Welcome Letter

Your Pet’s First Dermatology Visit at Golden Gate Veterinary Specialists


We hope to make your pet’s visit to our hospital as productive and stress-free as possible. To help accomplish this, please read the following carefully. We look forward to seeing you soon!

What should you do before your pet’s first visit (and beyond)?

  1. Please fill out our new patient questionnaire. This provides us with essential information about your pet’s long-term history, including which treatments have helped and which ones have not.
  2. If your pet is receiving topical therapy for the skin or ears, we recommend stopping them 48 hours before the appointment.
  3. Continue medications as prescribed.
  4. If your pet has been prescribed any calming “pre-vet” medications (gabapentin, trazodone) by your regular veterinarian, please give them as prescribed before the visit to ensure a safe and thorough examination.

What should you expect at your pet’s first visit?

Your pet’s initial consultation will typically be between 60-90 minutes from start to finish:

  1. In a consult room, you will discuss your pet’s history with one of our experienced technicians.
  2. Your pet will then be brought to our treatment area for a full dermatologic exam. We will non-invasively collect samples from the surface of the skin or ears to examine using a high-powered microscope. This process, known as cytology, is an invaluable diagnostic test. Both the dermatologic exam and cytology provide us with huge amounts of information and help determine the best recommendations for your pet.
  3. After the exam, your pet will be brought back to the consult room as your dermatologist is analyzing the cytology. When complete, your dermatologist will greet you and discuss all findings from the exam and cytology. A personalized plan will be created: this may include treatments or possibly additional tests.
  4. You will then return to the lobby as our in-hospital pharmacy prepares any prescribed treatments like medications, topical products, or foods for your pet. Additional refills are easily obtained from our website (shipping or pick-up available).
  5. A recheck* examination is usually scheduled with our front desk before you leave – for most dermatologic diseases, it is crucial to have long-term followup and guidance from your dermatologist. *A recheck is typically 30-45 minutes.