Philosophy of Practice

Gentle Handling and Emotional Awareness

Animals read mood and body language with great sensitivity. Forcible restraint, excessive restraint, and even the slightest abrupt movements or changes in tone of voice can make dogs and cats feel threatened, anxious, or angered. Over-restraint, disregard for the patient's body language and/or lack of patience can induce the exact problems we are seeking to avoid: stress, bites, scratches, and vocal or "fractious" animals. A veterinarian must have regard for the patient's emotions and act intuitively to relax, comfort and reassure, before the medicine even begins!

Respect for Patient Interests

I believe treatment and preventative medical decisions should be made with the patient's best interest in mind. It seems obvious, and yet, conventions, convenience, business, and monetary factors not uncommonly interfere with the patient's best interest. I do not perform cosmetic declawing, ear cropping, tail docking, or excessive vaccination. I reserve euthanasia for times when an animal is suffering, or has a medically untreatable problem that has severely impaired quality of life. As with all other procedures, at-home euthanasia must be performed gently and in an environment where the animal and his/her person feel most comfortable and at peace.

Adequate Time

Your animal's appointment will last as long as it takes me to examine him/her, diagnose a problem, explain options and answer your questions. I will not have my hand on the door, rushing off to another appointment before you are ready for me to do so. I will be with you until we feel the job is done.

Honesty

I am here for the animals. I am not here to take as much money from you as possible, and will not pressure you to perform multiple diagnostic tests all at once. If diagnostic tests are needed, I will perform the most relevant one first, keeping your expenses as reasonable as possible while still fulfilling your animal's needs.

Client Education and Involvement

I will not perform a procedure or give any medication unless you understand why I am doing it, how much it costs, what possible side effects may occur, and what other options may exist. I will not take your animal away from you to perform procedures - you will always be able to see what I am doing (unless you are squeamish - then I will respect and accommodate that)!

Proactive, Not Reactive Medicine

Just as with humans, dogs and cats tend to incur more problems in their middle-aged to older years of life. However, the precipitating causes (poor diet, lack of exercise, overmedicating, genetics) tend to be present much earlier. My goal is to prevent problems or uncover them as they start, and not wait until they've made your animal sick or caused a cascade of health problems. I cannot stress enough that preventative measures and screens, even in the long run, are much less expensive, less frustrating and healthier for your pet.

The Big Picture

Every veterinarian in this country takes an oath to relieve and prevent animal suffering. That said, there is no disease in veterinary medicine that results in more cat/dog suffering and claims more lives than what I term the "societal disease": dog and cat overpopulation. I strongly believe that veterinarians have a professional obligation to educate the public on this and other animal advocacy issues. Approximately four million animals are put down needlessly every year in animal shelters and animal control facilities across the country. When I make recommendations, such as spaying/neutering your pet and not breeding your pet, I hope that you will look outward and join me in the nationwide effort to protect adoptable, healthy animals from being needlessly destroyed. Society doesn't need more cats and dogs - let's tend to the ones that are already here!