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Welcome to Sierra Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center

Thank you for visiting Sierra Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center, your partner for exceptional veterinary specialty care, including soft tissue, oncologic and orthopedic surgery. Sierra Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center serves clients throughout Northern Nevada, including Carson City, Reno, and Lake Tahoe. We invite you to learn more about our services, staff and facility.


Soft Tissue Surgery

  • Cricoarytenoid laryngoplasty – tie-back procedure for laryngeal paralysis
  • Extraluminal tracheal stenting for tracheal collapse
  • Soft palate resection and stenotic nares correction to treat breathing problems in short nosed dogs
  • Lung lobectomy and removal of intrathoracic tumors and masses
  • Portosystemic shunt attenuation
  • Gastrointestinal surgery including removal of gastrointestinal tumors
  • Adrenalectomy

Minimally Invasive Surgery

  • Laparoscopic ovariohysterectomy – Minimally invasive spay procedure
  • Laparoscopic assisted gastropexy – for prevention of canine gastric dilatation and volvulus
  • Thorascopic pericardial resection – for treatment of pericardial fluid accumulation
  • Thorascopic lung and mass biopsy collection
  • Arthroscopic evaluation and treatments for knees, shoulders, elbows, and other joints
  • Laparoscopic thoracic duct ligation for chylothorax


  • Hemilaminectomy for thoracolumbar intervertebral disc compression
  • Cervical decompression and stabilizations
  • Lumbosacral decompression and stabilization procedures

Oncologic Surgery

  • Removal and reconstructive surgery for large or aggressive tumors
  • Abdominal and thoracic tumor resection – liver, spleen, lung, kidney, and other locations
  • Partial mandibulectomy and maxillectomy for intraoral tumors
  • Cyto reductive surgery prior to planned radiation therapy

Orthopedic Surgery

  • Advanced trauma and fracture management
  • TTA and TPLO
  • Total joint arthroplasty (joint replacement) for hips, elbows and knees
  • Arthroscopic evaluation and treatment for knees, shoulders, elbows, other joints

Internal Medicine

  • The specialty of internal medicine focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of non-surgical conditions
  • This includes gastrointestinal, renal, respiratory, immune and endocrine systems
  • Caring for patients with acute, sometimes life-threatening illnesses and patients with complicated and chronic issues
  • Endoscopic procedures involving the intestinal tract, respiratory tract, urogenital tract and nasal passages as well as retrieval if intestinal foreign objects

Our Emergency Veterinary Team

Dr. Schneider

Cynthia K. Schneider, DVM, graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. After a few years practicing in California, she relocated to Nevada. She spent many years in general small animal practice prior to joining the SVS Emergency Team in 2017.

When not working, Dr. Schneider spends her time horseback riding, hiking and enjoying fine food and wine with her husband. She shares her home with her dog, Tessa, two cats, Jules and Pinky and her horse, Bonita.

Dr. Rinehimer

Hope Rinehimer, VMD, earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA. She then graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. Hope and her husband, Colin, have 2 dogs, Mokelumne and Tumalo. She spends most of her free time in the outdoors, hiking, paragliding, skiing, kayaking and mountain biking. Dr. Rinehimer joined Sierra Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Center in 2017.

Dr. Phipps

Dr. Candice Phipps earned her veterinary degree from the University of the West Indies, School of Veterinary Medicine in Trinidad and Tobago. Upon graduation she served as a veterinarian at the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA).  She was then selected as the International Surgical Fellow to participate in Michigan State University’s small animal surgery internship program.

After the internship she returned to Jamaica and entered into private practice. Candice has also served as a veterinarian for the government of Jamaica where she gained a wealth of experience in public health and regulatory medicine.

Years later her passion for advancing her skills in veterinary surgery led her back to the world of academia. Dr. Phipps completed a rotating internship at Tuskegee University and a surgical internship at Sierra Veterinary Specialists.

In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, seeking out good food and going to the beach.

Our Board Certified Veterinary Surgeons

Jeff MacLellan DVM, DACVS-SA Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon

Jeff MacLellan DVM, DACVS-SA Board Certified Surgeon

Dr. MacLellan graduated from UC Davis Veterinary School in 2012. Thereafter he pursued a rotating internship and surgical residency at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital. Dr. MacLellan’s professional interests include neurosurgery and difficult soft tissue surgeries. Dr. MacLellan has completed published research on brain tumors and brain surgery in dogs.

In his spare time, Dr. Maclellan is an avid trail runner. He spends as much time as possible in the mountains around Lake Tahoe running, camping, and back country snowboarding. His 12 year old Catahoula, Chip, joins him on these adventures.

Davyd Pelsue DVM, MS, CCRT, DACVS Board Certified Surgeon, Medical Director

Dr. Pelsue grew up in Vermont where he attended the University of Vermont and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. During his studies, Dr. Pelsue discovered veterinary medicine and while volunteering at a local animal hospital he found his passion– surgery. He then moved to Ames, Iowa to attend Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1997 and then went to Colorado State University for Internship and Residency. He passed his board certification for Small Animal Surgery in 2002. His first job took him to Las Vegas, where he worked as a mobile surgeon. In 2003, he moved to Reno where he has enjoyed working to strengthen the human-animal bond.