Dr. Brennen McKenzie

Dr. Brennen McKenzie

Recent Awards: The VIN Veritas Award honors those who serve science and truth through courage and integrity.

School: University of Pennsylvania, 2001

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

Pets: Brodie (a smart, scruffy fireball of a terrier mix), Kalani (a young, Labrador-ish pup who is
a joyful tornado of destruction), 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 am an advocate for medicine solidly based on good science and scientific evidence, and I have
had the good fortune to serve as president of the Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine
Association. In 2015, I completed my Master’s Degree in Epidemiology from the London School
of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

In 2021 I cut my clinical hours back to two days a week to devote time to my work as Director of
Veterinary Medicine for Loyal, a biotechnology company developing therapies to extend
lifespan and prevent age-related diseases in dogs.

I have also found satisfaction as a writer and a teacher. In addition to publishing in veterinary
journals, I have written a book for pet owners and veterinarians—Placebos for Pets? The Truth
about Alternative Medicine in Animals. I also train veterinary students, and have taught
scientific 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 by 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, BA. Lacroix-Fralish, ML. Chen, F. The phenotype of aging in the dog: How aging
impacts the health and wellbeing of dogs and their caregivers. J Amer Vet Med Assoc.

McKenzie, BA. Comparative Veterinary Geroscience: Mechanism of molecular, cellular, and
tissue aging in humans, laboratory animal models, and companion dogs and cats. Amer J Vet
Res. 2022;83(6:). https://doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.22.02.0027.
McKenzie, BA. Chen, FL. Gruen, ME. Olby, NJ. Canine Geriatric Syndrome: A Framework for
Advancing Research in Veterinary Geroscience . Front Vet Sci. 9:853743. April, 2022.
McKenzie, BA. Rational use of diagnostic and screening tests. J Amer Sm Anim Pract.
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).