Dr. Howard graduated from Auburn University with his D.V.M. degree in 1977, and worked for two years in small animal practice before entering a small animal surgical residency program at Kansas State University. After completing his residency and earning a Master’s degree, he continued on at the KSU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital as an assistant professor in small animal surgery.
In the summer of 1983, Dr. Howard moved to Oregon, living in Grant’s Pass briefly before coming to Portland to establish the Animal Surgical Practice of Portland in early 1984. Dr. Howard’s surgical interest, expertise include general soft tissue reconstruction, gastrointestinal, oncologic, thoracic and orthopedic surgery. Dr. Howard studied with the late Dr. Barclay Slocum and was the first licensed surgeon to perform the TPLO procedure (1994).
Dr. Howard is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, the Portland Veterinary Medical Association, and the Association for Veterinary Research and Education.
Dr. Howard has three grown children, two boys and a girl, as well as a dog. His personal interests include running with friends and his dog, and biking.
Dr. Benjamin Spall
DVM, MS (Surgery)
Dr. Benjamin Spall
DVM, MS Surgery
Dr. Benjamin Spall graduated from Oklahoma State University with his D.V.M. degree in 2010 and completed a small animal rotating internship at Washington State University in 2011. He then moved to Miami, Florida for a one-year surgical internship and returned to Washington State University the following year for his surgical residency and Master’s degree. After completing his residency and earning a Master’s degree, he started work at Bluepearl Oklahoma City in 2015.
Dr. Spall attributes his career choice to two things: growing up with two Newfoundland’s in Michigan and his interest in science as an undergrad. He loves being a part of the progression of surgical cases that start as fractures or lameness and end with a pain-free pet. His clinical interests include orthopedic and neurologic procedures especially fracture repair, arthroscopy and IVDD treatment.
He has given lectures at multiple national conferences, including being a recipient of the Mark Bloomberg Research Award at the Veterinary Orthopedic Society conference in 2015. He has also published a recent research paper on supraspinatus tendinopathy in the Journal of Veterinary Surgery.
Dr. Spall moved back to the Pacific Northwest in the spring of 2017 after becoming engaged to Dr. Kelly Freese who practices veterinary medicine in Seaview, Washington.
Dr. Spall’s lifestyle is active and includes boating, hiking, skiing, biking and both playing and watching sports. He also enjoys listening to music and spending time with his family and golden retriever, Waldo.
DVM, Medical Director
Dr. Megan Nyboer
Dr. Nyboer grew up in sunny Southern California before obtaining her biology undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Nyboer then moved to Upstate New York to attend the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, where she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. She received several awards during veterinary school, including Evan’s Comparative Anatomy Award and Robert E. Clark, DVM 1952 Scholarship. She also worked extensively with the Cornell Wildlife Health Clinic and several shelter and low-cost veterinary clinics in the area. Dr. Nyboer completed a rotating internship at Emergency and Critical Care department of Aspen Meadow Veterinary Specialists in Colorado. At that time, she moved back to California for 7 years, with employment as an emergency veterinarian in Oakland, at a VCA specialty and emergency hospital. She recently moved to Portland, Oregon, in order to become Emergency Director at Cascade Veterinary Referral Center. She is currently a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS), and the Cornell Feline Health Center.
Dr. Nyboer’s passion lies in emergency medicine, pain management, and caring for critically ill patients. However she also enjoys surgery, cardiology, shelter medicine and feline medicine. She is also interested in veterinary pharmacology, and she strives to integrate new and useful medications into the veterinary field. Dr. Nyboer loves to travel! During veterinary school, she worked in Sri Lanka at an elephant conservation, and in Namibia, Africa at a cheetah conservation. She has also been to Japan, Thailand, Central and South America, Fiji, and Europe. Dr. Nyboer recently bought a home in Portland, which she shares with her animal family members – 6 cats, a small Terrier, named Madison, and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, named Freya. On her days off, she enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking and rock climbing, camping, yoga, and snowboarding.
Dr. Ben Im
Dr. Ben Im was born and raised in Northern California. He went on to obtain his degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior from the University of California Davis. He continued his education at University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine where he received his degree in 2015. Dr. Im then moved to San Diego where he completed an internship specializing in Emergency and Critical Care at a 24 hour emergency and specialty hospital. After his post graduate training, he relocated to Portland where he worked for four years as an emergency veterinarian at one of the largest tertiary referral hospitals in the area. He joined Cascade Veterinary Referral Center in 2020 as an emergency/ICU veterinarian. Although Dr. Im primarily works in emergency, his past experiences include working with elephant seals to measure the pharmacokinetics of specific antibiotics, as well as working in a research that studied novel antiviral solutions for feline herpesvirus. He has also co-authored two cardiology papers that can be found published in JAVMA. His special interests include management of heart failure, respiratory distress in critically ill patients, and stabilization and management of trauma.
When out of the hospital, Dr. Im enjoys mountain biking and exploring the outdoors with his family.
Dr. Ashley Blattner
Dr. Ashley Blattner was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She received her veterinary degree from Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she completed a rigorous one year internship in small animal medicine and surgery at a large tertiary referral hospital in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Blattner has been practicing exclusively emergency medicine since graduation. Her professional interests include management of trauma, toxicities, ophthalmology, and anesthesia.
On a personal note, Dr. Blattner enjoys spending time with her husband, their two yorkies (Sadie Turkey Bird and Little Bear) and one cat (Amelia Louise Rue Meowska). When she is not at work, Dr. Blattner enjoys traveling, cooking, hiking, kayaking, and everything related to LEGO.
(Emergency & Surgery)
Dr. Brad Johnson
DVM Emergency & Surgery
Dr. Brad Johnson was born and raised in Georgia, earning his Bachelor and DVM degrees at the University of Georgia, in Athens. He has practiced almost exclusively in the emergency medicine and surgery arena, most recently at Dove Lewis in Portland and the Emergency Veterinary Hospital of Eugene/Springfield.
His areas of interest include soft tissue surgery, pain management, and any emergent veterinary problem. Dr. Johnson enjoys hiking, snowboarding and kayaking in his down time as well as hanging out with his son and daughter. Biscuit the Border Collie is his canine sidekick!
(Emergency & Surgery)
Dr. Mehrzad Foroud
DVM Emergency & Surgery
Dr. Foroud earned his DVM degree from Karaj Azad University in Iran in 2010. As soon as he graduated, he started a PhD program in veterinary surgery and received his PhD degree from Shiraz University in 2015. After moving to the U.S., he did a research fellowship at Cornell University and then moved to Portland, Oregon with his family. Dr. Foroud earned his U.S. veterinary license through the ECFVG program in 2017. He enjoys playing tennis, traveling and working in the garden. His professional interests include surgery and emergency medicine.
DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)
Dr. Jason Reeder
DVM, DACVIM (SAIM) Internal Medicine
Dr. Reeder grew up in Massachusetts and attended college in New England. After following a variety of career directions in his early professional life –including paralegal work, organizational redesign consulting, acoustic guitar building, and remodeling of old homes—he embarked on his veterinary career. He received his DVM from the Tufts University in 2003 and completed a 1-year internship at the University of Minnesota in 2004. He worked as a staff veterinarian at the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital for two years before pursuing a 3-year residency in small animal internal medicine at North Carolina State University. Thereafter he achieved board certification with the ACVIM. Dr. Reeder’s residency research focused on hematology and bone marrow biopsy in dogs; his research study was published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (JAAHA) in 2013.
Following his residency, Dr. Reeder ran the Internal Medicine service at Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists in Massachusetts through 2012. He then returned to Portland and worked at VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists for the next 5 years. He left NWVS in 2017 and took a sabbatical while waiting out his non-competition agreement. Dr. Reeder is delighted to join the Cascade Veterinary Referral Center on a part-time basis. His interests within internal medicine are broad, including hepatobiliary disease, hematology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, and infectious and immune-mediated disease. His current focus areas are interventional endoscopy and other minimally invasive approaches to diagnosis and treatment. When not at work, Dr. Reeder enjoys hiking and camping, woodworking, playing guitar and songwriting.
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