Dr. Laura Harvey
Veterinary neurologist Laura Harvey, DVM joined VNOC in September 2016. When announcing that her appointment to the VNOC/VIOC staff, Dr. McDonnell said, “I’m so pleased to be able to bring on such a superbly qualified neurologist out of the outstanding program at Tufts.”
A graduate of Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Harvey completed her internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and returned to Tufts to do her residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery. There she received the Resident Award for Excellence in Teaching and was chosen by the Class of 2016 as the first Resident of the Year for routinely going above and beyond for her patients and students.
"I met Dr. McDonnell at Tufts when I was a student, as he continues to teach some anatomy labs there,” Dr. Harvey said. “I was so impressed and was excited to learn about the opportunity to work with him. Plus my family is on the Eastern Shore, just two hours away. I love being closer to them.”
After receiving a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University, Dr. Harvey took two years off from school to work as a veterinary technician. The experience confirmed her career choice.
“Neurology is a fascinating field. It’s on the cutting edge with new surgeries and treatments being developed all the time. Having the MRI capabilities right here at VIOC with one practice team is huge. I’m also excited to have the opportunity to work on the brain tumor trials—and to see where this field goes in the coming years.”
Relationships with pets and their people are important to Dr. Harvey. “We develop both short and long-term relationships. We might see a pet with a back issue over a month or two for diagnosis, surgery and follow-up, while we’ll likely continue to see a pet with seizures over the course of her lifetime.”
Dr. Harvey knows what it’s like to have a pet with a chronic, long-term disease. “My cat, Sage, developed myasthenia gravis, a rare neuromuscular disease, after I’d had her for six years. I’ve managed it for four years, and know that it’s not easy. The key to dealing with these types of medical conditions is recognizing that you can only do your best; no one is perfect. As veterinarians and pet owners, we need to know what are reasonable expectations of care on all fronts. It’s all about compassion and understanding.”
In addition to Sage, Dr. Harvey has another cat, Wolfie and a Labrador retriever named Magnolia. She spends much of her free time outdoors, and particularly enjoys hiking and kayaking.