Debbie Gow appointed head of new dermatology service at VSS - Veterinary Practice
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Debbie Gow appointed head of new dermatology service at VSS

Specialist Debbie Gow has been appointed to head a new dermatology service at one of Scotland’s leading veterinary referral centres, Veterinary Specialists Scotland

A top specialist, Debbie Gow, has spoken of her excitement and ambitions after being appointed to lead a new dermatology service at one of Scotland’s leading veterinary referral centres.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and European specialist Debbie Gow has joined the expert team at Veterinary Specialists Scotland (VSS), which is based in Livingston and owned by Linnaeus, and will head up the state-of-the-art centre’s latest new service. 

Debbie, who also has a PhD in immunology, said she had been passionate about animals since childhood and it was always her dream to join the veterinary profession. She explained: “From the age of six or seven I loved the idea of working with animals and making a difference for them, and I originally trained and studied as a veterinary nurse.

“I quickly realised how much I enjoyed learning about the ‘nuts and bolts’ of diseases; how the more we can understand about a disease, the more we can help. I felt I had more to gain and, most importantly, more to give, so I gave up my job as a Veterinary Nurse to study full-time at college to allow me to continue my journey and apply for vet school.”

It was a bold decision but one that’s certainly paid off for Debbie Gow and her patients. Now, she is looking forward to leading the newly-launched dermatology service at VSS, which will accept referrals in all aspects of dermatology including all skin, hair, ear and paw/claw diseases. The combination of expertise, experience and technology on offer at VSS, will enable the team there to achieve rapid and accurate diagnoses, essential for selecting the most appropriate therapy.

The highly-equipped clinic also offers full allergy testing and immunotherapy services, intradermal allergy testing for dogs and cats with atopic dermatitis, in-house diagnostic microscopy and cytology, a skin biopsy service, state-of-the-art video-otoscope for recurrent otitis investigation and specialist-led advanced diagnostic imaging, including CT scanning and MRI.

Debbie Gow said: “I am so excited to be starting my new adventure at VSS and I’m really looking forward to working with such a great team. My ambitions are to provide an efficient, friendly and effective dermatology service for companion animals throughout Scotland using my skills and experience as a European and RCVS Specialist in Dermatology.

“A further, longer-term ambition is to develop and set up a European Specialist training programme in Dermatology to educate and train specialists of the future. I believe, as a specialist, it is part of my role to help educate and teach the vets and leaders of the future, and help others feel the same passion that I do.

“I absolutely love the variety of my job, the different species I see, the many conditions I deal with and the people I meet. Every animal and owner has a story, and I feel honoured they trust me to help them look after and make their beloved family member feel better. It is a huge privilege.

Debbie Gow continued: “One of the reasons I am so passionate about dermatology and the cases I see is that many skin conditions are long term and the dog or cat may have the condition for life. Working with my patients and clients over a long period of time to build a relationship of love and trust is what makes many of my cases so memorable and wonderful.

“There is a special bond between pet, vet and owner that develops, and the trust and collaboration that stems from that relationship is a truly wonderful experience. We work together to really make a difference and I can see the results. This is what makes my cases memorable, because I can help make a difference.”

VSS is a specialist-led multidisciplinary referral centre offering industry-leading services in cardiology, internal medicine (feline and canine), neurology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and dermatology supported by specialists in diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia and analgesia.

For more information about Veterinary Specialists Scotland, visit their website or search for Veterinary Specialists Scotland on social media.

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