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Top Small Animal Specialist Joins VSS Team

4 months ago

18th January, 2022 16h01

Linnaeus Group

A highly-experienced and highly-qualified small animal specialist has joined the expert team at Veterinary Specialists Scotland (VSS).

Karla Lee has 20 years’ experience of working in large, multidisciplinary referral centres with undergraduate and post-graduate training programmes.

She is now looking forward to sharing her vast skills and expertise with the talented team at the state-of-the-art Linnaeus-owned referral centre in Livingston.

Karla describes herself as ‘compassionate’ and ‘committed’ and was so determined to succeed in the veterinary profession that she flew to the USA to begin a clinical internship the day after she had graduated from Cambridge University.

Karla said: “I’m delighted to be joining the brilliant team at VSS and excited by the opportunity to help deliver the very best of care to our patients.

“My special clinical interests include laparoscopy and thoracoscopy, including bilateral adrenalectomy for the management of pituitary dependent Cushing’s disease.

“I have a particular interest in emergency surgery of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, biliary system, chest and urinary system, along with the surgical management of the trauma patients, particularly those with traumatic wounds requiring open wound management and advanced skin reconstruction techniques.

“I’m convinced I will gain even more experience and add more skills at VSS, as I will be working as part of such a terrific and talented team.”


Karla has certainly enjoyed a career of sustained success and achievements, starting by completing her initial clinical internship at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.

Drawn back to the UK, Karla completed a PhD and surgical residency at the Royal Veterinary College, before becoming a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2006.

She added: “Since 2006, I have strived to combine my passion for providing the very best in healthcare to patients, with significant contributions to clinical research and surgical veterinary education.”

This dual approach has seen Karla publish research on feline urethral obstruction, hepatobiliary surgery, emergency gastrointestinal surgery, stick injuries, pyothorax, portosystemic shunts and ureteral ectopia.

She has co-edited the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Guide to Procedures in Small Animal Practice, which is on every BVSA member’s shelf, and contributed to the much-awaited Feline Gastroenterology book.

As an associate professor at the Royal Veterinary College for many years, Karla directed the clinical training of veterinary undergraduates in small animal surgery and the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS) residency programme. She was Chair of the 2019 ECVS examination.

Karla is currently studying for an MBA, focusing in on sustainable creative management within the veterinary profession.

Away from work, Karla is an active sportswoman, competing in road cycling, running and swimming. Her now-retired pet whippet, Elsa, has also enjoyed a similar level of activity – having completed the Endurance Life Exmoor half-marathon.

VSS is a specialist-led multidisciplinary referral centre offering industry-leading services in internal medicine (feline and canine), neurology, orthopaedics, and soft tissue surgery, supported by specialists in diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia and analgesia.

For more information about VSS and the services it offers, visit or search for Veterinary Specialists Scotland on social media.

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