Dr. Brennen McKenzie

Dr. Brennen McKenzie

School: University of Pennsylvania, 2001

Special Interests: soft-tissue surgery, evidence-based medicine, emergency and critical care

Pets: Brodie (a smart, scruffy fireball of a terrier mix), Max (an elderly gentleman Boston Terrier), Tess (a corn snake who keeps her thoughts to herself)

Prior to becoming a veterinarian, I worked as an English teacher, in numerous clerical jobs, on a fishing boat in Alaska, running a pet food store, in a baseball card factory, and as a waiter. I always loved both science and writing and have tried to keep both part of my personal and professional lives. Following college, I tried to be Jane Goodall and completed a Master’s Degree in primate behavior at CSU San Francisco, doing my thesis research with the chimpanzees at the San Francisco Zoo. After several years trying to make a living in primate behavior, including running a breeding colony of rhesus monkeys on an island in South Carolina and doing behavior therapy and enrichment work for captive primates in Texas, I stumbled into veterinary medicine about ten years later than most of my classmates. It has given me tremendous opportunities to learn and grow as a person and to help my patients and clients.

I have had the good fortune to serve as president of the Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine Association and to speak on a variety of topics at numerous continuing veterinary education meetings. In 2015, I completed my Master’s Degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

I have also been able to find a niche as a writer and a teacher. In addition to publishing in several veterinary journals, I have released a book for pet owners and veterinarians—Placebos for Pets? The Truth about Alternative Medicine in Animals. I also train veterinary students at Adobe, and have taught writing at San Jose State University.

Outside of veterinary medicine, I love to read and to travel, to hike and to play my mandolin and guitar, and to keep fit running and training in Shaolin Kempo Karate.

My personal website can be found at http://www.skeptvet.com *

*The views on it are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Adobe Animal Hospital.


McKenzie, B. Placebos for Pets: The Truth about Alternative Medicine in Animals. London, UK. Ockham Publishing. 2019.

McKenzie, BA. Evidence-based veterinary medicine: What is it and why does it matter? Equine Vet Edu. 2014;26(9):451-452

McKenzie, BA. Veterinary clinical decision-making: cognitive biases, external constraints,and strategies for improvement. J Amer Vet Med Assoc. 2014;244(3):271-276

McKenzie, BA. Is complementary and alternative medicine compatible with evidence-based medicine? J Amer Vet Med Assoc. 2012;241(4):421-6.

McKenzie, BA. Evaluating the benefits and risks of neutering dogs and cats. CAB Reviews: Persp in Agricul, Vet Sci, Nutr, Nat Res. 2010;5(45).

McKenzie, BA. What’s the Evidence? Glucosamine and chondroitin for canine osteoarthritis. J Amer Vet Med Assoc. 2010;237(12):1382-3.