Department of Clinical Sciences

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Advancing the health
and well-being
of animals
and people

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photo of Steve Kraus

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Explore Our Department


The Section of Anesthesiology is comprised of four board-certified anesthesiologists, four residents-in-training, and eight technicians, dedicated exclusively to providing the highest quality of anesthesia to small and large animals referred to our hospitals. Our section provides sedation, general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, and acute pain management for approximately 3,000 patients requiring surgical or diagnostic procedures every year. Because a large percentage of our case load is composed of high-risk patients, we are equipped and trained to deliver the most advanced anesthetic techniques available. We provide general anesthesia for emergency procedures after hours and during weekends and holidays.



The Cardiology program at Cornell University is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in the diagnosis and treatment in animals and as a leader in cardiac research and clinical education. The clinical cardiology program at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals provides the most current diagnostic and treatment modalities for both small and large animal patients utilizing diagnostic technology such as echocardiography, electrocardiography, holter monitoring, angiocardiography, and radiography. The board-certified cardiologists and residents constantly strive to offer the most recent treatment advances available.


Community Practice Service

Our Community Practice Service is run by the fourth-year-students who provide general care to local dogs and cats This service provides invaluable experience to our students, preparing them to make an immediate contribution to private veterinary practices after graduation. The Community Practice Service implements in depth training for our future veterinarians that include general surgery and surgical care. The students are overseen by faculty.



The academic program at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine provides a rich environment for learning, and provides students with the opportunity to learn in context. It fosters the development of critical thinking, communication and clinical reasoning skills to complement a comprehensive background in the biomedical and clinical disciplines that are the foundation of veterinary medicine.


Dentistry and Oral Surgery

The Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of dental and oral diseases, maxillofacial trauma, oral tumors, developmental defects, and salivary gland disease. Common diagnostic procedures that are performed to document the extent and severity of dental and oral disease include full-mouth radiographic studies and dental charting. Advanced imaging studies are routinely performed prior to treatment of maxillofacial trauma and oral tumors. This service provides care to small, large, exotic, and zoo animals. Cornell's dentistry and oral surgery section has a state-of-the-art suite equipped with digital radiology, rotary endodontic instrumentation, and two functional working tables, each with a dental unit and x-ray generator.



Referrals to Cornell's Dermatology Service will be seen by a dermatology resident and/or one of two board-certified veterinary dermatologists with more than 70 years of experience. The department examines all dogs, cats, farm animals, and exotic animals in conjunction with the Exotic Animal Service. We evaluate all types of skin and ear conditions. Neoplastic conditions or surgical ear diseases are referred to the oncology or soft tissue surgery services, respectively. We offer intradermal allergy testing (all species) as well as a serologic allergy test (dogs and cats) specifically developed for us. We read all skin-biopsy specimens submitted to our Diagnostic Laboratory through the university clinics and from private practitioners.


Emergency and Critical Care

Cornell University's Companion Animal Emergency and Critical Care Service (CAH-ECC) provides initial evaluation and care of patients with acute illness and injury and ongoing care for critically ill or injured dogs and cats twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Our team is comprised of experienced board-certified veterinary specialists, dedicated residents and interns, and highly skilled veterinary technicians and staff. All work together toward the common goal of delivering the highest possible standard of compassionate veterinary care to ill or injured animals, while educating the veterinary practitioners and veterinary specialists of the future.



The College of Veterinary Medicine is proud to offer two courses in farriery: the General Farrier Short Course and the Advanced Farrier Course. The program is housed in the Equine Hospital of the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. Participants will experience daily interaction with veterinarians and the resident farrier working on in-patient lameness cases. Horses are also referred directly to the Farrier Shop from outside veterinarians for the application of special shoes. Both courses are taught by Cornell's resident farrier. The program also provides an excellent instructor-student ratio of 1:3, allowing for close individual instruction.



The mission of the Imaging Service is to relieve animal suffering caused by disease through reducing uncertainty about diagnosis, extent of disease and disease progression via the use of imaging modalities, research and education. We have equipment to produce radiographs, CT scans, ultrasound images, and scintigrams (nuclear medicine) on all species of animals brought to the Hospital for diagnosis and treatment. Our MRI system can accommodate animals under 200 lbs. In 2004, the Section obtained nearly 9,000 imaging examinations on CUHA patients. We have a team of four licensed veterinary technicians, two technologists trained for human radiology who now work in the veterinary world, one veterinary assistant and one administrative assistant. Three radiologists board certified by the American College of Veterinary Radiology and three residents provide interpretation and consultation services to the Hospital and referring veterinarians. The radiologists teach throughout the professional veterinary curriculum from anatomy in the first year to clinical rotations in the fourth year. Diagnostic imaging is an important skill for practicing veterinarians that we emphasize whenever we can. Our public web site has more information about our Section and our research interests.


Large Animal Medicine

The Section of Large Animal Medicine is currently staffed by four large medicine faculty with expertise in organ system diseases, infectious diseases, immune disorders, and critical care. The Section utilizes advanced diagnostics such as MRI, CT, and ultrasonography in addition to both clinical and point-of-case testing in the management of hospital patients.

Additional support is provided by specialty services which consist of: Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Imaging, Pharmacy, Clinical Pathology, Reproductive, and numerous services in the New York State Diagnostic Laboratory. General, neonatal, isolation and intensive care wards are used for housing of medical patients. Specialty care for recumbent cattle using a flotation tank is also available in the hospital.

The medicine faculty have numerous ongoing research projects including: genetic investigations of airway obstruction and immunologic disorders of horses along with the investigation of several infectious diseases including: equine herpesvirus, strangles, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, viral hepatitis and salmonellosis.


Large Animal Surgery

Approximately 2,500 horses receive health care in our Equine Hospital each year. In addition, about 1,000 farm animals are treated annually in our Nemo Farm Animal Hospital. Many of the patients are referred by veterinarians in the Northeastern United States, while others come directly to the hospital. The Cornell University Hospital for Animals prides itself on its team approach. Everyone has a part in the mission to provide excellent care, teach future veterinarians, and advance the science of veterinary medicine.

The section of large Animal Surgery has 7 faculty surgeons with expertise in orthopedic and soft tissue procedures, emergency and critical care and exercise physiology. The hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art arthroscopic, laparoscopic and laser equipment and offers comprehensive care for the patient. Four surgery suites and 5 recovery stalls allow dedicated and specialized surgery and tailored recoveries.

At this time the Large Animal Surgeons have active research programs in the soft tissue and orthopedic areas. Much work is being done on the mechanics of the upper airway of the horse and investigations into common problems are being studied. Novel surgical procedures are being developed and evaluated. Also, studies on new procedures for disinfection surgical wounds are beginning.

Further information can be found by visiting:


Medical Genetics

The Medical Genetics service is being piloted by Cornell veterinarians with guidance from Dr. Margaret Casal, Associate Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania, who specializes in pediatrics, veterinary genetics and reproduction. Through the service, we are offering appointments for clinical evaluation, risk assessment, genetic counseling, and genetic testing for a variety of genetic conditions in our canine and feline pediatric and adult patients.

Quality breeding practices (including pedigree analysis), phone consultations, and breed-specific genetic testing panels are also offered. We provide state-of-the-art diagnostics and therapeutic care for patients affected with a genetic condition. For details, please contact Dr. Marta Castelhano or Dr. Rory Todhunter at 607-253-3060 or



Partner with board-certified specialists in Cornell's neurology services when your patients' lives - and the quality of their lives; - depend on access to state-of-the-art technology, novel treatment strategies, and board-certified specialists who are dedicated to diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating all categories of disease involving the central and peripheral nervous systems. Our doctors have a history of successfully handling seizures, spinal and intracranial neoplasia, vestibular disease, neuromuscular disease, paresis or paralysis, spinal and brain malformation.


Nutrition Service

The nutrition unit offers a variety of services for companion animals and equine. For more information on any of these offerings, please contact Dr. Joe Wakshlag or Angie Struble at 607.253.3060 (and ask for one of them to be paged).

  • Companion Animal Diet Consultation
    Many of the dietary needs of your companion can be obtained by feeding a general over-the-counter or therapeutic commercial diet. However, in many cases, supplementation or increasing specific components in the diet are beneficial to maintaining or optimizing health. We are available to discuss your pet’s nutrition and how it affects the health and longevity of his/her life.

  • Obesity Consultation
    Obesity prevention can help eradicate many medical and surgical problems that we see every day and also improve and extend your pet’s quality of life. Obesity management is achieved through strategies to achieve satiety, attention to calorie intake, and knowing the weekly percentage of weight loss. We provide a detailed weight loss program for your pet, which includes recommendations for therapeutic or over-the-counter calorie restricted diets and the proper feeding guidelines. Our assistance can help your pet lose weight safely and effectively.

  • Homemade Diet Formulation
    Many clients are interested in cooking for their companions. We often recommend feeding commercial products, however there are various disease entities and client concerns that warrant homemade formulations. We can provide recipes that are grain-free, gluten-free, or vegetarian for interested clients. Every pet’s nutritional needs differ, so we are happy to design a detailed and well-balanced diet specifically for your loved one.

  • Total Parenteral or Partial Parenteral Nutrition
    In critical illness or situations in which your companion is not meeting the caloric requirements, intravenous nutrition may be required. Adequate and proper nutrition is very important for pets that are hospitalized and has a great impact on a pet’s attitude and the healing process. If you feel that your pet is in need of this service, please ask your primary clinician for a referral to our service.

  • Equine Forage and Diet Analysis
    The feeding of your equine companion can be complex, particularly after diagnosis of certain medical conditions. A complete dietary analysis based on diet history, present supplementation, and forage analysis can help manage medical illnesses, and potentially improve the performance. Forages and concentrates can be analyzed, providing us with an exact list of the specific nutrients your horse is receiving. All of this information helps us generate a detailed report that will support your feeding plan for your equine companion or entire stable.



The Oncology Service at Cornell first saw clinical patients in July of 2,000, and has subsequently grown to 4 faculty, 3 residents, and 4 licensed veterinary technicians. The Oncology Service sees approximately 1,000 cancer patients a year. A state of the art linear accelerator with a multileaf collimator became operational in October of 2002 and we currently irradiate approximately 100 patients a year. The radiation facility includes a CT-based 3D radiation treatment planning system that allows us to optimize the radiation treatment plan for individual patients. Dogs and cats with cancer are evaluated through the oncology service which may include but is not limited to blood work, radiographs, tumor biopsy and staging, CT scan or MRI. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are provided through the oncology service. Surgical procedures other than biopsies are done through the Surgery Service although the Surgery Service is consulted as necessary at the time of the Oncology appointment. Oncology is a requirement for all veterinary students at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. A didactic lecture course is provided for the third year veterinary students, and the fourth year veterinary students rotate through the clinical service in 2 week blocks. Radiation oncology and medical oncology residency training programs are available at Cornell University. A number of funded or partially funded clinical trials are ongoing through the Clinical Oncology Service. Studies include the investigation of chemotherapeutic agents, novel chemotherapy dosing regimens, and imaging of tumor patients as it relates to radiation therapy.



The Section of Ophthalmology is staffed by three faculty board certified by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, two residents, each completing three years of training, and three licensed veterinary technicians. The Ophthalmology Service provides scheduled and emergency care in the Companion Animal and Equine/Nemo Farm Animal Hospitals for dogs, cats, pet birds and pocket pets, exotic pets and wildlife, as well for horses, food and fiber animals. The section's instructional efforts are focused on both didactic lecture and laboratory experiences for preclinical veterinary students and the mandatory two-week clinical rotation experience for third- and fourth-year students. Current research efforts include investigation of the role of canine herpesvirus in spontaneous corneal disease in dogs and the effects of topical and systemic anti-inflammatory and chemotherapy drugs on its recrudescence; identification of novel infectious agents causing feline corneal disease; and the characterization of common and novel corneal disorders of dogs, cats, horses, and exotic species by in vivo confocal microscopic imaging.

The Cornell Comparative Pain Medicine Program encompasses the unique initiative to acknowledge, prevent, and treat pain in our animal
patients. The Cornell Comparative Pain Medicine Program (CCPMP) is dedicated to improving the understanding and treatment of pain in
animals through education (veterinary students, residents, graduate students, referring veterinary practitioners, and the public), and through the
efforts of a multidisciplinary clinical team serving not only surgical but also outpatient and chronic medical needs of the Cornell University Hospital
for Animals (CUHA) patients. The CCPMP is also dedicated to improving our understanding of the clinical and basic neurobiology of pain through
collaborative research. It is our ultimate goal to improve the treatment of pain in animals and people through the study of naturally occurring
painful conditions of animal patients brought to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals for treatment.


Primary Care Surgery

The Primary Care Surgery Service is a two week hospital rotation which provides the opportunity for student clinicians to spay and castrate adoptable shelter and rescue dogs. Emphasis is on the development of surgical competence, confidence, and efficiency within the limits of accepted technique. Students are encouraged to think for themselves and to integrate their Cornell training with experiences they may have had elsewhere. Student surgeons are in charge of the pre-operative, operative, and post-operative care of their patients and the judgment used in providing that care. Support is provided by Dr. Harvey and other faculty surgeons, and by Ms. Jennifer Sweet, a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT). Anesthesia support is provided by LVT’s from the Anesthesia Service. Rounds focus on common clinical situations, pragmatic solutions, ethical issues, and the integration of professional and personal life.


Small Animal Medicine

The Section of Small Animal Medicine is staffed by five faculty members board-certified by the American College of Veterinary internal medicine, five residents, each completing two years of training; and three licensed veterinary technicians. Our faculty’s clinical and research expertise span a large facet of small animal internal medicine fields including hematology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hepatology, infectious and immune mediated diseases, and nephrology-urology. We provide specialized state of the art veterinary care to patients in our local area as well as referrals from all over the east Coast. The section's teaching efforts are focused on didactic lectures, clinical case presentations and laboratory experiences for preclinical veterinary students and the two-four week clinical rotation experience for third and fourth-year students.


Small Animal Orthopedic Services

The Small Animal Orthopedic Service treats injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system of dogs and cats. We provide a full range of services, from screening and diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, in cases including:

  • Pediatric Inherited Joint Disorders, like hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Cruciate Ligament Rupture
  • Patella Luxation
  • Fractures
  • Arthritis
  • Non-specific Lameness
  • Joint Replacement
  • Spinal Problems, Growth Deformity

Our services are integrated, leveraging the expertise across the Hospital. Internal consultations and referrals to other services at the Hospital streamline your pet's medical care. This applies especially to referrals to our nutrition service as many of our patients need body weight management.


Small Animal Surgery

The Section of Small Animal Surgery, with 3 surgical services, orthopedics, general surgery, and a combined service, is staffed by 6 board certified surgeons, 3surgical residents, one surgical intern, 6 rotating general interns, and 7 licensed veterinary technicians. In addition to the surgical care of both local and referred patients, the section is responsible for the didactic teaching program in surgery, which consists of both lecture and laboratory sessions, and the clinical rotations in surgery required of third and fourth year veterinary students. Surgical care is provided 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. Advanced surgical techniques available in soft tissue (general)surgery include the recent advances of laparoscopic, thoracoscopic, and laser surgery. These minimally invasive procedures often result in more rapid and comfortable patient recoveries. In the orthopedic section, both diagnostic and interventional arthroscopy are performed, in addition to total hip replacement, tibial plateau leveling osteotomy, and triple pelvic osteotomy. Rigid internal fixation of fractures, new techniques in biologic internal fixation, linear and circular external fixation are routinely performed, as is surgery of the spine for degenerative, congenital, and traumatic lesions. Limb salvage procedures for malignant bone tumors provides an alternative to amputation.


Theriogenology (Reproductive Medicine)

The Section of Theriogenology provides reproductive medicine services for companion animals - primarily dogs - including breeding management, transcervical insemination, semen freezing and infertility examinations. We also provide medical and surgical treatment for conditions related to the reproductive system including uterine disease, obstetrics and neonatal care. Our staff includes two board-certified veterinarians who collaborate with other veterinarians across the Northeast.

We offer the latest diagnostic, treatment and reproductive medicine techniques and we provide emergency services and hospitalization in a state-of-the-art facility. We work as a team with a broad range of other specialists including anesthesiologists, radiologists and surgeons to ensure our patients receive the most comprehensive care possible. And our experienced staff provides nursing care 24 hours a day.


Zoological Medicine

The Section of Zoological Medicine offers students one of the most diverse and comprehensive curriculums relating to wildlife, zoo animal, and
exotic animal medicine in North America. Our staff includes the area's only board-certified specialists that exclusively treat privately owned avian
and exotic animals, seen as primary care or referral cases. We offer a variety of services, including health exams, in-house clinical pathology and
cytology, imaging (radiography, CT, MRI, endoscopy), elective soft tissue surgery procedures (spay and neuter of exotic mammals and reptiles),
soft tissue and orthopedic surgery and 24/7 emergency and critical care service for birds, exotic mammals, reptiles and amphibians. We work
closely with other services in the hospital, including ophthalmology, surgery, dermatology, oncology, neurology, internal medicine, emergency and
critical care, and behavior, to provide advanced medical and surgical care to avian and exotic animals.

Additional information can be obtained by visiting the Wildlife Health Center.