Kerry Rissetto, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology), cVCH


Dr. Kerry Rissetto grew up in New Jersey, but migrated to the Midwest for her education. After earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, she received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois, magna cum laude. She completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Missouri and remained there for a 3-year oncology residency. During her residency, she also received a Master’s Degree with research focused mainly on immune system dysfunction in cancer patients, and how the immune system might be modified to better recognize and eliminate cancer cells in patients with lymphoma and osteosarcoma. Kerry completed her Oncology residency and was Board Certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology) in 2011.

Dr. Rissetto’s approach to the field of veterinary oncology is thoughtful and unique. “My goal as an oncologist is to make sure that the “management” of a disease provides a better quality of life than allowing the disease to go untreated. If my patients do not feel better under my care, then I am not doing my job properly. The negative connotation that is so strongly associated with cancer treatment in human medicine does not hold true for our veterinary patients. We know that our animal patients have a limited lifespan and, as their advocates, we must make sure that whatever time they have remaining is good time; and that is where I come in. The treatment for any disease (including cancer) should never make the patient feel worse than the disease itself, and each consultation will be centered on ensuring that the quality of life is maintained throughout treatment.”

Dr. Rissetto encourages pet owners to come for a consultation about what’s new in veterinary oncology and what cutting-edge treatment options are available to their pets. “Most of my clients are pleasantly surprised by the treatment options we have,” she says, “as well as the prognosis for long-term management and survival. Some cancers require only surgery to provide a cure, while other cancers require follow-up therapy and long-term management. Regardless, a visit will help us determine the best treatment that meets the client’s goals for care of their beloved pet. There are so many new diagnostics and treatment options available to our patients in the last few years compared to even just 10 years ago.  It's a very exciting and promising time for veterinary oncology patients."

With the assistance of her experienced oncology team, Dr. Rissetto provides the highest standard of up-to-date care, treatment and support for patients diagnosed with cancer. Her exceptional communication skills will provide veterinarians and pet owners with the reassurance needed in treating these difficult and emotional cases. Dr. Rissetto is also certified in both Chinese Herbal Medicine and Food therapy via the Chi Institute. 

Dr. Rissetto is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Veterinary Cancer Society (VCS), Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group (VCOG), South Carolina Association of Veterinarians (SCAV), the Trident Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), and the European Society of Veterinary Oncology (ESVONC).

Dr. Rissetto is also very involved in organized veterinary medicine and  contributing to better communication between specialties.  She has chaired of the ACVIM Maintenance of Credentials Committee for Oncology and served as Secretary of the Oncology Pathology Working group, whose mission is to foster and promote an integrated working relationship between veterinary oncologists and pathologists to facilitate and ensure the highest standard of pathology support and reporting for the advancement of veterinary clinical oncology and cancer research.

In her free time, Dr. Rissetto enjoys time with her children Moorea and Hayes, her husband Jeff, and her very bad beagle, Bernard.

Education / Experience: 

2011-presentOncologist - Charleston Veterinary Referral Center
2011Diplomate – American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology)
2011Master of Veterinary Clinical Science, University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, Columbia, MO
2008-2011Residency – Small Animal Oncology, University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, Columbia, MO
2007-2008Internship - Rotating Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, MO
2007Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
2003Bachelor of Science - Pre-Professional, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN


Rissetto KC, Rindt H, Selting KA, Henry CJ, Villamil JA, and Reinero CR. Cloning and expression of canine CD25 for validation of an anti-human CD25 antibody to compare T regulatory lymphocytes in healthy dogs and dogs with osteosarcoma. Vet Immunol and Immunopathol. 2010, May 15.

Rissetto KC, Villamil JA, Selting KA, Henry, CJ. Recent Trends in Feline Intestinal Neoplasia: an Epidemiologic Study of 1,129 Cases in the Veterinary Medical Database from 1964 to 2004 (JAAHA, 2011)

Bryan, JN, Mohammed J, Berent LM, Arthur GA, Taylor KH, Rissetto KC, Henry CJ, Rahmatpanah F, Rankin WV, Villamil JA, Lewis MR, Caldwell CW. Hypermethylation of the DLC1 CpG island does not alter gene expression in canine lymphoma. BMC Genetic 2009, 10: 73.

Bryan JN, Rissetto KC, Henry CJ, et al. Phase I evaluation of a carboplatin and doxorubicin combination chemotherapy protocol for dogs with osteosarcoma. In progress.

Fox LE, Rissetto KC. Tumors of the thoracic cavity: Primary Respiratory Tumors, In: Cancer Management in Small Animal Practice Ed: Henry CJ, Higginbotham, ML. Saunders, 2010.

Selting KA, Rissetto KC. Tumors of the abdominal cavity: Intestinal Tumors. In: Cancer Management in Small Animal Practice Ed: Henry CJ, Higginbotham, ML. Saunders, 2010.