Small Animal Dentistry            

MEET OUR DOCTORS


Dr. Judy Force, DVM, FAVD, DAVDC

Dr. Force graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. She worked in a mixed practice in Invercargill, New Zealand for her very first job out of vet school. That was a challenge!; cats & dogs, horses & cattle and the occasional sheep or deer farm. Back in the states she worked in a small animal practice in South Lake Tahoe, California and then Fort Bragg, California before settling down in Watsonville (Santa Cruz county) about 10 years ago.

In the 1980's there was no dentistry department at UC Davis. The second year out of school, though, Dr. Force took the AAHA weekend courses in dentistry and was hooked. It wasn't until she was working at Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital, though, that she found they had lots of wonderful dental equipment that was hardly being used that she was able to devote herself to learning as much dentistry as possible.

Her first mentor, Dr. Barry Staley, was a retired human periodontist and came to oversee dental cases that Dr. Force was doing at SCVH. Dr. Michael Floyd was a great mentor until he retired a few years ago and then Dr. Brook Niemiec (in San Diego), Pat Frost Fitch and Dr. Alex Reiter were her main mentors. During the last three years she has traveled to several veterinary dental practices around the country to work with board certified veterinary dentists and advance her knowledge and skills.

In 2006 Dr. Force was honored to have been awarded a Don Low Fellowship in anesthesia. She spent 20 days at UC Davis in the veterinary teaching hospital working in the anesthesia department with Faculty, residents and students and improving her understanding of anesthesia in critical as well as geriatric and special-needs patients.

In 2011 Dr. Force became a Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry. She passed a rigorous examination in 2014 and is now a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College.

Dr. Force continues to study and learn new skills. She shares that knowledge by lecturing at the national Veterinary Dental Forum as well as to local veterinary hospitals and associations. She has written articles for journals and is currently working on a chapter for veterinary dental restorations book.

In her spare time, Dr. Force enjoys training and competing with her Dalmatians in agility, obedience and an occasional Dalmatian road trial. She enjoys riding her horses on the trail and in dressage competitions. She also likes to play banjo and guitar and spend time with family and friends.

Read more about Dr. Force in the Register Parjaronian.


Dr. Deborah Hodesson, DVM

Dentistry for Animals welcomes Dr. Deborah Hodesson, recently of Bear Creek Animal Hospital in Ashland, Oregon. Dr. Deb is a University of California (Davis), graduate. She has thirty-plus years of hands-on experience as a small animal care veterinarian, in general and emergency care. She has owned hospitals and mobile practices in California and central Oregon. We are very excited to have such a wonderful and caring veterinarian coming in as a resident to finish her dental training program.

Dr. Deb is also active in the non-profit Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Foundation, which provides dentistry to captive wild animals so they can enjoy better, healthier lives. Dr. Deb has performed general dentistry and special procedures for a variety of exotic animals, including lions, tigers, chimpanzees, and bears.

Dr. Deb is excited to be part of a great clinic like Dentistry for Animals. She looks forward to providing continued excellent dental care for the wonderful people and pets we work with..

Dr. Deb is married and has three adult sons. She loves to swim, bike and run, and she and her husband Tom love to go camping and scuba diving. She says she is looking forward to the warmer climate of Santa Cruz County, as well as being so close to the ocean.