Christi Garfinkel DVM Testimonials

Dear Christi,

Thank you for everthing you did for me and Petey. So sorry I didn't thank the lad who came on a holiday weekend to take Petey to his final resting place. All I know he is in a better place. Thank You again for all you do. You really are a loving caring person.


Found Dr. Garfinkel on a google search when I needed a quick turn around vetting. Their website was one of first that came up and provided me with a snap shot of their services. I hired Dr. Garfinkel to preform the pre-purchase and was pleased with the price and outcome! She even facetimed me so I could see part of the vetting and what/where she was performing it. Not only that she was prompt (responded to text/phone messages quickly), knowledgeable, and friendly! Gary was also very kind and got paperwork to us quickly for shipping! What a terrific experience even being so far away (Nebraska). I would highly recommend Dr. Garfinkel for your equine needs!!


I was worried that I would not find another vet as competent as my previous vet (16 years). I can confidently say that Dr. Christi Garfinkel is more than "filling those shoes"! My horses are in great hands! Although I look forward to many years as a client, I hope it is mostly for routine care! Thank you for the great compliments on my gelding!

Christi and Gary,

Just wanted you to know that Gypsy got her feet done yesterday for the first time following her loading dose of Adequan. She was like a new horse. I could tell she was much better out on the trail. We had gone to Cuyamaca riding last week and she was like a 5 year old out there, but it really showed with the farrier. Absolutely no stiffness and very willing to cooperate. She was relaxed the whole time and my farrier, Dennis, thought she seemed proud of herself! She gets very distressed when she knows she can't please you, so that added to her distress during the previous shoeings.

Maggie, our boxer, shows the same results. This was a dog that was totally limping around and now is jumping over couches racing with the little dog. She seems totally comfortable now. I am so happy I finally did this!

I also want to tell you about the Dormorsedan IM. That was the best hoof trim Tan Tan has had in 2 years! We actually got his bad leg off the ground and Dennis was able to pull it up behind him (he just can't go to the side at all) and he held it there so Dennis could really get at that foot. He wasn't overly sedated with that dose - it was just right so I think that's the way to go in the future.

Thanks so much!


Thank you to Dr. Garfinkle and Gary for providing great care for Smokey in an emergency and for your support throughout his "mystery" illness last week. He came home yesterday from San Luis Rey Equine Hospital and is doing great. His owner Ambre McMillan Ying, BFF Danica Taylor and I are all incredibly grateful for your attentive care, concern and expertise.


Hi Christi and Gary,

I just wanted to express how thankful and lucky I am to have you both on my team. Gary, you're always soo helpful and always get me and my horses what we need (including Christi). Thank you for that. And Christi, i know you picked the right career :) thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the hard work and endless hours you spent with piper, and even apollo. I don't view any of this as a failure. You went above and beyond, as you usually do, to help piper, and even apollo, with whatever they needed. You are compassionate even for those animals that are not your own and that warms my heart.

I couldn't ask for a better team. I hope to have many more years of good.....of course with some bad....with the both of you. Thank you again for everything you both do...

Ps....christi, it still makes me laugh that a moth can send you running for the hills screaming lol

See you in a week

-Anna Baker

Gary and Christi,

Thank you for all the kindness and care with Berry Boy. Dr. Kemper has been great. Here is a photo of Berry Boy in the Texas Barrels class. He won a 3rd place ribbon.


Trish, John, Sarah, Austin, and Berry Boy

Hi You Two,

I wanted to write this short note to let you both know how extremely happy I have been with Christi being our vet, in all hours of the day and I might add the deep deep night Christi has always managed to answer within minutes always re insuring my "FREAKED" out moment. I have a 22 year young Arabian mare that I have had for over 20 years she just presented me with a gorgeous filly! talk about needing to be reassured. This is exactly what Dr. Garfinkel did at least 4 times within 2 days always explaining everything in deep detail and she has always answered every question we might have had on our minds.... Not to mention never complaining or saying anything negative about Campo being in the far shirts of East County. 

Christi I totally apreciate what you have done for us!


Hello Dr. Garfinkel,

I just wanted to send you an email letting you know that I was very impressed with how well you and your technicians handled my tough to sedate QH "Skipper" during his castration procedure. All of you were very knowledgeable and so patient with my difficult horse. :) He is doing very well, I attached some pictures of him for you to see. Thank you again and I will be using you and your practice for all of my equine needs in the future.

Jamie Flechsig


Mark and I just wanted to take a moment to personally thank you for your amazing dilligence and dedication to all the horses at Lucidi Farms during the fires.  You really had a handle on it during the evacuation.  You made solid decisions regarding the horses and you made all the humans feel secure in your leadership.  We have only been in the horse world for 4 years now and we learned alot from your actions during and after the evacuation.

All horses are different and our mare Teddi just isn’t a girl who handles change well.  When she collicked at the Showpark you were there in lightening time to relieve her distress as well as ours.  Thank you.  My Teddi means everything to me as my first horse.

I didn’t have a chance to corner you and personally tell you Thank You at the meeting on sunday (probably ok because we would have cried) but Thank You.  Our animals mean alot to us and we just wanted to be sure you knew how much your actions were appreciated during such a stressful time.

If there is ever any way we can be of assistance to you do not hesitate to call.

Our Best,

Kristi and Mark Hanson
Teddi, Laci, Frosty and Vegas Hanson

Dear Dr. Garfinkel (and Gary!),                                                  1 December, 2006

I received a letter in the mail today from UC at Davis regarding your monetary memorial donation in memory of my horse Star. I am very moved and touched. Thank you. As the month of November went on and the Thanksgiving rush passed, I thought to myself, "I wonder when Dr. Garfinkle will bill me for the mad dash she made out to Caryn’s bam in early November"! I thought "maybe they wait until the beginning of billing cycle" or something. I wanted to sit and write a note to you asking if you had sent something, maybe it was lost in the mail! Honestly, I was also thinking that if it were in fact, not an oversight, but a gift that I should thank you too, but I did not want to be too presumptuous! Now I know that it was a gift and both my husband and I thank you very much. We thank you for coming when you did to help Star get to Helen Woodward without much pain. He was a trooper right to the end. I believe when you left him, he was lying down quietly. When my husband and I finally arrived in the horse trailer (I’ll try to make a long story short here: I do believe that even in such circumstances. God does have a sense of humor... .we keep our horse trailer stored at the Naval Amphibious Base trailer storage area, off of the Strand, in Coronado. Each month, they change the combination on the lock-it’s a rotary 4 digit type. I had not called to get the new combo for November unfortunately and here it was 9:00 at night and the place is quiet. My husband-a Captain in the U.S. Navywent to find the Officer of the Deck at NAB to ask if the Base Police could open the lock -meanwhile I’m heading from the bam to meet him there. When I arrived in my truck, 2 Base Police cars pull up to the gate. They explained they were late because of a fight at the NAB bowling alley. They did not have the combo, nor did they know who had the combo-I explained to them that they should call the manager of the Trailer Storage facility and ask. My husband pulls up, after exhausting all of his leads. Finally, they bring bolt cutters and cut the bolt to the chain - which is what I wish they had done in the first place-they had to "ask permission to cut the chain and then find some bolt cutters... my husband explained to me later that every sailor on a ship knows where the bolt cutters are kept. I’ve never hooked up a trailer so fast. Fortunately, we had just checked it a (few days ago!) and I walked down to the round pen and whistled. Star immediately stood up and came over, asif he had just been resting out in the field. He happily walked right on to his trailer.

We are very thankful that it was late at night, quiet and peaceful at Helen Woodward. Dr. Richardson and the tech, (whose name escapes me) were very kind, sympathetic and understanding. It was divine intervention that my husband and Dr. Richardson meet. He’s from Nebraska; we lived in Omaha for 2 Vz years (that’s where I bought Star-who was actually bom in the San Diego area.) I’m thankful that Star was able to leave me the way he did, peacefully. I am also thankful that I had family members with me afterwards, especially a younger sister who is also a horse person. I am thankful that my husband was not deployed! I am thankful that Caryn was home and Gordon and Scott, who took care of Star until I was able to get there. And I thank you for making the extra trip out, after just getting home from a very busy day to make my friends’ last few hours bearable.

I can’t say I’m ready to jump in and find another Star. I know I won’t, but if something comes my way, like he did, I’ll know it. But just in case, do you know of any Endurance prospects out there who need a good home?

Have a safe and Happy Holidayfs Sincerely,

Elizabeth Roane


I just got back in town and I wanted to fire off an email to you and THANK YOU SO MUCH for coming to the aide of my beloved Cowboy!!!!  I was ill (literally!) with worry when I found out he had colic on Saturday morning.  Making it worse was the fact that I couldn’t rush to his side to be with him myself!  I was so relieved to know that you would be doctoring him.  I appreciate your approach to doctoring so much!  I appreciate your thoroughness, your efficiency and your proactive work.  I took him out for a nice easy walk/jog trot ride yesterday.  He seems to be doing okay, but I naturally am still worried!
I love your efficiency on sending me an invoice via email too – complete with Cowboy’s foto! That’s great!

Thank goodness for wonderful girlfriends and a great doctor!  You make my life happy!

Much aloha,
Jennifer and Cowboy J

Dr. Garfinkel,

I just wanted to thank you again for having me on a prectptorship. You are such an inspiring person and I am so lucky to have met you and Gary and have the chance to get to know you both. I really value and appreciate all the advice you have given me and I know it is really going to help me throughout my career and just getting me off my feet. I am really excited about going into equine medicine, its going to be fabulous.


Veterinarian: Christi Garfinkel, DVM, of Large Animal Veterinary Associates in El Cajon, Calif.
Nominated by: Kimberlee Quarles of Jamul, Calif.

Misty was my daughter’s 30+-year-old pony. She had battled a host of medical problems during the past year. She worsened recently and was resigned to laying in the shade, only standing to eat her meals. It was fall and I knew the rains would come soon and add to Misty’s misery. I knew I had to make the ultimate decision and end Misty’s suffering.

I called Dr. Christi Garfinkel to let her know that Misty was sick once again and that I thought it may be time. When Dr. Garfinkel arrived she examined Misty and offered me tests and possible treatment options. I explained that I felt it was time to let Misty go, my confidence in my decision quickly waning. Dr. Garfinkel nodded sadly and reassured me that she agreed with my decision but that it was her job to inform me of every possible alternative.

I asked Dr. Garfinkel if she would wait while I called to arrange the truck since I did not want Misty’s body to lie exposed in the yard. Even though this would probably make her late to her next scheduled appointment she agreed. By the time I reached the house, I was crying. My eight-year-old daughter, Kiana, knew it was time to say good-bye to her beloved friend. When I returned outside Dr. Garfinkel was explaining to Kiana what the procedure was and what to expect. She asked Kiana if she would like a braid of Misty’s tail to which Kiana replied sadly “yeah sure.” Dr. Garfinkel gently brushed Misty’s tail. She taped off the ends of the braids and handed it to Kiana, apologizing for not having pretty ribbons to tie on the special braid.

As we walked Misty out and away from the other horses, Dr. Garfinkel asked Kiana if she was going to stay or go inside the house. Kiana didnt answer. Being only eight, she did not know what to do. Kiana made no move to leave. She only stared at Misty. Dr. Garfinkel went to Kiana and told her that she was going to begin. Kiana was welcome to stay and watch but if at any time she wanted to leave or turn her back that was okay. Misty already knew how much Kiana loved her. Dr. Garfinkel promised she would stay with Misty until the end.

Dr. Garfinkel returned to Misty to administer the merciful injection, which would end her suffering once and for all. Misty went down with grace and class, not wanting to further upset her little friend. Dr. Garfinkel knelt down with tears on her cheeks, gently stroking Misty’s head and face. She spoke to Misty in a smooth, comforting tone.

After what seemed an eternity, Dr. Garfinkel checked to see if Misty was gone. She slowly and gently removed Misty’s halter and covered her body with a tarp. She walked to Kiana who was sobbing and handed her the halter. She hugged her and told her that Misty was at peace now. She explained to the young girl that she has a box for all the souls of the good horses she releases from pain. She explained that as Misty was leaving, she prayed for Misty’s soul to go into her box of Angel horses. Misty was now an Angel Horse running free and feeling no pain. She told Kiana that Misty was happy and would watch over her forever. Kiana looked up with a sad, tear-streaked face and whispered, “Thank you for making Misty an Angel”.

As I watched the two I realized that there are not only Angel Horses in Dr. Garfinkel’s box but there is also an Angel here on earth, easing the pain and suffering of horses and the humans they leave behind.

To Whom it May Concern:

I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Christy Garfinkel, DVM for several years. I have a working horse ranch where I breed and train Missouri Fox Trotters. I consider my animals to be members of my family and would never give them anything less than excellent care. Dr. Garfinkel does an exemplary job of helping me provide that level of care.

I have worked with many veterinarians in my 25 years of horse ownership and never found one more dedicated than Dr. Garfinkel. She is the best veterinarian I have ever known. She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Dr. Garfinkel has an incredible bank of knowledge and is excellent at detecting even rare ailments in large animals. She is always up to date the newest research and treatment options. When my goat got sick Dr. Garfinkel was able to diagnose him in short order even though he had an extremely rare disease. In addition, she was able to explain it to me in a way that I could understand. Her communication and people skills are exemplary.

I will absolutely continue to use Dr. Garfinkel in the future, even if she is not associated with a large practice. In my experience it is the individual veterinarian not the practice that provides the level of care I require. I know with out a doubt that she will continue to provide the professional and heartfelt support that I have come to depend on.

Heather Davis
February 23, 2005

To whom this may concern,

The first time that I ever saw Christi was at Miramar Stables.  I had gotten there early, and found Dick Fullens’ horse, Grey, in the last terrible stages of colic.  He had obviously been struggling all night, and was now past the point of being saved.  I had never seen in horse in so much pain and distress.  I sat in his stall with him. He was down and thrashing his head up and down, hitting the ground with such force!  I put a jacket over my lap and tried to break his head from hitting so hard.  The staff couldn’t reach Dick on the phone, it seems that he had it turned off.  They started calling vets, trying to reach anyone who could get there ASAP.  I sat there, tears running down my face, trying to comfort him, praying for someone to get there soon to put him out of his misery.  They finally reached Dick, and he was on his way.  I kept telling Gray to hold on, Dick would be there soon.  Dick came over, driven by someone in the golf cart,  I said to Grey, “it’s OK, Dick’s here”!  Grey made SUCH an effort when he heard Dick’s voice, and lifted his head.  Unfortunately, it was too much for Dick, he didn’t come in – I just heard him say to have Grey put out of his misery, and he left.  Greys’ head fell back again on my lap with a thud, like he had finally given up.  I swear he knew that Dick had gone.  When Christi arrived, Grey had somehow gotten up, and passed some manure.  When I told her that he had made a terrible screaming sound when he had done so, she later told me that this is probably when his intestines had ruptured.  She was wonderful and loving with Grey, and administered the needle quickly to get him out of his terrible agony.  When he was gone, she came over, brushed his tail out, and started making a braid.  She said to me, “I think that Dick would like to have this”.  She was crying too.  I cannot tell you how much that touched me.  I still didn’t even know who Christi was at the time, and we didn’t really talk, but I’ll never forget that. I honestly don’t think that Christi even remembers me from this I don’t know how much time had gone by after that when KD became lame.  After 7 WEEKS of being told that it was an abcess, and sitting with her, soaking, wrapping, and worrying, I was just about beside myself.  I knew that a vet was going to be out at the stables that day, so I started walking up to the office.  Christi was walking down, and I said, “Can you please look at my horse, I’m so worried about her!!”  Christi said, “Of course I will”.  I’m sure you all know the rest of the story.  I thank God for Christi that day -  KD would not be alive without her.  KD had never liked vets, and I couldn’t blame her, every time she saw one they poked her with a needle, or did something else unpleasant to her!!  She came to love Christi, as I did too.  Christi loved all the horses, and spent time calming them and talking to them.  She was especially wonderful to KD., and took all the time that I needed, answering my questions, and helping me calm down many times too.  Christi, has been an angel to us, and I will always call her first.

Sorry that this letter is so long – when it comes to Christi though, I tend to go on forever!!

Debbie Wagner, and K.D.
April 22, 2005

Dear Christi,

Thank you for the excellent health care you provide for our family’s horses. I can’t tell you the number of times you’ve helped give Jennifer and myself peace of mind during stressful situations. You’ve always been there for both of us.

Very Appreciatively,
Francie Hansen

Thank you for the wonderful advise on our filly "Liberty" when she was 11 days and was having some problems. My normal vet was out of town so I decided to call my mom 1,100 miles away in Alpine, CA and see if I could talk to her vet, Christi. She was wonderful! She explained everything and was more than willing to help me, all the way out here in Parker, Colorado. That shows a true heart and dedication to the wellbeing of animals, EVERYWHERE! :)

Thank you again,

Nikki Montgomery

Dear Dr. Garfinkel,

Thank you for spending time giving me pointers on shot giving. I appreciate your time, help and willingness to explain. I have learned so much from your visits and can’t wait to become a vet myself, after the experiences you provide me with. Thank you for all you do for me and my family.


Arianna Dotzler

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