Dr. Bonnie H. Shope
Veterinary Medical Doctor
Diplomate American Veterinary Dental College
I graduated from Brown University in 1991, receiving an AB in Biology, and from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. After graduation, I worked at the Woburn Animal Hospital, in Woburn, MA for 4 years, practicing general medicine and surgery with an emphasis on dentistry. I began my specialty training in veterinary dentistry in 1999, at which time I embarked on an Alternative Training Pathway residency sponsored by the American Veterinary Dental College. I joined Veterinary Dental Services in 2000, in addition to working in general practice full time. In 2002 I became a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dentistry at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University , devoting my time to veterinary dentistry exclusively. In 2008 I became a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College, completing my specialty training. I continue to teach lectures and labs to veterinarians, technicians, and veterinary students each year.
My interest in animals and medicine stemmed from my childhood experiences, although I didn’t decide on a career in veterinary medicine until the end of college. My father was a research scientist and my mother a nurse. Many of our conversations led us to discussions about biology, medicine (especially infectious), research and discovery, and disease prevention. At home I was fortunate to have many pets throughout my childhood. We had multiple cats, rabbits, a dog, gerbils, fish, lizards, snakes and birds. We learned quite a bit about husbandry, reproduction, and the cycle of life and death. Most importantly I discovered the amazing bond one can feel with a pet, even if it is “just a gerbil,” or “just an angel fish.” I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say, as a child, I really felt understood by these animal friends, and through this connection, wanted to understand and care for them too.
My love for dentistry developed in my pre-vet training, and blossomed in vet school and shortly thereafter, in my first year of work. The rewards are so tangible, and it is rare to meet a dog or a cat (or most other mammals) that couldn’t benefit from my expertise in dentistry. After all, dental disease is the most common disease of dogs and cats! I enjoy the “hands on” dental surgery, and feel especially comfortable and confident working in the mouth. The field requires diverse training in skills and in materials used. The work is gratifying, as our basic tenet is to treat and prevent pain and infection.
In addition to a wonderful husband and two great sons, my family also includes a Portuguese Water Dog named Annie, and some tropical fish. I am an outdoor enthusiast, and enjoy running, mountain and road biking, swimming, sailing, and skiing.