Our Practitioners

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California Animal Doctors | Veterinary Specialists | Berkeley Dog & Cat

Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital veterinarians specialize in treating the Bay Area's small and exotic animal community. We offer regular medical care, boarding facilities, and advanced, specialized emergency veterinary services twenty-four hours a day.

General Practice

Dr. Erin Adkins
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: University of California, Davis
Internship: VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists
Medical Special Interests Emergency/Critical care, Internal Medicine.
Personal Interests and Bio: Dr. Adkins grew up on the East Coast and has been working in the veterinary field since she was 16 years old. After college in St Louis and time working as a veterinary assistant in New York City, she completed her migration west to attend UC Davis Veterinary School, and hasn't left California since! Following veterinary school she was accepted to a rigorous one year internship at VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists where she got trained by some of the top specialists in the area. After spending several years practicing primarily emergency medicine, she is very excited to join Berkeley Dog and Cat hospital as a general practitioner and looks forward to forming strong bonds with her clients and patients. She has been volunteering with Tri-Valley Fix Our Ferals since 2010 and in her spare time enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, and playing the piano.

Pets and Family Information: Dr. Adkins has 2 cats that have followed her from the East Coast, and has recently become a small dog lover after adopting a terrier mix, Shyla Jo, who has become her constant companion.
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Dr. Amy Benjamin
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: University of California, Davis
Internship: Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital
Medical Special Interests: Small animal medicine
Personal Interests and Bio: Dr. Benjamin was raised in Castro Valley, California. As the daughter of Dr. Richard Benjamin, she also grew up at Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital. Throughout her pre-college years, she worked every job position at BD&C, short of being a doctor. She left the Bay Area for college and received her first bachelors in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She worked as a women's health counselor during her college years, which she loved, but she knew what her true career should be. Moving back to San Francisco, she attended SF State while working as a technician at Berkeley Dog and Cat. Dr. Benjamin received a second bachelors in biology from SF State and valuable technical skills in preparation for veterinary school. She attended the University of California, Davis, for veterinary school and received her DVM in June 2005. She was involved with several organizations during veterinary school such as class historian, class vice president, Mercer Clinic (providing veterinary care for Sacramento's lower income population), and president of Caduceus Club. After graduating from Davis, she completed a one-year internship program at Berkeley Dog & Cat. The internship program involved both working as a general practice doctor a few days a week and working with the various specialists. She now proudly works at Berkeley Dog and Cat as a general practice doctor.

Pets and Family Info: She lives with her husband and their brown tabby princess named Carlie.
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Dr. Richard Benjamin
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine
Personal Interests and Bio: Dr. Richard Benjamin grew up in Yonkers, New York. During his formative teenage years, he attended boarding school in Nairobi, Kenya, during that country's own formative colonial years. He then attended Colorado State University and received his DVM degree from Cornell University, where he put himself through school as the veterinary fraternity cook. He was elected student body president during his senior year in veterinary school. After marrying his high school sweetheart, the second thing he did right was to move to the West Coast after graduation. After four years in a progressive practice in East Oakland, he, together with Dr. Shriro, purchased the Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital. The hospital has grown from a two-doctor general practice to a multidoctor specialist referral center and general practice and a fully staffed 24-hour emergency/critical care facility. In addition to his clinical duties, Dr. Benjamin has assisted in multiple clinical field trials for most of the large pharmaceutical companies. Many of the drugs on our pharmacy shelf, and around the world, were researched here first, including Clavamox, Rimadyl, Mometamax, Zubrin, and Zenequin. He has lectured on this subject at FDA symposiums and has traveled to Europe to be part of global studies. He currently consults and serves as a veterinary advisor to the pet insurance industry. Long ago, seeing a need for overnight emergency care in the bay area, Dr. Benjamin was instrumental in convincing 23 local veterinarians to start PETS, the first veterinary emergency facility serving this area. He voluntarily oversaw its first 20 years of operations. Dr. Benjamin is also past president of the Alameda County Veterinary Medical Association.

Pets and Family Info: Dr. Benjamin's main pleasures are Lynn (remember the high school sweetheart) and their daughters Amy and Jill. Amy professionally followed in her father's footsteps, first as a technician at BD&C, followed by Vet School in Davis and, just to confuse the staff, is now another Dr. Benjamin at Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital. Dr. Benjamin is thrilled to have her around as a competent colleague and close friend. Amy resides with her husband Ben and their cat Carlie in San Francisco. Jill "defected" to Los Angeles and is already full partner in her law firm. She is involved in interesting and varied cases, and she truly loves what she's doing. Jill and Brian were recently married, and with the recent addition of a house and dog, they are permanent So-Cal residents. The huge menagerie that populated Dr. Benjamin's house when the kids were home has dwindled somewhat to fish, Twitter the canary, Ferrous the cat, and Scruff the dog, all rescued and happily relocated.

Dr Benjamin is an avid mountain bicyclist and has gone riding in the East Bay hills twice weekly for the last 25 years. He travels extensively with his family and has always been into photography, archeology, collecting ancient Greek and Roman coins, red wine, and tending his fruit trees, vegetable garden, and bird feeders in the back yard. Besides his family, the constants in his life are a mid-day half-hour nap and a nightly soak in his hot tub. Basically, he considers himself disgustingly lucky and happy.
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Dr. Jeffrey Freeman
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: University of Minnesota
Internship: Encina Veterinary Hospital/East Bay Veterinary Specialists, Walnut Creek, California
Medical Special Interests: Emergency Medicine
Personal Interests and Bio:Originally from Long Island, New York, Dr. Freeman now calls the Bay Area home. He enjoys the unpredictable and demanding nature of emergency medicine as well as being able to serve patients when they need him most. He also has a love of general practice, where he hopes to build long-term relationships with clients and their pets. In his free time Dr. Freeman and his dog Squee can be found outdoors enjoying the natural beauty of the area while kayaking or hiking. He also has an interest in volunteer work that benefits the local community....Read More >
Dr. Ken Harkewicz
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Philadelphia
Externship: Wildlife Medicine, Queensland, Australia
Graduate School: Ohio State University
Medical Special Interests: Exotic Animals
Personal Interests and Bio:Dr. Harkewicz received a degree in animal sciences from the Pennsylvania State University before doing graduate work in animal nutrition at Ohio State University. He received his VMD degree from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Philadelphia in 1981. After graduating veterinary school, he did a 20-month post-doctorate externship in wildlife medicine in Queensland, Australia, working with small marsupial populations and reptiles and amphibians. After marrying his wife Florence, he moved to the Bay Area in 1985. He has worked as an exotic animal veterinarian ever since. Dr. Harkewicz have been with the Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital since June 1997. In addition to working on non-domestic species (85% of total patient load) at Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital, he is also president-elect (2010-20110) of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (http://www.arav.org) and is a consultant to the Veterinary Information Network (http://vin.com) for reptiles and amphibian medicine, care, and surgery. VIN is a collection of over 45,000 veterinarians worldwide. Dr. Harkewicz also gives lectures on reptile and amphibians at the University of California, Davis, as well as local and nationwide reptile clubs and associations. He has had multiple papers and book chapters published on the same subjects.

Pets and Family Info: Dr. Harkewicz lives with his wife in Crockett, California. Their "kids" include a French Bulldog, Jean-Luc; a Chinese Crested X Pug cross, Lil' Pea; four cats; three parrots; 24 exotic tortoises; and some 200 plus assorted reptile, amphibian, and invertebrate pets. His personal hobbies include (when he has the time) gardening, gourmet cooking, science fiction reading, and animals in general.
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Dr. Leah Isaacson
Undergraduate Degree: UC Berkeley
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: Ross University, St. Kitts, West Indies
Special Certification: Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (University of Tennessee)
Medical Special Interests: General Practice, Dentistry, Canine physical therapy
Personal Interests and Bio: Dr. Isaacson grew up in Southern California and moved to Berkeley for her undergraduate education. She received her bachelor’s degree in Integrative Biology from UCB. She fell in love with the Bay Area and swore to return after completing her veterinary degree. She traveled to the Caribbean island of St. Kitts for her veterinary education and completed her clinical year at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. She completed a course in Veterinary Dentistry at the Animal Dental Training Center in Baltimore, Maryland shortly after graduating from Veterinary school and then headed back to the Bay Area to start work as a veterinarian. Her passions include well care, geriatric care, dentistry and canine (and feline) physical therapy. She has been a general practitioner in the area since 2007 and couldn’t imagine a more perfect and fulfilling career.

Pets and Family Info: While in veterinary school, Dr. Isaacson met her husband, Thomas, and they married in 2008. Their daughter Sydney was born in July, 2011 and Olivia was born March, 2013. Dr. Isaacson has 2 dogs, Lola and Josie, and 2 cats, Ella and Louie. In her free time, Dr. Isaacson enjoys skiing, hiking, and running.
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Dr. Yu-Tin Lee
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: Michigan State University
Internship: Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA
Medical Special Interests: Emergency medicine
Personal Interests and Bio: Dr. Yu-Tin Lee was born in Taiwan, where she lived until the eighth grade when her family moved to the US. After spending the first year in cold Michigan, she moved to sunny California and fell in love with the Bay Area. After high school, Dr. Lee attended UC Davis and graduated with honors with a major in biochemistry and a minor in animal biology. Her original goal was to become a physician, however, that goal was quickly changed after adopting her favorite dog in the world, Fido, a terrier mix. While taking care of Fido, she realized that her true passion was for veterinary medicine. After graduating from UC Davis, Dr. Lee moved to Michigan to attend veterinary medical school at Michigan State University. She was involved in several organizations such as secretary of Student Chapter of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (SVECCS) and member of Student Chapter of American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA). Dr. Lee graduated with honors in 2005 and was inducted to Phi Zeta Veterinary Honors Society. After graduation, Dr. Lee was proudly accepted into a rotating internship in small animal medicine at Tufts University, School of Veterinary Medicine. During the one-year training program, she rotated through a variety of specialty fields such as emergency and critical care, internal medicine, neurology, surgery, and ophthalmology, and she gained valuable experiences. She developed a strong interest in emergency and critical care medicine. Dr. Lee was ecstatic to finally move back to the sunny Bay Area and work as a clinician at the Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital.

Pets and Family Info: Dr. Lee has a terrier mix named Fido, who has been her companion through college, vet school, and internship. He helped Dr. Lee study in school by posing as a patient so Dr. Lee could practice her physical examination skills. He loves to cuddle and enjoy going on walks. Dr. Lee and her husband, Tony, recently welcomed their first child, Aiden, in March 2010.
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Dr. Jennifer McBride
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine
Internship: Internal Medicine and Emergency/Critical Care, VetCare Emergency and Specialty Center, Dublin, California
Medical Special Interests: Internal Medicine cases, Preventative Medicine, Surgery
Personal Interests and Bio:Dr. McBride was born in Los Angeles, California. She spent a small part of her childhood living in Denmark with her family but, for the most part, grew up in the LA area. She attended Whittier College for her undergraduate education and studied art and biology through the prestigious Whittier Scholars Program. Her senior project included field research on urban coyotes. At Whittier College, she competed on the diving and lacrosse teams and was president of the Ecology Club and founder of the Pre-Veterinary Club. She graduated summa cum laude from Whittier College and was then accepted into the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. At UC Davis, Dr. McBride was a member of the feline and canine medicine clubs, vice president of the Mercer Veterinary Clinic for the Homeless, and the organizer for the annual Canine Medicine Symposium. Dr. McBride focused on small animal medicine (dogs and cats) during her senior year rotations. She graduated with honors and was inducted into the Phi Zeta Honor society for her accomplishments. After Veterinary School, Dr. McBride applied for and was accepted to an additional year of training at a busy 24-hour emergency clinic the East Bay Area, where she completed an internship in internal and emergency medicine and critical care.

Pets and Family Info: Dr. McBride has been practicing at the Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital since 2001. She lives in the East Bay and enjoys running, hiking, art, photography, cooking and baking, and spending time with her family including their two dogs: Alex and Little Jo.
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Dr. Alan Shriro
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine
Personal Interests and Bio:Dr. Shriro grew up in Mt. Vernon, New York, and Greenwich, Connecticut. After graduating from the Fieldstone School in Riverdale, New York, he attended the University of Wisconsin, majoring in physics. After an honorable discharge from the US Army, he received his DVM degree from Cornell University in 1974. As a student, he served as Veterinary School Senator and chairman of the student/faculty liaison committee. He credits his friendship with Dr. Benjamin (senior) as his motivation to move to California, and he has never regretted the move. Dr. Shriro worked as a research fellow for the Harvard University School of Nutrition, supervising a primate colony in the Guatemalan Rain Forest. This experience, among others, convinced him to pursue clinical medicine. He worked a clinician at East Oakland Veterinary Hospital and presently owns and operates the Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital with his business partner, Dr. Richard Benjamin. Dr. Shriro served as president of the Alameda County Veterinary Medical Association for two terms and has chaired the Alameda County Peer Review and Ethics committee for 24 years. Dr. Shriro is president emeritus of the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society and is vice chairman of the City of Berkeley Humane Commission.

Pets and Family Info: Interests outside of work include amateur mycology, photography, and a passion for scuba diving. Together with his dive buddy wife, he dives and travels the world whenever possible.
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Specialists

Dr. David Detweiler
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: Kansas State University
Internship: Small animal medical and surgical, Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group, Ventura, CA
Residency: University of California, Davis
Board Certification: Diplomate American College of Veterinary Radiology
Medical Special Interests: Radiographs and Ultrasound
Personal Interests and Bio: In his free time, Dr. Detweiler enjoys jogging, cycling, and working on older cars.

Pets and Family Info: Dr. Detweiler lives in Davis, California, with his wife, four children, and Simon the cat....Read More >
Dr. George Doering, Dermatology
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: University of Illinois
Board Certification: Dermatology
Graduate School: Purdue University
Medical Special Interests: Allergy cases, autoimmune diseases and demodectic mange
Personal Interests and Bio:Dr. Doering was raised near Peoria, Illinois, where his family owned a small farm. There he developed a fondness for animals and chose veterinary medicine at the University of Illinois. After two and half years in private practice, he returned to graduate work (MS) at Purdue University in Indiana. He served as a faculty dermatologist at Auburn University and the University of Missouri, where he became certified in dermatology. After a stint in nutrition research, he moved to the Bay Area in 1988, owning his own dermatology practice. He has been a dermatologist at Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital and Special Veterinary Services since 2001. Dr. Doering especially likes working with allergy cases, autoimmune diseases, and demodectic mange.

Pets and Family Info: His hobbies include spending time with his wife and family, international traveling, and golf. He plans to retire in two years, but he has said "two years" since 2004. His pets are Mickey, a male sheltie, and Kobe, a male black cat.
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Dr. Christine Kim, Internal Medicine
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: University of California, Davis
Internship: Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Veterinary Specialty Hospital, San Diego, California
Residency: Small Animal Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis
Board Certification: American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Small Animal Internal Medicine
Medical Special Interests: Dr. Kim enjoys all aspects of internal medicine, but has particular interest in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, lower urinary tract, and immune system. During her residency, Dr. Kim did her research on feline interstitial cystitis, a common urinary condition in cats. Her mission is to nurture the human-animal bond by providing the next step in veterinary care.

Personal Interests and Bio: Dr. Kim graduated with a degree in animal science from University of California Davis. After working in the biotechnology industry for 2 years performing microsurgery on rodents, she decided to attend veterinary school at UC Davis. She went on to complete a 1-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego, which led to a residency in small animal internal medicine at UC Davis. She enjoys cooking, baking, dining out, spending time with family, and cleaning the house.

Pets and Family Info: Dr. Kim considers Sacramento her hometown and but enjoys exploring the culture and cuisine of the Bay Area with her husband and daughter. She is also a mother to two needy cats, Ben and Cheese.
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Dr. Mark Matteucci, Radiology
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: University of California
Residency: North Carolina State University
Board Certification: Diplomate American College of Veterinary Radiology
Medical Special Interests: Intervention radiology and cross sectional imaging, including ultrasound and computed tomography
Personal Interests and Bio:When away from the hospital, Dr. Matteucci enjoys spending time with his family, being outdoors, and cooking.
Dr. Rob Yelland, Dentistry
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: University of California, Davis
Medical Special Interests: Dentistry, Internal medicine and surgery
Personal Interests and Bio:After graduation from veterinary school at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Yelland moved to the Bay Area where he has lived for the last 41 years. For much of that time, he owned and managed his own veterinary hospital in San Leandro. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Yelland developed his special interest in veterinary dentistry. He has been active in the American Veterinary Dental Society, including serving on its Board of Directors. His dental skills were honed through participation in an eight-year mentor-based dental residency program, operating his own dental referral practice, working with human dentists, and through regular continuing education. He is active as a dental practice consultant in the Bar Area and is a dental consultant with the Oakland Zoo. Dr. Yelland's website is www.dentistryforpets.com.

Pets and Family Info: Dr. Yelland met his wife, Gail, while they were both students at UC Davis. They recently celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary. In April 2010, their daughter, Cara and her husband, Brian, presented them with a grandson, Miles McCrea. His hobbies include photography, cycling, and travel. The Yellands share their home with two dogs, Madra and Oski, and a cat, Abby.
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Dr. Ken Harkewicz
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Philadelphia
Externship: Wildlife Medicine, Queensland, Australia
Graduate School: Ohio State University
Medical Special Interests: Exotic Animals
Personal Interests and Bio:Dr. Harkewicz received a degree in animal sciences from the Pennsylvania State University before doing graduate work in animal nutrition at Ohio State University. He received his VMD degree from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Philadelphia in 1981. After graduating veterinary school, he did a 20-month post-doctorate externship in wildlife medicine in Queensland, Australia, working with small marsupial populations and reptiles and amphibians. After marrying his wife Florence, he moved to the Bay Area in 1985. He has worked as an exotic animal veterinarian ever since. Dr. Harkewicz have been with the Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital since June 1997. In addition to working on non-domestic species (85% of total patient load) at Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital, he is also president-elect (2010-20110) of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (http://www.arav.org) and is a consultant to the Veterinary Information Network (http://vin.com) for reptiles and amphibian medicine, care, and surgery. VIN is a collection of over 45,000 veterinarians worldwide. Dr. Harkewicz also gives lectures on reptile and amphibians at the University of California, Davis, as well as local and nationwide reptile clubs and associations. He has had multiple papers and book chapters published on the same subjects.

Pets and Family Info: Dr. Harkewicz lives with his wife in Crockett, California. Their "kids" include a French Bulldog, Jean-Luc; a Chinese Crested X Pug cross, Lil' Pea; four cats; three parrots; 24 exotic tortoises; and some 200 plus assorted reptile, amphibian, and invertebrate pets. His personal hobbies include (when he has the time) gardening, gourmet cooking, science fiction reading, and animals in general.
...Read More >

Eastern Medicine

Beth Schneider
Beth Schneider MS, L.Ac
Degree: Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Education: Acupuncture and Integrative College, Berkeley
Personal Interests and Bio: Beth first became interested in Chinese medicine while working as a technician at a holistic veterinary hospital in Sonoma County in 2000. She witnessed the profound effects that acupuncture had on an animal’s quality of life.

She earned her Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley in 2005 and received her license later that year. Her postgraduate studies included Dr. Richard Tan’s Balance Method, an internationally recognized system of acupuncture known for its immediate effectiveness in subsiding pain and Classical Five Element Acupuncture.

Beth Schneider believes deeply in the integration of Eastern and Western medicine to achieve the best possible patient outcomes. She is particularly interested in helping animals with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders.

In her free time she enjoys hiking with her three dogs Charlie, Jay Jay and Harper in Redwood Regional Park, going to yoga classes and spending quality time with her friends and family.
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Emergency

Dr. Amy Lightstone
Dr. Amy Lightstone
Veterinary Degree: Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Veterinary School: Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Internship: Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center, Richmond, VA
Medical Special Interests: Emergency, Critical care, Surgery, Imaging, and Pathology
Personal Interests and Bio:Dr. Lightstone was born and raised in Dallas, TX. She attended the University of California Santa Cruz as an undergraduate earning a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Science. After living abroad in Australia and backpacking around New Zealand, she decided to attend veterinary school at Massey University in New Zealand. After graduation, Dr. Lightstone completed a year-long internship focused on emergency and critical care. She also volunteered regularly at the Richmond SPCA to help with spay/neuter programs. In her free time, Amy loves most outdoor activities be it snowboarding, biking, swimming, or hiking. She also enjoys good food, wine, traveling, music and movie watching.

Pets and Family Info: Dr. Lightstone has family scattered around the country, but many of her extended family are here around the bay area. She currently shares her home with an energetic orange cat named Monkey.
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Dr. Christina Marion
Dr. Christina Marion
Veterinary Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary School: University of California, Davis
Internship: Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego
Medical Special Interests: Emergency medicine
Personal Interests and Bio: Dr. Marion grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, although she was born abroad in Chile and lived for several years in Indonesia as a child. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley and from there went up to Davis to complete veterinary school. During veterinary school, she thoroughly enjoyed research and worked closely with a laboratory that investigated heart disease and clotting disorders in cats. She was also greatly involved in the student emergency & critical care club as well as helping to found the pain management club. After graduation, she moved away from her husband for a year to complete further training at a rotating internship at Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego. As an emergency clinician, she loves being able to provide relief and care for people and their animals in a time of need and stress....Read More >
Picture coming soon!
Dr. Matthew Blanchong, DVM MS
Veterinary Degree:
Veterinary School:
Internship:
Medical Special Interests: Emergency medicine
Personal Interests and Bio: Coming soon!.Read More >

 

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