Practitioner Updates

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Kyle Chu, DVM, DACVS-SA

Dr. Chu is an instructor in small animal surgery.

Tell us about your background.

I am originally from California and attended veterinary school at Purdue University. I completed a small animal rotating internship at Oklahoma State University, then a surgical internship at Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center. I came to the University of Illinois to complete my second surgical internship, then subsequently stayed for a surgical residency, which I finished in July 2021. I continued as a clinical instructor as of last fall.

How did you become interested in surgery?

I initially became interested in surgery during my senior year in veterinary school, when I was able to experience first-hand the immediate impact surgery can have on a patient’s life. It also showed me how much surgery can improve the quality of life for a patient and in some instances cure them from particular diseases.

What are your special interests?

I enjoy all aspects of surgery, but particularly enjoy gastrointestinal and thoracic surgery as well as fracture repair. I also find neurological surgery to decompress the spinal cord from a herniated intervertebral disk to be very gratifying. I am still amazed that a patient can come into the hospital paralyzed, and with decompressive surgery, can leave the hospital walking!

Tell us about one of your favorite cases.

My most memorable patient was a dog named Angel that came into the soft tissue surgery service when I was a senior veterinary student. She had been attacked by another dog and had severe bite wounds to both her pelvic limbs.

Unfortunately, she did not receive proper wound care initially. When we evaluated her, about 1 to 2 weeks after her trauma, she was septic, anemic, and both of her pelvic limbs were devitalized.

Angel underwent multiple surgical procedures, which included an amputation of both of her pelvic limbs, extensive wound care, and reconstructive surgery. After facing many obstacles and post-operative complications, she was eventually fitted for a cart and discharged after a prolonged hospital stay.