HOURS: Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM

An important part of PVSEC, Pittsburgh Veterinary Dermatology, was founded in August 2003, filling a void in veterinary dermatology services in the greater Pittsburgh area. The dermatology department provides the quality dermatological care your pets need, treating a variety of animals including dogs, cats and small and large pets.

We prefer but do not require a referral. Referral information should be faxed or called in by your primary care veterinarian to schedule your pet's appointment.


Upon scheduling your pet's appointment, you will receive a comprehensive questionnaire in the mail. Please bring the completed questionnaire to your pet's initial consultation. This will provide us with a detailed overview of your pet's dermatologic history for diagnostic purposes. Our nursing staff is available at the time of your appointment should you have questions.

You may download the questionnaire here:

Appointment Preparations

  1. Bring all medications your pet is currently taking or has taken for the current condition.
  2. DO NOT bathe your pet for at least 7 days prior to the appointment.
  3. DO NOT clean or apply medication to your pet's ears for at least 2 days prior to the appointment.
  4. Please consult your primary care veterinarian regarding other medications your pet is taking if you are unsure whether or not to stop the treatment before the appointment.
  5. Withhold food from your pet for at least 8 hours prior to the appointment. This will allow for sedation or blood testing if required. You do not need to withhold water.
  6. Please call PVSEC if you have any other questions about appointment preparation.

Please allow 1-2 hours for your pet's initial appointment. The dermatological examination will take approximately 30 minutes, with additional time required to review your pet's clinical history, reports and lab work and to complete in-house diagnostics. Subsequent visits should take no longer than 30 minutes unless special testing is required. Note that drop-off appointments are only available for re-check visits.

For allergy testing:

  1. Skin testing will probably not be performed during the initial consult.
  2. Oral and injectable steroids should be avoided for at least 4-6 weeks prior to visit.
  3. Topical steroids (ear drops) should be avoided for 3 weeks prior to visit.
  4. Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), hydroxyzine (Atarax), clemastine (Tavist) and chlorpheniramine (ClorTrimeton) should be avoided for a period of 14 days prior to allergy testing.
  5. Be sure to follow your primary care veterinarian's recommendations when suspending medication.

If necessary, we will discuss additional recommended diagnostic testing and treatment options at the time of the appointment, providing cost estimates for each service. Follow-up appointments may be scheduled that day. Following your pet's examination and testing, we will forward a complete report to your referring veterinarian. While we follow through with your pet's dermatologic care, your pet's general care is still the responsibility of your primary care veterinarian.


Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center is a unique veterinary hospital. There are fewer than 30 hospitals like us in the country. Because we are open 24 hours a day and provide specialized services in addition to emergency services, our fees for the care given and procedures performed may be higher than a normal veterinary visit.

We understand.

And that's why we make sure you are given an estimate during your initial visit. When you are dealing with a sick pet, the last thing you need is a surprise on your vet bill.

A deposit equal to the low end of the estimate is required for pets needing hospitalization. As we gather diagnostic information and assess response to treatment, we may find that your pet requires additional hospitalization and care. Our policy is to call the owners of all hospitalized patients once a day to inform them of the current charges. Estimates are updated when the charges start to exceed the high end of the initial estimate. We encourage you to ask questions so that you feel comfortable.

Pet owners may ask us for estimates to treat and diagnose their pet over the phone. Please understand that we are unable to give you an accurate estimate without first examining your pet at our facility. We feel that one of the most valuable services we can offer to you is the initial consultation with one of our veterinarians. The doctor will review the history with you, look over any prior medical records including laboratory work and radiographs, perform a complete physical examination and sometimes even consult with other specialists in the hospital. During the consultation we also want to determine your wishes and goals. We believe that this process is the best way to give you the most accurate information about your pets medical condition, the prognosis, options for care, and the costs associated with treatment.

Complete payment is due when your pet is discharged. We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express and personal checks.
If none of those methods are preferable, we offer third party financing through Care Credit.  With Care Credit PVSEC offers 6 months deferred interest on charges over $200 or 24 months fixed rate interest on charges over $1000.
If you are interested in this option please visit the Care Credit Website to fill out an application. Type in our hospital name (Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center) and our phone number (412-366-3400) when it asks for your doctor's information. We accept two different plans from Care Credit so that you can make the best decision for your current financial position.