Dermatology / Allergy - Practice Staff
To learn more about any of our staff members, simply select their name below to reveal their information.
Dr. Linda Messinger
DVM, Diplomate ACVD
Dr. Messinger has been board certified by the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD) since 1993. She is one of approximately 200 board certified dermatologists in North America. One of the major functions of the ACVD is to maintain the highest standards of post-graduate training in veterinary dermatology and allergy. Board certification by the ACVD denotes that the individual is a board certified specialist in veterinary dermatology. Dr. Messinger received both her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degrees from Cornell University. During her undergraduate training, Dr. Messinger was elected to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. After completing veterinary school Dr. Messinger completed a one-year internship in small animal medicine, surgery, dermatology and ophthalmology at the prestigious and world-renowned Animal Medical Center in New York City. Thereafter, she completed a dermatology residency at the University of Florida and then remained on staff there for one year. The University of Florida has one of the largest veterinary dermatology residency programs in the world. While at the University of Florida, Dr. Messinger taught hundreds of veterinary students as well as veterinarians about the specialty of veterinary dermatology. She was in private specialty practice in the Orlando area before moving to Colorado in 1995 to establish the Department of Dermatology at the Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado (aka Veterinary Skin & Allergy Specialists). Dr. Messinger has delivered lectures on veterinary dermatology to a variety of professional and lay groups, both at the national and local level. In addition, Dr. Messinger has authored many scientific articles, review articles, and book chapters. To advance our understanding of skin diseases in animals (so as to help our patients), Dr. Messinger has be involved in a variety of research projects related to veterinary dermatology. Dr. Messinger is also a consultant in dermatology for a large veterinary corporation. She is a member of the ACVD, American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology, American Veterinary Medical Association, Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society, and the Cornell Feline Health Center. Dr. Messinger is currently chairperson of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology Program Committee. She was also recently granted the prestigous honor of training residents in veterinary dermatology and allergy, under the guidelines of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology and in conjunction with North Carolina State University.
Dr. Messinger specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all skin, coat, ear and nail diseases in animals, including bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections, allergies, immune-mediated skin diseases, endocrine (hormonal) disorders, inherited skin diseases, and certain skin cancers, to name a few. Dr. Messinger is dedicated to working closely with you and your family veterinarian to provide the most progressive and comprehensive services and care for your special family member(s).
Dr. Messinger grew up on Long Island, in South Huntington, New York. The medical field has always fascinated her. Her love for animals and veterinary medicine began at the age of 7 when her family adopted a gray and white kitten and when she visited her grandparent’s farm in Germany. Currently, Dr. Messinger’s pet family includes yellow Labrador Retriever (Rigby), a Labrador Retriever mix (Fuzzy), a mixed breed puppy (Willie) and 6 cats (Mimi, Lily, Daisy, Bella, Morris and Beekman). Bella was found meowing on the side of a country road while on a bike trip in Italy. Fuzzy has atopic dermatitis (allergies to airborne allergens). Dr. Messinger enjoys SpinningTM and aerobics (both of which she has taught), cycling, hiking, gardening and family life. She understands and speaks the German language.
Dr. Christina Gentry
Christina Gentry, DVM
Dr. Christina Gentry is new to Colorado and VRCC. She is originally from Sugar Land, Texas. She completed her bachelor degree (magna cum laude) with a major in genetics and a minor in entomology at Texas A&M University in 2008. While an undergraduate, Dr. Gentry study abroad (in Dominica) where she collected, identified and wrote an article on cockroach species. She stayed at Texas A&M to complete her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (magna cum laude) in 2012. While in veterinary school, she was involved in research on a parasite in white-tailed deer. This research was presented at a National Veterinary Scholars Symposium in 2009. Her interest in veterinary dermatology and allergy began during veterinary school and has continued to grow. In order to pursue becoming a specialist in veterinary dermatology, an internship or equivalent is required prior to becoming a resident. Thus, from 2012-2013, Dr. Gentry completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Georgia. Here she helped teach veterinary students as well as gain more in-depth knowledge on various aspects of small animal medicine and surgery, including veterinary dermatology and allergy. Her research during her internship was on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcal skin infections in dogs. This is currently a “hot topic” in veterinary medicine. While still an intern, she presented her research at a major veterinary dermatology conference—this is quite an accomplishment! As a side note, research during school and an internship is an option; this goes to show what a motivated and ambitious individual Dr. Gentry is. Currently, Dr. Gentry has particular interests in zoonotic (contagious) diseases, public health, allergies, skin infections, parasitic skin diseases and exotic animal dermatology. She loves working with dogs and cats, as well as with small exotic mammals and farm animals. Dr. Gentry will be completing her residency in veterinary dermatology under the mentorship of Dr. Messinger, as well as under the stringent and rigorous guidelines of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology.
Dr. Gentry shares her home with 3 dogs named Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon, and Marco Polo as well as her cat Amelia. She loves swimming and played water polo in college. Dr. Gentry and her husband enjoy hiking, cooking together, and taking road trips around the United States. Dr. Gentry is conversational in Spanish.
Dr. Valerie Fadok
DVM, Diplomate ACVD
Dr. Valerie Fadok knew she wanted to be a veterinarian at 4 years old. Dr. Fadok attended the preveterinary program at Arizona State University, prior to entering veterinary school at Washington State University, from which she graduated in 1978. An internship at the West Los Angeles Veterinary Medical Group provided her with many unique opportunities to interact with birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, ponies, exotic animals, dogs, cats, and movie stars! Her first clinical paper was published at this time on the surgical treatment of gastrointestinal obstruction in a cougar. During this year, she developed her interest in skin diseases and in 1979 moved to Gainesville, FL, to do a residency in veterinary dermatology, where she developed a love for itchy horses. Following completion of her residency in 1981, she moved to Knoxville, TN to be the staff dermatologist. Dr. Fadok became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD) in 1982.
In 1983, Dr. Fadok moved back to Gainesville to join the faculty there and develop the subspecialty of large animal dermatology. There she traveled throughout the Florida to skin test horses and, with her colleague Dr. Ellis Greiner, collect and characterize the flies that cause allergic skin disease in horses and ponies. After 3 more years of treating itchy patients, she felt the need to learn more about the basic mechanisms that cause inflammation. She entered the graduate program at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where she earned a PhD in Experimental Pathology in 1991. A fellowship at National Jewish Medical and Research Center then followed. In 1992 she joined the faculty at Texas A & M as a veterinary dermatologist and to continue research. She developed an interest in melanoma after meeting Dr. Max Amos, who had a herd of pigs with congenital melanoma; they worked together during this time to try to understand how these tumors spontaneously regressed. In 1995, Dr. Fadok moved back to Denver to resume her research at National Jewish on inflammation. During this time, with her colleagues Peter Henson and Donna Bratton, she isolated a novel protein that regulates inflammation on a cellular level. In the future, this protein may serve as a new target for drugs to control inflammation. Dr. Fadok has worked at VRCC, but her husband’s job took them to Texas where she currently works at Gulf Coast Veterinary Dermatology Specialists. Dr. Fadok loves Colorado and periodically comes back to work with Dr. Messinger.
Dr. Fadok specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all skin, ear and nail disease in animals, including bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections, allergies, immune-mediated skin diseases, endocrine (hormonal) disorders, inherited skin diseases, and certain skin cancers, to name a few. Dr. Fadok is dedicated to working closely with you and your family veterinarian to provide the most progressive and comprehensive services and care for your special family member(s). Although the majority of her patients are dogs and cats, Dr. Fadok has extensive knowledge in veterinary dermatology of all domestic animals including “pocket pets”, avian and zoo animals. In fact, while in Tennessee, Dr. Fadok allergy skin tested several elephants. Dr. Fadok is one of the few world-renowned experts in equine (horse) veterinary dermatology.
The care and welfare of animals, and their special relationships to humans, have been lifelong interests. Dr. Fadok’s hobbies include bonsai, ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), yoga, photography, hiking and reading mystery novels.
Dr. Michael Rossi
Dr. Michael Rossi moved back to Colorado to rejoin VRCC’s Department of Dermatology/Allergy after a short time in Cincinnati. Dr. Rossi missed his clients and patients at VRCC. Dr. Rossi received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southeastern Louisiana University and spent the following year performing scientific research at the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington, Louisiana. This further increased his interest in animal welfare. He, then, received both his Master of Natural Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Go Tigers!). Following veterinary school, he completed a one-year small animal rotating internship in the Washington, D.C. area. He then moved to Raleigh, NC and spent the next year in a specialized dermatology internship/partial residency at the North Carolina State University. During this time, Dr. Rossi lectured to veterinary students while teaching them clinical skills in the field of veterinary dermatology. Dr. Rossi then successfully completed his residency in veterinary dermatology/allergy at VRCC in conjunction with North Carolina State University under the mentorship of Dr. Linda Messinger and Dr. Thierry Olivry. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Rossi has expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of all skin, coat, ear and nail diseases in animals, including bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections, allergies, immune-mediated skin diseases, endocrine (hormonal) disorders, inherited skin diseases, and certain skin cancers, to name a few. He has a special interest in allergic skin diseases, fungal diseases, ectoparasites, and autoimmune diseases. In addition to small animals, Dr. Rossi also enjoys working with horses. Dr. Rossi is devoted to working closely with you and your family veterinarian to provide the most progressive and comprehensive services and care for your special family member(s).
Dr. Rossi was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has had many pets, including dogs, cats, horses, goats, chickens, ducks, iguanas, and several other “pocket pets”, all of which spurred his interest in becoming a veterinarian. He currently is “dad” to a Border Collie named BrownRound and 3 chihuahua’s named Keona, Kilee and Yoshi. He is an avid traveler and has been to Europe on several occasions. Dr. Rossi is fluent in the Italian language. His other interests include the culinary arts, camping, and military history.
Dermatology/Allergy Practice Manager
Miriam holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in animal science from Kansas State University and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Ureña in the Dominican Republic. Miriam has worked with veterinary dermatologists, including Dr. Messinger, from 1994- 2002 in the Orlando area where she managed the Veterinary Dermatology Center. She left the area to manage a general practice in South Florida. Her last year was dedicated to working with a veterinary ophthalmologist where she has expanded her knowledge immensely. She joined Dr. Messinger and VSAS in 2006.
Miriam takes great pleasure in working with patients and their human family members as well as referring veterinarians. She is dedicated to excellent client communication and service and compasstionate animal care.
Miriam grew up in Puerto Rico. Miriam and her husband are the “parents” of 4 cats. She is also fluent in Spanish. Miriam enjoys sewing cross stitching, scrap booking and family life.
Bobby has been with VRCC’s Department of Dermatology/Allergy since 2004. He has been a veterinary technician since 1990. Bobby has 2 cocker spaniels and their names are Buji and Halle.
Genna was born and raised in Aurora, Colorado. She attended Bel-Rea institute of Animal Technology and graduated in 2008. She worked in a small animal general practice for 4 years and then for a traveling board certified surgeon before getting her dream job at VRCC dermatology! She has always had an interest in skin and allergies as she has been affected by asthma and allergies her entire life. Genna enjoys the many outdoor activities like camping,hiking, spending time with her cat, gardening and much more.
Courtney received her degree in veterinary technology from the University of Cincinnati. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in French from Purdue University. Prior to joining the team at VRCC, she worked at a small animal practice in Ohio. Courtney is excited to call Colorado her new home. She is having a great time exploring all the great outdoors activities. Courtney also enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with her husband and their cats and dogs. Her furry family members include three labs: Sunrae, Humphrey, and Abbi; and three cats: Puffy, Felix, and Nibbler.
Heather joined VRCC’s dermatology department in 2014. Heather has always enjoyed being around animals and started working as a technician in Florida in 1992. She worked in regular practice for 10 years before finding a wonderful job in a veterinary dermatology practice in central Florida, where she stayed for nearly 9 years. Trying to find her forever home lead her, her husband, and their 5 fur babies- 2 dogs (Parker and Daphne) and 3 cats (Scout, Dexter, and Charley)- to Colorado. She loves being outside- traveling, hiking, camping, and exploring new places.
Debora started with the Dermatology department at VRCC in April of 2006. She holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration from CSU, an MBA from Regis University, and received her VTA Certification from PIMA. Her home is shared by a Samoyed named Fenway (yes, he’s a Red Sox fan) and an Alaskan Malamute named Cinder, otherwise known as Wiggles. Ruling the roost are Indigo a.k.a. “Fuzzbutt”, a Siamese mix and Chip, who prefers “Sticks”, a seal Point Siamese. Rounding out the bunch are Reilly, a Flame Point Siamese Mix who the family calls “Cutie Putootie” and Snow-ee, a Domestic Shorthair who goes by ”Princess”. Beyond this well loved crew, there are many special friends that now live forever in Deb’s heart.
“Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You remain responsible forever, for what you have tamed.” – Antoine de Saint Exupery
(LtoR: Cinder, Fenway, Riley)
Client Service Representative (CSR)