Dr. Claude Gendreau

Dr. Gendreau was destined to become a Veterinarian at a very young age. Born to a father who was a Veterinarian in small and large animal general practice in Sherbrooke Quebec, he started observing his father at a young age since the family resided above his father’s small animal hospital. The family also attended many Veterinary conventions throughout Canada since Dr. Gendreau senior was very involved in organized Veterinary Medicine, as President of the Quebec Veterinary Medical Association and, in 1948, as the co-founder of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, its first vice president and subsequently its second president.

Following graduation from Veterinary College, University of Montreal, Claude, realizing he had big shoes to fill, pursued a residency in small animal surgery and a Master’s Degree in Surgery at the University of Guelph, Ontario, his father’s alma mater. After completing his post-graduate studies in 1970, he accepted the position of Head of Small Animal Surgery at the University of Illinois. During his tenure at U of I, he completed the requirements to achieve board certification in surgery in 1974. In the fall of 1976 he resigned his position at the University of Illinois, moved to Chicago and founded the Veterinary Specialty Clinic, which is now operating as Veterinary Specialty Center. VSC is comprised of a group of more than 35 Veterinarians, most of which have achieved Board Certification, assisted by a team exceeding 200 people.

Now, a new concept, Veterinary Orthopedic Center. “Over the last few years, as VSC has grown in scope and volume, I have seen a need for a more limited, more focused, more personalized service” said Dr. Gendreau, who added “I don’t think there is another Center in the Country dedicated exclusively to the practice of Veterinary Orthopedic surgery.”

Claude Gendreau Veterinary Surgeon Specialist

Claude Gendreau


“Over the years, as I have observed so many advances in all areas of veterinary science, I started envisioning a facility totally focused on treating orthopedic conditions.”

Dr. Paula West

As a young child I had a huge love of animals, a love which remains strong in me today. I often brought home stray dogs or injured wildlife. In undergraduate school I was fascinated with a physiology course I took as a biology major, which became the first indication that medicine would be my passion. Caring for dogs as part of a job I had while I was in school helped me to realize I needed to combine these passions and pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

I was accepted to Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1988. Immediately after, I completed an internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, followed by a surgical residency at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine where I was presented the resident of the year award.

Surgery became my focus early on. Surgery is a rewarding specialty because you can literally ‘fix’ problems. You can return function to animals who would otherwise be disabled and you can save animals who may have a life-threatening illness or injury. There is nothing more gratifying than making someone’s beloved pet healthy again through surgery.

My philosophy of patient care is to treat each animal that comes in as if it were my own pet. How I communicate with clients, how I interact with the animal, the medical decisions and recommendations I make, all center around the belief that each pet has an owner who wants the very best for their companion. Every animal that I see is important to me.

Claude Gendreau Veterinary Surgeon Specialist

Paula West


“My philosophy of patient care is to treat each animal that comes in as if it were my own pet…Every animal that I see is important to me.”


Our pets are considered family members. We will treat yours as such. Prior to your consultation, we request that you complete several preparatory steps to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.