Urgent update: As of Sept. 8, 2021, Please call before bringing animals or referring any cases to the hospital. We are extremely short staffed at this time, particularly in the ER, ICU and Internal Medicine.

The Dermatology service at NC State is renowned for the diagnosis and treatment of allergic and autoimmune skin diseases as well as otitis (ear inflammation and infections.) Our veterinary dermatologists have expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of companion animals with any type of skin, mouth, ear, hair or claw diseases. Our dermatology clinicians accept clients directly or after referral by a primary veterinarian.

yellow lab dog getting ear examined

Service Specialties

  • Itch (pruritus)
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Rashes (eruptions)
  • Infections (pustules, draining tracts)
  • Sores (erosions, ulcers)
  • Masses (nodules, tumors)
  • Excessive dandruff (scales, seborrhea)

Over the years, the service has developed an expertise on, and is now renowned for, the diagnosis and treatment of allergic and autoimmune skin diseases as well as otitis (ear inflammation and infections)—visit the tabs below for more information.

Clinicians also provide dermatology consults on horses with skin diseases. Appointments are to be made with the Equine Medicine Service

Birds, reptiles and small mammals with skin diseases should be seen by appointment with the Exotic Animal Medicine Service

The Dermatology Service has special interest in:

Acute and Chronic Otitis

Dr. Marcy Murphy assists referring veterinarians and clients in the diagnosis and management of both acute and chronic otitis in dogs and cats.
Services Provided include:

  • Identification and management of underlying cutaneous or systemic disorders
  • Ear flushing under general anesthesia.
  • Otic bacterial/fungal culture
  • Otic cytology
  • Video-otoscopic ear examination

Skin Allergies (Atopic Dermatitis, Atopy, Food Allergies)

Drs. Olivry and Bizikova specialize in the diagnosis and management of dogs with atopic dermatitis and food allergies.

We have a track record of special interest in the medical (pharmacotherapy) and immune modulation (immunotherapy) of canine atopic dermatitis. New molecules and treatment approaches are investigated as an aid in the control of itch (pruritus) and skin lesions. Allergen-specific immunotherapy may be initiated after review of the degree of symptom reduction with pharmacotherapy, amount and type of medication required to control clinical signs and whether or not effective allergen avoidance is feasible.

You may be asked to participate in a clinical trial, which could help reduce the cost of treatment of your pet at NC State. Your pet will not be included in a study without your expressed consent.

Autoimmune Skin Diseases

Drs. Olivry and Bizikova specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of small animal autoimmune skin diseases, especially pemphigus, skin lupus and other blistering diseases such as pemphigoids and related diseases.
Furthermore, the unique availability of a research laboratory specialized in this area allows NC State dermatologists to have access to laboratory tests not available elsewhere.

Appointments, Referrals and Resources

Appointment Guidelines
After you have scheduled your appointment, we would appreciate if you could complete the Dermatology Client History Form. This information will be very valuable for our students and clinicians to better know your pet and its problems. Please mail, fax, or e-mail the form to us as soon as possible prior to your appointment.

Allergy Vaccine Request
This service is for existing clients and patients receiving immunotherapy/allergy vaccines who need refills of an existing prescription.  Please place your refill order when you have 1-2 doses of immunotherapy remaining on your current prescription.  Orders generally take about 1-2 weeks to process and ship. Immunotherapy/Allergy Vaccine Form

  • Dr. Petra Bizikova, MVDr, PhD, DipECVD, DipACVD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology
    Peer-Reviewed Publication List: Click Here
  • Dr. Marcy Murphy, DVM, DipACVD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology
    Peer-Reviewed Publication List: Click Here
  • Dr. Thierry Olivry, DrVet, PhD, DipECVD, DipACVD, Professor of Immunodermatology
    Peer-Reviewed Publication List: Click Here

When am I going to see a doctor?

Please note that our Interns and Residents (aka House Officers), are fully licensed doctors with the same education and credentials as a general practitioner. There will ALWAYS be a doctor in charge of and supervising all aspects of patient care at the VH. In many cases multiple specialists may consult on a patient should their expertise be required. Typically, a fourth-year student will first collect a detailed history and present this information to the doctor in charge. You will then have an opportunity to discuss things in detail with the doctor and together you and he/she will formulate a diagnostic and treatment plan.

My doctor introduced him/herself as an Intern or a Resident – what does that mean?
It is important to understand that every intern or resident at the VH is a fully licensed doctor with the same education and credentials as a general practitioner. Interns and residents have chosen to pursue additional, in-depth postgraduate clinical training and were selected by us in a highly competitive international application process. We think you are in great hands!

Review: The student will then leave the room for about fifteen minutes to consult with one of our faculty dermatologists. At this time, the student and the dermatologist will also review any diagnostic material that the referring veterinarian has sent. The dermatologist will then introduce him or herself to the client and examine the patient.

You are a State facility, so why are your fees so high?
The VH is a not-for-profit health care center and receives less than 2% of operating costs from the the State of North Carolina. The majority of our operating costs are paid by client fees and donations. In fact, many of the state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options we offer are only possible because of generous gifts from our clients. Our fees are set to cover the balance of our operating costs, and we are always looking for ways to provide better service at lower cost. Total costs are comparable to those of veterinarian specialists in private practice.

If you do not have a primary veterinarian you can search for one here: North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association

Additional resources may also be found at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine’s website.