118.762 Dermatology for Small Animal Veterinarians (15 credit)

Lecturers: Mandy Burrows BSc BVMS MANZCVS FANZCVS(dermatology)
Helen Orbell BSc, BVSc, MANZCVS (small animal medicine)

Mandy Burrows is excited to offer you a problem based approach to dermatology for small animal veterinarians in this distance taught course offered in Massey University’s Master of Veterinary Medicine.

Please note: Courses are revised following each offering. Details of content and assessment are subject to change between offerings.

What will you learn?

On this course you'll learn:

  • a problem based approach to: pruritus, alopecia, papules, pustules, crusts, nodules and ulcerated lesions in dogs and cats
  • how to get a better outcome for your patients with skin disease using practical information that you can apply every day in your veterinary practice
  • how to get a diagnosis of skin and ear diseases in dogs and cats using techniques that you will learn and refine during the course that will improve the quality of your patient care and your practice income
  • recent advances in the management and therapy of dermatological disease; update your knowledge so you are aware of the advances in treatments for common skin diseases - when to treat- when to refer.

How the course works

Dermatology is one of the MVM courses  for postgraduate veterinarians which is taught online via distance learning and led by a recognised international expert in the field.

The course is supported by the latest research, reviews and case material to challenge veterinarians with in-depth, relevant continuing education. Course materials include a printed guide to your reading and assessment which integrates online learning activities such as discussions, quizzes, lessons, library searches, critical evaluation and exercises for self-assessment with reading materials and personal study tasks.

Highlights of the dermatology course include: A practical practice-relevant approach to dermatology, lecturer authored course notes and interactive problem based exercises to help you bench mark your progress.

With the MVM programme you have the flexibility to study when and where you want and the support of the MVM team to gain an internationally-recognised veterinary qualification that will help you in your practice every day.

Your lecturers

Mandy Burrows

An experienced teacher and lecturer at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, Mandy Burrows graduated from Murdoch University Veterinary School in 1985. Having completed residency training in two disciplines, pathology and internal medicine and dermatology, Mandy became a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Veterinary Dermatology in 1998. Mandy currently works as the Director of the Dermatology clinic at Murdoch University.

Mandy currently works as the Director of the Animal Dermatology Clinic – Perth and as an Associate Professor in Small Animal Medicine (Dermatology) at Murdoch University.

Mandy is the Past-President of the Council of the ANZCVS; the current  Australian and New Zealand representative of the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology and the President of World Congress in Veterinary Dermatology and the President of the World Congress in Veterinary Dermatology, to be held in Sydney in 2020.  

Helen Orbell

Dr. Helen Orbell graduated from The University of Queensland with BVSc in 2001 and worked as a small and large animal veterinarian in New Zealand and then the UK. In 2005 she started in the Community Practice at Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Palmerston North, New Zealand and then travelled to the US for a year in 2007 to work in Community Practice at Washington State University VTH, Pullman. While at WSU Helen passed the ANZCVSc membership examination in Small Animal Medicine. After this valuable experience Helen returned to Australia and worked in small animal practice in Melbourne for 2 years. In 2011, she returned to New Zealand to take up her role again in the Community Practice at Massey VTH. While working in Melbourne Helen started to develop an interest in Dermatology and this interest grew steadily and led to a Dermatology Residency starting in 2016 with Animal Dermatology Clinic. She completed her residency training in January 2020 and now works full-time at ADC based at Massey VTH, Palmerston North. Helen enjoys all aspects of dermatology and has developed a particular interest in managing ear disease.

Course features

In-depth part-time study 24 teaching weeks spread over a 7-8 month period

Learning materials and facilities

  • Lecturer-authored notes
  • Study guide
  • Electronic library access
  • 3 day workshop: face to face or an online option for some sessions

Learning community

  • MVM Commons community site
  • Online case discussion facilitated
  • Social forum


  • Online case activities (2 submissions)
  • Online final examination (remote proctoring) 

Course requirements

  • Internet access: you need regular access to a computer and the internet so you can participate in class discussions and assessments online. A high speed internet connection is desirable but not essential.

Mandy Burrows Dr. Mandy Burrows

Dr. Helen Orbell

"Thank you Mandy for such a fantastic course. I was surprised to find out recently that this is the first time that the paper has been run - it has been so good I thought you must have done it many times over! I will certainly be highly recommending it to other MVM-ers."

"It was a huge privilege and pleasure to take the Dermatology paper! Thank you for sharing your immense knowledge with such generosity, passion and flair. I look at a dermatology patient with a lot more confidence now as my diagnostic approach has gained much more structure and clarity."

"This course has been fantastic! I have gained heaps from it. I picked this paper because at the start of the year I felt like every itchy dog was being sent home on preds and antibiotics with some mutterings about food trials but not really knowing how to approach any of this... Definitely now I can offer our clients much better, with a better approach to diagnosis as well as management and use the current evidence to base treatment on."

Contact/virtual workshop Information

*Due to COVID-19, contact workshops may have to be virtual. Please check your Stream site once enrolled for the current information or contact mvm@massey.ac.nz for the current information before you enrol.

The workshop is an opportunity for real-time interaction with your class and lecturer. Together you can build on the knowledge you’ve gained on the course through small group teaching, practical sessions and discussions of experiences in your own practice. 

For the best workshop experience, we recommend that you attend in real-time. While attendance is highly-recommended it is not compulsory in order to pass the course.

MEGA 1 2021

In 2021 the contact workshop for Dermatology will run alongside those for the Endocrinology and Emergency Medicine courses. This format provides a great opportunity for you to meet students and staff from other courses within the MVM programme and to combine with them for some sessions.

Dates and Timings*

Dates and timings guide for next offering (2021)
Enrolments open October 2020
Course start February 2021
Contact Workshop Dates TBC
Exam period October - November 2021
Course end November 2021

*Please note: You can still apply for enrolment after the due dates above.
For more information on delivery and course content please contact the MVM team.
Once enrolments open detailed offering information will be available via the Massey Course Search page.
A guide to costs can be found on the Massey Fees information page.