A veterinary cardiologist, Dr. Suzanne Cunningham treats heart conditions in dogs, cats and other animals at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals. Her special interests are in interventional therapies for cardiac disease, new treatments for heart failure and cardiomyopathy and investigation of blood vessel function and dysfunction that may accompany heart disease. In addition to clinical work, she teaches veterinary labs and lectures in the cardiovascular pathophysiology, clinical skills and toxicology courses and moderates Problem Based Learning groups at the Cummings School. She is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Cardiology.
As a child in New York, Dr. Cunningham had dogs, cats and a horse. Her first Boxer dog died of heart disease when she was nine. Although she debated going into law or politics, her love of animals won, and she pursued both a bachelor's and a veterinary degree at Cornell, never losing sight of her childhood loss. "I know how difficult it is to lose an animal suddenly as a result of heart disease and have particular interest in investigating new therapies for treatment of heart disease in dogs", she says. After attending college and vet school at Cornell, she came to Tufts to complete a small animal internship and was impressed with the caseload, the students and the quality of medicine practiced here. After completing a residency in cardiology under the guidance of Dr. John Rush, she was offered a faculty position.
Dr. Cunningham recently adopted one of her more interesting cases of congenital heart disease—a Boxer puppy with multiple congenital defects, one she was able to help by performing a balloon valvuloplasty (repairing a stiff heart valve through a balloon catheter). She also recently treated a ferret with an atrioventricular block as well as a rabbit with heart failure. In addition to the challenging caseload, she says,"I love working with the students, I love the professional interactions, and I am grateful for being able to offer our patients top-notch, state-of-the-art and compassionate care. I especially love the diverse mix of teaching, research and clinical service that comprise the faculty position."
Dr. Cunningham lives near the Cummings School Campus with her Boxer puppy, Tyler and a 13-year-old Boxer, Roxie. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, reading, watching movies and traveling.