We are committed to caring for your pet – while maintaining the highest level of safety for our Associates and pet owners. We thank you for your continued patience and support. 
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Carl Koehler

Carl Koehler
Veterinary Specialist
Carl Koehler

At a Glance

Practicing Since:


Board Certified:


Education: Graduated from University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. Completed rotating internship in 1999 at the California Animal Hospital in West Los Angeles. Completed a surgical internship in 2001 from Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston, Texas. Completed a small animal surgical residency.

Personal Interests: Biking, hiking and most outdoor activities.

Professional Organizations: AVMA, VOS, ACVS

"I have always liked the challenge of medicine and surgery, and working with animals has always been my passion."
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What is Soft Tissue Surgery?

Soft tissue surgery is considered any surgery that is performed that is not orthopedic. This can range anywhere from splenectomy (spleen removal) to a mass or foreign body removal and even a c-section.

Our Veterinary Board Certified Surgeon – Dr. Carl Koehler – performs all of our surgeries here at VCA Encina Veterinary Medical Center.


  • Abdominal exploratories
  • Advanced wound treatment
  • Arytenoid lateralization (Laryngeal paralysis)
  • Brachycephalic syndrome correction
  • C-section
  • Cystotomy
  • Emergency surgery and trauma
  • Foreign body and/or mass removal
  • Gastric dilatation volvulus (bloat)
  • Gastrointestinal foreign body removal
  • Hernia repairs
  • Mass removal
  • Oncologic surgery
  • Organ and gland removals
    • (liver lobectomy, splenectomy, thyroidectomy, parathyroidectomy, adrenalectomy, etc.)
  • Reconstructive surgery
    • (typically due to trauma or tumor removals)
  • Thoracic procedures
    • (lung lobectomy, pericardectomy)

Orthopedic surgery is the branch of surgery concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system (muscles and bones).

Here at VCA Encina Veterinary Medical Center, we are fortunate to have a Veterinary Board Certified Surgeon – Dr. Carl Koehler – as our orthopedic surgeon. Utilizing our CT scanner and digital x-ray machine, we are able to diagnose our patient’s orthopedic needs, quickly and accurately.


  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Knee and hip replacement
  • Fractures
  • Torn or ripped ligaments
  • Dislocation
  • Bone cysts
  • Limb deformities

Once your pet has been diagnosed, a treatment plan between you and our Veterinary Board Certified Surgeon will be discussed. We offer both surgical and non-surgical treatment options, depending on what is best for your pet and you. Our goal is to provide the best possible treatment plan suited for you and your pet.


  • Amputation of the limbs
  • Angular limb deformity correction
  • Arthroscopy (joint repair)
  • Arthrodesis (joint fusion)
  • Extra-capsular technique
    • (used to repair the crainial cruciate ligament)
  • FHO (femoral head ostectomy)
    • (used to alleviate pain in dogs with hip dysplasia)
  • Fracture repairs
  • Hemipelvectomy (partial removal of pelvis)
  • TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy)
    • (gold standard in knee surgery for large/medium sized dogs)
  • TPO (triple pelvic osteotomy)
    • (for hip dysplasia)

Because these procedures are quite invasive, your pets’ pain management protocol will be customized to his or her specific needs depended on their medical history/health and surgical procedure. As always, we work with you to decide what is best for your pet.

  • Wound Soaker Catheter: This is a catheter that is placed at the site of surgery and releases lidocaine to your pet around the clock to minimize their pain. This is primarily used in amputations.
  • Epidurals: A catheter is placed in the spine region that releases pain and anesthetic medication to block the transmission of signals through nerves in or near the spinal cord.
  • Nerve Blocks: An injection is administered to block the nerves from accessing the point of pain; it numbs the nerves and does not let the pain receptors communicate pain to the brain.
  • Inject-able and Oral Analgesics: Injections and oral medications are used to treat pain while in the hospital, and also once the pet goes home; sometimes a combination of the two are used to ensure your pet is comfortable.
  • Constant Intravenous Infusions: Your pet may receive constant pain medications through his or her indwelling intravenous catheter; this ensures they have a constant stream of pain medication in their blood stream to keep them comfortable.

Once surgery is complete, your pet will stay here at our hospital overnight (most likely) where trained technicians will monitor and administer pain medication, care and support around the clock. We encourage all pet owners to come visit their pet during this time.

Give us a call at (925) 937-5000 to schedule your orthopedic or soft-tissue consultation with our Veterinary Board Certified Surgeon at VCA Encina Veterinary Medical Center.


VCA Encina Veterinary Medical Center

2803 Ygnacio Valley Road

Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Main: 925-937-5000

Fax: 925-937-8519

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Other Hospital Hours:

Open 24 hours a day for emergency. Scheduled appointments in general practice and specialty departments, Monday - Saturday, hours vary.

Are you a Primary Care Veterinarian? We have dedicated resources for you.

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