For Pet Owners
Skin problems are very commonly encountered in veterinary practice. Often these conditions are difficult to diagnose and/or manage. However, an accurate diagnosis and the correct therapy are very important for the quality of life, both of the pet and the owner. Many diseases, e.g. allergic conditions, are life-long afflictions that require dedicated management, from the vet and the owner. Due to our in-depth dermatological training on top of a veterinary degree, we have the expertise to investigate your pet’s skin problem in depth and we can offer the most advanced treatments available. At Derm4Pets we consider ourselves as an extension of your general practitioners care. As a team, we will work together to improve the condition your pet is suffering from.
What is involved in the consultation?
Each consultation lasts for around an hour. We would really like to speak to you in person, so we can get the full history as experienced by you. Although we will request your pets medical records from the referring veterinary practice, your impression is very important, both to diagnose your pet’s skin disease correctly and for the further management. After considering all of your pet’s history, we will perform a thorough examination and discuss your pet’s problem with you. We will go through any further tests necessary, treatment options and cost of therapy. Follow up visits are usually necessary before a final diagnosis can be made. Most tests required can be done there and then, although certain drugs can interfere with some tests (especially allergy testing) and might have to be postponed. It will not usually be necessary for your pet to stay in with us overnight.
We always send a full report to your own vet after each visit to keep them informed about the progress your pet is making and you will receive a copy of this report. We also provide hand-outs for certain conditions to summarise what was explained during the consultation.
How is a referral consultation arranged?
If you decide to go ahead with the referral consultation, please ask your vet to fax your details to the practice you want to Summerleaze Veterinary Hospital in Maindenhead or Chiltern Referral Services in ChalfontSt Giles. You can then contact the respective practice to arrange an appointment time that best suits you. Your vets will send us your pet’s case history and results of any tests that have already been done.
Why consider a referral?
There has been a vast explosion in the amount of knowledge about skin diseases and indeed all areas of medicine, both for doctors and vets. It is therefore not possible for vets in practice to know all there is to know about all the different clinical areas. Therefore, pet owners and vets alike recognise the need for specialisation to help pets with more complicated conditions. Just as your GP will refer you to a consultant, your pet can also be referred. By using specialist services, optimal care can be given to your pet when they need it !
Skin and ear diseases are the most common complaints in small animal practice and many conditions look similar but need very different treatments to resolve or be managed. Many diseases can be treated with steroids, however, often this will mask the symptoms without changing the disease and can lead to severe side effects if not used appropriately. Your vet may consider to refer you pet because the problems is severe, difficult to diagnose or hard to manage.
Many skin diseases benefit from early interventions. Specialists act in conjunction with your primary care vet to achieve the best possible outcome for your pet. We recognise that pets are a member of your family and as such, deserve optimal care.
Prices will vary depending on the care or treatment required by your pet. Due to the high standard of care, referral services tend to be more expensive than general veterinary care. In return you can expect expertise obtained by years of additional training, additional test facilities and plenty of time (generally 1 h for the first and most subsequent consultations) to discuss your pets' problems. If you would like to enquire about our charges, please ask your veterinary surgeon to get in touch with us and give you an idea.
Does pet insurance cover the cost of the specialist consultation, tests and treatments ?
Provided there are no exclusions, veterinary insurance policies will cover the cost of referral to a veterinary specialist. If you are in doubt, please contact your insurance company prior to the referral consultation. Some insurance companies will allow you to pre-authorisation, otherwise, please be prepared to settle your bill at the time of consultation.