Who is a veterinary dermatologist

A veterinary dermatologist is a veterinarian who has been trained, has sat and passed an examination and is entitled European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology. This includes diseases affecting the ears, claws, oral and anogenital mucous membranes, hair coat and subcutaneous tissues. It is a large medical specialty with hundreds of known skin diseases, including infectious, parasitical, allergic, autoimmune and endocrine diseases, skin tumors and many others. Some skin diseases may be inherited or have a genetic background, some may be contagious and others have an unknown pathogenesis.

What does “Diplomate” or “Board certified” mean?

Qualified veterinarians with some clinical experience (e.g. internship) and a strong interest in dermatology can apply for a residency to further develop their competence in this field. A residency provides a minimum of 3 years of speciality training including handling clinical cases, attendance to courses and congresses, doing active research and lecturing. In order to become a Diplomate of the ECVD (often abbreviated as DipECVD and also known as board certified or European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology) the resident must pass a rigorous four-part, two–day examination.

The Diplomate is re-evaluated regarding professional activity, including research and further education, every 5 years to make sure he/she keeps up with new research and other developments in the field.

When and how a pet owner should contact a European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatologist?

The most common way to come in contact with a DipECVD is by the primary care veterinarian; he/she will refer the pet because of skin disease. Reasons for referral include complex skin disease, specialized diagnostic or therapeutic options or simply to obtain judicious advice for a chronic common skin problem. Usually the pet will have a few appointments with the specialist before being referred back to the primary care veterinarian. In this way, primary care veterinarians and specialists work together to provide owners and their pets with the best care.

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