The native Chicagoan moved to central Oregon in his youth before making his way to Roanoke. Dr. Karras attended Oregon State University and earned his Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. While at Veterinary School in Oregon, Dr. Karras met and married his best friend Valerie Edwards. They both received their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degrees in 1989 from the combined Washington, Oregon and Idaho Regional Veterinary Program.
A clinical internship in Medicine and Surgery at Virginia Tech brought him to SW Virginia and made him a Hokie. Following his internship, Dr. Karras joined Cave Spring Veterinary Clinic in 1990. Doctors Karras and Edwards led Cave Spring Veterinary Clinic to American Animal Hospital Association Accreditation in 1994. Cave Spring Veterinary Clinic also participates with the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine as an affiliate referral hospital.
As a leader in the veterinary community, Dr. Karras is active with many local and state organizations. He has been a participating/consulting veterinarian with St. Francis Service Dog Foundation, Virginia Police Work Dog Association, Roanoke City Police Department, Roanoke County Police Department and Virginia State Police Department. His community work has included WSLS-TV Channel 10 & WDBJ-TV Channel 7 Veterinary Segments, Health Department Rabies Committees and Roanoke Valley SPCA directorship. He has previously served as the President of the Roanoke Valley Veterinary Medical Association and was the 2008-2009 President of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Karras maintains an active relationship with the College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech and the Veterinary Technology Program at Blue Ridge Community College. He is a leader and active participant in the veterinary student Mentorship Program and has served as an adjunct instructor for Blue Ridge Community College’s Veterinary Technology Distance Education Program.
From 2003 to 2013, Dr. Karras achieved Diplomate status as a member of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Canine and Feline Specialty, acknowledging him then as both a Canine and a Feline Specialist. Diplomates are recognized experts in the integrated case management of the medical and surgical needs of dogs and cats.
Because of his activities as a community leader and the recognition he brings to veterinary medicine, The Distinguished Virginia Veterinarian Award was presented to Dr. Karras by the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association in 2011.
In 2016, Governor McAuliffe appointed Dr. Karras to Virginia’s Board of Veterinary Medicine. He served as an Executive Officer and also acted as the Virginia Delegate to the National Association of State Veterinary Boards. In 2020, Governor Northam appointed Dr. Karras to Virginia’s Board of Health Professions as a representative from Veterinary Medicine.
As well as loving his “Honey,” his two wonderful daughters (and their husbands) and his critters at home (too many to mention), Dr. Karras restores old Correct Craft ski boats and also is an avid water skier. When he is not in the clinic, he and his family may be found in and behind the Ski Nautique trying to perfect a slalom run, a new wakeboard trick or riding the Air Chair. So when outside the clinic, Dr. Karras is usually “all wet!”