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Making life better for pets, owners

New veterinarian Casey Spencer wants to form close ties with her clients


by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - Casey Spencer, DVM, the newest addition to the team of veterinarians at the Sandy Animal Clinic, comforts her cat, Leroy, that Spencer brought to the clinic last week because she was not feeling well.If the newest addition to the team of veterinarians at the Sandy Animal Clinic begins to look a little sad, it’s understandable.

Casey Spencer, DVM, earned a doctor of veterinary medicine degree at Ross University in the Caribbean.

Imagine hours of studying graduate-level biology, anatomy and physiology in a sun-drenched tourist paradise.

She said that was the hard part of taking her advanced training on an island paradise.

“It was very beautiful,” she said, “but studying day and night while looking (through a window or door) at the beaches made it difficult.”

That may be Spencer’s background, but after 18 months at a vet clinic in Coos Bay, she is settling into Sandy and says she loves it.

Her clients also are telling her that they love her work; they appreciate her gentle touch; and they like her quiet demeanor with their animals.

In fact, she has a double challenge: keeping the sick animal calm and keeping the animal’s owner calm.

Both require a bit of psychology.

“Sometimes I have to deal with more (people),” she said. “Sometimes a whole family comes in with an animal. But a family’s important because they have the history of what’s happening at home.”

Before diagnosing an animal’s condition and choosing a procedure to correct the situation, Spencer must form a relationship with the patient.

“(Relating to animals) can be challenging,” she said.

“Coming to the doctor can be as stressful for an animal as it is for people,” she said. “So I take a real calm approach to the animal, and that makes the owner more comfortable.”

Spencer does general practice medicine at the clinic, and the vets share patients whenever another vet is more skilled to fill a specific patient’s need — or two vets might work together, if they decide that is the most prudent procedure.

“But the animal’s owner always has the option to choose the vet they want,” Spencer said.

The fact that general practice vets are involved in a wide variety of animal conditions and diseases is what makes her work interesting, Spencer said.

Spencer likes to talk with her clients’ owners, she said, and she especially wants to hear how they feel about her work.

Outside of the clinic, Spencer volunteers to spay/neuter feral cats. She also raises orphaned kittens for rescue groups and occasionally takes in foster animals that require extensive medical care before going to new homes.

The Sandy Animal Clinic not only cares for animals with diseases or conditions, but also provides procedures and vaccinations to extend and improve the quality of an animal’s life.

The veterinary team at the Sandy Animal Clinic also includes owner Jennifer Betz and Christine Kurowski.

The clinic is located at 36645 Highway 26, and can be reached by calling 503-668-4139. Clinic hours are from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday.

For more information, visit sandyanimalclinic.com.