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The University of Tennessee

The College of Veterinary Medicine

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Referral Information

All patients seen by the dermatology service must be referred by their primary veterinarian. General information about referrals is available on http://www.vet.utk.edu/rdvm/

Also, for dermatology patients, please review the following information on medications, cost estimates, and client expectations prior to referral.

Medication Withdrawl Times for Skin Testing

We cannot guarantee skin testing on the day of your client's initial visit. In some cases, a skin test is not performed on the first visit if the dermatologist determines that allergy vaccine is not the most appropriate therapy for the animal. If skin testing for allergy vaccine is a strong possibility for your patient, please follow the withdrawal times below. Please call for a consultation if you have questions regarding medication withdrawal for your patient.

  • Oral antihistamines should be stopped 14 days before the appointment.
  • Oral steroids should be stopped 30 days before the appointment.
  • Injectable steroids should be stopped at least 6-8 weeks before the appointment. Some cases require a longer withdrawal time.
  • Topical steroids (eye, ear, or skin medications) should be stopped 21-30 days before the appointment depending on the product used.
  • Oral cyclosporine does not have to be stopped before skin testing.

Medication Recommendations for all New Patients

  • Please do NOT bathe the patient for 5 days before the appointment.
  • Please do NOT clean the patient's ears for 2-3 days before the appointment.
  • Please continue all other medications as prescribed by the regular veterinarian.
  • Please do not feed the animal after 10pm the evening before the appointment. Water is fine.

Cost Estimates

The average first appointment with the Dermatology Service costs $250-500 not including medications. The diagnostics for some conditions are more expensive. For an accurate estimate for your client, please call for a dermatology consultation.

Client Expectations

In order for your client to have a satisfying experience at UT, please educate the client about the duration and structure of an average visit.

  • Duration: The average first dermatology visit takes about 3-4 hours. Some cases require a full day if special tests are needed. Please prepare your client to spend the day at UT. Almost all dermatology patients are discharged by 5pm
  • Structure: First, a student takes a history and examines the patient. Then, the student discusses the case with the doctor. The doctor may be an intern, a resident, or a board-certified dermatologist. Then the doctor meets with the owner and patient to create a diagnostic and treatment plan. All interns and residents receive direct supervision from a board-certified dermatologist.
  • Follow up: Most dermatology problems require at least 2-3 follow up visits. Some problems require several visits over a period of months.

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