Dr. Andrew Sams, DVM, MS, DACVS
Orthopaedics and Arthroscopic Surgery
Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon
A leader in the field of small animal arthroscopy, Dr. Sams is recognized for his achievements in arthroscopic and general orthopaedic surgery, and has lectured on both nationally and internationally. He has a special interest in cruciate ligament disease and repair, which includes surgeries such as the TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveleing Osteotomy). He has practiced small animal arthroscopy since 1994, first as chief of orthopaedic and neurology services at the Animal Medical Center in New York, where he launched a canine arthroscopy program. In 1999, Dr. Sams opened The Sams Clinic with the goal of providing state-of-the art veterinary medicine, with an emphasis on minimally invasive diagnosis and treatment. It was important that The Sams Clinic provide a comfortable environment where people feel confident their pets are receiving the best possible care.
A 1989 graduate of UC Davis Veterinary School, Dr. Sams’ academic achievements include specialty certification by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) in 1994, an internship at Texas A&M University and a residency in surgery at Cornell University. This is where he earned a master’s degree studying biological methods of resurfacing damaged joints. A native San Franciscan, Dr. Sams and his family, which includes a yellow Labrador retriever, live in Marin County, California.
“All through veterinary school, my master’s and post-grad training, my internship and residency, I found orthopaedics rewarding. I’ve always enjoyed the technology, the physics, the science, and I still do. But in the end, the best reward is to see my patients go back to doing the things they like to do, and their people like to do with them.”
– Dr. Andrew Sams
Dr. Alexander Hawley, DVM, MS, DACVAA
Board Certified Anesthesiologist, Certified Acupuncturist
Anesthesia and Pain Management
Dr. Hawley joined The Sams Clinic in 2009. As the on-staff anesthesiologist, he vigilantly monitors patients before, during and after surgery to ensure their well-being and comfort. He wants pets to be free of anxiety and pain yet alert after surgery, a goal that he accomplishes by using a progressive, multimodal approach, combining lower doses of a variety of medications. As the director of our Pain Management Clinic, Dr. Hawley supplements more conventional protocols with both state-of-the-art allopathic therapies and acupuncture.
After obtaining his doctorate in veterinary medicine from Colorado State University in 2005, Dr. Hawley went on to do a year long internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Kansas State University, followed by a three-year residency in anesthesiology at Tufts University. He also holds a master’s degree in anatomy. Dr. Hawley’s cutting-edge research focuses on the impact of the genetic makeup of dogs, cat and horses on their individual responses to pain and drug therapy. He’s also interested in new pharmacological treatments for osteoarthritis and other chronic painful conditions.
“The collaborative setting of The Sams Clinic gives me the unique chance to follow a patient from diagnosis through treatment to rehabilitation. I act as an ally for pets, making them as comfortable as possible, before, during and after surgery.”
– Dr. Alexander Hawley
Dr. Dana Whitlock, DVM, MS, DACVSMR
Board Certified sports medicine and rehabilitation Specialist
Dr. Whitlock joined The Sams Clinic in July 2016. Prior to becoming a veterinarian, Dr. Whitlock was a physical therapist for humans, receiving one of two Masters degrees from Duke University. She also completed a Masters degree at SUNY Upstate Medical Center studying muscle physiology as it pertains to exercise. As a physical therapist, she was a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapists. She began working with dogs in the realm of physical rehabilitation in 2001 and completed her canine rehabilitation certification at the University of Tennessee. She went on to complete her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis in 2007.
She completed an internship at the University of Georgia, a surgical internship at Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center, and a fellowship in the canine gait lab at the University of Tennessee prior to surgical residency training at the University of Missouri. She is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist through the Chi Institute in Florida.
Dr. Whitlock is the only board certified sports medicine and rehabilitation specialist in the Bay area working with dogs and cats.
Dr. Philip Watt, DVM, BVSc, MANZCVSc, FANZCVS
Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon
Phil gained his Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 1981 from The University of Queensland, Australia. He first went into a mixed large animal practice for 2 years and when he realized how much work that was he quickly returned to UQ in 1984 for a general small animal internship. He gained his Member of Australian College of Veterinary Science qualifications in Small Animal Medicine (MACVSc) 1987. Having decided that small animal medicine and large animal medicine was not for him, he changed track yet again to start a surgical internship and then surgical residency. In 1992, he gained his specialist qualifications in surgery (Fellow of the Australian College of Veterinary Surgeons). In 1993, he spent a sabbatical year in surgery at Colorado State University and North Carolina State University and then returned to teaching surgery to residents and students at The University of Queensland. He started his own surgical practice in 1995 in Brisbane, Queensland.
In 2000, thinking it was for only a year, Phil accepted a position at University of California at Davis in orthopedic surgery where he stayed until 2004. It was time to return to private practice and Phil looked both in Australia and the USA. At that time San Francisco did not have a resident surgeon so he then started the surgery department at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists. In 2006, he became a partner and part owner of that practice. He remained in the practice until July 2017. Since then he has been a resident surgeon at Berkeley Dog and Cat in addition to running a mobile surgery practice .
Phil is now happy to be part of a great team at The Andrew Sams Clinic. He has an interest in both orthopedic and soft tissue with a special interest in reconstructive surgery. Phil lives in Noe Valley with Billy, a beagle lab rescue dog from Mexico and Kui, a Dachshund cross. He has an 80 acre farm in Winters, California where he loves to escape. He is currently training for the AIDS Lifecyle bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the first week of June 2019.
Dr. Terri Schiller, DVM, DACVS, CCRT
Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon
Dr. Terri Schiller graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987 and then moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where she completed a one-year internship, a three-year surgery residency and a one-year appointment on faculty as a clinical instructor in the Surgery Department at the North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1992 she moved back home to Vancouver, British Columbia, and started a mobile surgery referral practice. Five years later she joined with two other specialists in Vancouver, and in 1997 they started the multidiscipline specialty referral practice now called Canada West Veterinary Specialists. Terri is currently practicing in Calgary, Alberta, for VCA-Western Veterinary Specialists.
Dr. Schiller has particular interest and expertise in canine Total Hip Replacements (THR) and comes to The Sams Clinic especially to perform this surgery for our patients.