Exotic Animal Medicine Service - Doctors and Staff:: Veterinary Health Complex :: North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine

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Exotic Animal Medicine

Contact Information

Phone: 919.513.6999
Email: vhcexoticmedicine@ncsu.edu

General Information

Veterinary Health and Wellness Center

red Cross Cadeceus

Emergency Service

Main Number: 919.513.6500
Small Animal Emergency: 919.513.6911
Large Animal Emergency: 919.513.6630
Hours:
Monday-Thursday 5PM-8AM
Friday 5PM-Monday 8AM

Open 24 hours on legal holidays.
No appointment needed.

Exotic Animal Medicine -
Doctors and Staff

Degernes

Laurel A. Degernes, DVM, MPH, Diplomate ABVP (Avian)

Current Position

Professor of Avian Medicine

Education and Professional Training

  • MPH in Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 2005
  • Residency in Exotic & Wild Bird Medicine, NCSU, Raleigh, NC, 1990-92
  • Internship in Raptor Medicine & Surgery, The Raptor Center, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, 1985-86
  • DVM, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, 1981
  • BS (Veterinary Science), University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, 1979
  • BA (Biology major, Chemistry minor; graduated with highest distinction), University of Minnesota, Morris, MN, 1976

Board Certification

American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Avian Practice Originally certified in 1993 in the first group of diplomats and recertified in 2002 and 2011 (through 2023)

Professional Experiences

  • On faculty at NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine, involved with teaching companion and wild avian medicine, as Clinical Instructor, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor, 1992- present
  • Staff Veterinarian in Raptor Medicine and Surgery, at The Raptor Center, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, 1986-90
  • Small Animal and Mixed Animal (large and small animals) private practices in Minnesota, 1981-85

Professional Interests

My veterinary interests include diverse areas of avian medicine and surgery, including parrot, raptor and waterfowl medicine and orthopedic surgery. I have focused my career exclusively on birds since 1985, and every bird that I work with is a potential “teachable moment” for veterinary students and house officers. I have authored numerous manuscripts, case reports, and book chapters, and have given multiple conference presentations at local, state, national and international conferences on avian veterinary topics.

Other Interests

I grew up in a military family, but think of Minnesota as my “home state”, having lived there for more than 20 years before moving to North Carolina in 1990 (I call NC my home now). Outside of work, I enjoy backpacking in Alaska with my twin sister (who lives in AK), hiking, bird watching, swimming and canoeing with my partner and our rescue golden retriever.

Grunkemeyer

Vanessa L. Grunkemeyer, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Avian)

Current Position

Clinical Assistant Professor of Exotic Animal Medicine

Education and Professional Training

  • Residency in Avian and Zoological Medicine, University of Tennessee CVM, Knoxville, TN, 2008-11
  • Rotating Internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, University of Tennessee CVM, Knoxville, TN 2007-08
  • DVM with Distinction, Cornell University CVM, Ithaca, NY, 2007
  • BS (Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary Medicine major, Natural Resource Management minor, graduated as salutatorian), Rutgers University Cook College, New Brunswick, NJ, 2003

Board Certification

American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Avian Practice certified in 2010

Professional Experience & Honors

  • Avian Research Associate, Dept. of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University CVM, 2011-2012
  • Association of Avian Veterinarians Nominee for the American Veterinary Medical Association Future Leaders Program, 2012
  • Chair of the Association of Avian Veterinarians’ Student Membership and Veterinary School Liaison Committees- 2011-present
  • Association of Avian Veterinarians Resident Manuscript Competition Award, 2010

Professional Interests

Although I am board certified in Avian Practice, my advanced veterinary training and professional interests span the medicine and surgery of all exotic pet species. My clinical interests are in wound management techniques, rabbit and rodent dentistry, backyard poultry medicine, and in offering proper nutrition in a behaviorally enriching manner. Having authored multiple publications and lectured both locally and nationally on topics relating to exotic pets, I believe that one of the best parts of my job is continually learning and advancing the veterinary care that can be provided to my patients.

Other interests

As part of an Army family, I was born in Germany and moved throughout the United States growing up. I tend to speak a little fast as I spent many years living in New Jersey and New York, and I am still getting used to Southern hospitality even after living here for the last 5 years. I enjoy gardening, photography, and exploring the Triangle region with my 18lb beagle/Boston terrier mix named Bird.

Lewbart

Gregory A. Lewbart, MS, VMD, Diplomate ACZM

Current Position

Professor of Aquatic Animal Medicine

Education and Professional Training

  • VMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, 1988
  • MS (Biology), Northeastern University, Boston MA, 1985
  • BA (Biology), Gettysburg College, Gettysburg PA, 1981

Board Certification

Diplomate, American College of Zoological Medicine, 2000

Professional Experience

  • On faculty at NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine, involved with teaching aquatic animal and reptile medicine, as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor, 1993- present.
  • Corporate veterinarian for O’Beirne Tropical Fish and Greenway Farms Inc., Naples FL, 1988-1992.

Professional Interests

My teaching, clinical, and research interests focus on invertebrates, fishes, amphibians and reptiles. I speak locally, nationally and internationally on these subjects and have authored over 100 popular and scientific articles. I’ve also authored or co-authored over 20 book chapters related to veterinary medicine of the above-mentioned taxonomic groups and edited or co-edited three veterinary textbooks. I was named 2007 Exotic DVM of the Year by Exotic DVM Magazine and in 2012 received the William Medway Award for Excellence in Teaching by the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine. I am especially proud of my role as faculty mentor and supervisor for the NCSU-CVM Turtle Rescue Team.

Other Interests

I was born in Minnesota and grew up in New Jersey the oldest of four closely spaced boys. My entire family still lives within a 30-mile radius of Philadelphia. I enjoy creative writing and have two published novels, Ivory Hunters (1996) and Pavilion Key (2000), Krieger Publishing, Malabar, Florida. Both stories are scientific mysteries that raise important issues about wildlife conservation and man’s exploitation of the environment. My veterinarian wife (Dr. Diane Deresienski) and I live in downtown Raleigh with our assorted pets. We enjoy running, biking, hiking, boating, and an occasional round of golf.

Swisher

Samantha Swisher, DVM

Current Position

Exotic Animal Medicine Intern

Education and Professional Training

  • Internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, VCA Veterinary Referral Associates, Gaithersburg, MD, 2012-2013
  • DVM and Certificate in International Medicine, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA, 2012
  • BA (Biology major, Chemistry and Russian minors), Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, 2008

Professional Experiences

  • Visiting veterinarian, Maryland Avian & Exotics Veterinary Care
  • Visiting veterinarian, Tufts University Zoological Companion Animal Medicine Service
  • Externship, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
  • Externship, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
  • Coursework and research, Centre for Wildlife Management (Kenya)

Professional Interests

My clinical interests include anesthesia/pain management and animal behavior, especially the use of positive reinforcement training to improve the human-animal bond and facilitate better veterinary care.  I am also interested in wildlife conservation and international development, and I have done field research on human-wildlife conflict in Kenya and Mozambique.

Other Interests

In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time outdoors, shopping at Raleigh’s wonderful farmers markets, and doing clicker training with my mini lop rabbit, Chloe.