Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
R. John Berg

Soft Tissue Surgery

In addition to his role as a soft-tissue surgeon,Dr.John Berg also serves as editor-in-chief of the Tufts newslettersCatnipandYour Dog

Dr.Berg grew up in Southern California, Maryland and Switzerland. Although his family always had cats, his interest in veterinary medicine did not blossom until he attended Colorado State University for his undergraduate work. He stayed at the school for his master of science and veterinary degrees. Following his surgery residency,Dr.Berg spent a year in private practice south of Boston—but when a faculty position at Tufts became available in 1987, he jumped at the chance, compelled by the opportunity to teach and perform research at the same time.

Dr.Berg teaches in the school's Principles of Surgery and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery courses, as well as in the Problem Based Learning curriculum and the Accelerated Clinical Excellence course. While he enjoys classroom and small-group instruction, he finds hands-on instruction with fourth-year students particularly gratifying and likes watching them grow in confidence as they make supervised clinical decisions.

Although he is adept at all types of small animal surgery,Dr.Berg is especially drawn to surgical treatment of cancer in animals.It requires us to be creative and to be able to perform surgery in every area of the bodyhe says.I also enjoy working closely with owners of animals with cancer.

He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and an honorary member of the Society of Veterinary Surgical Oncology. He lives with his wife and two daughters, as well as an array of animals adopted from the Foster Hospital—including a German Shepherd, four cats, two guinea pigs and a hermit crab. He enjoys cycling, tennis, skiing and reading.


  • MS - Colorado State University - 1985
  • DVM - Colorado State University - 1981

Board Certification

  • American College of Veterinary Surgeons
  1. Zacher LA, Berg J, Shaw SP, Kudej RK. Association between outcome and changes in plasma lactate concentration during presurgical treatment in dogs with gastric dilatation-volvulus: 64 cases (2002-2008). J Am Vet Med Assoc 236: 892-897, 2010.
  2. Kenney EM, Rozanski EA, Rush JE, deLaforcade-Buress AM, Berg J, et al. Association between outcome and organ system dysfunction in dogs with sepsis: 114 cases (2003-2007). J Am Vet Med Assoc 236: 83-94, 2010.
  3. Zitz J, Rozanski E, Penninck D, Berg J. Managing dogs with thoracic impalement injuries: a review of 9 cases. Vet Med 102: 307-313, 2007.
  4. Whelan MF, O'Toole TE, Carlson KR, Sutherland-Smith J, Berg J. Budd-Chiari-like syndrome in a dog with a space occupying thoracic mass. J Vet Emerg Crit Care, 2007.
  5. Wagner A, MacGregor JM, Berg J, Sarkey LC, Rush J. Septic pericarditis in a Yorkshire Terrier. J Vet Emer Crit Care 16: 136-140, 2006.
  6. Henry CJ, Brewer WG, Whitley EM, Tyler JW, Ogilvie GK, Norris A, Fox LE, Morrison WB, Hammer A, Berg J. Canine digital tumors: A Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group study of 64 dogs. J Vet Int Med 19: 720-724, 2005.
  7. Streeter EM, Rozanski EA, Berg J, Walker T, O'Toole T. Esophageal perforation in a dog following an acute episode of gastric dilation with 360 volvulus. J Vet Emerg Crit Care 14: 125-127, 2004.
  8. Pike FS, Berg J, King NW, Penninck D, Webster CRL. Gall Bladder mucoceles in dogs: 30 cases (2000-2002). J Amer Vet Med Assoc 224: 1615-1622, 2004.
  9. Minihan AC, Berg J, Evans KL. Chronic diaphragmatic hernia in 34 dogs and 16 cats. J Amer Anim Hosp Assoc 40: 51-63, 2004.

General Research Interests

  • Surgical oncology

Selected Research Projects

  • Evaluation of a novel tumor imaging system for intraoperative assessment of the completeness of tumor excision

Research Interests by Area

Spontaneous Animal Disease Models
  • Tumor excision in dogs and cats, wound management

Research Interests by Organ System and Disease

Cardiovascular Diseases and Nutrition
  • Surgical interventions in CV diseases
Oncology and Cancer Research and Clinical Trials
  • Canine osteosarcoma as a naturally occurring animal model for human osteosarcoma, technologies for improving local control of surgically-excised tumors. Oncology surgery; identification of surgical margins.

Major Specialized Equipment

  • MRI, CT, linear accelerator, surgical laser, laparoscopic and thoracoscopic equipment