This is only an estimate and prices are subject to change.  The bill must be paid in full at the time of discharge

Why aren’t you less expensive, you are a teaching hospital right?

Although we are a teaching hospital, our funding is less than 7% from the State of Illinois.  This means we are like most businesses dependent upon our income to function.  The University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital is actually a specialty referral hospital.  Every area of our hospital is staffed by graduate veterinarians who have received extra years of training in a specific field.  Dermatologists are graduate veterinarians who have completed four years of veterinary school, an internship and at least two-three years in a dermatology residency.  Our appointments are overseen by boarded dermatologists (www.acvd.org) or graduate veterinarians in their dermatology residency with supervision.  Simply put, these types of cases are treated by the experts in the field

Do you have weekend hours?

The dermatology service does NOT see appointments on the weekend.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Call the main hospital number 217-333-5300 to schedule a “dermatology appointment”.  
If you have further questions you can leave a message with our dermatology clinical coordinator at 217-244-8303 or vthderm@vetmed.illinois.edu,
.