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Program Track

Thursday – Salon 4

Ms. Debbie Gross

Wizard of Paws Physical Rehabilitation for Animals /  Colchester, Connecticut

Her education started in human physical therapy but while she was going through physical therapy school, she quickly realized that her family dog as well as all other animals could benefit from the science of physical therapy as much as people could.  As she continued with her human physical therapy career she kept the dream of treating animals in the back of her mind while focusing on the sports medicine and orthopedics.  While she was doing this, her quest for animal therapy continued and she studied as much canine anatomy, movement and treatment as she could.

Over the years, she worked at a veterinarian practice and reduced her hours at her human clinic.  At some point, realized her mind and heart was with the animals and left the human practice.

Debbie has produced four DVDs to date in conjunction with Clean Run Productions: Strengthening the Performance Dog, Stretching the Performance Dog, Osteoarthritis and Your Dog, and the famous Get on the Ball Two. She has published a book, Canine Physical Therapy, focusing on manual therapy.

A longtime member of American Physical Therapist Special Interest Group, Debbie has held the office of President. She is also a member of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM). She is also an active member of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, the American Bullmastiff Association, the Clumber Spaniel Club.

She currently works at Wizard of Paws which she founded in 1996.  The Wizard of Paws clinic offers a variety of services for dogs related to physical rehabilitation, conditioning, and wellness. of America, and various other local dog clubs.

Thursday – Salon 1-3

Dr. Karen Tobias
Soft Tissue Surgery

University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine/ Knoxville, TN

Dr. Karen Tobias is the Professor of Surgery in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.   She obtained her DVM in 1981 from the University of Illinois.  Her areas of research or clinical interest are:  soft tissue surgery, portosystemic shunts and practical surgical tips.  She is most proud of receiving the Webster Pendergrass Outstanding Service Award, in August 2015.  Her 2 most recent publications are:  Tobias & Johnston’s Veterinary Surgery:  Small Animal (2nd edition coming out next year); Tobias Manual of Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery (2nd edition coming out next year)
She has 2 children Jacob 22 a communications major and whitewater kayaking instructor in UT, and her daughter Jessica 20, a Cadet in the US Air Force Academy.

Friday – Salon 1-3

Dr. Becky Mullis

Hill’s Pet Nutrition /  Lawrence, KS

Dr. Becky Mullis obtained her DVM from the University of Tennessee in 2010.  She became a Diplomate – American College of Veterinary Nutrition – 2016
Her areas of special interest include:  GI Disease
She currently works for Hill’s Pet Nutrition and the Associate Manager of Scientific Affairs.
She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her husband Aaron and their daughter Emma who is 2 years old and their 2 dogs, Luna (Pit Mix) and Merlin (Terrier Mix).

Friday – Veterans 1

Dr. Elizabeth Rozanski
Respiratory Disease

Tufts University / North Grafton, MA

Growing up outside of Chicago, near the Brookfield Zoo, Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” Rozanski developed a love for veterinary medicine from age five. As a member of the Foster Hospital for Small Animals’ Emergency and Critical Care team, she treats animals at one of the nation’s busiest academic emergency rooms. She is board-certified in both internal medicine and emergency and critical care.

Dr. Rozanski graduated from the University of Illinois with her DVM degree. After completing a residency in Philadelphia, she was drawn to Tufts by the position’s combination of research, teaching, and service. She teaches toxicology and respiratory medicine throughout the four-year Cummings School DVM curriculum, and lectures in others. “I love the students,” she says. “They are a continued source of inspiration and enthusiasm.”

She has also been involved in student efforts to provide free rabies vaccinations in low-income housing in the City of Worcester, serves as a faculty mentor for summer student research projects, has raised funds for the American Heart Association (with her dog, Brie, named after one of her favorite cases at the Foster Hospital) through the Central Massachusetts Heart Walk, and lectures often at continuing education and community events. She is also the past president of the Veterinary Comparative Respiratory Society.

Friday – Salon 4

Dr. Susan Little
Feline Medicine

The Cat Hospital / Ottawa, Canada

Dr. Susan Little received her BSc from Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia, Canada) and her DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has been in feline practice since 1990 and achieved board certification in Feline Practice in 1997. Dr. Little is part owner of two feline specialty practices in Ottawa, Canada. She is a board member and President (2015) of the American Assoc. of Feline Practitioners, as well as being a past board member and Past President of the Winn Feline Foundation. Dr. Little joins the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners in 2015 representing the American Animal Hospital Association.

Awards and honors:  Canadian Veterinary Medical Assoc. Small Animal Practitioner Award, 2010 North American Veterinary Conference Small Animal Speaker of the Year, 2013 International Society of Feline Medicine/Hill’s Pet Nutrition Award for outstanding contributions to feline medicine, 2013

She is the editor and co-author of The Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management, published by Elsevier in 2012. Dr. Little is also the editor and an author for volume 7 of August’s Consultations in Feline Internal Medicine, published by Elsevier in 2015.

Saturday – Salon 5

Dr. Greg Grauer

Kansas State University/ Manhattan, KS

Dr. Grauer is a DVM graduate of Iowa State University.  He completed his post-graduate training in internal medicine at Colorado State (internship, residency, and MS degree).  He is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and has served as president and Chairman of the Board of Regents of the ACVIM.  Dr. Grauer was a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine and Colorado State University, College of Veterinary Medicine prior to his appointment as the Jarvis Chair of Medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University.  He has received the SmithKline Beecham Award for research excellence in veterinary nephrology and he was appointed as a Morris Animal Foundation Fellow for his work on canine glomerular disease.  Dr. Grauer serves on the International Renal Interest Society Board and he is a past member of the Advisory Board of the North American Society of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology.  He is also one of the editors of the 2nd and 3rd editions of the British

Saturday – Salon 4

Dr. Adam Birkenhauer
Infectious Disease

Associate Professor North Carolina State / Raleigh, NC

Dr. Birkenhauer attended veterinary school at the University of Florida. After the completion of veterinary school he completed a one-year rotating small animal internship at North Carolina State University and stayed there to complete the Clinician Investigator Program, a combined PhD and small animal internal medicine residency. He is board certified in small animal internal medicine by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He has worked as an internal medicine specialist at a private referral hospital, an emergency doctor and a general practitioner prior to starting his current position at NC State. His research areas include the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of vector-borne diseases of dogs and cats.

Saturday – Veterans 1

Dr. Greg Almond
Radiology/Clinical Pathology

Auburn University / Auburn, AL

Assistant Clinical Professor, Radiology
Department of Clinical Sciences

Dr. Almond received his D.V.M. from the University of Tennessee in 1984.

Research Interests:

Computed tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Dr. Gregory Almond obtained his DVM degree from the University of Tennessee in 1984.  He also received his MS from Auburn University 2009, diplomate ACVR Radiology, Diplomate ACVR Radiation Oncology.  He is currently the Assistant Clinical Professor of Radiology Department of Clinical Sciences at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.
His areas of interest are:  Stereotactic Radiation Therapy, CT, and Nuclear Medicine.  He is most proud of receiving the Paul Piper Distinguished Alumnus Award – Briarcrest Baptist High School, Memphis Tennessee.  He resides in the Auburn area with his wife Tina and their French Bull Dogs, Flapjack and Buckwheat

Saturday – Salon 1-3

Dr. Fiia Jokela
Behavior Forum

Deer Run Animal Hospital / Schererville, IN

Dr. Jokela is a 1990 graduate of Purdue University, School of Veterinary Medicine.  In 1998 she achieved Board Certification in Canine and Feline Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP).   In 2008 she renewed board certification by passing the ABVP recertification exam.  Dr. Jokela  is one of the original founders of Deer Run Animal Hospital which first opened its doors in 2001.

Dr. Jokela has a special interest in veterinary behavior medicine. This is a field that is sadly not taught to most veterinarians during their education. She currently is working toward a second board certification in Veterinary Behavior Medicine and is currently working on a behavior residency under the mentorship of Veterinary Behavior Specialist, Dr. Sara Bennett, MS, DACVB.

Dr. Jokela currently has a family of 4 pets.  “Tuovi” is a female terrier mix that came to Deer Run as a homeless puppy with severe low blood sugar.  After a few days of intensive care, the bond between dog and DVM was permanent and “Tuovi” joined the family.  “Teppo” is a very debonair kitty with deep green eyes; he was born of a feral mother in Dr. Jokela’s neighborhood.  “Bentley” was a sad little homeless puppy turned into Deer Run during the freezing winter of 2013.  He is a mixed breed with a splash of Boxer heritage and he has grown up to be the most handsome boy!  The latest addition is the magnificent “Arandano” a rescued Galgo or Spanish Greyhound who

Sunday – Salon 1-3

Dr. Stephanie Thomovsky

Purdue University / Lafayette, IN

Dr. Thomovsky received her DVM from Iowa State in 2005 and completed her Neurology residency at Purdue in 2011.  She is currently the Clinical Assistant Professor of Veterinary Neurology at Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine.  Her award she is most proud of is the Zoetis Teaching Award.  Her favorite Pet is her dog Sassy Thomovsky.

2010 – Residency | Purdue University
2010 – MS | Purdue University
2005 – DVM | Iowa State University

Diplomate: American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Neurology), 2011
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner: University of Tennessee, 2012

Areas of Interest
Vestibular disease
Veterinary rehabilitation
Movement disorders

Sunday – Salon 4

Dr. Candace Sousa

Zoetis / El Dorado, CA

Dr. Candace Sousa is an Associate Director of Veterinary Operations for Zoetis. She received her B.S. degree in Physiology from the University of California, Davis and her DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine at UCD where she subsequently completed her residency in Dermatology and Allergy. She has been certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Companion Animal Practice since1983 and is currently certified in Canine and Feline Medicine. In 1985 she was certified by the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. Dr. Sousa worked in private small animal practice, owned a small animal clinic in Sacramento and worked in a private dermatology referral practice before joining Zoetis in 2003. She has lectured extensively to veterinarians worldwide as well as publishing in numerous veterinary publications. In 2008 Dr. Sousa received the ACVD Award for Excellence. She currently maintains an appointment as a Clinical Professor in the department of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of California, Davis and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Washington State University.

Sunday – Salon 6-8

Dr. AD Elkins

Relief Work / Kentucky


  • DVM – Auburn University 1970
  • Surgery Residency – Texas A & M masters of Surgery 1982
  • Board Certified ACVS 1989

Clinical Interests

  • Cruciate Ligament Disease
  • Mental Wellness in Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Elkins currently does relief work in Kentucky.  He has 3 children, and adopted pets, Poodles Tess and Ringo, and a Shihtzu named Jack Riley. He is most proud of his board certification.