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Oklahoma State University

Small Animal Surgery Faculty and Staff


Danielle R. Dugat, DVM, MS, DACVS (Small Animal)

danielle dugat

Dr. Dugat is an associate professor of small animal surgery. She is originally from Huntington Beach, Calif. and moved to Oklahoma in 2003 to attend veterinary school at Oklahoma State University. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 2007 from OSU. Dugat went on to complete a small animal surgical residency and received her master's degree in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences from OSU. She became a board certified surgeon and Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2013. Dugat has been on faculty at OSU since 2011 and is the Cohn Family Chair for Small Animal Care.

In her free time, she and her husband show their Boer goat herd, traveling throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. She also loves scrapbooking, outdoor activities, and spending time with her daughter, Braylee and stepson, Easton.

Cara Blake, DVM, DACVS, CCRT

cara blake
Dr. Blake is an assistant professor of small animal surgery. Originally from South Weymouth, Mass., she earned her DVM degree from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons-Small Animal and a certified canine rehabilitation therapist. Her research interests include osteoarthritis and gait analysis.

Erik Clary, DVM, Ph.D., DACVS

erik clary

Dr. Clary joined the VCS department in February 2018 and is an associate professor. A graduate of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and former resident at North Carolina State University, he was recruited post-residency to Duke University Medical Center where he served as an experimental surgeon and faculty researcher in the Department of Surgery. Appointed Assistant Director of Duke’s Endosurgery Center in 1999, for several years Clary oversaw the nonclinical research efforts of one of the nation’s premier programs in minimally invasive surgery. From the work at Duke, his publication credits include entries in upper tier human surgery journals including Surgical Endoscopy, Journal of Surgical Research, and the American Journal of Surgery.

While at Duke, Clary was a strong advocate for the welfare of animals in research, helping to identify inanimate alternatives, raising the standards in analgesic and general care, and developing minimally invasive techniques for a variety of investigative procedures. By Clary’s account, Duke was more than gracious as he was also allowed time to engage in private clinical practice. After a decade of service, he left Duke in order to pursue graduate studies in ethics that recently culminated in the Ph.D. degree.

Nowadays, he splits his time between clinical surgery and work in the field of bioethics that includes lecturing, writing, and offering public policy consultation on a wide range of issues pertinent to human and veterinary medicine.


Donald Holter, DVM

donald holter

Originally from Bucyrus, Ohio, Dr. Holter earned his DVM degree from Ross University. His research interests include fracture biomechanics and implant design.

In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, cycling and participating in Pitbull and Breed Specific Legislation awareness.

Jane Park, DVM

jane park

Dr. Park is originally from New York. She began her undergraduate degree in creative writing, but her strong interest in biology drove her to pursue a DVM degree, which she earned from Cornell University. Her research interests include the biomechanics of external skeletal fixation, evaluating IVDH following conservative management with MRI, and microbeam radiation therapy for spinal cord injury.

In her spare time, Park enjoys horseback riding, playing guitar and mountain biking.

Rodrigo Roca, DVM

rodrigo roca

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Roca earned his DVM degree from Ross University and spent his clinical year at UC Davis. His research interests are cranial cruciate ligament disease, elbow dysplasia, telemedicine and regenerative medicine. Roca previously held two internships, a rotating internship at Tufts University and a surgery internship at a private practice in Austin.

Roca is bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. In his free time, Roca is a drummer and used to be a DJ. He used to play competitive sports and continues to have an active lifestyle.

Veterinary Technicians

Justin Hicks, RVT

justin hicks

Justin Hicks graduated from the Murray State College Veterinary Technician Program in May 2015, and became an RVT in August 2015. Justin joined the Anesthesia Team in November 2015. His main interest is large animal anesthesia, and he anticipates pursuing specialty status in Anesthesia.

Justin has a wide variety of hobbies, which include team roping, volunteering with Special Olympics Equestrian Competition, car shows, hunting, fishing, and all kinds of sports, as well as spending quality time with family, friends, and wildlife!

Tracie Merrill, RVT

tracie merrill

Tracie is the Small Animal Surgery department floor technician and Surgery Supervisor.  She has been a Registered Veterinary Technician since 2002, and has worked in a variety of settings including small animal general practice, equine referral surgery, and academic food animal surgery and internal medicine.  Her career interests include advanced wound management, orthopedics and physical rehabilitation.  She is also working on obtaining Veterinary Technician Specialist credentials in small animal surgery. 

Tracie lives on a small farm with her husband Kurt and a fun assortment of farm animals including llamas, chickens, meat rabbits, and of course, cats and dogs.  In her spare time, Tracie enjoys all things fiber, including spinning, weaving, crochet and knitting.  She is also an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hunting and backpacking adventures with her husband and their close-knit backpacking buddies.  

Anna Soto, RVT

anna soto

Anna Soto is originally from Tulsa, Okla., where she graduated from a catholic high school. She attended Tulsa Community Veterinary Technology Program and graduated with an associate’s degree in applied science. Anna is now a Registered Veterinary Technician and plans to continue her education at Oklahoma State University by earning her bachelor’s degree. Anna has an interest in working with both equine and small animals.

She is bilingual with Spanish being her second language. She enjoys traveling to Mexico to visit her family, as well as partaking in outdoor activities. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, dancing and spending quality time with her son.

Alexis Green, RVT

alexis green

Alexis grew up in the small town of Chickasha, Okla. Early on, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.  After graduating high school, Alexis attended Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City and was accepted into OSU-OKC’s Veterinary Technician Program.  She graduated from the program in May of 2015 and received her license as a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) in September of 2015. Upon obtaining her RVT, Alexis began working for the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Medicine Hospital in the Surgery Department.

As a RVT, Alexis’ focus is primarily on surgery. She is in love with the anatomy of the body and what we can do to “fix the broken.”  Her primary interests are small animal and equine surgery, with a focus on wound management and orthopedics.  In the future, Alexis hopes to obtain her Veterinary Technician Specialty (VTS) in surgery and to further expand her abilities as a technician in the operating room. 

In her free time, Alexis loves any opportunity to spend with family, human or furry.  Alexis is a Quarter Horse fanatic and indulges in trail riding any chance she gets. Alexis is new to Stillwater, but already considers this town her home. Go Pokes!!!

Shannon Maxwell, RVT