Hanie and Loki

Hanie Elfenbein, DVM Emergency Clinician

Dr. Hanie Elfenbein grew up in Miami, Florida before attending Emory University in Atlanta, GA for her undergraduate training. There she had the opportunity to work with the Capuchin monkeys now famous for throwing cucumbers out of a sense of fairness.


After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, Hanie went on to the University of California, San Diego where she earned a Master’s degree in Neuroscience. She had always considered a career in veterinary medicine but it wasn’t until then that she applied to veterinary school. She believed she would bring something different to clinical medicine, having been involved in the care of animals for nearly 10 years already.


Dr. Elfenbein received her DVM from the University of California, Davis where she also earned a PhD in Animal Behavior as part of the Veterinary Scientist Training Program. Her doctoral thesis examined the interaction between behavioral and physiological health in rhesus macaques at the California National Primate Research Center. Though this seems far off from the veterinary needs of dogs and cats, all animals can develop signs of disease when stressed.  For example, dogs often develop diarrhea when away from their family while cats may become unable to urinate when their environment changes.


In 2016 Dr. Elfenbein moved back to the South to start her career, first landing in Atlanta before making the move to Chattanooga where she now calls home. She splits her time between emergency medicine at the Animal Emergency and Specialty Center and shelter medicine at the Humane Educational Society.


Her extensive cross-disciplinary training has taught Dr. Elfenbein to treat the whole animal and never just the symptoms. Her perspective in veterinary medicine is to always address the underlying cause so that the pet can go back to living a happy, healthy, care-free life with its family.


When not caring for animals Hanie enjoys being outdoors - backpacking, paddle boarding, gardening, and playing fetch with her spoiled dog, Loki.