Vet-Advantage Magazine Blog

Vet-Advantage Blog

The DSR Role in Advancing Veterinary Dermatology Treatments

By Pam Foster
May, 2017

Just in case nobody has told you this lately… as a Distribution Sales Representative (DSR), you rock. 

You’re bringing the latest — and best — solutions to the practices in your sales area. Your work is helping clinics treat patients more effectively.

This means you’re making a major difference to veterinary medicine. Vet Advantage image: Skin allergies are a top reason for veterinary visits, so it’s important for DSRs to bring the latest solutions to practices.

Let’s look at veterinary dermatology, for example.

Today’s new derm solutions are providing relief and healing in ways that never were possible before.

To help us explain, we reached out to Tracy Revoir, DVM, Senior Manager, Veterinary Support at Dechra, and Jeremy Page, Dermatology Brand Manager, Animal Health, Bayer U.S.

First, Dr. Revoir described the problem your customers are facing. She said, “Historically, skin disease, and especially atopy, have been the top one or two conditions seen by veterinarians. Atopy causes extreme patient discomfort and client frustration. Secondary bacterial and yeast infections of the skin, also termed pyoderma, are common with atopy and make the pruritus worse.”

In a Nationwide PetHealthZone article revealing its pet insurance data from 2016, it was confirmed that, “skin allergies topped the list for reasons policyholders took their dogs to the veterinarian” (and was the number nine reason for cat visits).

When you think about it, introducing the latest topical treatments to your customers makes a difference to hundreds if not thousands of patients in your area.

Dr. Revoir explained, “Clinical experience has shown that topical therapy can play an important role in managing the atopic veterinary patient.” Therefore, “The preference of veterinary dermatologists is to use topical therapies as the primary way to manage dermatologic disease whenever possible.

“When used as the primary therapy, topical treatment allows direct delivery of concentrated therapeutics to the skin itself without systemic side effects. And, with the increased focus on bacterial resistance, these products can be used to treat pyoderma and avoid systemic antimicrobial exposure. They can also be utilized as part of a multimodal approach to atopy and other skin conditions.”

Jeremy Page added, “More veterinarians are beginning to understand the benefits of topical therapy to help manage dermatology cases.”

And you’re responsible for this growing awareness as you bring solutions into the practice during your calls.

Let’s look at the specific benefits these new solutions offer. 

According to Dr. Revoir, “Topical skin therapies can be used to remove allergens from the skin, which helps prevent the allergic reaction in the first place. They also decrease pruritus and correct skin barrier dysfunction and the subsequent inflammation and infection that can occur. Finally, topical therapies can be used to control infections caused by yeast and bacteria.

“All of these benefits make atopy treatment more effective and improve skin health, patient comfort, and client satisfaction.”

To get more familiar with these benefits, Dr. Revoir suggests that DSRs ride with Dechra sales representatives to get pointers on asking doctors about their current topical therapy line up.

She also recommends asking the following questions during sales calls:  

  • “Are you using any products to help repair the skin barrier?
  • Have you thought about offering products that will allow the client to be more compliant with your recommendations?
  • Are you concerned about your dermatology patients developing antimicrobial resistance?
  • How often do you and your team perform skin cytology to help guide your topical therapy choices?” 

Jeremy Page provided addition questions to get the conversation started.   

  • “What percentage of clients walking into the clinic have dermatology issues?
  • How often do you use topical therapy for treatment of dermatology cases?”

Dermatology product manufacturers offer a variety of resources for client and staff education.

Dr. Revoir said that for client education… “Dechra offers instructional shampooing and ear cleansing videos for pet owners that are available for the hospitals to download on The videos help teach a pet owner how to properly clean their pet’s ear and how to correctly shampoo their pet. Additionally, client brochures are available to send home with the client.”

And for practices? “Dechra offers educational articles on its web site, and has a cytology booklet online as well to help staff members through common cytology questions,” Dr. Revoir said. “Dechra sales representatives also provide lunch and learns to clinics and welcome distributor involvement in the lunch and learns.”

Ask your manufacturers’ reps about educational materials and if you can ride along during sales calls, so you’ll become 100% proficient in discussing and selling today’s dermatology solutions.

We’d love to have your comments on this medical information and recommendations.

Topics: Dermatology