Meet Our Doctors
|Debra Rackear, DVM, ACVIM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine Director
Dr. Debra Rackear received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida. After graduation, she was selected for a one year small animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. Following her internship, she completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California at Davis.
Dr. Rackear has been board certified in internal medicine since 1989. She has published multiple research papers, including studying the effects of aspirin on blood clotting, and publishing the first research paper demonstrating the toxic effects of onions on red blood cell function.
Dr. Rackear’s professional interests include ultrasonography, endoscopy, endocrine disorders including Cushing’s disease and diabetes mellitus, hepatic and renal disorders, and cancer diagnostics and chemotherapy.
Dr. Rackear is also on the medical advisory board of the Los Angeles Zoo. She has given her internal medicine expertise on a wide variety of patients there, including performing a spinal tap on a koala bear and liver biopsy for a monkey.
When not at work, Dr. Rackear enjoys hiking in her Topanga Canyon neighborhood, tending to her orchids, singing and playing guitar,and cuddling with her German Shepherd Dog Bandit.
Article: Immune Mediated Anemia - Debra Rackear (pdf)
| Jerrold Bausman, DVM - Department of Surgery
Dr. Bausman received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University.
Following veterinary school he completed a one-year internship in small animal medicine, surgery and critical care at Southwest Veterinary Hospital in Tucson, Arizona. Thereafter he successfully completed a small animal surgical internship and residency at Animal Specialty Group in Los Angeles, CA where he remained as a staff surgeon until becoming a partner at VSV.
Dr. Bausman has lectured nationally and internationally on topics relating to adult stem cell therapy for the treatment of arthritis, ligament repair in the canine stifle, total hip replacement in canines and ion currents in cardiac muscle. He appeared on ABC’s Night Line News regarding his use of adult derived stem cells for treating arthritis.
He is currently active in clinical trials using adult derived stem cell therapy. Other areas of professional interest include limb alignment and joint replacement surgeries, management of severe and chronic wounds, the use of vacuum assisted closure in veterinary patients and post-operative physical therapy.
You can usually find him with his constant companion/shadow, Chino, a lovable pit bull that has saved numerous lives through blood donations. When not at work, he enjoys working out, trail running, snowboarding and skiing, golfing, and is trying his hand at surfing.
Article: Stem Cell Therapy in the Treatment of Osteoarthritis - Jerrold Bausman (pdf)
Article: Total Hip Arthroplasty in the Veterinary Patient - Jerrold Bausman (pdf)
|Domenico Bianco, DVM, Ph.D
Diplomate, ACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine)
Dr. Bianco received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1998 and a Ph.D in 2002 in Small Animal Physiology from the University of Torino, School of Veterinary Medicine in Italy. In 2008, Dr. Bianco completed a Residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota in 2008. He has been in private practice since completion of his residency and is a renowned international lecturer in many internal medicine topics.
|Brian Norman, DVM, ACVIM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Dr. Brian Norman has been the Medical Director at California Animal Hospital, Veterinary Specialty Group for many years, and we are thrilled to have him join us here. He has been practicing in the Los Angeles area since 1999, and is board certified with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM), specializing in Small Animal Internal Medicine. Dr. Norman has a strong interest in endoscopy, colonoscopy, bronchoscopy and ultrasonography.
Dr. Norman is an avid runner and has completed several marathons. Dr. Norman lives in Woodland Hills with his wife, two daughters, a son and two black labs.
|Lisa Gerlach, DVM
Department of Neurology
Dr. Lisa Gerlach attended the University of California at Davis and was awarded a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. She completed a small animal rotating internship at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego in 2009. She went on to complete her Neurology/Neurosurgery residency at the University of California at Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in 2012.
Dr. Gerlach is a born and raised Californian who grew up in Costa Mesa. She is a Chapman University 2004 graduate with Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences. Dr. Gerlach has two cats named Sasha and Lulu and a step-kitty named Sweetpea.
|Dr. Renee Fenty, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Critical Care and Emergency Dept Director
Dr. Renee Fenty attended Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and was awarded a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. She completed a rotating small animal internship at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston in 2006, and worked as an emergency clinician for one year at Roberts Animal Hospital in Hanover, Massachusetts before returning to Tufts University for a 3-year residency in emergency and critical care in 2007.
Dr. Fenty completed her residency in July 2010. Her clinical research involving clotting abnormalities in dogs with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia was recently accepted for publication by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Professional interests: Trauma, coagulopathies, transfusion medicine, immune-mediated disease, sepsis. In her free time, Dr. Fenty enjoys biking, hiking, yoga, and horseback riding.
| Dr. Ryan Gershenson, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Dr. Ryan Gershenson graduated from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Gershenson went on to complete a one year rotating internship at the VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center in San Diego. Following his internship Dr. Gershenson completed a 3 year residency in Emergency and Critical Care at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Gershenson was successful in becoming board certified in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. After his residency Dr. Gershenson worked at a specialty hospital in Las Vegas before returning to California to join Veterinary Specialists of the Valley as our second full time Criticalist.
Dr. Gershenson's professional interests include transfusion medicine, coagulation disorders, trauma, sepsis and mechanical ventilation. In his free time Dr. Gershenson enjoys hiking, skiing, surfing and fishing.
| Dr. Eleanor Lan DVM, MBA
Dr. Eleanor Lan graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 1998 with a BA in Biology. Afterwards, she completed an MBA in International Management at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. After working for a few years in the corporate world, Dr. Lan decided that her heart still lied with her first love, veterinary medicine, and she moved to San Francisco to pursue her dream. She graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis in 2008. After graduation, Dr. Lan completed a formal one-year rotating internship at Animal Specialty Group in Glendale, California.
During her internship, she received advanced training with board-certified specialists in Internal Medicine, Surgery, Neurology, Oncology, Radiology, and Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. During this time, she became particularly interested in Emergency Medicine and Surgery and since then has been a emergency veterinarian at Veterinary Specialists of the Valley since December 2009. Dr. Lan is a native of Los Angeles but has spent time living in Taiwan, Shanghai, Tokyo, and San Francisco. In her free time, she can be found out and about town with her Golden Retriever, Beauregard. Her hobbies include, SCUBA diving, horseback riding, international traveling, and cooking.
|Tania Hunt DVM, MPVM
Dr. Tania Hunt graduated from the University of California, Davis. Concurrent with her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, she also earned a master’s in Preventive Veterinary Medicine with and emphasis on epidemiology and zoonotic disease.
After graduating, she started her career as a general practitioner in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. After a year in general practice, Dr. Hunt completed a rotating small animal internship at California Animal Hospital, where she had the opportunity to work along side specialist in the fields of internal medicine, cardiology, neurology and surgery.
For the past many years of Dr. Hunt’s career she has enjoyed working in variety of veterinary practices around the state-- from large multi-doctor specialty hospitals to small general practices, cat-only practices, and even a wild animal preserve. However, her special interest and passion remain emergency medicine and critical care.
Dr. Hunt in a native of southern California; she has trained in dance from a young age and continues to enjoy hip-hop, fire spinning and yoga.
|Dr. Jeannette M.A. da Silva Curiel, B.Sc, DVM, Diplomate ACVO
Dr. da Silva Curiel graduated from the University of Calgary in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree (in Animal Biology). In 1986, she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (with distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan. After completing a one year post-graduate internship in general veterinary medicine and surgery at the University of Missouri, Dr. da Silva Curiel then completed a three year residency program in comparative veterinary ophthalmology at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Missouri.
Dr. da Silva Curiel has been in continuous private practice since 1990. She became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 1990 and served as a member of the Board-Certification Examination Committee for the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists from 2001-2004.
Dr. da Silva Curiel works at our hosptial one day a week - and spends the rest of her time at her own clinic.
Dr. Jeannette da Silva Curiel is a proud member of the following organizations:
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO)
The Canadian Association of Veterinary Ophthalmology (CAVO)
The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA)
The Southern California Veterinary Medical Association (SCVMA)
The Santa Barbara and Ventura Veterinary Medical Association (SBVVMA)
The Veterinary Information Network (VIN)
The Phi Zeta Society, Pi Chapter (Veterinary Honor Society)
| David Hager, DVM, MD
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Radiology
Dr. Hager is a board certified veterinary radiologist, and has a unique background in medical and radiologic training in that he is both a veterinarian and a physician. He received his veterinary degree in 1980 from Purdue University, completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at Louisiana State University and then underwent a three year veterinary radiology residency at the University of California, Davis, that culminated in board certification as a veterinary radiologist in 1984. He joined the faculty at the University of Florida as an Assistant Professor for four years before establishing a radiology practice in San Diego in 1988.
Due to an intense interest in comparative medicine and advanced imaging procedures, Dr. Hager attended medical school at the University of California, Davis and graduated in 1994, while maintaining a radiology practice in San Diego. As part of his human medical training, he completed a transitional internship at Mercy Hospital in San Diego and two years of radiology residency at the University of California, San Diego.
In San Diego, he established and later sold, a stand alone veterinary diagnostic imaging center. The center provided nuclear medicine, ultrasound, CT and MR imaging along with hyperthyroid cat treatment. Recently, Dr. Hager's practice has evolved into emphasizing teleradiology consultations with a special interest in MR and CT imaging. Dr. Hager has over forty articles on veterinary radiology topics published in various veterinary journals and has spoken both nationally and internationally on veterinary radiology subjects.
Dr. Hager continues his interest in comparative human and veterinary radiology while striving to obtain the highest quality of diagnostic imaging for his veterinary patients and practice. Having been a cat lover his entire career, Dr. Hager continues to own and manage the Animal Imaging & Treatment Center (www.animalimaging.org) in Las Vegas, NV, a hyperthyroid cat treatment center.
| Rebecca Swimmer, DVM
A native of Chicago, Dr. Swimmer graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign with High Honors with a Bachelors in Animal Science. She then attended Harvard University where she graduated with a Master’s in Neurobiology. While at Harvard, she was the recipient of a National Institute of Health training grant for the study of the Molecular Biology of Neurodegeneration. Her research focused on overcoming inhibition to regeneration in the adult mammalian central nervous system.
She received her doctorate from the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. While a student at Tufts, she received a National Institute of Health Short-Term Training Grant. Her research study focused on validating the 6-Minute Walk Test used in human medicine and verifying its utility in a veterinary population. This test is used as a predictor of morbidity and death from heart or lung disease as well as a method of assessing an objective response to therapeutic interventions. Her findings were published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
After earning her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, she pursued advanced training and completed a small animal rotating internship at Animal Specialty and Emergency Center. While at ASEC, she received advanced training with board-certified specialists in Emergency and Critical Care, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Radiology, Cardiology, and Oncology. Her professional interests include neurologic disorders, trauma medicine, and coagulopathies. In her free time, Dr. Swimmer enjoys playing the guitar, martial arts, and hiking.
|Dr. Benoit Charette, DVM, DACVS
Dr. Benoit Charette completed his DVM at the University of Montreal in 1993. After an internship in 1994, he worked in small animal general practice for three years. He then returned to his Alma Mater to complete a Master degree in Early Detection of Hip Dysplasia and a residency in small animal surgery. He remained at the School of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Montreal as an associate professor for one year. Dr. Charette entered private practice in a suburb of Chicago until October 2004.
Since October 2004, Dr. Charette has been an associate surgeon for California Animal Hospital Veterinary Specialty Group and VCA VetSurg and Neurology. His main interests are neurosurgery (including brain surgery), soft tissue surgery, and fracture repair. Dr. Charette became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in February 2003.