Allergy & Dermatology

For a pet owner, skin problems can be very frustrating. Sometimes, the symptoms can be so severe that the skin may become irritated, sore and infected. The single most important aspect of controlling the itching sensation is to identify and treat the underlying problem. In most cases, your veterinarian is capable of treating your pet’s skin problem, however, some skin problems can become chronic and difficult to diagnose. To insure your pet receives the latest and highest quality of dermatological care available, your veterinarian may decide to refer you to a board certified veterinary dermatologist. Many skin diseases look very much alike, having only subtle differences in appearance and historical background. A board certified veterinary dermatologist is trained to recognize these differences and pursue a specific diagnostic and therapeutic plan. As specialists, we strive to stay current on newly recognized diseases and therapies.

Conditions that may require an evaluation by a board certified veterinary dermatologist include:

• Allergies (food, inhalants, contact and fleas)
• Parasites (fleas and mites)
• Autoimmune Diseases
• Infectious Diseases (bacterial and fungal)
• Hormonal Diseases
• Recurring Ear Infections
• Skin Cancer

Your Veterinarian
When your veterinarian refers your pet to a specialist, this indicates that your veterinarian cares about your pet and wants the problem treated in the safest, most up-to-date manner possible. Optimal patient care requires close communication among the client; board certified dermatologist and referring veterinarian. At the conclusion of your appointment, we will notify your veterinarian of our clinical findings and treatment recommendations. Because we only treat patients with dermatological or allergy problems, your veterinarian will continue to provide comprehensive veterinary care.

Animal Allergies
Allergies are the most common cause of skin problems in dogs and cats. An estimated 1 out of 5 domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, suffer from some form of allergy. Dogs and cats can suffer the discomfort from allergies in different ways such as itching, skin irritation or secondary skin and ear infections caused by sensitivity to a specific allergen.

Signs that may indicate your pet has allergies include
• Continuous scratching
• Face rubbing
• Excessive licking of feet, legs and belly region
• Hair loss
• Recurring skin infections
• Chronic anal sac problems
• Biting and chewing at the skin
• Ear infections


schmeitzel2Dr. Lynn Schmeitzel | DVM, DACVD, Dermatology
Board-Certified Veterinary Dermatologist

Dr. Lynn Schmeitzel is a 1981 graduate of Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.  She interned at University of Pennsylvania and was boarded by the American College of Veterinary Dermatology in 1988, after completing a dermatology residency at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Schmeitzel was Assistant and Associate Professor of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine from 1984 until 2000 when she developed her dermatology consultant referral practice.

She is past president of the American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology and is a member of the AVMA, American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association and Virginia Veterinary Medical Association.  She has also served the Richmond community, acting as a n advocate of the continuing education, seminars and hands-on experience with the Girl Scouts, Explorers and with many veterinary students, interns, and residents.


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