Dr. James E. Nave

James E Nave
  • Hometown: Protem, Missouri
  • Undergraduate Studies: University of Missouri
  • Veterinary School: University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Nave graduated in 1968 from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. He joined the US Army after graduation from veterinary school and served in as a Captain in Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star for his military Service. He was discharged in 1971, and shortly after settled in Las Vegas, NV. 

Dr. Nave has mentored hundreds of veterinarians throughout his career, and continues the mentoring process to this day for veterinarians ranging from veterinary students, new graduates, and seasoned veterans. He truly believes leadership is the key to success and strives to promote that throughout his colleagues. 

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Dr. Karley Noto

Dr. Noto
  • Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana 
  • Undergraduate Studies: Louisian State University
  • Veterinary School: Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine


Dr. Noto is a proud Itallian and Lousiana native who not only grew up in Baton Rouge, but also attended LSU for her undergrad and graduate studies.  Her passion to become a veterinarian started at a young age, and after participating in an externship in Las Vegas, Dr. Noto knew moving here was a great fit.  Dr. Noto also specializes in veterinary acupunture and hopes to treat patients utilizing both Eastern and Western medicine.  Some of her special interests also include physical therapy, ultrasonography, diagnostic imaging, and neurology.  

Dr. Noto enjoys spending time with her huge family and her handsome Vizsla named Kevin.  When she is not at the hospital, Dr. Noto loves checking out new restaurants, watching movies, running, playing beach volleyball, going to hockey games, and watching football (Geaux Tigers, Geaux Saints).  Veterinary and nonveterinary mission work is another passion of hers espeically Honduras as she has spent a vast majority of her mission work there. While Dr. Noto is a proud Louisiana native, she is excited to explore what Las Vegas has to offer.  


Dr. Brittney Villagran

  • Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
  • Undergraduate Studies: Mississippi State University
  • Veterinary School: Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Villagran graduated from Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. She is originally from Los Angeles, CA and moved to Las Vegas to join Tropicana after graduation. Dr. Villagran’s professional interests include ultrasonography, internal medicine, ophthalmology, and dermatology. Outside of the office, Dr. Villagran enjoys yoga, hiking, and exploring new cities. Dr. Villagran also loves spending time with her Cattle dog/ Spaniel mix named Jill, and her Terrier mix Helen.

Dr. Christian Lay

Christian Lay
  • Hometown: Slidell, LA
  • Undergraduate Studies: Louisiana State University
  • Veterinary School: Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lay graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. He moved to Las Vegas to join Tropicana after graduation. Dr. Lay’s professional interests include surgery, internal medicine, ultrasonography, and cardiology. Outside of the office, Dr. Lay enjoys boating, fishing, and marksmanship. Dr. Lay also enjoys spending time with his Golden Retriever named Gatsby, and his cat Luna.

Dr. Blake Tunnard

Blake Tunnard
  • Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
  • Undergraduate Studies: Southeastern Louisiana University & Louisiana State University
  • Veterinary School: Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Tunnard graduated from Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. He moved to Las Vegas and joined Tropicana Animal Hospital at that time. While in veterinary school, Dr. Tunnard was the caretaker for Mike the tiger at LSU. His professional interests include advanced diagnostic imaging, endoscopy, and soft tissue surgery. Outside of the office, Dr. Tunnard enjoys playing sports and spending time with his wife Joan. They have two dogs, George and Rebel, as well as three cats named Sparky, Emma, and Theodore. 

Dr. Brenna Ledezma

  • Hometown: La Porte, Texas
  • Undergraduate Studies: Texas A&M
  • Veterinary School: Texas A&M 

Professional interests: Dermatology and Dentistry 

Hobbies: spending time with family and baking

Family: Married with 2 boys 

Pets: Ollie, a black lab mix, Stella, a catahoula, Zorro, a rat terrier, and Miles, an orange tabby cat.  

Dr. Aimee Jones

  • Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Undergraduate Studies: University of Findlay- Toledo, Ohio
  • Veterinary School:University of Missouri- Columbia

Dr. Jones grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Findlay with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Animal Science with minors in Chemistry and Health Communication Dr. Jones graduated from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. After graduation, she joined Tropicana Animal Hospital. Dr. Aimee Jones has been working in the veterinary field for over 10 years. Her professional interests include internal medicine, nutrition, neonatal care, emergency medicine, critical care, and preventative medicine. Outside of work, Dr. Jones enjoys spending time with her rescue dog Wally, her Bernese Mountain Dog Neville, and cat Izzie. She also enjoys trying new restaurants, hiking and watching Indians baseball!

Dr. Matthew McCollum

  • Hometown: Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Undergraduate Studies: Louisiana State University
  • Veterinary School: Louisiana State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Matthew McCollum is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana. He completed his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University with a bachelor of science in Animal Sciences and then continued his education and graduated from Louisiana State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. While completing his undergraduate degree he worked as a veterinary technician at his hometown clinic. His interest in Veterinary medicine includes Internal Medicine, Ultrasonography, and surgery.

Dr. McCollum enjoys spending time with his fur family, Luna a Catahoula/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, Tonks an orange tabby cat, Zoom Zoom a black cat, and two Fancy rats Basil and Professor Ratigan on his time off. He loves spending time hiking, fishing, and being outdoors and is a true Louisiana Cajun that loves to cook.

Dr. Sandra Gomez

Dr. Gomez
  • Hometown: Born in Lima, Peru & Raised in Delaware/NewJersey
  • Undergraduate Studies: Delaware State University
  • Veterinary School: Tuskegee University

Dr. Gomez was born in Lima, Peru and soon after moved to the United States.  She graduated with a BA in biology and minored in Chemistry from Deleware State University.  Without skipping a beat, she completed her veterinary program and received her DVM from Tuskegee University.  Dr. Gomez is bilingual in spanish and is a great assest to our veterinary commuity. During her down time, Dr. Gomez enjoys playing volleyball, spending time with her family including 7 furbabies, and traveling the world.  

Dr. Amethyst Southern

dr amethyst southern
  • Hometown: Houston, Texas
  • Veterinary School: Texas A&M University

Dr. Amethyst Southern grew up in Houston, Texas. Dr. Southern always had an interest in science and medicine, and for some time thought she would become a human doctor. Becoming a veterinarian gave her the ability to include her growing passion for animals and is now in the unique position to not only help animals, but to also help their human companions strengthen the human-animal bond.

Dr. Southern went to Texas A&M University where she received her undergraduate degree in Zoology and continued to excel in her veterinary program where she graduated with a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Her special interests include, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Public Health, and Exotics.

Dr. Southern has two dogs, a Dachshund named Remi, and a Chi/Yorkie mix named Penny. She also has an orange cat that always keeps her on her toes named Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. In her spare time, Dr. Southern loves to travel and scuba dive. Although she is new to Las Vegas, she cannot wait to get out to Red Rock or Mount Charleston for some hiking.

Dr. Samantha Lee

Dr. Samantha Lee
  • Hometown: San Francisco, California
  • Veterinary School: Ross University

Dr. Samantha Lee hails from San Francisco and is the eldest of three girls. She is familiar with Las Vegas as she attended high school here!

Dr. Lee moved back to San Francisco and graduated with a BS in Zoology from San Francisco State University. In her younger years, Dr. Lee watched the show “Emergency Vets” on Animal Planet. After a few episodes, she knew she wanted to be just like those doctors. Dr. Lee received her doctorate from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Her interests include dentistry and surgery.

Dr. Lee has two cats named Cooper and Max and when she is not at work, enjoys rock climbing, scuba diving, and all being outdoors.

Dr. Brad Uppinghouse

  • Hometown: Fulton, Missouri
  • Undergraduate School: University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Veterinary School: University of Missouri, Columbia


Dr. Brad Uppinghouse grew up on a small farm outside of Fulton, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia with a Bachelors in Science in Biological Sciences. He developed a passion for veterinary medicine while working in a reproductive services lab at Mizzou after acquiring his undergraduate degree. His interests include surgery, endoscopy, and advanced imaging. Dr. Uppinghouse and his girlfriend like spending time playing board games, playing disc golf, camping, and hiking. They are the proud fur parents of Castiel, a Red Heeler/Jack Russel mix, and Paisley Jane, a Staffordshire Terrier.

Dr. Amy Sarcinella

dr amy
  • Hometown: Austin, Texas
  • Undergraduate Studies: Tarleton State University (Stephenville, Texas)
  • Veterinary School: Texas A&M University

Dr. Sarcinella was born and raised in Austin, Texas. At a young age, Dr. Sarcinella knew she wanted to become a veterinarian because she loved working in a field that is so diverse. Not only did she want to gain surgical and medical experience, Dr. Sarcinella was eager to connect with people who shared the same love through animals as she did. After completing her undergraduate studies, Dr. Sarcinella received her doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M. Her interests include small animal surgery and large animal medicine. When she is not in the hospital, Dr. Sarcinella enjoys being out in nature and hiking. Her goal is to visit all national parks before the age of 50.

Dr. Leigh Malanga

  • Hometown: Milan, TN.
  • Undergraduate Studies: University of Tennesseeo
  • Veterinary School: Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Leigh Malanga grew up in Milan, Tennessee. She knew she wanted to be a veterinarian ever since she was young and her passion for animals and medicine only grew with age. She completed her undergraduate studies and received two bachelor's degrees of agriculture in both Pre-Veterinary Health and Technology from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She then attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts and adored living in the Caribbean.

Dr. Malanga has a German shepherd named Maddie, and two pets she adopted from the island: a cat called Mittens and a dog named Hobbes (featured). Dr. Malanga loves to read, travel, and be near the ocean. Her professional interests include soft tissue surgery and diagnostic imaging.