Welcome to Coastal Virginia Veterinary Dermatology.

I suspect you are here because your pet has a skin problem, or perhaps your primary veterinarian suggested you take your pet to a veterinary dermatologist. If you just stumbled onto this page, that’s OK too; you’ll learn a little something about skin problems of companion animals.

So, what does a veterinary dermatologist do, and, for some of you, why was I sent here?

Whether the patient is human or animal, medicine is a complex discipline. No one can master all aspects of health care; for this reason, we have specialists who deal in depth with specific areas of medical care. Veterinary medicine includes the same specialties as in human medicine, such as internal medicine, cardiology, surgery, oncology, ophthalmology, and, of course, dermatology.

As for all medical specialties, intensive training is a requirement. Training to become a veterinary dermatologist requires 2-3 years of residency training after achieving the DVM (doctor of veterinary medicine) degree. During this time the dermatology resident is exposed to extensive “book learning” (medical journals, conferences, online training, and, yes, actual books), and, most importantly, to clinical practice. The trainee must publish 1-3 articles in a peer-reviewed medical journal. After this, there is one more hurdle, namely a multiple-day examination administered by the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. Only after passing this test can an individual become a board-certified veterinary dermatologist.

It is because of this rigorous training that your primary veterinarian puts his or her trust in a specialist to help treat your beloved animal companion. We at Coastal Virginia Veterinary Dermatology take this trust to heart.