Meet Our Veterinary Team

Our veterinarians and support staff share an unwavering dedication to our four-legged patients and the people who love them. Motivated by their mutual goal of providing the most exceptional care to the pet families in and around Irvine, our team works hard to ensure that you expect nothing less than the best at our animal hospital.

Dr. Cao

Dr. Mike Cao purchased Irvine Valley Animal Hospital in May 2017. He renamed it Irvine Valley Veterinary Hospital to honor it’s long history of treating pets and their owners like family, while also updating the hospital to provide state of the art veterinary care.

It has been a dream come true for Dr. Cao to return to Irvine and open his own practice. He is a proud graduate of Woodbridge High School and UC Irvine. Upon receiving his veterinary degree from The Ohio State University, he continued working in Ohio before moving back to Southern California where he worked at a busy 24/7 emergency practice for several years. At the 20+ doctor practice he became highly proficient with critical care, surgery and complex cases. His vision with Irvine Valley Veterinary Hospital is to create a warm and compassionate environment where high quality veterinary care is readily available and affordable to Irvine residents.

Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Cao and his family love going to the park every Sunday to work out. Other favorite family activities include going to the beach, spending time with their 3 dogs and watching the LA Lakers.

Dr. Laurel Nakata

Dr. Laurel Nakata was born and raised in Long Beach, California. She graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine after finishing up her clinical year at Colorado State University. She went on to complete her internship year at a small animal emergency hospital in Colorado. In 2019, Dr. Nakata moved back home to sunny Southern California. She has been soaking up the beautiful weather, taking long walks with her dog, enjoying time by the pool, and exploring the trails on her bike. When she is not hard at work or busy adventuring outdoors, she spends her time lounging at home with her island dog, Isley, and island cat, Harley.

Dr. Tricia Nguyen

Dr. Tricia Nguyen, an Orange County native, is an alumna of both the University of Southern California (fight on!) and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Her favorite parts about veterinary medicine are the meaningful relationships doctors make with their clients, pets, and hospital team. Dr. Nguyen’s medical interests include dentistry, nutrition, and soft tissue surgery. In her free time, she enjoys burning calories at Orangetheory, oil painting, traveling, finding delicious hole-in-the-wall places to eat (send recs her way), and spending time with her ginger tabby named Little Orange Kitten (Loki, for short). Dr. Nguyen is thrilled to be on the Irvine Valley Veterinary Hospital team and cannot wait to meet you and your fur-babies!

Dr. Danika Dickerson

Dr. Danika Dickerson is an Orange County native who received her undergraduate degree in animal science from the University of California, Davis and her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Minnesota. Prior to vet school, she worked as a vet tech for several years. Her professional interests include internal medicine, surgery, and client education. Dr. Dickerson enjoys partnering with pet parents to provide the level of individualized care their pet deserves. In her spare time, Dr. Dickerson enjoys trying new foods, body surfing, and taking her dog Summer on hikes.

Dr. Vanessa Tse

Dr. Vanessa Tse grew up in Orange County and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacological Chemistry at University of California, San Diego. She went on to receive her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. She completed her small animal internship at a specialty hospital in Carlsbad. Dr. Tse’s special veterinary interests include dentistry and surgery. During her free time, she loves to go hiking with her dog (Peanut, a miniature poodle), traveling, reading, and trying new restaurants/adventurous food.

Dr. Laura Lei

Dr. Laura Lei grew up in northern California, but now calls Orange County her home. She received her undergraduate degrees in biological sciences and psychology from the University of California, Riverside and her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona. Dr. Lei then went on to complete a small animal rotating internship at a specialty hospital in Carlsbad. Her professional interests include internal medicine and ophthalmology. In her free time, Dr. Lei enjoys puzzles, archery, trying new foods and restaurants in Orange County, and spending time with her two cats, Nero and Mozart.

Dr. Fred Brewer

Dr. Fred Brewer is a mobile, board certified (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) veterinary cardiologist that performs in-hospital consultations and echocardiograms by special appointment. He is a native of southern California, growing up in Long Beach where he attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School and later graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology.

Later, he received his veterinary degree from Cornell University in 2009. Following the 4 years at Cornell University, he completed a 1-year general rotating internship at the California Animal Hospital Veterinary Specialty Group in West Los Angeles with Dr. Stephen J. Ettinger.

This was followed by a 3 year Cardiology residency at Cornell University, where he was trained to perform minimally invasive interventional procedures such as pacemakers, balloon valvuloplasties, and PDA occlusions. He has a keen interest in electrophysiology, has extensively studied the canine sinus node, and has published in veterinary medical journals. Additionally, he is experienced in the management of complex arrhythmias and the treatment of refractory heart failure.

In addition to providing the best quality of care for his patients, Dr. Brewer is an avid surfer and enjoys playing water polo, traveling, and photography.

Dr. Jennifer Sheahan

Dr. Sheahan is a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist that provides in-hospital consultations and treatments at Irvine Valley Veterinary Hospital by special appointment. She was born and raised in Edmond, Oklahoma. She graduated with honors from the University of California, Irvine, with a major in Biology and Criminology in 2003. Dr. Sheahan discovered her interest in comparative ophthalmology after college when she worked as an ophthalmology nurse for four years. She attended Veterinary School at Oklahoma State University graduating in 2011. Following Veterinary School, she completed a one-year rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at Ohio State University followed by a three-year residency in comparative ophthalmology at Animal Eye Care.

She has a particular interest in ophthalmic pharmacology as well as dry eye disorders and retinal diseases.

In her free time, she enjoys photography, running, traveling, and spending time with family.

Brittany Alfino

Practice Manager

Bio coming soon.

Jessamine

Assistant Manager
“Future veterinarian extraordinaire learning technical skills from the ground up.”

Kejera

Veterinary Technician
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

Laura

Registered Veterinary Technician

Kaitlyn

Veterinary Technician

Sandra

Room Technicians

Brenda

Registered Veterinary Technician

Michaela

Veterinary Technician

Elisa

Veterinary Technician

Katie

Registered Veterinary Technician

Nathan

Room Technician

Tiffany

Client Service Representative

Cheyanne

Room Technician

Angelica

Registered Veterinary Technician

Nicole

Registered Veterinary Technician

Brianna

Registered Veterinary Technician