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More than skin deep: Peter Ihrke Receives Award for Excellence

September 23, 2009

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September 23, 2009

Veterinary dermatologist Peter J. Ihrke, VMD, DACVD, has received the Hill's Excellence in Veterinary Healthcare Award from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.

Ihrke is a professor of dermatology  at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine and chief of the Dermatology Service at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

The honor, sponsored annually by Hill's pet food company, recognizes a combination of attributes. First, the recipients promote companion animal healthcare and the family pet/veterinary bond. Outstanding work also involves a special sensitivity to both clients and patients. Finally, award recipients are noted for their use of leading-edge clinical nutrition and/or advanced medical and surgery techniques.

Ihrke graduated from and completed a residency in dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania. He became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (dermatology) and then became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. He also is an adjunct clinical associate professor of dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine.


Ihrke teaches veterinary students in the four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program to understand and treat skin problems related to parasites, the immune system and other aspects of veterinary medicine. As chief of the Dermatology Service, Ihrke also provides advanced training to specialty residents in dermatology through cases that he treats at the teaching hospital. His research interests include studies of immune-mediated diseases, bacterial diseases, allergies and drug therapies for skin diseases.

Ihrke is the author or coauthor of over 200 papers, book chapters, and proceedings and has co-authored, authored or co-edited 4 books. He has lectured at 442 veterinary meetings including 17 world congresses and 64 additional international veterinary meetings in 37 countries. His interests include all skin diseases in all species with emphasis on infectious skin diseases and immunologic skin diseases.

He has served as president and other positions on the executive boards of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology, the American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology, the Academy of Veterinary Allergy, the Fourth World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology and the American Board of Veterinary Specialties.

He states that besides his most recent international award, his most meaningful honors include the School of Veterinary Medicine Faculty Teaching Award, selection as an Honorary Life Member in the European Society of Veterinary Dermatology, three school-wide student teaching awards, the American College of Veterinary Dermatology Award for Excellence, and being named an Honorary Foundation Diplomate in the Asian College of Veterinary Dermatology. 


The World Small Animal Veterinary Association is made up of 76 member and affiliate associations representing 70,000 veterinarians from around the globe. The association's primary purpose is to advance the quality and availability of small animal medicine and surgery by fostering the exchange of scientific information between individual veterinarians and among their veterinary organizations. 

Ihrke received his award in August at the 34th World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil.