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Clayton D. Hilton, MS, DVM
Director of Veterinary Technology
Wildlife Veterinarian & Associate Professor

Clay Hilton is the Director of Veterinary Technology in the Department of Animal, Rangeland and Wildlife Sciences at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and is the Wildlife Veterinarian for CKWRI.  Starting at an early age he was fortunate enough to have had the Everglades and mangrove coasts of South Florida and the mountains of western North Carolina to fuel his love for the outdoors.  Clay has a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology (1988) from Auburn University, where he also earned his Master of Science degree in Zoology-Wildlife Ecology (1994).  During his research, Clay used the helminth parasite faunas of 10 species of bats in Alabama to infer ecologic relationships within and among the bats.  Later, Clay earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (1997) from Auburn University and then completed an internship in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (1999).  He has worked in a variety of clinical and educational settings, including The Montgomery Zoo, The Abilene Zoo, Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine, Big Sky Country Veterinary Clinics and the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Abilene (TX).  Prior to arriving at TAMUK, Clay was the Vice-President of Animal Care & Conservation at Birmingham Zoo, Inc.

Clay is a Veterinary Advisor to the Canid/Hyenid Taxon Advisory Group of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is an AZA Accreditation Inspector.  He is heavily involved with the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) where has chaired two committees, served on the Board of Directors, chaired sections and presented papers at annual meetings, was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine for 3 years and is an inaugural member of the AAZV’s Leadership Forum.  He is a past member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees at Samford University, Auburn University and University of Alabama-Birmingham and is a current member of the IACUC at TAMUK.  In December 2013, Clay received his certification in Nonprofit Executive Leadership after completing a year-long course of study through the Alabama Association of Nonprofits.  Clay is a member of the Advisory Board of the Wildlife Veterinary section of the Wildlife Disease Association,  the Professional Advisory Group for East Foundation,  The Wildlife Society, the American Veterinary Medical Association (Veterinary Feed Directive Committee), Texas Veterinary Medical Association (Cervid Health Committee), American Quarter Horse Association, the Texas Animal Health Commission's Cervid Health Working Group and the FDA's Expert Panel on Minor Use/Minor Species.  Select awards have been from the Tennessee Valley Authority for his work with gates used in caves that house endangered bats and from the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association for valuable service to the profession.  He also teaches a wildlife capture and anesthesia course for Animal Control Officers, USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services biologists, veterinarians and veterinary students.

Clay’s wildlife veterinary interests include disease interactions at the human/wildlife/domestic animal interfaces, anesthesia and immobilization and biotoxicology.  When he is not being academic, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Becky (with whom he often has to share his hunting and fishing spots), his step-daughters Kendra and Jessica, and his horse, Bug.

Veterinary Technology Program

Research Interest

Wildlife Anesthesia
Wildlife Disease Dynamics

Course Taught

Large Animal Medicine.Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Avian & Exotic Animal Medicine, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Anesthesia & Surgical Assisting, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Laboratory Animal Medicine, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Veterinary Office Management, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Surgical Nursing, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Intro. to Veterinary Technology, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Clinical Externship I, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Clinical Externship I, Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Veterinary Radiology. Spring 2015.  Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Small Animal Medicine II, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Veterinary Parasitology, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Medical Terminology, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Pharmacologic Calculations, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Small Animal Medicine I, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Veterinary Anatomy & Physiology, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Veterinary Anatomy I, Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Veterinary Anatomy II, Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Veterinary Toxicolog, Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Clinical Rotations in Veterinary Medicine,  Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine

Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute | Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Howe Building Room 205
700 University Blvd., MSC 228
Kingsville, TX 78363
Work Phone: 
1 (361) 593-3258
1 (361) 593-3788
Peaceful Forest