Archive for the ‘SFVS News’ Category

Introducing Dr. Maria Soltero-Rivera! A board-certified dentist, she is partnering with Dr. Molly Zacher to offer dentistry and oral surgery services at SFVS Monday to Friday. Our dentistry team operates on referrals from primary care veterinarians.

dr. maria soltero-rivera

dr. maria soltero-rivera

With only about 150 board-certified veterinary dentists in the country, we’re excited to welcome one to the team here at SFVS. Dr. Soltero-Rivera looks forward to working with primary care veterinarians in the community, patients and clients.

More About Maria Soltero-Rivera, DVM, DAVDC
Dr. Maria Soltero-Rivera received her DVM from Cornell University. After that, she returned to her native Puerto Rico for a year-long small-animal surgical internship at Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Juan, followed by a small-animal rotating internship at Long Island Veterinary Specialists. A board-certified veterinary dentist, she recently has spent her time lecturing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, which is where she completed her residency in dentistry and oral surgery. Clinical interests include diagnosis and treatment of oral tumors and oral and maxillofacial trauma repair.

“The ability to make a significant impact in the health and quality of life of a pet and the way they interact with their human companions makes my profession the best!” – Dr. Soltero-Rivera 


When not working, she can be found playing at the beach with her 2-year-old, Aurora; her husband, Bernardo; and their two Chihuahuas, Olivia and Pickles. She also loves cooking, reading and running. Maria can probably spill the beans on her famous brother’s magic tricks after all those years of being his lovely assistant.



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We are happy to welcome board-certified veterinary neurologist Tracy Sutton to our hospital, with her first day of appointments set for September 8! Dr. Sutton joins neurologist Dr. Lisa Klopp, who has been with SFVS since 2012, to offer 7-day-a-week neurology services starting this month. Dr. Sutton looks forward to meeting and working with primary care veterinarians, clients and patients.

Welcome to the team, Dr. Sutton!

“My passion for neurology stems from its inherent integration of emergency medicine, internal medicine and surgery, which translates into the complexities that surround the neurological patient.” – Dr. Sutton

Tracy Bridge

More About Tracy Sutton, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)

Dr. Tracy Sutton joins VCA SFVS following a neurology and neurosurgery residency at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, where she also earned her DVM. Originally from the Chicago area, Dr. Sutton looks forward to joining the San Francisco veterinary community. She is particularly interested in spinal neurosurgery, the pathophysiology and monitoring of intracranial pressure, and neurologic manifestations of systemic diseases. When not listening to the Blind Pilot radio station on Pandora or perfecting her Spotify playlists, she spends her free time outside hiking, reading books in the sun, or just driving around with the windows down. Transitioning from life in her native Chicago, and more recently Boston, Tracy looks forward to taking full advantage of California’s year-round sunshine.

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We are excited to welcome the return of dermatology services at VCA SFVS with the arrival of Laura Wilson, DVM, DACVD. Starting May 5, Dr. Wilson will be at our hospital Tuesdays to Fridays. She looks forward to working with the primary care veterinarians in our community and meeting patients and clients!

dr. laura wilson with her pooches, bailey and talulah

dr. laura wilson with her pooches, bailey and talulah

Read more about Dr. Wilson:

A native Californian, Dr. Laura Wilson received her veterinary degree from the University of California, Davis in 2006, where she developed a love for dermatology. She completed her dermatology residency in the high-paced private practice atmosphere of the Animal Dermatology Clinic in Tustin, California. Dr. Wilson is passionate about all things dermatology, especially getting to know her clients and working with them to provide the best short- and long-term plans to remedy their pets’ dermatologic diseases. She loves the challenge of tailoring treatment plans that a pet will tolerate at home, keeping in mind any emotional, financial or physical limitations of the client. Dr. Wilson is a team player, both with her veterinary colleagues … and on the volleyball court! She was a Division I varsity volleyball player and track team member at the College of William & Mary, and continues to be as active as she can. When not treating dermatologic diseases, she loves to mountain bike cross country, practice Pilates and yoga, stand-up paddle board, and restore her 1965 Volvo.

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We’re happy to announce that Dr. Laura West has joined our hospital on a full-time basis! An internal medicine specialist, Dr. West received her DVM from the University of Georgia and completed her residency training at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego.


She sees internal medicine patients at SFVS on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Welcome, Dr. West!

More About Laura West, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Laura West received her DVM from the University of Georgia in 2007. She went on to complete a rotating internship at VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, Connecticut, and a specialty internship in internal medicine at Animal Specialty Group in Los Angeles.

Dr. West completed her residency training at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego in 2012, and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2013. Her special interests include feline medicine, immune-mediated disease and endocrinology.

Outside her veterinary practice, she greatly values spending time with her husband and their two cats, Kitten and Gypsy. She also enjoys yoga, running and hiking in the great outdoors.

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Our hospital is in search of a special canine or feline patient to be our 2014 holiday card model! Want to see your animal companion(s) featured on the card?

Here’s how to enter, in three easy steps:

  1. Email a high-res photo (300 dpi) to prsfvs@vca.com by 11/10/14.
  2. Include pet name and age, why he/she visited VCA SFVS, and your VCA SFVS doctor and your primary veterinarian (if applicable).
  3. Also send a sentence or two about why you think your furry friend(s) should be this year’s card model.

A panel of our veterinarians and staff will choose the finalists, and then we will open up voting for the winner in an online public poll. The winner will receive copies of the holiday card and a special gift from our hospital.

We look forward to seeing your photos!

(We know it may be a *little* early to be thinking about the holidays, but we need some extra time to collect entries and votes, and then design/print/mail the cards. Thanks for understanding!)

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Our own Dr. Winnie Ybarra, an internal medicine specialist here at VCA SFVS, was interviewed for an ABC7 News piece on drug development for the veterinary industry. We think she (and Sookie!) were great on camera.

Watch the video here > http://abc7news.com/pets/bay-area-company-researching-human-drugs-for-animal-use/245979/


In the segment, Dr. Ybarra warns pet owners about giving human drugs to their animal companions:

Ybarra said this doesn’t mean people should be turning to their medicine cabinets to treat their pets. Pets can be poisoned by some human-approved medications. “The ER service probably sees that at least once a day, if not more,” Ybarra said.

If you have questions about your pet and medications, please contact your furry friend’s primary care veterinarian or specialist.


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Our 2014-2015 intern class has arrived! We are excited to have them at VCA SFVS for their internships, and they look forward to meeting and working with clients, patients, and members of the Bay Area veterinary community during their time here.


You can read a little more about our six new interns below:

Mori Afraz, DVM (top left)
Dr. Mori Afraz was raised in Palo Alto and graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014 after receiving a master’s in nutrition from San Jose State University. She plans to pursue a residency in dermatology and has additional interests in internal medicine and surgery. Mori enjoys road trips, sailing, great food trucks, and spending time with her husband, pug and pit bull in their home in San Francisco.

Erika Beck, DVM (top center)
Dr. Erika Beck graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 with a B.A. in Japanese and Chinese. In 2014, she earned her DVM and International Veterinary Medicine certification from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Her interests include surgery, pain management, exotics and conservation medicine. In her spare time, Erika enjoys rock climbing, snowboarding, film festivals and traveling, especially to East Asia. She is excited to be in the Bay Area with her ginger cat, Bento.

Bailey Gage, DVM (top right)
Dr. Bailey Gage is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Kansas and her DVM from Kansas State University. She is excited to be on the West Coast and living in San Francisco with her dog, Norman, and cat, Randall. Her special interests include internal medicine and ophthalmology. In her spare time, Bailey likes spending time outdoors, cooking and trying new restaurants.

Koko Shishida, DVM (bottom left)
Dr. Koko Shishida is a 2010 graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Since 2010, she’s been working as a general practitioner in Sacramento, the East Bay and the Peninsula. Originally from Santa Cruz, she received her B.A. from UC Santa Cruz with a double major in biology and feminist studies in 2006. She is thrilled to be returning to her studies at VCA SFVS and to pursue her interests in emergency medicine, internal medicine and dermatology. In her free time, Koko enjoys yoga, dance, weight lifting, and taking in the many sights, sounds and tastes of the Bay Area with her 11-year-old terrier mix, Kaiser.

Catherine Stevenson, VMD (bottom center)
Dr. Catherine Stevenson, originally from the suburbs of Boston, received her B.A. in biology from Boston University in 2010, and her VMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. She loves running, traveling, being outdoors and exploring new cities. She just moved to San Francisco with her cat, Michu, who hails from Ecuador. After completing an internship at VCA SFVS, Catherine plans to work in general practice and emergency.

Emily Young, VMD (bottom right)
Dr. Emily Young spent her childhood overseas in Europe and Asia until returning to the U.S. to attend Tufts University, where she received a B.A. in psychology. She worked as a veterinary technician in the Boston area before heading down to Philadelphia for vet school at the University of Pennsylvania. At the hospital, she is interested in both small-animal internal medicine and emergency medicine. Emily enjoys hiking, camping, cooking, traveling and scuba diving in her free time. She is thrilled to be here on the West Coast with her sturdy companion, Walter the St. Bernard.

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