Dr. Sonja Zabel was born and grew up in Germany. She is a 1998 graduate of the School of Veterinary Medicine (TiHo) in Hannover. While she still studied, she discovered her passion in veterinary medicine: she wanted to help animals suffering from skin diseases.
An explorer by nature and with high ambitions she wanted to learn from the best, so Sonja headed to the United States where she completed a residency in veterinary dermatology and received a master’s degree from Colorado State University.
She spent years in academia as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. Dr. Zabel was an assistant professor in Dermatology at Colorado State University until November 2010 and a faculty member at the University of Georgia in Athens until June 2015. There she built an otology service as she continued to grow their established dermatology service. Sonja relocated to Portland in July 2015 to pursue both the excitement of building a dermatology service and the opportunity to explore the beautiful city and its surroundings. She worked at VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists until end of 2020 when she decided to take a sabbatical and to re-orient her veterinary purpose.
Her special clinical interest is otology, but it is very important for her to be working alongside her other specialty colleagues, solving challenging yet rewarding cases. Sonja is looking forward to working at DoveLewis to build the premier dermatology, allergy and otology service in the region to provide excellent, compassionate medicine to all patients and their families.
It is important for her to continue to “pay forward” to her profession as well as her community. Sonja enjoys volunteer work and regularly lectures on current research and therapeutic disciplines relevant to veterinary dermatology to veterinary students and colleagues. She loves to explore the places that she gets to visit while she is doing this.
Sonja enjoys the outdoors and loves to go running or hiking alongside her German Shepherd, Recaro. At home, she likes gardening and on rainy days she is eager to try new cooking recipes from around the world, while her two orange tabbies, Butter & Beans and Porter, the fluffy Main Coon are "running the household.”