Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Thomas finalist for veterinarian contest


December 4, 2016

Courtesy Photo Left Hand Animal Hospital’s Dr. Katie Thomas was named a finalist for the Pet’s Best “My Vet’s the Best” contest. Thomas finished in a close second place, but was still honored and humbled by the nomination.

Left Hand Animal Hospital’s Dr. Katie Thomas has been named a finalist for the Pet’s Best “My Vet’s the Best” contest. She was nominated by Diana Leiker, and now has a one in eight chance of winning $1,000 for the clinic.

Thomas grew up on a small farm just outside of Erie, Pennsylvania, and always loved animals.

“Some of my family had careers in human medicine,” Thomas said. “While I loved math and science growing up, I knew I didn’t want to enter human health care.

“After high school, I went to the University of Iowa for engineering, but found something lacking in my career choice. After a few more schools and a few more career pursuits (outdoor education, ecology), I started a part-time job in a great veterinary clinic.

“I was hooked — I loved the client education, interesting mix of cases and getting to help animals on a daily basis.”

Thomas said that what makes her unique in her field is working to find out what is wrong with patients who can’t speak for themselves.

“I enjoy talking to people and the problem solving that comes with a patient population that cannot tell me what is wrong with them,” Thomas said. “Often times the diagnosis is in the details and the nuances of a good physical exam and the observation of the patient. Also, we focus on low stress visits at Left Hand Animal Hospital and most of our patients LOVE to come and see us.”

She also said that what she enjoys most is the owner’s involvement in the care of their pets.

“I enjoy explaining complex medical concepts in layman’s terms that everyone can understand,” Thomas said. “Our clients are always involved in the decision-making process for their pets and I see my job as an educator and advocate for my patients. I also enjoy the variety and breadth of surgical and dental procedures that general practice allows.”

As for the nomination, Thomas said that she was surprised.

“I was really touched and honored to be nominated,” Thomas said. “I love my job and I love being a veterinarian. I would never want to do anything else, but having a client take the time out of their busy life to nominate me is a huge honor.

“(So) thank you. I truly try to treat the whole pet for all aspects of his or her life, embracing our motto of ‘We believe in whole body care for the whole life of their pets.’ I try to treat every patient like my own pet and I offer the clients options for ways to move forward. I want clients to feel educated and empowered after our appointments.”

Pets of her own include an 11-year-old rescue cattle dog/shepherd mix named Dobson she has had for six years, and a 12-year-old cat named Brogan that she adopted when his litter was abandoned.

“As a vet, I have a strict number of arms — number of pets rule,” Thomas said. “If not, I would have a lot of animals. I name all of my pets after cities and while I have not been to Brogan, Oregon, I have been to Dobson, New Zealand.”

In her free time, Thomas enjoys traveling, scuba diving, hiking with the Dobson and riding her bike around town.

Thomas also already has plans for the prize money should she win.

“We have a client that is fostering an adorable English bulldog puppy with some hind leg issues,” Thomas said. “This puppy is adorable and sees the world through fun-loving, joyful eyes. Though she is built differently, she enjoys every day.

“Even with pet insurance, her multiple medical challenges have high financial costs. This family would love to adopt her and would provide the perfect home, but they are worried about the associated costs. These funds would be used to offset some of these costs and provide this puppy with a great, life-long loving home.”

Voting can be done on Pets Best Insurance’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/petsbestinsurace.


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