Texas Tech University

Accomplished Large-Animal Veterinary Surgeon Joins Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine

George Watson

April 1, 2020

vet school

David Dutton has worked in private practice for two decades and served as the chief medical officer for two companies developing regenerative medicine products for large animals.

As a large-animal veterinarian in Texas, David Dutton knows full well the needs of the industry and believes in the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine's plan to address them.

An accomplished large-animal surgeon who has owned a practice in Boerne for the last 20 years, Dutton sees firsthand how the state's demand for quality veterinary care in rural and regional communities far outweighs the supply of veterinarians. So he's helping do something about it.

Dutton, who grew up around ranching, farming and race horses in West Texas and Southern New Mexico, is joining the faculty of the School of Veterinary Medicine as a professor of surgery, bringing with him 25 years of experience as a surgeon and large-animal care veterinarian.

David Dutton
David Dutton

"My main goal as surgery professor is to empower veterinary students to become confident and competent veterinarians, especially in large-animal surgery," said Dutton, who b School began his duties with the School of Veterinary Medicine today (April 1). "There is a growing need for veterinarians who serve rural and regional communities, and Texas Tech is on track to be the leading veterinary school in the nation in addressing this need."

For the last 20 years, Dutton has led the very successful equine surgery and performance/lameness practice Hill Country Equine in Boerne. He also has been involved in clinical research trials of new drugs and has served as the chief medical officer for two companies developing regenerative medicine products.

"Dr. Dutton's successful career in private practice adds so much to the school," said John Dascanio, senior associate dean. "He brings valuable business skills to pass on to future practitioners and, just as importantly, he will help focus the curriculum on topics of real-world relevance to veterinary medicine in Texas."

Dutton earned his bachelor's degree in animal science from New Mexico State University and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 1995. He completed a large-animal internship at the University of Georgia and a large-animal surgical residency at Texas A&M University, where he remained on staff as a large-animal lecturer.

He was awarded Diplomate status by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2000.

"Having someone of the caliber of Dr. Dutton join the team will greatly enrich the veterinary program and the students' experience," said Britt Conklin, associate dean. "He will continue doing clinically relevant and practical research with Texas Tech colleagues to benefit the equine and food animal industries. We are excited to have Dr. Dutton and his family as part of the Texas Tech family."

Dutton and his family are actively involved in production agriculture, primarily raising cattle as well as managing native and exotic wildlife on their ranch. His sons have their own livestock enterprises raising and selling show cattle and show goats, as well as competitively showing steers.

He said one of his greatest satisfactions has been not only to take care of some of the top equine athletes in the country but also to see his clients and their equine athletes have very successful careers, and he's hoping to help lead the next generation of veterinarians who can do the same.

"I am excited and honored to be part of the founding faculty for the School of Veterinary Medicine and to mentor future veterinarians ready to serve in rural and regional communities," Dutton said. "The support of Texas Tech and the Texas Panhandle community for the new veterinary school is truly amazing."

Dutton joins Dascanio, Conklin, Dean Guy Loneragan and assistant professor Bethany Schilling on the faculty for the School of Veterinary Medicine. Additional faculty members will begin in April with a series of faculty to be added over the summer and fall.

"Dr. Dutton has the skills, passion and real-world insights to help make us a great school," Loneragan said. "Dave will help create a program that will impact the lives of students and the profession for generations to come."

About the School of Veterinary Medicine

Thanks to the generosity of Amarillo and communities across Texas, and the commitment of legislators from around the state, the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, established in 2018, is working to enroll its first class in the fall of 2021, pending approval by the AVMA Council on Education.

The School of Veterinary Medicine will recruit and select students with a passion to practice and succeed in small, agricultural and regional communities and utilize a curriculum focused on the competencies and skills necessary to be successful in practices that support these communities. Texas Tech's innovative and cost-efficient model partners with the wider community of veterinary practices across the state to provide clinical, real-world experiential learning.

In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law the biennial state budget, which appropriated $17.35 million for the School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo that will go toward operational needs in order to get the school up and running. The appropriation included language directing Texas Tech to move forward in establishing the school.

Donors and civic leaders have pledged more than $90 million toward infrastructure, construction and scholarships for the School of Veterinary Medicine on the site of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo.