Dr. Michael Cavanaugh - DVM 1983

Western Veterinary Conference 2002

Dr. Michael Cavanaugh

Dr. Michael Cavanaugh received an Alumni Recognition Award at the K-State alumni reception held in conjunction with the Western Veterinary Conference. The awards ceremony took place February 11, 2002 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was recognized for time and effort devoted to advancing the profession of veterinary medicine and for being an exemplary role model for future alumni of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University.

Dr. Cavanaugh grew up in Topeka, Kansas and then attended Kansas State University. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1981 and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1983. He served as class president during his junior and senior years and delivered his class's commencement address.

After graduation, Dr. Cavanaugh worked in small and mixed animal hospitals in Illinois and Colorado. In 1988, he founded West Ridge Animal Hospital in Topeka, which became an accredited member of the American Animal Hospital Association. The small animal practice provided full-service care, including complete medical, surgical and dental care as well as grooming, boarding and training.

Topeka Animal Services, an animal cremation business, was founded in 1990. Dr. Cavanaugh started the business in response to the need for an appropriate method of disposal for deceased pets in northeast Kansas. He sold this business in March of 2001.

Dr. Cavanaugh's face may look familiar, because he appeared in print ads, brochures and videos for veterinary related corporations during the 1990s. In 1993 Dr. Cavanaugh began working as a Consultation Clinician in the Veterinary Consultation Service Department of Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. Since he was still working in his private practice, he brought a practitioner's perspective into the world of corporate veterinary medicine. His primary responsibility was to provide nutritional case consultations to veterinarians and their staff via telephone. He also helped write and review technical information.

In 1996 Dr. Cavanaugh sold West Ridge Animal Hospital and made a career move to HESKA Corporation in Fort Collins, Colo. He was responsible for directing the Medical and Technical Consultation Group. He and his group staffed a call center that was available for veterinary customers to access for case consultations, interpretation of laboratory and allergy diagnostic test results, product information and adverse event reporting. The group also provided technical support to the field sales group.

Dr. Cavanaugh graduated from the Veterinary Management Institute in 1996, receiving a certificate in Veterinary Practice Administration from the Krannert School of Business at Purdue University and the American Animal Hospital Association. Dr. Cavanaugh achieved diplomate status in the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (canine/feline) in 1998.

Dr. Cavanaugh joined Pfizer Animal Health as an Area Veterinarian in January of 2000. He is currently a Senior Area Veterinarian providing technical support to the Rocky Mountain Area. Dr. Cavanaugh works with Territory Managers in a 10 state area, providing educational seminars to Pfizer customers, making educational presentations to veterinary and technician associations, and assisting with special projects. He has lectured extensively on a number of topics but has a special interest in feline heartworm disease and feline parasite management. Dr. Cavanaugh is responsible for supporting the veterinary colleges at both Kansas State University and Colorado State University. He visits both colleges on a quarterly basis and has the opportunity to interact with students and faculty. He also serves as a liaison between Pfizer U.S. Veterinary Services and organized veterinary medicine groups (AAHA and AVMA), and assists with major accounts.

Dr. Cavanaugh remains active in several regional and national organizations: American Veterinary Medical Association, Kansas Veterinary Medical Association, Colorado Veterinary Medical Association and Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society. He is also currently a member of the American Animal Hospital Association Council of 100 and served previously on AAHA's Management Committee and as Member Representative to the Midwest Region. He is a past president of the Topeka Veterinary Medical Association. As an active alumnus of Kansas State University, Dr. Cavanaugh has served on the Central Committee for the KSU Veterinary Medical Alumni Association and Pet Trust Committee. He also served on the Dean’s Liaison Committee for the KVMA.

Throughout his career, Dr. Cavanaugh has enjoyed the opportunity to speak about the field of veterinary medicine to student groups ranging from kindergarten and grade school through high school as well as students in the pre-veterinary and veterinary curriculums. Dr. Cavanaugh has mentored many pre-veterinary students through the years, several of whom went on to become veterinarians. Dr. Cavanaugh and his wife Beth currently live in Fort Collins with their two children, Caitlyn and Kevin. The Cavanaughs will celebrate their 22nd wedding anniversary this year.