Our Doctors

Department of Surgery

EichChristopher S. Eich, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons
DVM: University of Florida, 1992
Internship: The Animal Medical Center, 1992 – 93
Residency: The Animal Medical Center, 1995 – 98
Adjunct Professor of Small Animal Surgery, Western University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Eich is an experienced surgeon covering the fields of orthopedic, soft tissue and oncologic surgery. He has a special interest in sports medicine and joint injuries, utilizing both surgical (arthroscopy,
TPLO, TPO, SHO) and nonsurgical treatment modalities (regenerative stem cell therapy) for these injuries.

Dr. Eich has been trained in all current total hip replacement techniques (KYON, HELICA, CFX) and customizes the treatment for each individual patient. He remains an active member of multiple veterinary societies and associations. Dr. Eich remains active within the foundation of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. During his down time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Tiffany and shuttling their two boys between sporting activities. Dr. Eich is also an avid gardener and fisherman.


GasselAdam D. Gassel, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons
DVM: Purdue University, 2001
Internship: Animal Specialty Group, 2001 – 02
Surgical Internship: Animal Specialty Group, 2002 – 03
Residency: University of Tennessee, 2006
Adjunct Professor of Small Animal Surgery, Western University
College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Gassel has undergone broad training leading to clinical interests in the fields of orthopedic, soft tissue and oncologic surgery. He is an expert in the field of Regenerative Stem Cell with extensive experience in treating dogs with chronic osteoarthritis.

Dr. Gassel is trained in both the Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) and the Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) for the surgical management of cruciate disease. He has an avid interest in arthroscopy, total hip replacement and diseases of the immature skeleton. He is a member of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society (VOS) and the Society of Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgery (SVSTS). His soft tissue interests include reconstructive procedures of the thoracic, abdominal and oral cavities with a special interest in the surgical management of portosystemic shunts. When not at work, he enjoys surfing, snowboarding and spending time with his wife Darcy, their kids, Aidan, Skyler and Charlie, and their pets, Leroy and Holstine.


WalkerTom Walker, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons
DVM: Texas A & M University, 1974
Internship: Auburn University, 1975 – 77
Residency: University of Tennessee, 1978 – 81

Dr. Walker graduated from Texas A&M University summa cum laude in 1974. He completed his neurology residency at Auburn University and then his surgery residency at the University of Tennessee where he remained as Associate Professor of Surgery until 1987. An esteemed educator, Dr. Walker has lectured at numerous American and European Universities, national and international meetings including a formal address to the World Congress of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. As a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Dr. Walker served as Head of the College's Examination Committee, and was Chairman and educator at the Forum for the Orthopedic and Neurology sections of the College of Surgeons for ten years. Cambridge University in Cambridge, England welcomed Dr. Walker for a teaching sabbatical from 1987-1988. His contributions to education have garnered teaching awards to every level. With numerous contributions to journals, papers, proceedings as well as chapters in textbooks on veterinary orthopedics and neurology.

Armed with keen sensibilities for veterinary diagnostic and surgical advancement, Dr. Walker worked with Dr. Barclay Slocum in the development of the TPLO procedure for cruciate repair. And continues as one of the foremost surgeons to progressively incorporate minimal invasive surgical techniques, stem cell technologies and laser technologies.


DonnerGayle Donner, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons
DVM: University of Georgia, 1981
Internship: University of Pennsylvania, 1981 – 82
Residency: University of Florida, 1984 – 87

Dr. Donner specializes exclusively in surgical oncology (the surgical treatment of cancers and tumors) and general soft tissue surgery. She was the first veterinary surgeon to specialize in surgical oncology in a private practice referral setting. Dr. Donner's particular areas of interest include head and neck cancer surgery, and plastic and reconstructive surgery, however her caseload also includes cancers of the limbs and trunk, chest, abdomen, and urogenital system, as well as other soft tissue disorders and injuries.

Dr. Donner is currently implementing a new technique that eliminates the need for post-operative radiation in many cases, by combining the surgical removal of tumors along with the implantation of chemotherapy beads. She places the utmost emphasis on developing a course of treatment that is reasonable, fair, and humane for each patient's individual and unique needs.


Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery
Animal Back and Brain Center of
Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital


BerryWayne Berry, BvSC, MMedVet
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Neurology)
BvSC, MMedVet: University of Pretoria, S. Africa, 1983
Internship: University of Pretoria, S. Africa, 1983 – 85
Residency (Internal Med): University of Pretoria, S. Africa, 1985 – 87
Residency (Neurology & Neurosurgery): University of California, Davis, 1996 – 99

Having taught at three universities and practiced on three continents, Dr. Berry joined SCVSH in 2000. Dr. Berry is specialized in neurosurgery and medical neurology, exclusively focused on conditions of the brain, spine, and peripheral nervous system. His expertise includes the imaging (MRI and digital fluoroscopic myelography) and surgical correction of congenital disorders, spinal cord compression due to disc rupture, wobbler syndrome, spinal tumors, and spinal fractures, in addition to brain and skull tumors, skull fractures, and brain trauma. Seizures and their management is a forte.

Dr. Berry has numerous scientific publications to his credit and collaborates with researches at UCDavis. He is a frequent local and international lecturer. Dr. Berry resides in Newport Beach with his wife, two sons at college, a bossy dachshund, and a large orange cat.


PettigrewRoger Pettigrew, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Neurology)
DVM: Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Kitts, BWI 2000
Internship: Animal Specialty Group, Glendale, CA 2001-2002
Surgical Internship: Long Island Veterinary Specialists, 2002 – 03
Neurology Internship: University of Georgia, 2003 – 04
Residency: University of Wisconsin, 2005 – 08

Dr. Pettigrew has diverse interests in the field of neurology including neuroimaging and the diagnosis and treatment of various medical and surgical conditions. He has extensive exposure to neuromuscular disease after completing a research program at the Comparative Neuromuscular Laboratory at University of CA, San Diego from 2004-2005. Prior to joining SCVSH in 2009, Dr. Pettigrew was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. He has experience lecturing on a variety of topics both locally and nationally.


Department of Internal Medicine


StegemanJulie Stegeman, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
DVM: University of Wisconsin 1995
Residency: Michigan State University 2000 – 03

Dr. Stegeman attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for undergraduate and Veterinary School, earning her DVM in 1995.  She worked as a small animal and exotics practitioner in Indiana, then as an emergency clinician at a specialty center in Wisconsin, before completing her residency at Michigan State University in 2003. She has conducted research in feline thyroid function testing, and has authored publications on that topic, and on infectious diseases.

Dr. Stegeman's interests include endocrinology, infectious disease, gastroenterology, and minimally invasive diagnostics (ultrasound, endoscopy, and fluoroscopy). Her goal is to provide the highest level of care to her patients, who often have complex diseases, while emphasizing the tenets of compassion and client education.  In her spare time, Dr. Stegeman enjoys dancing with her husband, hiking, rollerblading, and cuddling with their three cats.


RossiTracey Rossi, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
DVM: North Carolina State University, 2003
Internship: Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center, Norwalk, Connecticut
Residency: Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Dr. Rossi grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland and earned her bachelors degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. While her research focus at TUFTS University was in infectious disease, she also has a strong interest in nephrology and endocrinology and enjoys all aspects of internal medicine. She joined SCVSH in November 2009. Outside of the hospital, Tracey enjoys traveling, running, reading and spending time with her 3 dogs, Charlie, Jack, and Chip who love going to dog beach.


Department of Oncology


ZwahlenCourtney Zwahlen, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology)
DVM: Michigan State University, 1994
Internship: All Care Animal Referral Center, 1995 – 96
Residency: University of California, Davis, 1996 – 98

Dr. Zwahlen has been treating cancer patients since 1995. Working within a multi-disciplinary specialty practice allows her to integrate therapies including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery, and participate in clinical trials. Dr. Zwahlen’s goal as an oncologist is to help relieve animal suffering, promote the human-animal bond and maintain excellent quality of life. Her approach is to incorporate herself, her staff and the pet owner as a team to ensure that each unique patient receives the ideal therapy for its particular tumor type. Helping owners and their animal companions through their cancer treatment is a great challenge and continues to bring her much satisfaction.

When not at the hospital, Dr. Zwahlen enjoys running, reading, gardening and spending time with her husband, two daughters and multiple pets.


AubryOcéane Aubry, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology)
DVM: Kansas State University, 2004
Oncology Internship: Florida Veterinary Specialists, Tampa,
FL 2006 – 07
Residency: Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine
2007 – 10

Dr. Aubry joined SCVSH in September 2010 after finishing her medical oncology residency and MS degree at Auburn University. Prior to that, she completed an oncology internship in Florida, and spent two years in general private practice in Southern California. Her main interests are to ensure the accurate diagnosis of cancer patients and provide the most appropriate and up-to-date treatments including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy. She works closely with surgeons and radiation oncologists in providing this care.

Dr. Aubry strives to seek treatment that will help to extend both life and quality of life in a mutually beneficial way for both the patient and client. Outside of work, Dr. Aubry who grew up in France, Kenya and New York, enjoys traveling, scuba diving, and spending time with her cat, Billy.


Department of Ophthalmology


MarCindy Mar, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
DVM: Colorado State University, 2000
Internship: Cornell University Hospital for Animals, 2001
Residency: Eye Care for Animals, 2004

Dr. Mar specializes in the medical and surgical management of eye diseases. She also performs pre-breeding or CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) exams for dogs.

Dr. Mar is particularly interested in determining the underlying cause of eye conditions and treating the patient as a whole through the integration of medical, surgical, nutritional and supportive therapies. She works closely with other specialists and is dedicated to improve the quality of the pet's life through the maintenance of ocular health.



Department of Cardiology


MillerSarah J. Miller, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Cardiology)
DVM: The Ohio State University, 2001
Internship: Angell Animal Medical Center- Boston, MA 2001 – 02
Residency: University of California, Davis, 2002 – 05

Dr. Miller’s expertise includes medical and interventional cardiology. Her residency research consisted of developing a new diagnostic tool for boxer cardiomyopathy as well as describing a novel approach for patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) closure in very small dogs. She is especially interested in interventional procedures such as, PDA correction, balloon valvuloplasty, and transvenous pacemaker implantation in addition to diagnosis and treatment of complex congenital heart disease.

Dr. Miller was the first full time board certified veterinary cardiologist in Orange County. She continues to enjoy working with patients, clients, and referring veterinarians to devise a plan for each patient with the goal of providing quality of life. In her spare time, Dr. Miller likes sports, traveling, and spending time with her family, friends, two golden retrievers, and her big orange cat.


Department of Emergency & Critical Care


SimpsonStephen Simpson, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Emergency and
Critical Care
DVM: Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan 2002
Internship: University of Pennsylvania 2003
Fellowship: University of Pennsylvania 2004
Residency: University of Pennsylvania/ACC 2005 – 08
Adjunct Professor of Emergency and Critical Care, Western University's College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Simpson specializes in critical care and emergency medicine and is experienced in caring for patients with severe dynamic conditions including trauma, sepsis, toxicities, bleeding disorders, renal failure,
and patients with respiratory disorders. During his internship and residency at the University of Pennsylvania, he was part of a research team that was awarded major funding for the evaluation of low molecular weight heparin in cats. His primary research focus was in the study of severe blunt trauma injury in dogs.

Dr. Simpson works closely with the other specialists to provide the highest and most advanced critical care in the Orange County area. He is involved with the instruction of our interns, as well as our emergency doctors. Outside of work his passions include hiking, the beach, family, and his dog Celie.


ChiangVivian Chiang, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Emergency and
Critical Care
DVM: Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine 2007
Internship: Veterinary Specialists of South Florida 2008
Residency: University of California at Davis, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital 2011

Dr. Chiang, the newest addition to our Critical Care Team, just received her board certification in Emergency and Critical Care in 2011. She specializes in the management of critical patients including those in respiratory distress and sepsis. 

Dr. Chiang’s areas of interest include the treatment of hypertensive encephalopathies, aspiration pneumonia and pneumothorax.  She has also lectured on cardiopulmonary and cerebral resuscitation.  A native Californian, Dr Chiang enjoys spending time with her family.


VailAmy Vail, BVMS, MRCVS
DVM: University of Glasgow, Scotland, 2007
Internship: Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego, 2007-2008

Dr. Vail joined Southern California Veterinary Surgical Hospital in March of 2010. Prior to attending veterinary school Dr. Vail worked as a technician for many years. Her focus as a technician and as a veterinarian has always been emergency and critical care.

Dr. Vail has a strong interest in surgery, trauma and critical medicine patients. She is able to develop these interests with the unique bond that the emergency doctors share with the specialists. This relationship allows the emergency department to facilitate the absolute best care for every patient that comes through our door. In her spare time she volunteers her services for local animal charities and spends time with her fabulous felines at home.