Dr. Brittany Ciepluch, D.V.M., M.S.
Surgical Oncology Fellow
I am from Cleveland, Ohio and I grew up with two sisters and a brother. Cancer first affected my life when I was 12 years old and my brother’s best friend died of a brain tumor. The emotions surrounding the memories of that trauma are difficult for me to describe, but I feel the experience strongly influenced my most recent career decision to become a veterinary surgical oncologist. One of my first family dogs was a greyhound named Shamey and she ultimately died of bone cancer. Little did I know that I would be spending my career helping families facing similar situations. My science teachers in middle school sparked my interest in biology and chemistry. Although I loved animals, I initially had an interest in pursuing medical school. I chose to go to Ohio State University for undergrad to ensure that all avenues were open for me. I ultimately applied to vet school, a decision largely influenced by my first job at a small veterinary clinic that gave me exposure to the magic of the human-animal bond.
I stayed in Columbus, Ohio for vet school at The Ohio State University. The oncologists at OSU had a contagious enthusiasm for the difference we can make in people's and animals’ lives. I realized I loved surgery during my second year when one of the oncologists took a group of vet students to Spain to work in a low-resource shelter, doing spays and neuters amongst other shelter work. After graduating from OSU, I completed a rotating internship at the University of Florida where I was introduced to the subspecialty of surgical oncology. Much like the model here at the FACC, if you take your pet with cancer to UF all three types of oncologists (medical, surgical, radiation) will consult about the best treatment option. This team approach helped obtain incredible outcomes for a variety of cancer types, and made me realize how much a skilled surgeon could contribute to the treatment of cancer.
After my internship at UF, I completed a 4-year surgery residency at Texas A&M University. I earned a Master's degree and taught anatomy to first-year veterinary students. My Master's research allowed me to delve into many aspects of an aggressive tumor type in dogs called hemangiosarcoma and these studies sparked my interest in translational research.
The hard work of the residency paid off when I was offered the position of Surgical Oncology Fellow Candidate at the CSU Flint Animal Cancer Center. I am honored to have been accepted into a group of surgeons who advance the field of oncology and care about treating pets with complicated diseases. I sincerely look forward to a rewarding career as a clinician, scientist, and educator. I absolutely love my job here and I am continuously impressed by the information we are able to provide to clients in one single visit.
When I am not at the hospital, I am usually with my husband, Mike, 2 old girl dogs (Layla and Vivian) and 2 cats (Matt and Jeff). We enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, and biking Fort Collins. The dogs are expert-level campers. My husband and I were classmates in vet school and we hope to integrate academic veterinary medicine in our careers. The support from my immediate and extended family is the reason why I am able to pursue this dream.