just like at the dentist!

If an animal’s teeth do not receive the proper attention when needed, the problem can spread to other areas, causing more serious problems. Gums can become infected and painful, for instance. The animal might lose its teeth, creating a problem with eating. Or, because of the bacterial population, the skin around the mouth might become infected. Ultimately, the bacterial infection can become blood borne and spread to heart valves, kidneys, liver, or joints to cause further problems.

“After the dental work’s done, the animal may become much more active and energetic,” Dr. Schuette said. “The owner doesn’t realize how the teeth were affecting the animal until after the procedure is done.”

In addition to laser therapy and dental work, the clinic also offers services which run the gamut from grooming and behavioral therapy to nutrition. A pet owner can schedule a consultation for these services.

In fact, if these services are not enough, an animal chiropractor, Dr. Sara Gilbertson, comes in weekly to attend to appointments as well.

“It gives people an alternative to medication,” Dr. Schuette said. “And it fits nicely with the laser therapy.”

24-hour emergency service

And when it comes to emergencies, Kiel Veterinary Clinic offers a 24-hour emergency service. Customers can call in and the veterinarian will be paged and return the call within 30 minutes. Not every clinic offers that service.

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The clinic also stays open until 8 p. m. on Tuesdays and from 7 a. m. to 2 p. m. on Saturdays to accommodate people who work during the week.

Eight months ago, a new doctor joined the clinic’s staff—Dr. Patrick Murack.

Dr. Murack comes from Waukesha before doing his undergraduate work at Eau Claire and veterinary schooling in Madison. When he had the opportunity to spend time in a veterinary clinic during middle school, he realized he “felt right at home.” Then, when he actually worked in a clinic during his high school years. he knew for certain that this is what he wanted to do.

Before pursuing his career, he experienced the sometimes hectic routine a veterinarian is exposed to and decided he could handle it. He saw the good, the bad, and the ugly—times when animals are cured and times when they aren’t. He remembers the hardest experience he had in those early years. A Labrador puppy had been hit by a car—and didn’t make it.

But since coming to Kiel, he’s also seen the good to great experiences. Like a dog that came into the clinic unable to walk. It had a condition known as eclampsia or low calcium after pregnancy. Two hours later, however, the dog waltzed out of the door, just fine. Dr. Murack has handled dogs from senior animals to puppies. In fact, one puppy was born on his shift.

The owner of the mother dog called in to say that the mother had one puppy but was having trouble with the remaining one.

“Bring her in,” said Dr. Murack. “We’ll take a look.”

“When the dog came in, I went back there to take a look, and all of a sudden, a puppy was coming out. Good news all around. And the puppy is doing great.”

Most of a veterinarian’s work is less dramatic—routine things, like annual exams and vaccines. Routine, but necessary, nonetheless. He checks for lumps and bumps, making sure the heart and lungs sound OK and that there aren’t any masses or pain.

Sometimes, however, he does find a mass. And sometimes the mass is something that has to be removed. First come the X-rays, maybe ultrasound, to know where the mass is and more about the nature of it.

When Dr. Murack was a child, he remembers vividly being called home from school early because the family dog that had been suffering from a cancerous tumor for a year was lying in the backyard, responsive but not moving. His parents had to bring it in to be put to sleep.

“Cancer treatments have come a long way in the past five to 10 years,” he said. “They do have really good results depending on what the tumor is and what the cancer type is.”