Equine Speaker Bios

Nicola Pusterla, Dr.med.vet., Habil., Diplomate ACVIM
Associate Professor and Chief of Service, Equine Medicine

Nicola Pusterla, Dr.med.vet.,Habil.,Diplomate ACVIM received his professional training in veterinary medicine from the University of Zurich, graduating in 1991. He became a house office of large animal medicine at the University of Zurich in 1995 and obtained a PhD from the University of Zurich in 1998. Nicola Pusterla came to the University of California to do post-gradate research in 2000. He completed his residency in Large Animal Internal Medicine in 2003 from the University of California.

His research focuses on selected aspects of equine infectious disease with an emphasis on epidemiology, clinical disease understanding, diagnostics, prevention, and treatment. Experience in infectious diseases and molecular epidemiology has allowed his lab to develop a structured concept on how to approach, investigate and control infectious disorders, independent of their nature. His ongoing research focuses on equine herpesvirus-1 infections, equine proliferative enteropathy caused by Lawsonia intracellularis, equine protozoal myeloencephalitis caused by Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi, Potomac horse fever caused by Neorickettsia risticii and equine granulocytic ehrlichiosis caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

Dr. Pusterla currently teaches equine internal medicine and equine infectious diseases at the University of California, as well as clinical resident training in Internal Medicine. Dr. Nicola Pusterla is Chief of Service Large Animal Medicine and a clinician in Equine Internal Medicine at the UCD VM Teaching Hospital. He is Faculty advisor of the Lucy Whittier Molecular and Diagnostic Core Facility and serves on SVM and VM Teaching Hospital Committees. Dr. Pusterla is also a reviewer for JAVMA, AJVR, EVE, JVIM, JVDI, Veterinary Record, Veterinary Journal, and Veterinary Microbiology. He is an invited speaker at national and international professional meetings/conferences.


Julie Dechant, DVM, MS, DACVS
Equine Surgical Emergency and Critical Care

Dr. Julie Dechant, DVM, MS, DACVS graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in 1996. After completing a private practice internship in her home province of Alberta, she moved to Fort Collins, Colorado to complete a Combined Masters and Clinical Residency in Large Animal Surgery at Colorado State University from 1997 to 2000. After her residency, Dr. Dechant joined the Large Animal Surgery faculty at the University of Saskatchewan for a 1-year position as a Clinical Associate. From 2001 to 2004, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor and an Equine Emergency Clinician at Oklahoma State University. In 2004, Dr. Dechant was offered an emergency surgery position at University of California-Davis, and is currently an Associate Professor in Clinical Equine Surgical Emergency and Critical Care. She is a board-certified specialist (Diplomate ACVS) in Large Animal Surgery, and she is completing fellowship training in American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. Her research interests are related to improving the diagnosis and supportive care of equine emergency and critical care. She also has a secondary interest in camelid medicine and associated research.