Dermatology | Centre for Veterinary Education



Diagnose and manage a wide range of dermatological conditions with confidence, and enjoy those skin consults. Why be flustered when you can flourish?

Skin conditions are common in companion animal practice. The underlying cause varies and may be complex, even in animals with similar clinical presentations such as pruritis or hair loss.

Dermatology consultations will remain frustrating – for veterinarians and clients alike – if you always simply reach for the same treatment without identifying and addressing the underlying cause (or causes). This course equips you to develop a logical approach to the diagnosis and management of skin conditions.

What your tutors have to say about the CVE's Dermatology DE course:

Past Participant

This has been a challenging yet thoroughly enjoyable course that has enabled me to approach my dermatology cases in a much more systematic way. The tutors have been truly brilliant and so willing to help in any way.

Jennifer Griffiths

Learning Outcomes

The aim of this distance education program in veterinary dermatology is to provide an overview of current dermatology and assist you in developing and refining your approach to the diagnosis and management of skin diseases in dogs and cats.

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the aetiopathogenesis of a wide range of dermatological conditions to colleagues and clients and logically deduce the necessary diagnostic and efficacious therapeutic steps

  • Develop a systematic, comprehensive approach to the work-up of all major categories of skin disease

  • Confidently perform and interpret dermatology-relevant diagnostics

  • Improve management of otherwise frustrating, chronic or recurrent skin cases

  • Prescribe appropriate and effective topical and systemic medications

  • Understand indications, contraindications and complications of medications used to treat dermatological conditions including those recently released onto the market

  • Understand the rapid pace of change in dermatology and know where to source the latest information and protocols


  1. History and Physical Examination

  2. The Approach to the Pruritic Patient I

  3. The Approach to the Pruritic Patient II

  4. The Approach to the Patient with Papules, Pustules and Crusts I

  5. The Approach to the Patient with Papules, Pustules and Crusts II

  6. The Approach to the Patient with Fistulae and/or Nodules

  7. The Approach to the Patient with Scaling/Keratinisation Defects and selected ectoparasites

  8. The Approach to the Alopecic Patient and/or the Patient with Systemic Signs

  9. Immune-mediated Skin Disease

  10. The Approach to the Patient with Otitis Externa

Course Delivery

This online course comes with:

  • A set of detailed written notes, images, journal articles and additional resources

  • Self-assessed quizzes to test your knowledge and understanding

  • A discussion forum for conversation, debate and sharing cases with your peers and tutors

  • A monthly assignment where you will receive individual feedback and explanations from your tutors

  • A practical 2 day workshop, including microscopy sessions, to apply the knowledge you have gained back to your practice

Pay as you learn

Choosing your DE course is a big commitment, so there’s no need to add further stress by paying your course up front. To pay as you learn, you will need a $1,000 deposit to secure your place, followed by 50% of the total course fee 10 days prior to course commencement date. We’ll arrange simple monthly direct debits from your credit card over 3 or 6 months.

Note: Payment Plan will incur an additional $250 administration fee, and Early Bird rates do not apply if you choose the payment plan option.

For the full terms and conditions please see our Terms.

Distance Education

Thursday 1 February - Friday 30 November 2018
2-Day Workshop
Delivered Online
Super Early Bird
30 June 2017
Early Bird
31 October 2017



Ralf Mueller graduated in Munich, Germany, completed his doctoral thesis in 1987, and worked in several large and small animal practices before completing a residency in veterinary dermatology at the University of California/Davis in 1992. In 1992 he moved to Melbourne to work with his partner and wife, Sonya Bettenay. Together, they created the first, purpose-built specialist practice in Australia. During that time, Ralf was concurrently consulting and teaching at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital University of Sydney. In 1999, Ralf became assistant professor in veterinary dermatology at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University. In 2004, was appointed Professor and chief of the veterinary dermatology service at the University of Munich/Germany. He has published over 200 studies, articles, book chapters and books and given over one thousand seminars, lectures and talks worldwide. Ralf and Sonya established and continue to tutor the CVE Distance Education course in Veterinary Dermatology. 

BVSc (Hons) FANZCVS (Derm.) DipEd Dipl. ECVD MANZCVS

Sonya Bettenay graduated from The University of Melbourne in 1980. She completed her dermatology residency and achieved board certification in veterinary dermatology with the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in 1991 and with the European College of Veterinary Dermatology in 2004. Until 1999, she was a director of the Animal Skin & Allergy Clinic, Melbourne, the first, purpose built specialist practice in Australia. Dr Bettenay joined the faculty at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, where she was involved in teaching and consulting, and ran the dermatopathology service of the Diagnostic Laboratory, Colorado State University. Since 2004 she has run a dermatopathology consultancy service in Munich, Germany and worked as a Dermatology specialist. She is co-tutor with her husband Ralf Mueller in the CVE Dermatology Distance Education course. She has published over 60 articles, book chapters and books in Australia, Europe and America and has regularly spoken in Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.  Sonya's major areas of interest are in dermatopathology, infectious skin diseases and improving patient management.

Course Fees

Member TypeSuper early birdEarly birdFull rate
Non-member / eMember$6100$6400$6600
*Members include: Practice, Professional, Part-time, Recent Graduate, Academic and Student members

Please note: All course fees will be charged in Australian dollars AND you must be a qualified veterinarian to enrol in this courses.

If you completed 2 or more Distance Education (DE) courses in the previous 5 years, you are eligible for a 10% discount on the next DE course/s. Contact the CVE on +61 2 9351 7979 or to redeem this discount.

Further details

Have a question? Your answer could be on our frequently asked questions page. If you cannot find an answer for your question, please email us or call us on +61 2 9351 7979.