Veterinary Dermatology

“Words alone cannot describe all that your pets give.”

Dermatology Team Members

Veterinary Specialist
Meghan Umstead, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVD

Veterinary Technicians
Felicia Romano, LVT; Krystle Parisi, LVT

Veterinary Assistant
Annamarie Santoliquido 

Veterinary Dermatology Services Overview

The dermatology department of the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island aids in the diagnosis and treatment of skin and ear disease in animals. Our goal is to provide the highest quality of care for our patients in order to make them more comfortable and lead a good quality of life. Since long-term monitoring of these diseases is often necessary, excellent communication between the dermatology service and our clients is extremely important. Together, the doctor and client can diagnose dermatologic disease and implement a treatment protocol tailored for each individual animal. We look forward to helping you and your pet.

Dermatological Diagnostic Tests and Procedures Include:

  • Skin cytology
  • Skin scrapings
  • Otoscopy (ear examinations)
  • Ear cytology
  • Bacterial cultures (ear and skin)
  • Wood’s lamp testing
  • Fungal cultures (ear and skin)
  • Blood work- including thyroid panels and ACTH stimulation tests
  • Food elimination trials
  • Medicated bathing
  • Skin biopsies and histopathology
  • Intradermal skin testing and allergen specific immunotherapy
  • Video otoscopy and deep ear flushes

Dermatological Conditions that are Diagnosed and Treated Include:

  • Bacterial skin infections (pyoderma)
  • Yeast/fungal skin infections
  • Food allergies
  • Flea allergy dermatitis
  • Environmental allergies (atopic dermatitis)
  • Ectoparasitic diseases (mites, ticks, lice)
  • Pododermatitis (disease of the foot)
  • Auto-immune skin disease
  • Endocrine/metabolic skin disease
  • Drug reactions
  • Chronic ear disease
  • Skin cancer

Appointment Preparation:

  • Please arrive 10 minutes before your appointment in order to fill out our dermatological history. You may also complete it ahead of time and bring it with you at the time of the appointment. (HISTORY FORM ATTACHMENT)
  • Please do not bathe your pet 3 days prior to your appointment.
  • Please do not clean your pet’s ears 24 hours prior to your appointment, continue to place medicated ear drops as prescribed.
  • Please bring labels of pet food in together with a list of the medications that are administered at the moment to the pet if possible.
  • Ideally, steroids (oral and topical) should be discontinued 4-6 weeks prior to the appointment. This class of medication may interfere with certain diagnostic tests.
  • Please do not feed your pet after midnight the night before coming in, unless your pet is diabetic.

Regarding Skin Testing:

  • The following medications must be discontinued before skin testing:
    • Antihistamines: 14 days before skin testing
    • Fatty acids: 14 days before skin testing
    • Tranquilizer medications (acepromazine): 14 days before skin testing
    • Topical steroids: 21 days before skin testing
    • Oral steroids: 28 days before skin testing
    • Injectable steroids: 42 days before skin testing
  • You may continue to administer antibiotics, antifungals, thyroid supplementation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, non-steroid containing ear products, shampoos or other topical products, heartworm prevention, and flea control products.
  • Most animals are sedated for this procedure but are given a reversal agent so they can go home shortly after the test. Please do not feed your animal after midnight the night before the scheduled test.
  • A vaccine will be formulated specifically for your pet based on the results of the test. It will usually take 1-2 weeks to prepare the vaccine. Our technician will teach you how to administer the vaccine and care for the allergens when you pick up the initial set of vaccines.

Additional Information:

  • At every appointment the doctor will review recent medical history and perform a thorough dermatologic examination. Tests such as cytology, skin scrapings, culture or blood work may be required at multiple visits to obtain an accurate assessment of your pet. The doctor will then discuss the various treatment options available.

Unless otherwise requested, we will contact your referring veterinarian for current medical history regarding your pet. This allows us to establish communication with your regular veterinarian and may avoid duplication of certain diagnostic tests.