Dirsko J.F. von Pfeil, Dr.vet.med., DVM, ACVS, ECVS, ACVSMR, ECVSMR
Locum Dates: Month of September
Dr. Dirsko von Pfeil is an internationally recognized quadruple-board certified orthopedic surgeon for small animals who also holds the honor of being an American College of Veterinary Surgery (ACVS) Founding Fellow in minimally invasive surgery. He has a strong passion for orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, specializing in trauma, minimally invasive fracture repair, arthroscopy, and joint replacements. However, during his over 20 years of clinical experience he has also performed hundreds of surgeries in the fields of soft tissue, reconstruction, oncological, and neurological surgery. For example, he performed the first veterinary cardiac pacemaker implantation and the first thoracoscopy and laparoscopy procedures in the State of Alaska! He is deeply committed to providing the highest quality of personalized care to his patients through up-to-date surgical techniques. Patient care and client satisfaction are of utmost importance for him and he provides an unparalleled attentiveness to his patients and the art of small animal surgery.
Dr. von Pfeil graduated from the Free University of Berlin in 2001 before being selected for an internship at Kansas State University. This was followed by the American DVM, a surgery residency, and fellowship at Michigan State University. During that time, he was elected as resident of the year by the MSU class of 2006. In 2008 he became double-board certified with the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons. Following years of sports medicine related work, he gained his third board-certification in 2016 with the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, followed by board-certification with the European College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2021. In the same year, he was designated by the Board of Regents of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons as a Founding Fellow in Minimally Invasive Orthopedics. Joining a select few in the world with this accreditation (currently 17 surgeons), he was chosen for his international recognition, experience in practicing, and his exemplary devotion to research in the field of MIO. In the past he worked as assistant professor in surgery at KSU (2007/08), adjunct professor at MSU (2009-2019), visiting scientist at the University of Georgia (2016-1017), and as a specialty surgeon at referral centers in AK, VA, DC and, NE (2008-2021) before returning to SAGE Veterinary Specialists of Alaska (VSOA) as locum surgeon in 2021. Really, he just “returned home” after having worked for VSOA already from 2008-2013!
Dr. von Pfeil also serves as faculty of the AOVet North America, an international not for profit foundation charged with clinical education, research and development in human and veterinary orthopedic surgery worldwide https://www.aofoundation.org/who-we-are. He has also been on the board of referees for numerous international veterinary surgical journals since 2010, including “Veterinary Surgery”, the official publication of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Surgery and “Veterinary Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology”. Further voluntary work includes performing surgery on rescued wild animals.
Throughout his career his focus has been orthopedics. His dissertation on orthopedic implant biomechanics provided the basis for the development of the first angle-stable interlocking nail (I-LOC) in veterinary and human medicine, used for minimally invasive fracture repair today. In cooperation with multiple academic and private institutions worldwide, Dr. von Pfeil remains actively involved in clinical research. He has developed, presented and published on various surgical techniques and instruments, including novel minimally invasive bone reduction forceps, many publications on cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCLR), the tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) procedure and a landmark survey on the best method to treat CCLR with input from surgeons around the world. This has resulted in more than 60 contributions to the literature https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dirsko_Pfeil/publications.
Dr. von Pfeil is also frequently an invited speaker at national and international veterinary conferences and has given over 100 presentations on surgical topics, mainly orthopedics.
Since 2007 he has been involved in the veterinary care during many sled dog races across Alaska and was honored with the “Golden Stethoscope Award” during the Iditarod Sled Dog Race 2013. He has authored several papers in this field and is the editor of the “Musher and Veterinary Handbook”. In 2018 he was awarded the “Mark S. Bloomberg Lecturer Award” at the International Canine Sports Medicine Symposium.
Aside from time with his wife and three children, Dr. von Pfeil enjoys languages (speaking German, English, French, Swedish, and Spanish), foreign cultures, photography, and the occasional triathlon. For family reasons he regularly commutes between Europe and the United States, including Alaska.