Equine Surgical Emergency and Critical Care Service

Isabelle Kilcoyne, MVB, DACVS – Assistant Clinical Professor
Following several years as a resident and staff veterinarian in the Large Animal Clinic, Dr. Isabelle Kilcoyne joined the Equine Surgical Emergency and Critical Care Service as an assistant clinical professor. Dr. Kilcoyne earned her veterinary degree from University College Dublin (Ireland) in 2008, after which she spent a year as an equine surgical intern at their University Veterinary Hospital. She then joined UC Davis, first as a team member with the Equine Field Service for two years, and then completing a three-year residency in equine surgery. Dr. Kilcoyne is board certified (Diplomate) in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Her main clinical and research interests are in emergency surgery and medicine, particularly gastrointestinal surgery.

Neurology/Neurosurgery Service

Jill Hicks, DVM – Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Jill Hicks earned her veterinary degree from the University of Minnesota in 2011. She then stayed on at Minnesota to complete a one-year small animal rotating internship, followed by a one-year neurology internship at Animal Specialty Group in Los Angeles. Dr. Hicks completed a three-year neurology residency at the University of Georgia in 2016. Her research focuses on local chemotherapy treatment for brain tumors, including a potentially ground-breaking drug that has led to a clinical trial.

Soft Tissue Surgery Service

Ingrid Balsa, MEd, DVM – Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Ingrid Balsa received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Arizona. She was a public school teacher for several years prior to entering veterinary school at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine. After obtaining her veterinary degree, she completed a one-year rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at North Carolina State University. Dr. Balsa then went on to complete a three-year surgery residency at UC Davis.

Zoological Medicine Service

Jenessa Gjeltema, DVM, DACZM – Assistant Professor
Dr. Jenessa Gjeltema earned her DVM (2011) and completed a Zoological Medicine residency program (2015) from North Carolina State University. She is responsible for instruction, case management and consultation for the Zoological Medicine Service. Dr. Gjeltema’s current research interests include noninfectious and environmental disease affecting endangered species and ecosystem health, comparative medicine focused on the evaluation of diagnostics and therapeutics applied to zoological species, and amphibian conservation medicine.

Cardiology Service

Catherine Gunther-Harrington, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology) – Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Catherine Gunther-Harrington attended veterinary school at UC Davis, graduating in 2012. She completed a rotating medical and surgical internship at North Carolina State University. She then returned to UC Davis for her residency in cardiology, becoming board certified in cardiology in 2016. Dr. Gunther-Harrington currently serves as a Clinical Instructor of Cardiology, utilizing her expertise in clinical teaching and clinical cases. Dr. Gunther-Harrington’s interests include acute and chronic management of congestive heart failure, interventional procedures, and congenital cardiac defects. She enjoys tailoring medical management to fit the patient’s disease and client’s needs with an emphasis on quality of life. Dr. Gunther-Harrington’s research interests include innovative ways of imaging and diagnosis, early identification of cardiac disease, and minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic options. Dr. Gunther-Harrington also has an interest in cardiologic assessment of exotic animals, wildlife, and non-domestic species.

Community Practice Service

Ilana Halperin, DVM, CVA – Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Ilana Halperin earned her veterinary degree from UC Davis in 2003. After graduation, she completed a one-year rotating internship in veterinary internal medicine and surgery in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Halperin then spent the next 12 years as a general practitioner in California before joining UC Davis in 2016. In 2007, she became a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS). Her interest in acupuncture came about after she received acupuncture for a knee injury and was impressed with the results. Realizing that this could be a wonderful addition to her practice of veterinary medicine, she pursued the training through IVAS. Since that time, she has been happy to see positive results in her patients using acupuncture to treat such conditions as arthritis, back pain, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Community Practice Service

Blythe Jurewicz, DVM – Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Blythe Jurewicz earned her veterinary degree from UC Davis in 2005. After graduation, she went on to complete a rotating internship at East Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency. She then entered private practice as a general practitioner and emergency veterinarian. Dr. Jurewicz is a member of American Veterinary Medical Association, California Veterinary Medical Association, and Sacramento Valley Veterinary Medical Association. Previously, she served Community Practice as a staff veterinarian since 2012.

Emergency/Critical Care Service

Casey Kohen, DVM, DACVECC – Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Casey Kohen earned his veterinary degree from UC Davis. Following graduation, he completed a one-year small animal rotating internship at North Carolina State University. Dr. Kohen began his three-year residency in emergency and critical care medicine at UC Davis in 2013. Following completion of the residency and passing his board-certification examination, he stayed on at UC Davis and joined the emergency team as a staff veterinarian working in both the Emergency Room the Intensive Care Unit.

Emergency/Critical Care Service

Yu Ueda, DVM, DACVECC – Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Yu Ueda received his veterinary degree from Washington State University in 2011. He continued his training by completing a one-year rotating internship at Auburn University in 2012 and a three-year emergency and critical care residency at UC Davis in 2015. He returned to UC Davis as a staff veterinarian in 2016.

Equine Internal Medicine and Dentistry Service

Lais Costa, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVIM, DABVP – Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Lais Costa received her veterinary degree from Sao Paulo State University, Brazil. Following veterinary school, she completed: a clinical internship, residency and fellowship at Louisiana State University (LSU); a Master’s Degree at the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky; a PhD in respiratory immunopathology at LSU; and clinical training at UC Davis. While at UC Davis, Dr. Costa received a Young Investigator Award by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine for a project evaluating Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infection. She has practiced internal medicine in veterinary teaching hospitals at LSU, University of Georgia, Tufts University, and Mississippi State University and has worked as an internal medicine consultant for several years. Dr. Costa’s specialty interests are in respiratory and infectious diseases, immunology, neonatology and geriatrics.

Anesthesia/Critical Patient Care Service

Annatasha Bartel, BVMS, MRCVS, DACVAA – Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Annatasha Bartel graduated with distinction from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh (UK). She then worked in small animal general practice and small emergency medicine for three years prior to pursuing a rotating small animal internship at a private practice in Toronto. Thereafter, Dr. Bartel completed a residency in anesthesia and analgesia at Cornell University in 2015. During her time at Cornell, she was appointed chief resident for an 18-month tenure and was awarded the Clinical Resident of the Year award in her second year of training. Dr. Bartel successfully sat the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia certification exams and was awarded diplomate status in 2016. Prior to her position at UC Davis, she worked in private referral practice in Toronto. Her specific interests include locoregional anesthesia, anesthesia of the critical patient, and the gastrointestinal adverse effects of anesthesia.

Small Animal Theriogenology Service

Janice Cain, DVM, DACVIM – Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Janice Cain earned her veterinary degree from UC Davis in 1984, and completed a residency in small animal internal medicine in 1987. She became board certified in 1989. Dr. Cain worked as a consultant internist for a large group of veterinary hospitals in Northern California from 1987 - 1994. Since then, she has been the staff internist at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center in San Ramon. For 29 years, Dr. Cain developed an extremely busy theriogenology practice, managing more than 350 breedings per year. Her many services include: fertility and breeding management consultation; ovulation timing; semen collection; insemination; pregnancy diagnosis and management; neonatology; and C-sections.


Lauren Eichstadt Forsythe, PharmD, FSVHP – Staff Pharmacist
Dr. Lauren Eichstadt earned her pharmacy doctorate from the University of Findlay in 2015. She then completed a one-year veterinary pharmacy residency at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Eichstadt is a Fellow of the Society of Veterinary Hospital Pharmacists and a member of the American College of Veterinary Pharmacists. She is currently pursuing diplomate status in the International College of Veterinary Pharmacy.