Find Board Certified Veterinary Dermatologists


Frequently Asked Questions

A veterinary dermatologist is a veterinarian with additional training and expertise in the diagnosis and management of animal skin, ear, hair, nail, hoof, and feather disorders. They have significant training and experience in the treatment of skin diseases as well as in internal medicine, immunology and allergy.

Veterinary dermatologists are specialists in treating allergic disease, all skin diseases, and ear diseases. 

The American College of Veterinary Dermatology® (ACVD) is an organization of a group of  people conferred with the title of a Board Certified Veterinary Dermatologist®, which was officially accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in 1982 and charged with maintenance of high standards of postgraduate training in veterinary dermatology.

Currently there are nearly four hundred people with the designation of Board Certified Veterinary Dermatologist® worldwide who work in private specialty practices, academic positions, and industry.

A diplomate is a holder of degree, i.e., diploma. In regards to veterinary dermatology, it is one who has become board certified. A diplomat is an official representing a country abroad.

The purpose of the ACVD is to advance and promote excellence in veterinary dermatology, oversee postgraduate training in veterinary dermatology residency, sponsor research, and organize scientific and educational programs for both veterinary dermatologists and general practitioners.

Through donations like yours, the American College of Veterinary Dermatology® (ACVD) will continue to help improve the quality of life for companion animals.

The ACVD is supported by the ACVD Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3),  which funds research to advance veterinary dermatology. Contributions made to the ACVD Research Foundation are considered charitable donations and are therefore tax deductible and working to fund better understanding, and developing improved treatments to help with dermatologic care of dogs, cats, and other companion animals.

See a list of research projects funded by contributions over the years.

If you are interested in corporate sponsorship of the ACVD directly, please contact our Sponsorship Chairperson at and click here for a prospectus.

The decision to bring your pet to a veterinary dermatologist can be yours alone but more commonly occurs after a discussion with your primary veterinarian in response to a change in your pet’s health.

If your pet is experiencing symptoms like:

  • Hair loss, scabs or dandruff
  • Change in the skin or coat’s color or texture
  • Bad odor from the pet’s skin or ears

Or if your pet has a change in behavior including:

  • Constantly licking, chewing, biting, scratching their body/ears/feet.
  • Lots of head shaking

Your primary veterinarian may suggest a referral if dermatologic issues are not improving despite treatment efforts, if your pet has a difficult case to diagnose and/or treat, or for uncommon procedures or ones requiring specialty equipment.

Not at all. Veterinary dermatologists would formulate treatment plans just for the skin, allergy or ear issues and would work with your primary veterinarian. Cooperative care between the referring veterinarian, the pet owner, and the specialist are essential for successful management. Your primary veterinarian would still be the primary provider for all other health matters.

Many skin diseases manifest in a pet’s ears, in the veterinary world, veterinary dermatologists are the otologists or ear specialists. A Board Certified Veterinary Dermatologist® has the tools and training for treating recurrent, severe or inner ear disease that primary care veterinarians typically do not have available in their hospitals.

Our veterinary dermatologists bring their experience to specialize care the of your pet by considering which management strategies or treatment methods will be most successful for your pet’s condition and medical history.

If you think your pet needs dermatology care, you can be referred by your primary care veterinarian, or directly contact a Board Certified Veterinary Dermatologist®. Since every primary and referral practice is different, we suggest consulting with your primary veterinarian about their preferred procedure as well as the specialty practice prior to scheduling an appointment.

You can use our “Find a Dermatologist” feature to locate the dermatologist nearest to you.

You can find a Board Certified Veterinary Dermatologist® all across the United States; use our “Find a Dermatologist” feature to locate the dermatologist nearest to you.

You can locate an international Board Certified Veterinary Dermatologist® by using our “Find a Dermatologist” feature to locate the dermatologist nearest to you.

If you are a practicing or graduating veterinarian, and are looking to specialize in dermatology, you’ll need to be accepted into and complete a approved 3 year program (residency). During the program, Continuing education requirements include: Case Reports or the Equivalent, publications of original research and presentation of original research work. To become certified, you will also need to apply for, be accepted to take, and successfully pass the certifying examination.
Once you are a Board Certified Veterinary Dermatologist®, you will need to maintain your standing with continuing education, and by following our ethics code.

Learn more about our residency programs.

If you are interested in specializing in veterinary dermatology, we recommend researching the available certified programs to find the best fit for you. You can find current ACVD residency program openings and requirements along with placement assistance programs by visiting the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program sponsored by the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians for open positions.

Applicants for a residency must:

  • Be a graduate of a veterinary school or college.
  • Have satisfactory moral and ethical standing.
  • Be approved to practice veterinary medicine in a state or province of the USA or Canada.
  • Foreign applicants should have an equivalent license to practice in the country of citizenship.
  • Be a member of the AVMA or an equivalent national veterinary medical association.
  • Have completed a one-year internship or practice equivalency.

See a list of our programs.

We accept job postings for veterinary dermatologists in the following categories:

  • Academic
  • Corporate
  • Private Practice
  • Relief
  • Technician

If you are interested in cost, requirements, or placing an ad, please complete this form, or reach out to