News release provided by Oklahoma State University

Cleta Sue Bailey, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM (Neurology) of Davis, Calif., has been named a 2017 Distinguished Alumna of Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Bailey is a professor emerita of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences. Originally from Bartlesville, Okla., she earned both her B.S. in Pre-medical Science (’67) and her DVM (’70) degrees from Oklahoma State University.

Bailey went on to complete an internship (’71), residency (’73) and Ph.D. in Comparative Pathology (’77) all at UC Davis. Bailey was the first UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital Neurology/Neurosurgery Resident. In 1983, she became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in the specialty of neurology.

In 1978, Bailey joined the faculty at UC Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine as an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, and worked her way up to full professor of surgery. She instructed veterinary students, mentored graduate students, and trained neurology/neurosurgery residents throughout her tenure. 

During her career, she has received many honors and fellowships including the Bank of America Giannini Foundation Fellowship for Medical Schools, a National Institutes of Health Fellowship, and the Bay Team’s John Nunes Caninitarian Award. This award was given for “making her professional skills available to the emergency needs of the agility community, strangers and friends, competitors and comrades, day or night, on a moments notice.”

Bailey has held memberships in the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Neurology Association, Association for Women Veterinarians, the California Veterinary Medical Association and the Phi Zeta Society, which is the national Veterinary Honor Society. She has held several offices within these organizations including president of the ACVIM – Specialty of Neurology from 1990 to 1993.

In addition to publishing numerous articles, book chapters and books, Bailey has served as an editorial consult for several journals including associate editor-neurology for the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Since retiring, Sue has enjoyed training and competing with her dogs in several dog performance sports. With her Border Collie, Skip, Sue has successfully competed in agility trials from Washington to Texas, including three national championships. 

Dr. Bailey will be honored at a Distinguished Alumni Award Luncheon to be held on Friday, Nov. 10, at 11:30 a.m. in Room 101 at the Wes Watkins Center located on the Oklahoma State University Stillwater campus. Tickets are $36 each and can be purchased through Sharon Worrell at 405-744-5630 or All are invited to celebrate Dr. Cleta Sue Bailey’s accomplishments.