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Skinny Dipping with Sue Paterson


Skinny Dipping


Meet Sue Paterson MA VetMB DVD DipECVD MRCVS RCVS and European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology

Sue Paterson is a Consultant Veterinary Dermatologist and we are delighted that she will be joining the team at Our Dogs to write a regular monthly column for us. Our reporter Bernie Lovitt met her to ask her some questions.

What exactly is a Veterinary Dermatologist?

A Veterinary Dermatologist is a qualified veterinary surgeon who has undertaken further specialist training in dermatology, usually within a university. In order to be recognised as a specialist by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons they have to spend 90 per cent of their time working as a dermatologist, as well as being active in their field, which means speaking at conferences and writing papers. There are very few veterinary dermatologists in the UK.

What are all the letters after your name?

The first letter the MA VetMB are my veterinary qualifications from Cambridge, which is the vet school I studied at. DVD is my UK Diploma in Veterinary Dermatology which entitles me to register as a UK specialist, DipECVD is my European Diploma which allows me to register as a European Specialist. The MRCVS are the letters bestowed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons which allows me to practice in the UK.

Have you done much writing in the past?

I contribute regularly to numerous veterinary and animal journals, I have written four books, three on skin diseases of dogs and cats, one on ear disease. The most recent book is a Manual of Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat. I have also written several chapters in other text books and have recently edited a dermatology text on exotic pets. My books have been translated into many different languages including German, Polish, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.

Do you lecture?

I particularly enjoy doing breed society talks. I have lectured to vets all over the UK and also in more than a dozen European countries as well as America. This year I have been invited to speak at the World Veterinary Dermatology Congress in Hong Kong which is a huge honour and next year I will be guest lecturer in Trinidad where I will teach dermatology to the students at the West Indies Vet School.

Do you have dogs yourself and which is your favourite breed?

I have to say I love Labradors, the most I have ever had at one time is four. I currently have a black and a chocolate. In addition I have a very naughty Border Terrier who we rescued.

Where do you work?

I am one of the three directors of a large veterinary hospital group based in St Helens. We employ about 100 staff based at nine different surgeries. I spend most of my day at our referral hospital seeing dogs and cats that have been referred to me from practices in the North West of England. The practice also provided a dermatology service for the GDBA in the UK.

What does your family think about your work?


My husband is incredibly tolerant, especially when I don’t get home from work until late. My two kids share my morbid fascination for scabs, spots, boils and ulcers. Samantha, who is 11, may well become a vet; Matthew who is nine wants to be an orthopaedic surgeon.

What do you do in your spare time?

I am a keep fit fanatic and I run half marathons and marathons – very slowly. The marathon running is usually sponsored to generate funds for GDBA which is the charity I support.

See Regular Features for Sue’s first column