Putting dermatology in the spotlight

The first episode of dvm360® Live!™ explores the frontiers of veterinary dermatology with light therapy for wound healing.

Sponsored by Vétoquinol

Lights. Camera. Stock! Our Chief Veterinarian Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, has lifted the curtain on a new talk show for veterinary professionals—dvm360® Live!™. This exciting platform was launched with an informative and entertaining episode. Julia Miller, DVM, DACVD (and her adorable dog, Geno), joined Christman to discuss the latest technological advances in veterinary dermatology. Later, actress Linda Blair added some power to the program, sharing her experience as the founder of a non-profit rescue organization and discussing her work in The Exorcist.

What is the #trend in veterinary medicine

The first episode of dvm360® Live!™ kicked off with an overview of the latest veterinary news, trends and hot topics. Christman led with the results of a survey commissioned by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Zoetis which showed that the human-animal bond is strong on a global scale, that pets have a positive impact on the health of their owners and that stronger bonds are linked to improved veterinary care around the world.1

He went on to announce that a record number of veterinary school applications have been submitted for the 2021-2022 school year, a positive sign for those concerned about the current shortage of veterinary workers.2 At least one network of hospitals in Brooklyn, New York, said it was seeing an increase in staff,3 and Christman told the vet students, “If you’re listening, come in here; we need you. We definitely need you.

The skin in the game

Afterwards, Christman introduced the episode’s featured guest, Julia Miller, DVM, DACVD, who shared her unique journey to becoming a board-certified dermatologist and where her passion for the specialty originated.

“Dermatology is literally in my DNA,” said Miller, whose father is also a veterinary dermatologist. “I’m really into . . . long-term case management, . . . client communication, [and] you can build from that. I always tell everyone [that] dermatologists are. . . like cooks and not bakers and that I don’t necessarily have a formula to follow. I make a line of this, a line of that, [and] put it all together. It’s different for every dog, and I really like that.

Miller also highlighted the value of GPs relying on dermatologists when they have difficult skin cases: “You should throw in the towel and send it to me because you know you’re busy. . . . I understand you might have a C-section and a Parvo puppy and 3 diabetic dachshunds. . . and all sorts of other things that happen during your day. So the fact that you are not an expert in immunotherapy for an allergic dog [is] completely understandable. You have a lot to do, so I think one of the big things is to use us dermatologists and use us early. Don’t wait 5 years when the ship has already sailed. . . . Encourage your clients to understand the benefits of the dermatologist. »

Turn on the lights

In the next segment, Miller went deeper into the subject, discussing some of the technological advances she’s seeing. “Insect sting hypersensitivity is a really big problem in horses, and they’re coming out with a vaccine [anti-interleukin-5 (IL-5)]. There is very good epidermal barrier work in progress. . . new topicals and sprays and pour-ons that work really well,” she said, adding that “there’s always really cool stuff on the dot in dermatology because, you know, we’re always trying to improve what we’re doing and I’m really excited about anything new that’s coming out.

For example, Vetoquinol’s Phovia uses an LED lamp and chromophore gel to produce multi-wavelength fluorescent light that can penetrate the skin to varying depths, she explained, going on to describe the indications and benefits of the product and how associates and technicians can apply it in practice.

Displaying the handheld device, Miller explained, “It emits an LED light. You cover the patient’s skin with a chromophore ointment, and that’s what’s actually stimulated by the light. This will emit photoactive photons, and essentially it stimulates mitochondria by increasing ATP [adenosine triphosphate]and which has a whole series of superb [effects]. It is anti-inflammatory; it helps in angiogenesis; it’s actually antimicrobial. So there’s a lot of different things it can do, a lot of power in that little container.

In terms of indications, Miller said Phovia can be used for perianal fistulas, interdigital furunculosis, deep pyoderma, and otitis externa (with an add-on tool). She also mentioned its use for post-operative surgical cases, saying, “I’m happy to use it for non-healing wounds, for example. I think there are a lot of applications in the veterinary world that this single piece of equipment can actually serve.

One of the most valuable features of Phovia for Miller is that it’s painless: “I’ve had feral dogs that you just give them a hug, you pet them, you can use light therapy.” [for] 2 minutes, [and] give them some treats. [It is] very, very user-friendly, and my customers are really happy with it.

Miller also explained the treatment process: “It’s super easy the way we do it. [What] works best for my clients, because they come from a bit further away is I’m going to do 2 light cycles at a time. I do the two-minute light cycle; we wipe the gel with a saline solution, reapply another layer of this gel, then do another two-minute cycle. So it’s . . . how I had the best chance of success with her. You can certainly spread out the treatments and do them twice a week instead. Christman and Miller said that with training, this procedure can be performed by technicians and assistants, freeing up valuable time for clinicians.

To the rescue

Episode 1 of dvm360® Live!™ ended with an interview with Linda Blair, best known for her Oscar-nominated role as Regan MacNeil in the 1973 horror movie classic The Exorcist. These days, she prefers to be known for her role as the founder of the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, an organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating abused and neglected animals.

Blair explained how she got into the rescue world: “In the 90s, one of the dogs I traveled with died of a double stroke. . . then my mother died. And then a year later, my other dog died, and I was in really bad shape. . . . I started walking to shelters and rescuing dogs from there. Then a big [pit bull] followed me home and changed my life forever. His name was Sonny Boy. I truly believe that all the work and my commitment to rescue is because he helped me through [the loss of my mother].”

In 2003, she founded the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation in California, which not only functions as a rescue center but also advocates for education on such important issues as pet overpopulation and dog and dogfighting. lobbies against breed-specific bans.


  1. New research confirms that the strong bond between people and pets is a global phenomenon, 95% worldwide say pets are part of the family. Press release. HABRI and Zoetis. January 16, 2022. [email].
  2. Another Solid Increase in Veterinary School Applicants for 2021. Press Release. American Association of Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. October 14, 2021. Accessed May 2, 2022. https://www.aavmc.org/news/another-solid-increase-in-veterinary-medical-school-applicants-for-2021/
  3. Brooklyn Animal Hospital sees staffing and workload improvements following record veterinary school applications amid labor shortages. Press release. Veterinary Emergency and Reference Group. February 8, 2022. [email].