Dr. Anna O'Brien, DVM

Anna O'Brien, DVM

Dr. Anna O'Brien, DVM, is a veterinarian and writer with more than 10 years of experience who has worked with animals ranging from horses, dogs, and cats to camels, cows, monkeys, and honeybees. Dr. O'Brien is part of The Spruce Pets' veterinary review board.


  • Member of The Spruce Pets Veterinary Review Board
  • Over 10 years of professional veterinary experience treating horses, dogs, cats, camels, cows, monkeys, honeybees, and more
  • Formerly associate vet at Link Veterinary Associates, contributing editor for Horse Illustrated, blogger for Hobby Farms, volunteer vet for Adams County Humane Society
  • Currently practices for and serves multiple local clients
  • USDA accredited
  • Contributing editor for Horse Illustrated, frequent contributor to other lay pet and farm magazines


Dr. O'Brien has worked at various small animal clinics and spent a considerable amount of time as a large animal ambulatory veterinarian in central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, performing on-farm surgeries such as castrations and C-sections, and working with farmers to ensure their herds are on the most appropriate preventative health program in regard to vaccines and parasite control.

She has also spent time working with humane societies, providing low-cost neuters, volunteering at rabies vaccination clinics, and helping design programs to assist pet owners in need of financial assistance to care for their cats and dogs.

She also regularly writes about creativity in veterinary medicine and science on her blog.

A Word From Anna O'Brien, DVM

“The veterinary medical field is so scientifically dynamic across so many species that you can’t go a single day without learning something new. I love that. Plus, within this profession, I am in a position to be a strong advocate for animal welfare. Helping cultivate and nurture the human-animal bond is an added bonus! Veterinary medicine has so much to offer that any opportunity I have to talk to people about their pets is grabbed with both hands. This is why I’m pleased to be on the veterinary review board with The Spruce Pets; clear, scientifically-based communication with the public about the animals they love is vital to helping ensure these animals receive the best care possible. And that’s what veterinary medicine is all about.”


Dr. O'Brien is USDA accredited and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008.

Dr. O'Brien is part of the following associations:

  • American Veterinary Medical Association – 1984-present
  • World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association – Executive Board Member, 2007-present (President 2016)
  • World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association – Distinguished Fellow, 2017
  • Japanese Friendship Garden, Phoenix, AZ – Board of Directors, 2010-2013
  • Associated Koi Clubs of America – Koi Health Advisor Program – Veterinary Director, 2008-present
  • Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians
  • USDA Accredited Veterinarian (Category II) – since 1984


Dr. O'Brien won the 2014 Maxwell Medallion from the Dog Writers Association of America for the category of Best Magazine Article or Column - Behavior and Training for her article in the December 2013 issue of Dog Fancy, "5 Subtle Signs of Stress."

Expertise: Livestock, Domestic animals, Exotic animals
Education: Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
Location: Maryland
Title: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

About The Spruce Pets

The Spruce Pets, a Dotdash Meredith brand, is a new kind of pets website offering practical, real-life tips and training advice to help you care for your pet. The Spruce Pets reaches 10 million people each month. Learn more about us, our editorial process, and our commitment to ensuring we are providing you with the most trustworthy veterinarian advice.

More from Anna O'Brien