Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Robert McCarthy

Clinical Orthopedics and Soft Tissue Surgery

Small Animal Surgery

Dr. Robert Rob McCarthy is a veterinary surgeon specializing in both orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. Although he works primarily with companion small animals, he also performs surgery on exotic, wildlife and zoo animals. He has a special interest in minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy, arthroscopy) of all types.

Dr. McCarthy grew up in Natick, MA, and first became interested in veterinary medicine while he was an undergraduate student at Boston College. He was offered admission to both veterinary and medical school, but decided to pursue veterinary medicine at Tufts, where he earned his degree in 1983 as a member of the school's first graduating class. He served on the faculty of Louisiana State University and earned a master's degree from the University of Minnesota prior to returning to Tufts as a faculty member in 1993. The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine has the best clinical programs, small animal hospital, faculty and staff of any veterinary school in the country, he says. From my perspective, this is a perfect job.

Dr. McCarthy's notable cases range from fracture repairs on bald eagles, turkey vultures and hawks at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic, to a penguin at the New England Aquarium, and a wallaby and cheetah at the Roger Williams Zoo in Rhode Island. Most recently, Dr.McCarthy has begun performing minimally invasive laparoscopic spay surgeries on large dogs and other animals; among his first patients were two tigers from Southwick's Zoo in nearby Mendon, MA.

Dr. McCarthy has lectured on small animal surgery at meetings from Puerto Rico to Australia and in all corners of the United States. He has a strong interest in feral cat management and has coordinated a trap-neuter-release program on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands for the past several years.

Dr. McCarthy lives in Grafton with his wife, Paula, a part-time staff member at the Wildlife Clinic. The couple has two children, Sara and Nick, and share their home with two cats and three dogs—two of whom were rescues. He plays tennis and soccer as often as he can and is an avid SCUBA diver.


  • MS - University of Minnesota - 1992
  • DVM - Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine - 1983

Board Certification

  • American College of Veterinary Surgery
  1. McCarthy RJ, Levine SH, Reed JM. Estimation of effectivness of three methods of population control by use of a simulation model. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013;243:502-511.
  2. DeTora M, McCarthy RJ. Ovariohysterectomy versus ovariectomy for elective sterilization of female dogs and cats: Is removal of the uterus necessary? J Am Vet Med Assoc 2011;239:1409-1412.
  3. Shea A, McCarthy RJ, Lindenmeyer J. Therapeautic antibiotic use patterns in dogs: Observations from a veterinary teaching hospital. J Sm Anim Pract 2011;52:310-318.
  4. Balara JM, McCarthy RJ, Kiupel M, Buote MA, Wise AG, Maes RK. Clinical, histologic, and immunohistochemical characterization of wart-like lesions on the paw pads of dogs: 24 cases (2000-2007). J Am Vet Med Assoc 2009; 234:1555-1558.
  5. McCarthy, RJ. Cranial cruciate ligament injury in dogs-are we really making any progress? J Sm Anim Pract 2009; 50:209-210.
  6. Casale SA, McCarthy RJ. Complications associated with lateral fabellotibial suture surgery for cranial cruciate ligament injury in dogs: 363 cases (1997-2005). J Am Vet Med Assoc 2009; 234:229-235.
  7. Stern L, McCarthy R, King R, Hunt K. Imaging diagnosis-discospondylitis and septic arthritis in a dog. Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2007; 48:335-337.

General Research Interests

  • Reproduction control in dogs and cats
  • Feral cat management
  • Surgery in exotic pets and wildlife