Jerry A. Thornhill, DVM, DACVIM

Internal Medicine


University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine


Dover Animal Referral Hospital


Non-funded Guest Residency in Nephrology, Rush Presbyterian (St. Luke’s) Medical Center Department of Nephrology


Board Certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Professional Memberships

With a focus on disseminating knowledge in the fields of renal medicine and dialysis, Dr. Thornhill has devoted his professional career to the study and practice of veterinary nephrology. As a former professor at Purdue University, he has authored 44 publications, along with eight textbook chapters, and has presented innumerable lectures and continuing education seminars, domestically and internationally. Dr. Thornhill is the driving force behind VSC’s nephrology department and the first to successfully complete hemodialysis on a companion animal in the midwestern United States.

Why did you specialize in internal medicine?

I became a veterinarian because I cultivated a love for the medical field of science in high school. Then, as an undergraduate student in college, I gained a greater affinity for the study of medicine in animals; rather than in people. I became a specialist in veterinary medicine, most specifically in nephrology, because I developed an insatiable appetite to dig deeply into the foundations of renal disease processes.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy reading the biographies of US Presidents. I have a President’s Library in my home with close to 450 volumes. My favorite President is Harry Truman, who is from Independence, Missouri. Having been reared in Kansas City, the neighboring town of Independence was an easy distance to negotiate; and after President Truman retired from the White House, back to Independence; an admiring crowd was allowed to walk with him on his 2-times a daily walks. Being in high school at the time, I frequently drove to Independence to walk and visit with the ex-President. As you can imagine, the experience gave a treasure of memories.

I also enjoy periodic escapes to Tucson, Arizona to hike in the Tucson Mountains with my family; and to take in the peaceful serenity of the desert environment and the majesty of the Saguaro Cacti.

Leading Edge in Nephrology Care

Dr. Thornhill led VSC’s Nephrology department in the successful completion of the first hemodialysis application of a companion animal in the midwest. Dr.Thornhill is also currently involved with the initiation of the Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) unit at VSCf or “in-center” hemodialysis application and the development of peritoneal dialysis for “at-home” Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) application, specially designed to address the growing population of feline patients succumbing to the advancement of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).


The entire visit was so professionally and positively supported by everyone. The technical staff was so caring during the session. That Dr. Thornhill not only explained all the procedures and findings during the session but then called the following evening after he had carefully reviewed and analyzed the data gives me such confidence and appreciation of the support. That he sent a detailed statement to my vet and will follow up with my vet and me is outstanding care for my little dog.
~ Barbara

We are at VSC often! Dr. Thornhill and his staff are fantastic. They are efficient, compassionate, informative, and listen to my concerns. I appreciate how they work to keep my costs down!
~ Amy

My cat would have been dead several years ago from kidney disease. He is thriving today due to Dr. Thornhill (and staff)’s expertise and skill. As we were leaving our last visit, I actually was asked by a new patient for my opinion of this practice. In a nutshell, I gave a glowing recommendation and they seemed very relieved and comforted by my unbiased input. I’m thankful every day that my vet recommended your practice!
~ Julie

We have a long history (about three years) of vet visits elsewhere with no real answers, and Dr. Thornhill was immediately able to identify why our dog has been having issues. All staff members were pleasant, and the facility is lovely. The quality of care is definitely worth it.
~ Lauren


Starting Monday, April 8th through the end of September, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will begin their road resurfacing project along Waukegan Road from Lake Cook Road to Half Day Road (IL 22). Please allow additional travel time to our hospital during the construction. Learn More: Waukegan Road Resurfacing Project