David W. LaVigne, D.V.M. is a 1979 graduate of Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has had a varied career in Michigan, Maryland and Florida. We are fortunate he chose us to share all of his 40+ years of experience. Dr. LaVigne is also known as Captain Doctor Dave!!
He owned and operated his own veterinary hospital in central Michigan for twenty years before he and his wife decided to move aboard their boat and sail away. They cruised from the Great Lakes across the Erie Canal to the east coast and down to Chesapeake Bay. They enjoyed Baltimore so much they stayed for four years living aboard their boat. During that time Dr. LaVigne served as a staff clinician at a veterinary hospital in the Federal Hill neighborhood. After cruising the Chesapeake they headed down the Intercoastal Waterway to Florida, across to the Bahamas and down to the Caribbean. There they lived and cruised the island aboard their sailboat for another four years as he continued to serve on an as-needed basis for the pets of fellow cruisers and islanders they encountered along the way. They returned to the United States and settled in Florida. Dr. LaVigne has been working emergency medicine ever since.
He became a part of the AA Animal ER team in 2017. With his unique experiences of sailing and traveling with pets, he enjoys sharing his knowledge and over the years he has given numerous seminars on cruising with pets at boat shows across the country and also written several articles for various cruising associations. Captain Doctor Dave has even authored two veterinary books for pet-owning sailors: Where There is No Pet Doctor? and Adapting Your Pet to Travel By Boat or RV and co-authored the book Island Hopping to the Caribbean with his wife Annie. Dr LaVigne swims daily and enjoys traveling to Michigan to visit his grandchildren.