Peter Ihrke Scholarship Recipient: Sabrina Costa

Dr Sabrina Costa

Dr Costa completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the Federal University of Goiás state, Brazil, in 2004. She then embarked upon a two-year Residency Program in Small Animal Medicine at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Campus of Jaboticabal, which concluded in 2007. She completed a Masters degree in 2009 in the clinical, histopathologic and immunohistochemical characteristics of canine actinic keratosis and squamous cell carcinoma and subsequently a PhD exploring prognostic factors of canine cutaneous mast cell tumour in 2011. She then took a position as Professor of Small Animal Medicine at Uniao Pioneira de Integração Social, a private veterinary school in Brasília, Brazil, for six years. In 2016, she began a dermatology service receiving skin and ear cases at the veterinary hospital of Universidade de Brasilia.

Dr Costa has published on claw diseases in dogs and cats in “Clínica Veterinária”, a Brazilian Veterinary Journal and has written book chapters covering topics such as dermatophytosis and cutaneous nocardiosis in dogs and cats. She has presented many lectures in dermatology topics in Brazil. She presented an oral abstract at WCVD7 in Vancouver covering aspects of her PhD research exploring prognostic factors in canine cutaneous mast cell tumours. She was the successful recipient of WAVD Scholarships to attend both the WCVD7 in Vancouver and the WCVD8 in Bordeaux.

Dr Costa wrote that her desire to attend the UCD externship was based on her passion and interest in veterinary dermatology and the intellectual stimulation and challenge to achieve continuous learning in this subject. She is a most worthy recipient of the Peter Irhke Scholarship for 2018.

Dr Mandy Burrows
Chair of Scholarship Committee WAVD 2018

My Experience at UC Davis

I have spent my first week here at UC Davis. I have so many good news to share with you. This week we have had many interesting cases, some of which I have never seen before, such as foxtail as otic foreign body, infection by Purpureocillium, two horses with lymphedema, delusion of parasite infestation (special situation to learn about respect and empathy) and also the laser day. Dr. Jeff Smith from Middletown Hospital brought the equipment. First he tought us some principles and we could try on tomatoes and chicken meat. After that, we have had 3 cases. It was really challenging that I could perform it in one dog. Dr. White and Dr. Outerbridge encourage me to put my hands on.

I could learn in many aspects, such as technical, social, organization, responsibility and also some practical tips, such as a different way to stain the tape and also using spatula rather than scalpel.

It was such a nice week. I feel very grateful for this opportunity and I will make every effort to get the knowledge acquired here to the dermatology service at the university I work in Brasilia.

Dr. Sabrina Costa's Final Report

I am deeply grateful for the contribution that World Association for Veterinary Dermatology has made to my professional skills, such as the opportunity to attend 7th WCVD in Vancouver and 8th WCVD in Bordeaux. Now, in the recent past, the Peter Ihrke Scholarship provided me the opportunity to attend a four week externship in the veterinary dermatology service of the University of California-Davis (UCD) Veterinary School, which contributed to refine my knowledge and clinical skills.

Here in Brazil, we have been able to make improvements at the derm service. I feel better prepared for the challenging cases and I greatly improved my cytology skills after intensive training with the lovely technicians Nina and Judy. We also instituted the use of handouts here, which brought greater commitment and confident to owners. I realized that our students are able to take on more responsibilities in dealing with cases, which reflects in better preparation, immersion in the subject and skill with the owners. In addition, I observed how it is possible to improve the mentoring of Universidade de Brasília residents, the importance of having a mentor always with a resident, I realized the richness of having daily discussions with the students and not weekly.

During the externship at UC Davis, besides various cases, among them many claw diseases, I took advantage of some practical questions about the therapeutical approach, such as combined use of oclacitinib and cyclosporine, Cytopoint (fortunately arrived in Brazil this month), gabapentin anti-pruritic effect in cats and others. Fortunately, we were able to bring new techniques seen at UC Davis to the routine of the teaching hospital here in Brazil, such as videotoscopy, which greatly improved diagnostic and therapeutic approach in cases of otitis. During the externship, we had the laser day. It was very stimulating, Dr. White and Dr. Outerbridge encouraged me to put my hands on. The rounds of histopathology were very rich, since my only experience was theoretical, by descriptions of Dr. Thelma Lee Gross’s book.

I am grateful for the knowledge acquired, which I can share with students, residents and Brazilian colleagues, as a veterinarian at the dermatology service at Universidade de Brasília. As I planned, I was able to disseminate the learning gained at UC Davis through discussion that I already perform with veterinarians, residents and rotation students at the University of Brasilia. We also instituted classes at the beginning of the residency program, to standardize terms, skin tests, findings and clinical approaches. In addition, I conducted lectures, classes, wrote articles, and improved my research skills with a therapeutic focus. My current plans are to study more and more veterinary dermatology, get my specialist degree and the postdoctoral doctor on skin diseases to contribute and update my knowledge.

I hope the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology will be able to keep this scholarship honoring Dr. Peter Ihrke’s journey and memory, so that other colleagues from countries from an underprivileged region may have the opportunity to experience this immersion in veterinary dermatology surrounded by special and inspiring people such as Dr. White, Dr. Outerbridge, Dr. Jordan, Dr. Emery, Nina, Judy and their students at UC Davis. I keep in my heart good memories from the month spend at UC Davis and I appreciate the improvement I noticed in my daily routine at University of Brasília, where I always dreamed to work here in Brazil.

I truly thank WAVD, especially on behalf of Dr. Burrows, Dr. White, Dr. Outerbridge and Dr. David Lloyd. I take this opportunity to forward this email to all of you so that you can better understand the good you have done to me.