The team at Turquoise Animal Hospital is comprised of highly trained and experienced animal health professionals who have a genuine love for working with pets. Our staff treats every patient with the highest quality of medical care as well as a gentle touch.

Doctors

Dr. Melissa Reed, DVM

Veterinarian
melissaDr. Melissa Reed, DVM graduated from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. She completed several exotic animal externships and advanced surgical training. She has four dogs, two cats, a finch, and an African dwarf frog: Shyla, Carapa, Nacho, Bacchus, Voltaire, Chorizo, Houdini and Guillermo. Dr. Reed enjoys dancing, hiking, music, and travel.

Why did you become a veterinarian?

My mom grew up on a farm so we were allowed to have any non-venomous pet as long as it wasn’t a tarantula. 🙂 Growing up we had cats, dogs, green iguanas, garter snakes, hermit crabs, mice, rats, hamsters, hedgehogs, ferrets, a guinea pig, a rosy boa, a rabbit, budgies, a cockatiel, an Australian tree frog, an alligator lizard, a crawdad, many fish, axolotls, a gopher snake, Western box turtles, Eastern red eared sliders, a soft shell turtle, Pacific tree frogs, ducks and chickens. Being a veterinarian was the coolest, most rewarding job I could think of!

What are your special interests in veterinary medicine, and why?

I love exotics! I think this is because I grew up with a wide variety of interesting critters. I also really love geriatric dogs and cats. I like treating arthritic animals with stems cells as the results can be miraculous. Surgery is also a special interest. There are many painful conditions that are curable with surgery. I’m delighted to work at a hospital that treats ‘small animals’ (dogs and cats) as well as exotics.

What is the best part of your job?

I enjoy taking an animal that is in pretty bad shape and ‘putting them back together again.’ My dogs and cats were all strays I found in Trinidad. I also enjoy teaching people how to take better care of their pets.

What is the hardest part of your job?

It’s tough to tell people their pet is terminally ill.

 

Dr. Al Atkinson, DVM, ABVP

Veterinarian
al“Dr. A” graduated Texas A&M Veterinary School in 1982 and practiced mixed animal medicine (dog, cat, cattle and horses) until 1986 when he specialized in companion animal practice. He worked in Oceanside until taking over Turquoise Animal Hospital in 2003. Dr. Atkinson is a Board Certified Practitioner with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners since 1992. He is also a past president of the San Diego Veterinary Medical Association, member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and a member of the American Animal Hospital Association. He is also certified in the PENN HIP procedure for hip dysplasia evaluation. His pet collection includes a Labrador Retriever, two cats, a chinchilla and a tortoise. In his spare time, Dr. Atkinson participates in triathlons, is an active Boy Scout leader and SCUBA dive master, plays guitar and even dabbles in acting (you may see him on local commercials).

Why did you become a veterinarian?

I had a variety of animals growing up and I enjoyed them all; coupled with a keen interest in medicine and science, it just seemed like a natural fit. Thirty years later I know I made the right choice.

What are your special interests in veterinary medicine, and why?

I really love working up difficult cases and I enjoy surgery, especially orthopedic surgery.

What is the best part of your job?

It’s a toss up, but it’s hard to beat playing with someone’s new puppy or kitten!

What is the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is not being able to cure all of the ill pets that I see.

 

Dr. Mauricio Guayasamin, DVM

Veterinarian
mauricioDr. Guayasamin has lived in Sunny San Diego for the last 17 years. Dr. Guayasamin speaks both English and Portuguese. He graduated from Western University Veterinary School in Pomona, California in May of 2008. Following graduation, “Dr. G” completed a small animal surgery and medicine internship in San Diego. There he gained valuable experience in emergency medicine, internal medicine, surgery and exotic animal medicine. Dr. Guayasamin has a special interest in internal medicine and exotics. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and San Diego Veterinary Medical Association. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, going to the beach and taking his puppy ‘Glo’ to dog beach.

Why did you become a veterinarian?

I’ve loved animals since I was a child. At one point, I had turtles, dogs, birds, and fish. When I was 12, I learned that veterinarians treated animals and decided that is the career I was going to pursue.

What are your special interests in veterinary medicine, and why?

I enjoy treating exotic animals because I find them very interesting. I also like internal medicine because those cases are challenging, and dermatology because I spent a lot of time learning about skin disease from a dermatology specialist. She made skin disease fun! 🙂

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is making sick pets feel better, while making clients happy that their pet is healthy.

What is the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is telling clients bad news regarding their pet’s health.

 

Dr. Danielle Baer, DVM

Veterinarian
mauricioMeet our newest edition, Dr. Danielle Baer! This born and raised midwesterner (ask her to use her accent…) graduated veterinary school at the University of Minnesota in 2013. She then moved to sunny San Diego for a rigorous 12 month internship at a local specialty and referral hospital. After her internship, she continued to work as an ER doctor and gained valuable experience working closely with specialists in critical care, internal medicine, oncology, avian/exotics and surgical medicine. In early 2016, due to an addition to the family, the ER schedule became taxing and Dr. Baer was sad to leave the ER/specialty hospital….but felt so lucky to have found a new home here at Turquoise! In her free time, she loves spending time with her family (husband and baby boy). They love doing anything active outdoors, and make sure let their dog Storm (rottweiler mix) tag along!

Why did you become a veterinarian?
Like all veterinarians, I have a passion for animals and science and most importantly the motivation and drive to get through the intense years of schooling! I find being a veterinarian is such a rewarding job that continues to challenge me daily.

What are your special interests in veterinary medicine, and why?
I love reacting quickly while staying calm in the midst of emergency situations. Other than emergency medicine, I am interested in behavior, internal medicine and surgery. I am excited to manage chronic conditions such as allergies, diabetes, immune-mediated, etc.

What is the best part of your job?
It is hard to pick one specific answer! The relationships I develop with animals and their families are amazing. I also love the challenge of medicine and the reward of diagnosing a challenging condition. I learn something new everyday which is so exciting.

What is the hardest part of your job?
Learning and communicating that a pet cannot be saved. I understand that our animals are family members and dealing with serious illnesses can be devastating.


Staff

Corina

Registered Veterinary Technician
corinaCorina is a native San Diegan…well, not really. Born into a military family, she was raised in Germany and then moved to Washington to earn a degree in Biology from the University of Puget Sound. After several years of working in the veterinary field as an RVT in Washington, she decided it was time to return to her family life in SD. She enjoys taking her fur babies on jogs around San Diego, and having gatherings at the sea to see some sea anemones. She also loves to travel to grand canyons, hike tall places, train in martial arts, and fly kites.

Tracee

Registered Veterinary Technician
traceBorn and raised in San Francisco, CA, Tracee sought out a profession in dance. Shortly after, she realized her true animal passion was for….well, animals. She moved to Napa, CA and started working in the veterinary field. She has just recently moved to San Diego and is now Registered Veterinary Technician. She is aspiring to achieve her specialty certificates in behavior, dentistry and anesthesia. She is also currently training for future body building competitions. She trains in Filipino marital arts and is an aspiring instructor. She is a Mom, an awesome Mom. Her grey hair is all natural. It, too, is awesome.

Yanira

Veterinary Technician
yaniraYanira went to PIMA where she graduated from the Veterinary Technician program and is studying for her upcoming RVT certification. She has two pets; a cat named Messi who loves to bite your ankles and a dog named Piggy who loves to eat anything and everything that is on the floor. She spends 3 nights a week playing soccer and then treats herself to some AMAZING tacos from “Tacos El Gordo.” She is very outgoing and easy to get along with so feel free to say hello whenever you see her!

Denise

Veterinary Technician
deniseDenise went to PIMA Medical Institute where she studied the veterinary field. Also, she received a certificate from the Animal Law Enforcement Academy at the San Diego Humane Society. She is really into watching documentary investigation shows like: “Animal Cops,” “Sins and Secrets,” “Disappeared” and “Ice Cold Killers.” She would like to enter and qualify for the Discovery show “Naked and Afraid” and survive 21 days on a Maldivian island or any tropical place around the world. When she’s not watching her shows, she is a very active person; loves going for a ride on her street bike, getting muddy and dirty offroading on quads, going to the gym, and hiking. She has a Maltese named Mazi, a Chihuahua mix named Natalia, and a 4 foot iguana name Doja.

Desiree

Receptionist/Veterinary Assistant
desireeDesiree is thrilled to be a part of the Turquoise Team. She is a graduate from the Veterinary Assistant Program at PIMA Medical Institute and really enjoyed her schooling there. She finds working with both animals and their owners very gratifying. Her goal as a Receptionist/Veterinary Assistant is to make you and your pet feel well taken care of and important! Desiree adopted her first dog, Foxy Lady, from Turquoise Animal Hospital and they have been snuggling ever since. If you visit you may find Foxy Lady right by her side doing what she does best, SLEEPING! Desiree hopes to get involved with wildlife as she is passionate about their preservation and she would like to gain experience with large animals. During her off hours Desiree spends time with her family and enjoys visiting different parts of her home town, San Diego. She hopes that her next pet will be a snake and that her learning experiences never end!

Hershey

Veterinary Assistant
hersheyHershey is a graduate from PIMA Medical Institute and started working with us in 2011. She has two dogs, Ozzy and Lizzy Wiggles, 2 leopard geckos, a fire belly toad, and a ball python. She loves exotic animals and is interested in wildlife rehabilitation/preservation. Hershey grew up with many different kinds of animals which has contributed to her love for this field. She loves reading, going to the beach with her dogs, hiking, and watching classic movies. She is hoping to become a licensed Veterinary Technician soon.

Leslie

Veterinary Assistant
leslieSince childhood, Leslie has had a passion for animals and realized at a very early age that she wanted to become part of the veterinary field. She was born in Seattle, Washington then moved to Riverside County where she received her Veterinary Assistant Certificate at Westech College. Leslie owns two dogs, George and Mick, one cat, Shailo, and one rabbit named Aaron. She loves to go to Seaworld and to the beach with her pets. One day, she hopes to swim with the dolphins! Leslie loves every second of her job and she feels really lucky to be part of our team.

Micaela

Veterinary Assistant
screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-12-11-28-amMicaela is a natural-born animal lover. Her passion is to help animals in every way possible. Micaela plans to get her certification to become a Veterinary Technician in the near future. On her days off, she loves to experience things that are new to her and adventure around San Diego. She is super excited to fulfill her dream and become a Veterinarian. She is pleased as punch to become part of our team.

Megan

Veterinary Technician
meganMegan is a proud graduate from Mesa College with an Animal Health Technology Degree. She is very excited to have joined our team in August! Megan will greet you with her usual enthusiasm and smiling face as a Receptionist. She will also take a lot of care with your pets when working in treatment. This San Diego native loves to take her 3 dogs, Myia, Suka-Bazuka, and Cowabunga to the dog beach. She is working towards becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician and growing professionally in this field!

Vanessa

Veterinary Assistant
screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-12-11-28-amVanessa, a native San Diegan, studied at PIMA for her Veterinary Assistant Certification. She is HIPPA and CPR Certified. She is mother to two amazing sons, a dog named Charli, two cats Glori and Gomez five tortoises, and a white dove named Archimedes She loves hanging out with her kids and going to the beach. She is thrilled to be a part of our team!