Frequently Asked Questions
What is a veterinary dermatologist? What does board-certified mean?
A veterinary dermatologist is a veterinarian who, after completing veterinary school, has completed an internship and a residency program in dermatology. In order to become board certified, the veterinarian must then successfully pass a rigorous examination covering all aspects of veterinary dermatology and allergy. Currently, there are approximately 145 veterinarians in the US who are board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Dermatology®. Board certification is the highest level of specialization available today in veterinary medicine.
Why does my pet need to see a veterinary dermatologist?
In most cases, your veterinarian is capable of providing safe and effective therapy for your pet's skin disorder. In some cases, the diagnosis may be difficult or there may be a safer or more effective treatment available for the disease. To provide the most effective diagnostic and treatment options, your veterinarian may choose to refer you to a veterinary dermatologist. Your veterinarian's decision to offer referral to a specialist indicates that they want your pet to have the best care available. However, a referral is not needed in order for Dr. Bloom to see your pet.
A veterinary dermatologist specializes in treatment and management of diseases of the skin and associated structures, including the ears and claws. They are also trained in immunology (the science and medicine of the immune system) and histopathology (the study of the skin in health and disease at a cellular level). giving them a deeper understanding of skin diseases and their treatment. Many skin diseases affecting our pets are complex and life-long. Therefore veterinarians in general practice may recommend that a dermatologist is consulted to either help make a diagnosis or manage treatment of pets with skin disease.
What does an appointment involve?
Dr. Bloom will review your pet's ENTIRE medical history. We like to think of a dermatology case as a detective novel, therefore we don't want to leave any detail out. Please let the receptionist know ALL veterinarian's that your pet has been to in his/her life for ANY problem. After reviewing the medical history, Dr. Bloom performs a thorough dermatologic examination. After examining your pet, the Doctor will explain the nature of your pet"s problem, discuss diagnostic tests that are recommended, and outline the recommended therapy and costs.
How long does the first initial appointment last?
The initial examination/consultation/testing with the doctor will take 1-3 hours. Please plan your day accordingly. We can make arrangements to have you leave your pet during this time if that would be more convenient for you.
How do I prepare my pet prior to the appointment? What medications need to be discontinued?
During your appointment, Dr. Bloom will take a detailed medical history. He will then perform a dermatologic and otoscopic (ear) examination and recommend appropriate testing. We will present you with an estimate of the fees before any tests are performed. Based on the findings, the doctor will form a treatment plan for your pet.
TO PREPARE YOUR PET FOR THIS APPOINTMENT
- Please do not bathe your pet prior to this appointment
- If possible, do not feed your pet for 12 hours prior to the appointment
- If the patient is currently receiving thyroid replacement therapy, you may give the usual dosage
- Corticosteroids (cortisone, prednisone, prednisolone etc) and topical steroids should be discontinued four weeks prior to the exam only IF POSSIBLE. Some animals are too uncomfortable to stop the medication. We can still evaluate your pet.
- Antibiotics should be stopped 14 days before the exam if possible. Please check with your veterinarian to make sure this is acceptable.
- Any other anti-inflammatory medication (such as aspirin, Rimadyl, antihistamines, fatty acid supplements) should also be discontinued if possible.
After my first appointment, what role will my veterinarian play?
After each visit, a referral letter will be sent to your veterinarian detailing all clinical findings, laboratory test results, diagnoses, and treatments. Close communication between Dr. Bloom and your local veterinarian is critical in maintaining the highest level of care for your pet.
How far does Dr. Bloom's appointments book in advance?
His appointments usually book 2-3 weeks in advance.
What days are available for my pet to be seen by Dr.Bloom?
Dr. Bloom works on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, 2 Fridays/month and 1 Saturday/month. On the other Fridays, that he is not in the office, he is teaching at Michigan State University.