Peter Ihrke Scholarship Recipient: Veronica Pareja

Veronica Pareja

Dr Verónica Pareja

Dr Veronica Pareja is from Ecuador. She graduated as a veterinarian in 2007 from the Central University of Ecuador and undertook further study in internal medicine completing a Masters Degree in Canine and Feline Medicine at the Cuenca University in 2016.

Her interest in veterinary dermatology began with a Post Graduate course she undertook in clinical dermatology soon after graduation at the University of Granma in Cuba.  Subsequent to this she  completed two internship programs in the veterinary dermatology service in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Buenos Aires in 2009 and University of Barcelona in 2016.

From 2011 to 2016, she undertook the teaching and administrative responsibilities for small animal internal medicine and veterinary dermatology at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ). From 2008 she has worked in private practice as a dermatology veterinarian. She has attended continuing education lectures and veterinary dermatology conferences since graduating including the Latin American Dermatology Congress in Colombia (2013), Argentina (2015) and most recently Merida (2018).

Dr Pareja has been a member of the Latin American Society of Veterinary Dermatology since 2011 and a founder, member and Acting President of the Ecuadorian Society of Veterinary Dermatology since 2012. She presented a case report at the third Latin American Congress in 2015 titled “Metatarsal fistula treatment of a German Shepherd with tacrolimus” as well as making contributions to a number of other seminars and workshops.

Dr Pareja was the successful recipient of the WAVD Peter Irhke scholarship for 2017. This WAVD scholarship honours the life and career of Professor Peter Ihrke and commemorates his contribution to the discipline of veterinary dermatology. The scholarship provides the opportunity for an individual from an under-privileged region to attend a four week externship in the veterinary dermatology service of the University of California-Davis (UCD) Veterinary School and covers the costs of airflights and accommodation. Dr Pareja attended UCD in November 2017 and was able to immerse herself in the dermatology service for four weeks. She enjoyed the opportunity to learn techniques in oto-endoscopy as well as dermatohistopathology and equine dermatology. She plans to further her career in veterinary dermatology with further formal training and she is highly motivated to share the knowledge she has acquired with her local veterinary community.

Dr Mandy Burrows
Chair of Scholarship Committee WAVD 2018

My Experience at UC Davis

(English translation)

(Traducción Española)

Thanks to the scholarship granted to me by the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology I had the opportunity to visit UC Davis as a Visiting Veterinarian throughout October 2017. I believe I was considered for this honor in part because of my background as a doctor in Ecuador. The veterinarian métier in my country is extremely dedicated, but we can still benefit a great deal from having the chance to learn in places better equipped and with doctors who are on the summit of our profession, as is the case at Davis. This is specifically true for dermatology, as this was until very recent a completely unknown discipline within the veterinary profession in Ecuador. These are my experiences and how they have served me since.


The sheer size of the Veterinary Medical School Hospital was a bit overwhelming. Even more impressive was how efficient and well-organized it was. My time there was spent in the dermatology service, where I worked with the three faculty doctors and two residents. They worked with 4-6 students over 2-3 week periods.

I also worked with two dermatology veterinary technicians – this last position was unknown to me as it does not yet exist in my country nor in other parts of South of America as far as I know. I intend to bring this up at the next meeting of the Sociedad Latinoamericana de Dermatología Veterinaria as I believe people thus trained would be invaluable assets to any clinic and/or University hospital.

The way the intake process is run regarding new patients was another area I was impressed with. The aftercare through the use of email is also something I am developing at my own practice. The idea of the journal club in which new publications were read and shared is another idea we should implement in Ecuador.


I also had the chance to learn new techniques such as videotoscopy and dermatopathology. I am also grateful for having been introduced to horse dermatology. Having been trained for small animals I have considerable experience with exotic animals too at the Zoo of Quito, but working with the specifics of horses was a very welcome addition.

Through the guidance of the doctors at Davis I was able to familiarize myself with new drugs that I now feel confident using. As these drugs have not been available in Ecuador, I feel grateful having had the opportunity to get to know them. This is also knowledge I have already shared with my own students here.

Another experience offered to me by Dr. Outerbridge was volunteer work during my last two weeks in which we treated cats who had suffered severe burns during wildfires in the area. I learnt a lot about these types of injuries and also felt good having to have helped these animals.


No matter how good the infrastructure of any business or institution is: the people make a place what it is. The experience diagnosing and teaching which both Dr. White and Dr. Outerbridge exhibited was truly inspiring. I received great support from all the people I met during my stay at Davis.

My four-week stay flew by, as great experiences always do. It has definitely enriched my dermatology practice and I feel grateful for the new tools I am able to offer my students here. Dermatology is my passion and you have helped making me grow in my profession. For that I remain deeply grateful. I hope that other veterinarian dermatologists keep having the opportunity to come to your wonderful facilities, with its incredible doctors in the lovely California city of Davis.

Verónica Alexandra Pareja Mena
June 2018
Quito Ecuador