Large Animal Hospital Welcomes Four New Surgeons
The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine welcomes four new surgeons to the Morrie Waud Large Animal Hospital. Joseph Davis, Jordan Kirkpatrick, Kayla Le and Paul Merkatoris bolster a team of dedicated and expert veterinarians providing specialist services to a wide range of species, including horses, cattle and more.
Below, learn more about these surgeons, who bolster the hospital’s extensive capabilities by providing routine, specialty and emergency surgical procedures for primary and referred clients.
Joseph Davis, Clinical Instructor
At SVM until July 2022
Davis grew up on a small farm in Washington. After his undergraduate studies at Montana State University, he worked at an equine referral hospital. He decided to attend Western University of Health Sciences’ School of Veterinary Medicine in California, then did a large animal fellowship at Washington State University and a surgical residency at the University of California. ‘Tufts University.
Growing up, Davis loved biology, being outdoors and fixing things. He spent his childhood around a variety of large animals. The decision to pursue studies in veterinary medicine was the perfect combination of his interests.
Davis hopes to use UW’s state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to provide state-of-the-art, minimally invasive surgical procedures. Ensuring patients have a comfortable recovery period so they can quickly get back to their lives and routines is a priority for him.
He believes that some of the most important aspects of large animal medicine are a good relationship and open communication between clients, referring veterinarians and UW Veterinary Care. With such values, UW veterinarians can provide excellent preventative medicine, catch diseases earlier in the process, and maintain good continuity of patient care.
“I am thrilled to be part of the UW Large Animal Team and look forward to working with veterinarians and clients in the community,” Davis said.
Jordan Kirkpatrick, Assistant Clinical Professor
For Kirkpatrick, horses have always been a part of his life. Originally from South Carolina, she competed in horse shows as a child and remembers hoping to become a veterinarian as early as elementary school.
Kirkpatrick attended the University of Georgia for veterinary and undergraduate school, where she was also a member of the NCAA varsity equestrian team, which won the university’s national championship. After graduating, she completed internships at Chino Valley Equine Hospital and the University of Florida, followed by a residency in large animal surgery at the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, she was a member of the large animal and equine surgery teams at the University of Minnesota and the University of Illinois, respectively.
She credits the desire to alleviate complex patient conditions and help the equine athlete spur their path to specialization in large animal surgery. She has a particular interest in sports medicine, lameness, rehabilitation and orthopedics, and the application of knowledge gained from the treatment of human athletes for the benefit of equine athletes.
“I am thrilled to join the UW Large Animal Surgery team,” says Kirkpatrick. “I look forward to working with equine and food animal and fiber patients, as well as building lasting relationships with customers and community veterinarians.”
Kayla Le, Assistant Clinical Professor
The is originally from Nebraska. While attending Kansas State University for her undergraduate and doctoral studies in veterinary medicine, she particularly enjoyed surgery and working with large animals.
She has completed internships at Louisiana State University, Cornell University, and Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital, as well as an equine surgical residency at Iowa State University.
The focuses on minimally invasive surgeries, such as transendoscopic laser surgery and laparoscopy. Transendoscopic laser surgery helps treat certain equine upper respiratory conditions and laparoscopy allows veterinarians to have a window into the abdominal region and perform surgical procedures. The is also interested in emergency colic surgeries.
“I am thrilled to join the team at the University of Wisconsin and hope to continue to see a wide variety of cases,” says Le.
Paul Merkatoris, Assistant Professor
Merkatoris has strong ties to Wisconsin. He is from Brussels, a small town in southern Door County. He attended UW-Madison as an undergraduate and earned a degree in animal science. He then decided to continue his studies at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in the DVM class of 2016.
He credits two childhood influences in his decision to pursue large animal medicine: riding horses and raising pigs. As a result, he was able to observe equine veterinarians and spark an interest in the care of farm animal species.
As a member of the surgical services, he is happy to use the equipment and facilities available at UW Veterinary Care. He notes that recent and planned upgrades to the clinic – including additional imaging space for horses and cattle, isolation wards, a covered outdoor arena and specialist surgery rooms – will help the team. to better serve customers and their animals.
“We are here to serve and support our customers,” says Merkatoris. “I want our customers to know that we appreciate the opportunity to care for their animals and their patience as we build our facility.”