The itchy dog a dermatological nightmare: difficult to diagnose and treat successfully
Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend
The itchy dog a dermatological nightmare: difficult to diagnose and treat successfully

A persistently itchy dog can make owners and veterinarians want to pull their own hair out with frustration. A dog with puritis provokes an overwhelming desire to scratch, rub, chew, or lick its hair and skin causing inflamed painful skin. Intense scratching can eventually lead to partial or full hair loss and skin trauma and infection.

20/08/2018 to 30/09/2018
When: 20 August - 30 September
Where: Online VetScholar Course
New Zealand
Presenter: Leslie Sauber, Helen Orbell, Amanda Burrows
Contact: The itchy dog a dermatological nightmare: difficult to diagnose and treat successfully
+64 4 495 1145

Online registration is closed.
« Go to Upcoming Event List  

About the course

In practice, it can be challenging to obtain a diagnosis for the pruritic dog. Without a diagnosis it is difficult to provide the pet owner with information about the cause, the prognosis or even the appropriate treatments. This can create frustration for both the pet owner and veterinary surgeon and leads to increased chronic disease in affected dogs. The aim of this course is to provide some guidelines and strategies that will help a veterinary surgeon proceed from the first presentation of an itchy dog to a diagnosis. The course will cover the common pruritic skin diseases of the dog and how to think about and approach the diagnosis.


Topic 1 Diagnosis of Canine Atopy: The first step in treating any disease is to make an accurate diagnosis.  Because there is no “test” for atopy, we must rely on the dog’s history and clinical signs to raise an index of suspicion of atopy and then rule out similar causes of pruritic dermatitis. In this module we will outline a diagnostic flow chart that can be used in a busy clinical setting.  

Topic 2 Treatment Options for Canine Atopy: We now have many tools to treat canine atopy. This module will discuss the advantages, disadvantages and indications for topical therapy, fatty acids, antihistamines, corticosteroid therapy, oclacitinib, lokivetmab, cyclosporine, subcutaneous immunotherapy and sublingual immunotherapy.

Topic 3 Managing Complications of Canine Atopy: Even with excellent management, well-controlled atopic dogs can flare. Common causes include an increase in allergen exposure, secondary pyoderma and/or Malassezia dermatitis, flea exposure, development of concurrent food allergy, and development of non-allergic diseases that can worsen signs of atopy.  In this module we will discuss a diagnostic approach to sorting through these potential “flare-factors” and how to manage these complications while still treating the underlying atopic dermatitis.  


VetScholar courses comprise of one or two 6-week modules. Each module The module covers three topics using learning materials that suit the topic. This may include notes, presentations, case studies, articles, videos, and polls. You'll engage with the tutors and other participants via the discussion forum and you'll finish off each topic with a quiz - just to make sure you're on the right track. Each module aims to provide 1-2 hours of course work per week so expect to spend up to 12 hours per module.

VetScholar courses do not run at set times of the day so you'll be able to complete it around your work and family commitments. You'll also have access to the material via the course for 1 year and can download the material for future use.


Leslie Sauber DVM, DACVD

Helen Orbell BSc (Hons) BVSc (Hons) MANZCVS (SA Medicine)


This is an incredible opportunity to improve your dermatology knowledge and diagnostic skills with three experts in the field. Leslie Sauber, Mandy Burrows and Helen Orbell are part of the global Animal Dermatology Clinic team. ADC has veterinary dermatology referral practices and trains dermatology residents in New Zealand, Australia and multiple locations in the USA.

Leslie is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. She ran a referral dermatology clinic in the US for over 20 years and emigrated to New Zealand in early 2018 to join the team at Auckland ADC. Mandy is a Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Dermatology. She is the senior dermatologist at ADCPerth and is an Associate Professor in Small Animal Medicine (Dermatology) at Murdoch University. Helen is a graduate of the University of Queensland. She has worked as a companion animal veterinarian in private practice and at Massey. She is currently engaged in a dermatology residency program through ADC under the mentorship of Dr. Craig Griffin and Dr. Mona Board from ADC San Diego.

CPD points

Activities in this course can be recorded under either continuing veterinary education or collegial learning activity.

Pricing information

NZVA member: $250

NZVA non-member: $500

*Prices are inclusive of 15% NZ GST.

Proudly sponsored by

Terms and conditions

Please click here to find out more about NZVA events and education terms and conditions.