Pacific Veterinary Specialists - Emergency Services
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Doctors

Pacific Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service opened it's doors on January 15th, 1999. It's founding doctors were two internal medicine specialists, one surgery specialist, one critical care specialist and one radiology specialist. They have succeeded in creating an environment that not only provides the highest level of medical expertise and care for animal companions, but one that provides a sincere and comfortable experience for the client.

All of the founding doctors are board-certified specialists in their respective fields, which involves up to four years of post-graduate training, publication in professional journals and a rigorous certification examination. Due to the overwhelming response and needs of the community, the staff of doctors has grown to include an additional surgeon, internist, oncologist, criticalist, two radiologists and four experienced emergency doctors.

Due to the nature of specialty and emergency medicine, the requirements for operating a successful hospital are many. PVSES offers comprehensive specialized services including fiber-optic bronchoscopy and endoscopy, cystoscopy, laparoscopy, Doppler ultrasound, surgery, oncology, 24 hour ICU care and emergency services. The hospital is staffed to provide specialty medicine during the weekdays and emergency and critical care in ICU nights, weekends, and holidays. In addition to the board certified specialists available, the veterinarians staffing the emergency service have post doctoral internship training and extensive "hands on" experience.

Specialists

Critical Care (Dr. Brady, Dr. Good)
Internal Medicine (Dr. Akol, Dr. Burtch, Dr. Pressel, Dr. Hoffman)
Surgery (Dr. Metelman, Dr. LaHue)
Oncology( Dr. Arteaga )
Radiology (Dr. Kerr, Dr. Lee, Dr. Hoskinson)

Behavior

Dr. Jan Brennan


Emergency

Dr. Robison
Dr. Delkener
Dr. Saphir
Dr. Kurek


Internal Medicine

Kelly Akol - Founder
DVM, SAIM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Dr. Akol graduated from UC Davis in 1987 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Her internship at Coast Pet Clinic in Hermosa Beach followed and was completed in 1988. Dr. Akol then pursued residency training in internal medicine at University of Pennsylvania (1988-1990) She became board certified in internal medicine in 1992. She has published articles in the area of diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis and lipidosis. Dr. Akol has a special interest in feline medicine as well as the sub-specialties of gastroenterology, endocrinology and diseases of the respiratory system.
 
Merrianne Burtch - Founder
DVM, SAIM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Dr. Burtch received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from UC Davis in 1993. She completed an internship at Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital in 1994. In 1996 she completed an ACVIM SAIM approved residency in internal medicine at the same facility, which included out-rotations at UC Davis. She became board certified in internal medicine in 1999. Dr. Burtch's special interests include diabetes mellitus, gastroenterology and liver disease.
 
Michelle Pressel
DVM, SAIM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Dr. Pressel received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 2000. Her internship at Veterinary Care Animal Hospital in Albuquerque followed, and was completed in 2001. She remained in Albuquerque in general practice for one year before pursuing her residency training in internal medicine at Iowa State University which she completed in 2005. She became board certified that same year. She has published several articles and participated in a number of presentations and lecture series. Dr. Pressel's special interests include gastroenterology, oncology, and hematology. She is active in regional and national veterinary societies, as well as a participant, on the local level, in agility, obedience, and therapy dog visitation. She joined PVSES in June 2007, and and shares her life with her kitty, Nutmeg, and her Golden Retrievers, Cedar & Safari.
 
Bryn Hoffman
MVB, Residency Trained in Small Animal Internal Medicine

Dr. Bryn Hoffman, MVB, joins Pacific Veterinary Specialists, as an addition to our Internal Medicine Service. Dr. Hoffman received her BS from Cornell University in 2005 & her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from University College-Dublin in Ireland in 2010.

She comes to us from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine where she completed her three-year residency as Chief Resident of small animal internal medicine and where she assisted in instruction of 4th-year veterinary students & interns.
 

Oncology

Theresa Arteaga
DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology)

Dr. Arteaga received a B.S in Biochemistry and Environmental Toxicology from UCLA. She received her DVM from Cornell University Veterinary Medical School in 2003. Dr. Arteaga did her internship in Medicine and her residency in Oncology at Animal Medical Center in New York City and obtained Board Certification from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, (Oncology) in 2009.

Dr. Arteaga has continued to publish scientific articles and participate in research projects and clinical trials, the most recent being her USDA trial for DNA Melanoma Vaccine with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Arteaga joined Pacific in June of 2010 and is available for appointments Monday through Friday in Capitola and Monterey.
 
Theresa Arteaga

Radiology

Larry Kerr - Founder
DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Radiology

Dr. Kerr received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Mississippi State University in 1981. He attended UC Davis as a radiology resident and was board certified in radiology in 1985. Following two years as a staff radiologist at UC Davis, he entered private practice. He also offers mobile radiographic and ultrasound services through his own radiology practice, Veterinary Radiology Specialists.
 
Mark Lee
DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Radiology

Dr. Lee graduated from Washington State University in 1981 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Following ten years as a private practice owner, he attended UC Davis as radiology resident and was board certified in radiology in 1994. He joined Dr. Kerr at VRS in 1995.
 
Jim Hoskinson
DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Radiology

Dr. Hoskinson graduated summa cum laude from Washington State University with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1986. He pursued his residency training in radiology at the University of Tennessee and was board certified in 1990. He joined the faculty at UCD as an instructor in diagnostic imaging and in 1991 he became assistant professor in radiology at Kansas State University School of Veterinary Medicine, where he remained for 14 years. Dr. Hoskinson joined VRS in 1997, while continuing to be active in regional, national and international education programs and in providing consulting service to industry and institutional practices.
 

Surgery

Lisa Metelman - Founder
DVM, MS, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgery

After receiving a masters degree in cytogenetics in 1985, Dr. Metelman received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 1991. She completed an internship at Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital in 1992. She returned to CSU for her residency in small animal surgery, which was completed in 1995. During that time Dr. Metelman completed a second masters degree in surgery. She was a faculty instructor in surgery at CSU the following year. She became board certified in 1997. Her particular interest is in oncologic surgery including both thoracic and abdominal surgery.
 
Thomas LaHue
DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgery

Dr. LaHue received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from UC Davis in 1982. From 1982-83, he served his internship at Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital in small animal medicine and surgery. His residency in small animal surgery was completed at both UC Davis and Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital. He became board certified in 1989. Dr. LaHue performs soft tissue, orthopedic, and neurosurgery. He has a special interest in respiratory surgery. Dr. LaHue also teaches AP Environmental Science at one of our local high schools. He is married to a general practice veterinarian and has two sons. He also shares his life with a "perfect" Border Collie and a "slightly ornery" cat.
 

Behavior

Jan Brennan
DVM

Dr. Brennan has been a general practitioner in our community for forty one years. She has always had an intense interest in animal behavior and incorporated her interest in the area into her practice of veterinary medicine. Dr. Brennan graduated from UCD Veterinary Medical School in 1969 and came to Santa Cruz as a small animal practitioner. During those years, her involvement in behavior veterinary medicine expanded as she continued to apply her experience and knowledge in her activities with search and rescue, law enforcement, FEMA and detection dogs. She also consults on feline behaviors. We are happy to welcome Dr. Brennan to PVSES. She joined us in October 2010 to consult on dog and cat behaviors by appointment.
 
Jan Brennan

Emergency & Critical Care

Colleen Brady
DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care

Dr. Brady received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Louisiana State University in 1997. At the University of Pennsylvania, she completed her internship in 1998 and her residency in emergency and critical care in 2001, that same year she became board certified. She stayed on at the University of Pennsylvania during 2001-02 as staff lecturer at the School of Veterinary Medicine and joined PVSES in July of that year. She has published several articles on feline sepsis, sodium homeostasis, and the stress response to critical illness. Her areas of special interest include sepsis, acute heart failure, electrolytes and fluid therapy.
 
Lillian Good
DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care

Dr. Good graduated from Cornell University with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1999. Her internship in small animal medicine and surgery, at Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston, followed and was completed in 2000. She continued on at Angell Memorial for her residency training in emergency medicine and critical care (2000-2003), and joined PVSES upon completion. She became board certified in 2004. Dr. Good finds the challenge of helping animals through critical medical emergencies to be extremely rewarding.
 

Emergency

Christian Robison
DVM, Director of Emergency Services

Dr. Robison received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from UC Davis in 1995, and completed his internship the following year at Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital. He remained in Santa Cruz in general practice until 1998 when he became one of the vanguard of doctors who began PVSES. Dr. Robison is known for his great and abiding love and advocacy for all creatures, as well as for his exceptional skills and wide-ranging knowledge in emergency medicine.
 
Kim Delkener
DVM, Emergency Medicine

Dr. Kim Delkener graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. The following year she completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego where the large emergency caseload gave her valuable experience in stabilization of the emergent patient, emergency surgery and critical care. She joined PVES in 2003 and has remained a dedicated part of the veterinary team ever since providing outstanding care to the community of Santa Cruz county. Dr. Delkener has a special interest in emergency surgery, enjoys challenging critical care cases and is passionate about all aspects of emergency medicine.

When she is not at work, she can be found enjoying many outdoor activities including mountain biking, volunteering for the Santa Cruz State parks and training her two border collies Pyro and Ari for dog agility competition on both the local and national level.
 
Mark Saphir
DVM, Emergency Medicine

A native from Chicago, Dr. Saphir graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and finished his clinical year at Colorado State University in June 2007. He then completed an internship in small animal emergency and critical care and surgery at Animal Urgent Care in Escondido, CA. He enjoys all aspects of emergency medicine and has special interests in emergency surgery and trauma. Dr. Saphir shares his life with Stewie, his yellow labrador and his 3 cats Gus, Gonzo, and Tonka Truck. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, backcountry camping, skiing, traveling, and is a diehard Chicago sports fan.
 
Jessica Kurek
DVM, Emergency Medicine

Dr. Kurek graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. She completed a rotating small animal internship at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, where a dynamic emergency caseload provided her with a wide breadth of experience in emergency medicine, trauma, and critical care. Her special interests include emergency surgery, trauma, infectious disease, and wildlife medicine. She joined PVSES in August 2010. She is excited to be helping animals back near her hometown and spends her life outside of work with her husband Kyle, two spoiled labradors Sandy and Ebony, and their kitties. She also enjoys backpacking, dance, running, and water sports in her free time.