New Clients

The Referral Process

We operate on a referral basis only, meaning your primary care veterinarian will have to refer you and your pet to NVD for care. Once we receive a referral, you can schedule an appointment.


Prior to your visit:

  • Contact your family veterinarian for a copy of your pet’s records. If possible, please have the records faxed to our office (615-386-0109) prior to your visit as this process can take several days.
  • No medications or topical therapy need to be discontinued prior to your initial appointment. Although it is true that certain things needs to be discontinued prior to allergy testing, we will formulate a treatment plan for your pet at the first visit.


What should you bring to the initial appointment:

  • A completed history form (available here and at the clinic).
  • Any previous veterinary records and laboratory results (blood work, cytology reports, biopsy reports, etc), unless you are aware that they have already been forwarded by your primary care veterinarian.
  • If possible, bring any prescription or over-the-counter medications or products that your animal is receiving or has recently received. This would include heartworm prevention, flea/tick prevention, creams, lotions, sprays, or shampoos.


What to expect the day of your appointment:

  • It is best to arrive a few minutes early to complete paperwork (new patient records, etc). These forms are separate from the patient history form.
  • Please respect your pet’s appointment time. If you are going to be more than 5-10 minutes late, please call and be aware that you may have an extended wait time. If you are more than 15 minutes late, please call, but we may have to reschedule your pet’s appointment.
  • Initial examination appointments are scheduled for 75 minutes.
  • While we do everything we can to respect your schedule and see you and your pet in a timely manner, please understand that we provide every patient with individualized care. On occasion, this can lead to slightly longer appointment / wait times.
  • One of our dermatology technicians will greet you in the waiting room and escort you and your pet to our exam room. The technician will take a look at your history form and help you fill in any missing information. They will then ask if they can remove your pet from the room to weigh them and take them back to the dermatology treatment room. In the treatment room, Dr. O’Neill will take a look at your pet’s history form, perform a dermatologic exam, and perform skin/ear cytologies and skin scrapes. These things are done away from you the owner to allow us to be more efficient and some dogs / cats are less anxious away from their owners.
  • Dr. O’Neill will meet you in the exam room where there will be some review of the history, followed by an explanation of the suspected underlying causes of your pet’s condition, and a recommended diagnostic and/or treatment plan devised for moving forward.
  • We are primarily an outpatient service, meaning we perform most diagnostic testing during your appointment. In certain cases, we may require that your animal stay at the hospital longer than expected or return at a future date for diagnostics.
  • You will receive discharge instructions that go over all recommended topical products and medications.


Following your visit:

  • Your family veterinarian will be forwarded a copy of the discharge instructions as well as a copy of any test results.
  • Please be sure to read the provided discharge instructions in regards to the recommended therapy.
  • Please schedule a recheck exam based on the recommendation at the end of the discharge instructions. Timely rechecks are essential. Please schedule this appointment at your earliest convenience following your initial appointment as we do book up early.


How much does this cost?

  • When scheduling your appointment, please ask one of our client service representatives for an estimated cost of the initial appointment.
  • We are in the business of improving your pet’s quality of life and this can be expensive. If there are financial concerns, please be sure to mention this during the initial appointment as we need to devise a suitable long term solution to your pet’s skin condition.
  • If there is ever a question about what something costs, please just ask. If necessary, we can go over the cost of prospective treatment plans each step of the way, but realize it is impossible to give exact figures as every pet’s diagnostic and treatment plan are different.
  • Given that most skin conditions are considered chronic diseases, determining the cause and devising a realistic treatment plan in a timely manner are recommended. Timely rechecks and phone updates are an important part of the workup. Without them, we may need to repeat certain aspects of the workup.
  • Payment is expected when services are rendered.