Faculty - Staff
Leigh Griffiths, VetMB, RCVS Diplomate of Small Animal Surgery (Soft Tissue), Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology), MRCVS, PhD, Assistant Professor
Dr. Griffiths graduated from Cambridge University in 1995, spent a year in small animal practice and then completed a residency in small animal soft tissue surgery at Glasgow University Veterinary School. In 2000 he earned the Royal College of Veterinary Surgery diploma of small animal soft tissue surgery. In 1999 he accepted a position as a lecturer in small animal surgery at University of Liverpool Veterinary School. Dr. Griffiths is the first veterinary surgeon in the United Kingdom to train as a microvascular surgeon at the world-renowned Canneisburn Hospital. He completed a fellowship in cardiac surgery at Colorado State University in 2003 followed by a PhD and residency in Cardiology. In 2007 he joined the faculty at the University of California â€“ Davis, where he runs the cardiovascular surgery program. He provides services for cardiac angiography and non-invasive tests such as echocardiography and electrocardiography. He is also interested in interventional cardiology, including pacemaker implementation, balloon valvuloplasty and patent ductus arteriosus occlusion. Dr. Griffiths offers surgical options unavailable elsewhere: open heart surgery, procedures to correct congenital defects and selected cardiac tumor surgeries. Dr. Griffiths' basic science research program involves looking for ways to identify and ultimately avoid, the barriers to transplantation of tissues (valve replacement) and organs (heart transplantation) in animal and human patients.
Joao Orvalho, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology), Assistant Clinical Professor based at the University of California Veterinary Medical Center - San Diego
Dr. Orvalho, a native of Portugal, is a graduate of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Lisbon. He completed a small animal internship at The Ohio State University and his residency in veterinary cardiology at the University of California - Davis. After completing his residency in 2007, Orvalho became the School's first veterinary cardiologist based at the UC Veterinary Medical Center - San Diego. Orvalho applies non-invasive techniques such as echocardiography, electrocardiography and cardiac angiography to diagnose diseases of the heart. He is also interested in interventional cardiology, including pacemaker implementation, balloon valvuloplasty and patent ductus arteriosus occlusion. Orvalho's research focuses on pulmonary hypertension as well as interventional and medical therapies for heart disease.
Denise Berger, RVT, Head Cardiology Technician
Denise is a native Californian, born and raised in the San Francisco area. After attending Cosumnes River College and obtaining her degree in Animal Health Technology in 1992, she worked at two Bay Area private practices as a registered veterinary technician for 6 years. She came to the VMTH in 1997, working as a technician in Small Animal Nursing and then as an emergency technician, before finding her niche in cardiology in 1998. Denise enjoys all aspects of veterinary cardiology, but has a passion for electrocardiography, Holter monitoring, and pacemaker implantation and management. In her personal time Denise enjoys spending time with her family which includes her husband, 2 wonderful children, 3 beautiful granddaughters and, of course, several pets.
Judy Schettler, Cardiology- Dermatology Technician
Judy Schettler began her career at UC Davis in June 2005 after working as a veterinary technician in the San Francisco Bay Area for seven years. Before working in veterinary medicine, Judy managed a pet store in San Ramon. Her hobbies include hiking, raising goats, and showing and hunting her Basenji hounds. She and her bloodhound Kalli have retired from many years of search-and-rescue activities. She still trains handlers and their dogs in the techniques of trailing. Judy works with both Cardiology and Dermatology services at UC Davis.