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Dr. Christina Meyer
Education: Washington State University
Christina graduated with a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Washington State University in 2008. While in vet school, she started dating a classmate, Joe Powers, and they’ve been together ever since. After graduation, Christina and Joe moved to Gisborne, New Zealand. There she developed her interest in soft tissue and orthopedic surgery while caring for working dogs who often sustained injuries in the line of duty. In 2013 she partnered with Royal Canin and Massey University on a study on nutrition in working dogs. She has attended continuing education and multiple conferences on fracture management, soft tissue surgery and KYON’s tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA) lab. After 7 years in New Zealand, she and Joe decided to return to North America to be closer to family. From 2015-2017 she worked in Burlington, Washington at a 12 doctor, 24 hour practice advancing her medical and surgical skills. During that time she also had her first son.
Christina and Joe decided to move to the Nelson area to raise their family and put down some roots. She joined Selkirk Veterinary Hospital in 2017 as the Medical Director. She has expanded their surgical offering to include orthopedic surgeries such as cruciate repairs, plating/pinning, FHO and advanced soft tissues surgeries. She is Level 3 Fear Free certified and is happy to be working in a Fear Free Practice that puts the pet’s needs first.
In 2020, she had her second son. She and her family reside on a small farm in Salmo with their special needs Golden Retriever cross, Rex; Pyrenees, Rufus; three cats and too numerous to count chickens.
Dr. Maude Gagnon
Education: University of Montreal, Dr. Maude Gagnon graduated from the University of Montreal in 2008. She focused her studies and externships in small animal as well as equine. She has practiced medicine in Mont-Tremblant, Montreal, Olympia, WA, and has been in Nelson for a few years.
She fell for the beautiful Kootenays and what was supposed to be a 1 or 2 years adventure is turning into something more! When not at the clinic you can find her riding her horse or on a mountain with her adventurous dog!
Dr. Mary von der Porten
Dr. von der Porten is an Associate Veterinary with Selkirk veterinary Hospital. She grew up in Vancouver and her passion to be a veterinarian is motivated in a deep interest in promoting healthy communities through a strong human animal bond and happy healthy animals.
Mary has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with Distinction from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine as well as a Master degree from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Science with Distinction from the University of Victoria.
Mary has a passion for animals big and small. As a lifelong competitive equestrian Mary gained valuable experience in animal care which led her to an academic career in biological and veterinary sciences. Before becoming a veterinarian Mary worked as a bear biologist in Whistler BC and in resource and environmental management in Nelson. Mary moved from the Coast to Nelson in 2010 to be with her husband, and after a brief time in Saskatoon, they are in Nelson for the long term.
Mary’s veterinary employment has included jobs in veterinary science research including reproduction and anesthesia as well as small animal practice. During her DVM Mary and her husband had a beautiful baby girl who is now an active Nelson toddler that loves visiting with animals and playing in the lake. Her ‘fur brother’ Smokey is a Catahoula leopard hound that was adopted in Creston 5 years ago. When not in the clinic you may see Mary shredding powder at Whitewater or blazing the bike trails at mountain station – embracing this wonderful town.
Dr. Birgit Vierheilig
Education: University of Saskatchewan
Birgit was born and raised in Germany. She immigrated to Drumheller, Alberta in 1976. Living on a farm there sparked an interest in veterinary medicine that culminated in her entering the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Saskatchewan. Following graduation in 1986, she worked in Ontario and the U.K. After travelling the world she moved to Nelson in 1991 and helped to establish the Selkirk Veterinary Hospital with Dr. Chart. They have three beautiful children, Tristan, Sebastian, and Emma. The family has 2 dogs, 2 cats and 5 fish. Her hobbies are skiing, hiking, camping and sailing.
Dr. Lydia Gentry
Lydia grew up in rural Pennsylvania dreaming of fame and fortune as actress from a young age. When that dream didn’t work out, Lydia returned to another childhood dream, completed her pre-vet undergraduate work at the University of Hawaii-Hilo, and graduated with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University in 2017.
Prior to joining the Selkirk team, she practiced in Spokane, Washington for 4 years in busy small animal hospitals seeing a wide variety of small animal (dog/cat) cases as well as occasional exotics and reptiles. She enjoyed working closely with specialists in Spokane and faculty at WSU Veterinary College and welcomes challenging cases that deepen her understanding of illness, injury, health and healing.
Every day is a new adventure in veterinary medicine, providing opportunities for ongoing learning. Lydia’s main interests and experience are in soft tissue surgery, internal medicine, and reproduction/breeding. She pursued continuing education in diagnostic ultrasound, holistic medicine, emergency medicine and canine reproduction. She is focused on providing the care necessary to give your animal companion a long, happy, healthy life free from pain and anxiety while supporting families in making decisions for veterinary care that are aligned with their needs and resources.
Lydia is enjoying the abundant natural playgrounds of the Kootenays with her husband, Simon, a tattoo artist, 3 year old son, Merle and their fur family—Wanda the vigilant shepherd, Trip the stupid-cute Pomeranian, and Little Boy the very best black cat. The Gentry’s are honored to be living in this amazing country and can’t wait to meet you all!
Dr. Emilie Shepherd-Maika
Dr. Emilie Shepherd-Maika graduated from the University of Lyon, France in 2013. She focused her studies on small and large animal and completed a Master’s degree in animal health and epidemiosurveillance in tropical regions. She practiced veterinary medicine briefly in France before moving to Nanaimo in 2014. She worked as a Veterinary Technician for a few years while studying to take the required tests to work as a Veterinarian in Canada. She worked as a veterinarian in 100 Mile House and Castlegar before coming to Nelson.
She loves all the natural beauty and warm summers the Kootenays offer. On her spare time, she enjoys gardening and going for walks with her family and dog.
Dr. Michaela Arseneau
Dr. Arseneau grew up in rural New Brunswick. Her love of animals and biology led her to complete a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Michaela has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with Honors from the Atlantic Veterinary College in beautiful Prince Edward Island. Michaela's main interests lie in internal medicine and preventative veterinary care with a special love for caring for your feline companions.
Several years ago, she spent a summer visiting family in Nelson, BC and fell in love with the mountains. Although a true Maritimer at heart, she decided to relocate to the area and soak up all the outdoor adventures the Kootenays have to offer. Michaela has since been enjoying camping, fishing and hiking with her partner and spending time with her feline fur babies - Teddy the ultimate Calico sweetheart and Goose the silliest orange boy.