The VESPECON team is composed of specialists who provide consultation and support to other veterinary professionals across the country. We are proud of our team’s depth and breadth of expertise, and want you to get to know them better. Dr. Joya Griffin, one of our exemplary veterinary dermatologists, has a passion for improving patient quality of life.
Dr. Griffin joined our team to ensure other veterinarians could access her knowledge and provide expert care to their patients. We’re diving deeper into Dr. Griffin’s personal and professional life to learn more about her and her chosen profession of veterinary dermatology.
Veterinary dermatology: A day in the life
Dermatologists treat skin diseases, but their expertise goes far beyond difficult ear infections or allergies. Autoimmune disease, cancer, and hypersensitivity disorders commonly manifest in the skin and look similar, so dermatologists must understand the complexities of individual skin diseases across all species, including wildlife and exotics. Dermatologists also frequently encounter systemic disease with skin manifestations and learn to recognize and collaborate on treatment with other specialties.
On any given day, a veterinary dermatologist may perform, order, or interpret some of the following:
- Physical examinations—dogs, cats, horses, exotics
- Skin cytologies
- Skin biopsies
- Allergy testing and interpretation
- Sedated otoscopy, deep ear flush, and/or myringotomy
- Surgery, including laser and cryotherapy
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
What can a veterinary dermatologist treat?
Veterinary dermatologists commonly treat allergic skin and ear disease, but they are also responsible for diagnosing and managing a wide range of conditions that are uncommon or difficult to recognize in everyday veterinary practice.
- Tumors and growths (e.g., papillomas, cutaneous cancers)
- Auto-immune diseases (e.g., pemphigus complex, discoid lupus)
- Hypersensitivity disorders (e.g., atopy, insect allergy, food allergy)
- Chronic ear disease
- Hormonal diseases (i.e., adrenal disease, thyroid disorders, alopecia syndromes)
- Parasitic diseases
- Nail and nail bed disorders
- Bacterial and fungal infections
- Breed-specific, genetic, and inherited conditions
Dr. Joya Griffin Q & A
Dr. Griffin answered a few questions to help us get to know her better. Her answers reveal why she loves dermatology so much, and a little about her personal life.
Question: Where did you complete your veterinary education?
Answer: Cornell University
Q: Where are you from, and where do you currently live?
A: I am from Dayton, Ohio, and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, 12 years ago.
Q: Why did you choose to pursue veterinary dermatology?
A: I had an allergic Lhasa Apso whom I brought to Cornell’s dermatology service because of her skin disease severity. They made an amazing transformation in her skin and quality of life, which meant so much to me and my family. I wanted to do the same for my patients.
Q: What do you enjoy most about veterinary dermatology?
A: I love taking a stinky, smelly, gross pet and restoring their beauty and health. I also love that dermatology encompasses so much—I treat immune-mediated diseases, hormonal diseases, genetic diseases, hypersensitivity disorders, and paw and claw diseases. The variety keeps things interesting and fun!
Q: What has been your most interesting or fulfilling dermatology case?
A: Oh, so many! I love treating complex auto-immune diseases—they are tough in the beginning, but achieving remission is amazing and literally saves lives.
Q: How did you come to work with VESPECON?
A: Through a friend and colleague, Dr. Kenneth Pierce.
Q: How does working with dermatology through VESPECON benefit general practitioners?
A: VESPECON allows general veterinarians direct access to specialists like me for difficult cases.
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: My husband and I have two dogs—Guri and Magic; two cats—Donut and Peach Coffee; and three kids—Caden, 8, and boy and girl twins, Coby and Carter, 5.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I love working out, traveling, watching movies, binging TV series, and shopping.
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies or special talents?
A: I like running half marathons, and entertaining or being entertained—I love a good party.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have traveled?
A: Greece was amazing.
Q: Anything else you’d like us to know?
A: I love teaching veterinarians how to better care for their dermatology patients.
Through our virtual consulting team, VESPECON offers general practice veterinarians direct access to our specialty team, including Dr. Griffin. Our team can help you elevate your practice care, and the more you consult with our experts, the more you’ll learn.