As a member of the Foster Hospital for Small Animals’ surgical team,Dr. Michael Kowaleski specializes in joint replacement, arthroscopy, stifle (knee) surgery, corrective osteotomy and fracture treatments. Although his most common patients are dogs and cats, he occasionally operates on exotic animals and, most recently, camelids such as alpacas. He serves as the course director for Principles of Surgery for second-year veterinary students and for an orthopedic elective in the third year, teaches small animal surgery for third-year students and serves as a facilitator for the school’s Problem Based Learning course for first year students.
Dr. Kowaleski is a home-grown talent from a family of veterinarians. He grew up in nearby Sterling, Massachusetts and his father and sister are both veterinarians. He attended the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine for his DVM studies and completed the dual residency in surgery at Tufts and Angell Animal Medical Center. The practice of medicine has always intrigued me, Dr. Kowaleski says. I have always been adept at taking things apart and repairing them; thus surgery is a very good fit for me.
Prior to joining the faculty at the Cummings School, Dr. Kowaleski was an assistant professor, then associate professor, of orthopedic surgery at The Ohio State University. He has enjoyed the demanding caseload here, as well as the opportunity to work on unique cases. Recently, he teamed up with the surgical team at the school’s Hospital for Large Animals to treat an alpaca with patellar luxation (looseness in the kneecap). In 2008, Dr. Kowaleski also adapted human instrumentation and implants to fix a middle-aged cocker spaniel with a poorly healing fracture in its elbow.
Dr. Kowaleski also enjoys participating in the school’s clinical and basic science research projects (please see Dr.Kowaleski’s academic profile for the latest research publications) and travels nationally and internationally to present on the latest surgical techniques.
Dr. Kowaleski and his wife, Lisa, have two young sons and enjoy boating, sailing, fishing, skiing and rock climbing.
DVM, Tufts University, 1993
BS, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 19898
Surgical Residency, Tufts University/ Angell Memorial Animal Hospital - 1999-2002
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS)
Clinical orthopedics, with a focus on total joint replacement
Biomechanics and the role of osteotomy in the treatment of joint disease
Selected Research Projects
Biomechanical evaluation of TPLO and TTA
Initial stability of BFX™ cementless total hip replacment
Radiological assessment of limb alignment
Experimental evaluation of locking plate fixation
Research and Clinical Interests
Total joint replacement
Cruciate ligament disease
Kunkel KA, Suber JT, Gerard PD, Kowaleski MP. Effect of pilot hole diameter and tapping on insertion torque and axial pullout strength of 4.0-mm cancellous bone screws. Am J Vet Res. 2011 Dec;72(12):1660-5.
Weh JL, Kowaleski MP, Boudrieau RJ. Combination tibial plateau leveling osteotomy and transverse corrective osteotomy of the proximal tibia for the treatment of complex tibial deformities in 12 dogs. Vet Surg. 2011 Aug;40(6):670-86.
Aktay SA, Kowaleski MP. Analysis of suture anchor eyelet position on suture failure load. Vet Surg. 2011 Jun;40(4):418-22.
Hoffmann DE, Kowaleski MP, Johnson KA, Evans RB, Boudrieau RJ. Ex vivo biomechanical evaluation of the canine cranial cruciate ligament-deficient stifle with varying angles of stifle joint flexion and axial loads after tibial tuberosity advancement. Vet Surg. 2011 Apr;40(3):311-20.
Blake CA, Boudrieau RJ, Torrance BS, Tacvorian EK, Cabassu JB, Gaudette GR, Kowaleski MP. Single cycle to failure in bending of three standard and five locking plates and plate constructs. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol.2011;24(6):408-17.
Cabassu JB, Kowaleski MP, Shorinko JK, Blake CA, Gaudette GR, Boudrieau RJ. Single cycle to failure in torsion of three standard and five locking plate constructs. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2011;24(6):418-25.
Yeadon R, Fitzpatrick N, Kowaleski MP. Tibial tuberosity transposition-advancement for treatment of medial patellar luxation and concomitant cranial cruciate ligament disease in the dog. Surgical technique, radiographic and clinical outcomes. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2011;24(1):18-26.
Apelt D, Pozzi A, Marcellin-Little DJ, Kowaleski MP. Effect of cranial tibial closing wedge angle on tibial subluxation: An ex vivo study. Vet Surg. 2010 Jun;39(4):454-9.
Samii VF, Dyce J, Pozzi A, Drost WT, Mattoon JS, Green EM, Kowaleski MP, and Lehman AM: Computed Tomographic Arthrography of the Stifle for Detection of Cranial and Caudal Cruciate Ligament and Meniscal Tears in Dogs. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2009; 50(2):144-150.
Kloc PA, Kowaleski MP, Litsky AS, Brown NO, and Johnson KA: Biomechanical Comparison of Two Alternative Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy Plates Against the Original Standard in an Axially Loaded Gap Model: an In Vitro Study. Vet Surg 2009; 38(1):40-48.
Kim SE, Pozzi A, Kowaleski MP, and Lewis, DD: Tibial Osteotomies for Cranial Cruciate Ligament Insufficiency in Dogs. Vet Surg 2008; 37(2):111-125.