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Our Dermatological Specialist

A veterinary dermatologist has expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of animals with benign and malignant disorders of the skin, ears, hair, and nails. They have extensive training and expertise in immunology and are experienced at treating allergies. Some of the disorders that a dermatologist treats include allergic induced skin disease, chronic ear infections, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disease, peri-anal furunculosis, cancer of the skin, and parasitic infections.

During your ninety-minute appointment our veterinary dermatologist Karen Farver, DVM, ACVD or Katherine Backel, DVM, ACVD, will take a detailed history and may perform many specialized procedures including intradermal allergy skin testing with the gold standard, Greer Laboratories allergens; microscopic examination and interpretation of skin biopsies, aspirates, cytologic smears, fungal cultures, skin scrapings; and fibro-optic video magnified evaluation of the otic canal and middle ear.

Treatment methods offered at MVA’s dermatology and allergy clinic include: in-house customized allergy vaccine, intense allergy hyposensitization management which includes client consultation throughout the hyposensitization process including vaccine frequency, concentration, and duration modifications. We also perform video fibro-optic otoscopic ear flushes, design treatment protocols to manage chronic infections and reduce reliance on steroids, and in hospital rush immunotherapy to speed the hyposensitization process. Excellent communication with the client is the goal of MVA’s allergy and dermatology service.

Our Dermatological Services Include:

Allergy induced skin disease

Chronic ear infections

Autoimmune diseases

Endocrine disease

Peri-anal furunculosis

Cancer of the skin

Parasitic infections

Meet Our Dermatological Specialist

Hear from Dr. Karen Farver as she speaks about the specialty.


Dr. Karen Farver: “In dermatology, we see all things that are skin and allergy, which could be auto-immune disease, it could be resistant infection, but the main focus is on allergy and we really like to focus on the diagnostic approach of intradermal skin testing, and then treating that. And by doing an intradermal skin test, which is similar to what human MDs do, which is skin prick test, we get reliable results that allow us to treat the patient. When you have allergic dermatitis, it can be a lifelong problem, and that can be very concerning to the client, and our main focus is to make sure that the dog is comfortable, that it fits in with the client, within their situation, within their budget, and each case is different, and we really try to focus on the patient and the client, making sure that it’s focused for them and it’s not just a cookbook situation. Here at Metropolitan, we really are focused on the patient and the client, and we want to give the best service. We are involved in research in dermatology, where we have clinical trials going on for clients that have tried everything, and who’ve gone through everything and it’s something that we can offer them that a lot of places do not offer, and there’s no cost to the client, which is nice for them. I think our staff here is absolutely excellent and at the top of their field and very focused on the client and the patient.”