A veterinary dermatologist is a veterinarian with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of animal skin, ear, hair, nail, hoof, and mouth disorders. Specifically, veterinary dermatologists have significant training and experience in the management of allergic skin diseases. Additionally, their professional background make veterinary dermatologists extremely qualified in recognizing and treating infectious skin diseases (e.g., bacterial, fungal, viral), parasitic skin diseases, dander-related skin disorders, alopecia (hair loss), congenital skin diseases, autoimmune skin diseases, benign and malignant skin cancer, hormonal-related skin diseases, and other internal (systemic) causes for skin abnormalities. Chronic infections and inflammatory conditions of the ears are generally related to skin disorders and veterinary dermatologists have familiarity in managing chronic ear disorders.
Veterinary dermatologists can identify skin lesions/sores and the patterns they form on animals which aid in the selection of proper diagnostic procedures.? Many specialized diagnostic procedures are used by veterinary dermatologists including, but not limited to skin cytology, skin scrapings, skin/ear cultures, skin testing, and skin biopsy. The training and experience of veterinary dermatologists may include the use of cryosurgery with the use of freezing surgical units, laser surgery, varying biopsy techniques, and video otoscopy (use of a camera to examine the ear canals).
It is important for veterinary dermatology specialists to stay abreast of improvements in the identification, diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of recognized and newly recognized skin diseases. This is accomplished by attending continuing education conferences. Continuing education is a requirement for maintaining board-certification with the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD) as well as many state veterinary licensing boards. The ACVD co-sponsors the North American Veterinary Dermatology Forum, an annual scientific program, as well as the World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology, an international meeting held every 4 years.
Owners seeking a veterinary dermatologists expertise may be referred by their primary care veterinarian or may directly contact one. Please visit "Find a Dermatologist" to locate veterinary dermatologists nearest you. Information on the ACVD can be found at About Us.