Keystone Veterinarian Winter 2024

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Official Quarterly Publication of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association

The Era of the

Virtual Vet Tech p. 6

The Transition from Mixed-Animal Practice to Academia p. 10 A Year of Unity and Progress: PVMA’s 2023 in Review p. 14


And we have YOU to thank for it Welcome Kirk Herrmann, DVM,DAVDC

Since we opened our doors in 2019, we have experienced consistent growth due to your confidence in us for the care of your patients. For that, we profoundly thank you. Our clients come from all walks of life and many from miles away. But what they all have in common is a beloved pet with oral cancer or significant dental and anesthetic needs. We are honored to help, and our consistent 5-star online reviews show our commitment to concierge-level care and service. We’d like to introduce you to the VDS Chadds Ford clinical team, including our newest members: Dr. Kelly Saverino, Dr. Becca Feuer, and Dr. Melanie Jarrett. We welcome your call should you wish to consult about a challenging case, or, if you make a referral for care, please know we promise your clients and patients an exceptional experience.

VDS is the only referral practice in the nation dedicated to advanced dentistry and oral surgery for pets where a full-time Beginning 22, board-certified veterinary dentist and a board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist are on January staff to ensure the2024 safest and most comfortable experience… and the best possible outcome.

Dr. Herrmann will see

patients at our Chadds Ford location Monday through Thursday. John Lewis, VMD DAVDC, FF-OMFS

Marissa Berman, DVM (Residency Trained in Dentistry)

Kelly Saverino, DVM DAVDC

Becca Feuer, VMD Dentistry Resident

Melanie Jarrett, DVM DACVAA

455 Old Baltimore Pike | Chadds Ford, PA 19317 | 484.775.0557 | | Practices also in Mount Laurel, NJ and Katy, TX

Winter 2024


Official Quarterly Publication of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association

Subscriptions: The Keystone Veterinarian is mailed to PVMA Members at no charge as a member benefit. Subscriptions are available to non-members for $30/year or $10 for a single issue. Please contact if you’re interested in receiving the Keystone Veterinarian magazine.

Notice to Readers: Neither this publication, Hoffmann Publishing, nor PVMA assumes responsibility for material contained in articles and advertisements published, nor does publication necessarily constitute endorsement or approval of the advertiser, product, service or author viewpoint by the Keystone Veterinarian, its editors and publishers or the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association. In addition, neither this publication nor PVMA guarantees the accuracy, reliability or completeness of any facts, views, opinions, recommendations, information or statements contained within this publication.


Message from the President


The Era of the Virtual Vet Tech

10 The Transition from MixedAnimal Practice to Academia 12 Healing Pets to Nourishing Them: My Transition from Vet Clinic to Pet Food 14 A Year of Unity and Progress: PVMA’s 2023 in Review 18 A Grain of Truth: The Bear Expert!

22 Life of a Relief Veterinarian: The Good, the Bad and the Different 24 Elevate Your Veterinary Practice: Tailored Solutions for PVMA Members 26 Improving Utilization of Credentialed Veterinary Technicians 28 Classified Ads

20 Practicing and Parenting: Making it Work

Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the permission of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Western Region Trustee: Erin Johnson, DVM

w w w. H o f f p u b s. co m

Hoffmann Publishing Group Inc. 2669 Shillington Road, #438 Sinking Spring, PA 19608 For Advertising Information & Opportunities Contact:

Sherry Bolinger 717-979-2858

The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association is dedicated to ensuring the vitality of the veterinary profession by promoting excellence in veterinary medicine, advancing animal health and welfare, and protecting and enhancing human health.

North Central Region Co-Trustees: Andrea Carr, DVM

8574 Paxton Street, Hummelstown, PA 17036 717.220.1437 | |

Metro Philadelphia Region Trustee: Marisa Brunetti, VMD

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President: Thomas Munkittrick, MS, DVM President-Elect: Rhett Proctor, VMD Vice President: Andrea Honigmann, DVM Past-President: Dawn Fiedorczyk, VMD Secretary/Treasurer: William Croushore, DVM

South Central Region Trustee: Gary Brummel, DVM

Equine Veterinarian At-Large: James Holt, VMD Production Animal Veterinarian At-Large: Robert Cloninger, VMD Academic Veterinarian At-Large: Alessandro Lamacchia, VMD Certified Veterinary Technician At-Large: Ashley Elliott, CVT AVMA Delegate: Tina Dougherty, VMD AVMA Alternate Delegate: Kate Boatright, VMD

Board Chair: Marisa Brunetti, VMD

Student At-Large: Roxy Ackerman

PVMA KEYSTONE VETERINARIAN Editor: Kate Boatright, VMD Editorial correspondence should be sent to

Message from the President

State of the UnioN Dear Members,

Thomas Munkittrick, MS, DVM President, Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association

To all members: Our association is strong. Our EC and BOT are engaged and have turned our association from the brink of bankruptcy to total solvency in the past year. In February of 2023, we contracted with Atlas Management Resources to run our daily operations. Denise Ott is the owner of Atlas Management and is our acting Executive Director. In our most recent EC and BOT meeting, we approved an extension of the Atlas contract for 2 years which will end in December of 2025. Our treasurer, Dr. Bill Croushore, reported to the board that our finances are stable. Our income has been steady, and our expenses are on the decline. One major expense to the association has been our home office in Hummelstown. Since the pandemic the office has been vacant. Our one remaining employee works remotely. Atlas has no use for the building, therefore, in our last BOT meeting at Three Rivers the board voted unanimously to sell the building. We plan to list the building for sale by the end of November 2024. The process will most likely be lengthy due to the current state of the economy and real estate market.

We just completed a successful Three Rivers continuing education event. We had over 300 registrants and vendors. The seats were full due to the quality of our lecturers. Keystone and Spring Clinic in 2023 were also very successful. Unfortunately, we were not able to contract with the Penn Stater for 2024, therefore, we will not have an event in State College in 2024. We are in our last year of contract with Hershey for 2024, which will host the annual Keystone Conference and plan on a Three Rivers CE event in 2024. PVMA’s legislative committee has been busy with several bills for both large and small animals. We now have both a large and small animal task force for LRAC. Volunteers are welcome. I will be attending the VVMA BOT meetings in February 2024 in Roanoke, VA. After the meeting, I will sponsor a dinner with the PA students attending VA-MD. The night is generally casual conversation with the students. We discuss the benefits of the PVMA after graduation. As a reminder, the AVMA convention is in Austin, Texas in June of 2024. Our past-president Michael Bailey is running for AVMA President. Please be sure to support him when the ballots come out next year. We look forward to the challenges of 2024. Please mark your calendars for Keystone and Three Rivers. Watch your weekly Vet Bytes for updates! We look forward to seeing you in 2024. Thomas W. Munkittrick PVMA President

Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association | 5

The Era of the

Virtual Vet Tech By Kaitlyn Hemphill, CVT

The veterinary technician. A vital part of every veterinary hospital around the world. A role that is defined by an oath to aid animals and society by providing excellent care and services for animals, by alleviating animal suffering, and by promoting public health. When you visualize a veterinary technician, you probably imagine them wearing scrubs and helping pets in a busy animal hospital. They work long hours on their feet, in uncomfortable positions, and sometimes without breaks.

Because of this, many technicians seek alternatives to working in fast-paced, often stressful hospital settings without abandoning the field of veterinary medicine. They’re smart. They’re skilled. They’re compassionate. They’re also physically and emotionally exhausted. But now, instead of leaving the field entirely, a whole new world is at their fingertips (quite literally)! Virtual positions are more readily available, many requiring years of expertise, which gives those experienced technicians who have reached their expiration on the floor of the clinic a place to go. While the virtual world is still evolving, technicians can choose from a handful of new career paths, including pet insurance claims adjusters, virtual teletriage and telehealth, pet poison helplines, virtual scribes, and even virtual veterinary technician positions. Technicians can still make a difference for people and their pets, and their value does not go to waste. The vision of what a veterinary technician does may seem lost to the word “virtual,” but they continue to utilize many skills they have developed over the years. They still review medical records in detail, which requires having a good knowledge of medical terminology and an understanding of diagnoses, illnesses, and treatments. They may still speak with clients on continued on page 8 >

While the workspace looks a bit different from the clinic, working virtually comes with many rewards.

6 | Keystone Veterinarian

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The Era of the Virtual Vet Tech continued from page 6

the phone or message via a chat platform, so they must ask the right questions, interpret the answers, and even triage the pet appropriately. They use previous experiences to visualize the way a hospital is designed and understand daily flow, without ever physically being in the hospital that they’re working for. They may even relay lab results, check on pets after surgery, and schedule upcoming appointments, all from the comfort of home. It seems strange to envision a technician, who draws blood, takes radiographs, monitors anesthesia, prepares lab samples, fills prescriptions, and so much more, working remotely. These new opportunities provide relief for many technicians, who previously felt stressed, tired, and frustrated. They now feel relaxed, rested, and comfortable. They feel relief knowing they can still make a difference by taking a step back, instead of out. Work-life balance feels more attainable. Mental health improves. Paychecks have more value–less money is lost to transportation costs or vehicle maintenance. Workspaces are customizable and comfortable. But the best thing is that their pets don’t have to wait all day for them to come home! Although there are some great upsides to working in a remote position, it comes with a definite adjustment period. Coworkers are virtual now, which obviously means no more face-to-face interaction. All communication is much more intentional, usually through instant messaging platforms or virtual meetings. There is an exchange of back pain, knee pain, and overall injury risk for increased neck, shoulder, and even wrist pain from poor posture.

But the biggest adjustment is the obvious lack of interaction with pets. Some technicians may try to balance at-home shifts with part-time or occasional relief shifts in person if the option is available because of some of these changes. The virtual lifestyle is not always compatible with every personality. Now, back to the good stuff! The benefits of virtual veterinary technicians can be seen all around. Thousands of pet insurance claims are properly processed every day thanks to the medical knowledge of veterinary technicians, allowing more clients to approve those costly estimates for the care their pet needs. Hundreds of pet owners avoid unnecessary trips to emergency hospitals because an educated technician can recognize when something isn’t emergent via teletriage chat. In return, veterinary hospitals might feel a little less overwhelmed. Clients feel more satisfied with their pet’s care when a technician has dedicated time to call the next day for an update, to relay test results, or even just to call back with an answer to a question. In turn, pets receive more consistent follow ups, and that hospital’s technicians are more focused on patient care without worrying about daily callbacks. Virtual technicians certainly have their place in today’s world. While the veterinary technicians on the front lines are the industry’s heartbeat, the ones saved by a virtual alternative still make a huge difference. The era of the virtual veterinary technician is upon us.

One benefit to working from home is having your own pets as office companions. Meet Moscato, Hemphill’s cat and coworker. 8 | Keystone Veterinarian

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Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association | 9

The Transition from

Mixed-Animal Practice to


10 | Keystone Veterinarian

As a freshman veterinary student in my first semester at Purdue, I was called out of anatomy lab and told to go to the Associate Dean’s office. Wondering what I had done wrong, I knocked hesitantly on the door and went in. Dean Van Vleet smiled, asked me to sit down, and gave me a copy of an announcement about a summer program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offering to pay veterinary students to learn about laboratory animal and comparative medicine. Being naïve (and foolish), I wondered what he saw in me that suggested I should seek an alternative career path to the practicing veterinarian I decided to become back in junior high. I had been fighting to gain admission to veterinary school for years, I finally made it, and now the administration thought I should do something else? I discussed the situation with my mentor, our family veterinarian who had taken care of our animals for years and had hired me to work part-time back in high school. Doc said that I would be foolish not to take advantage of an opportunity like this. Here was a chance at a summer job that would pay me to learn veterinary medicine instead of my having to pay tuition. Doc understood the concept of “one health” and pointed out that everything I learned about rats, rabbits, and monkeys would help me to be a better veterinarian for cats, dogs, and cattle. Taking his advice, I ended up doing 2 summer fellowships in comparative medicine during veterinary school. Although I enjoyed learning about laboratory animal medicine, I graduated veterinary school still wanting to do James Herriottstyle mixed-animal practice. I ended up in a rural animal hospital where, as the only veterinarians in the county, we treated pets, farm animals, and wildlife… anything and everything except people. I transitioned from being a new graduate, always slower to get to a diagnosis and needing to look up more things in my textbooks than the practice owner, to being a confident practitioner mentoring a new graduate who later joined our practice. I had reached my life’s goal, and started wondering “now what?” I wanted to take my veterinary career one step further and become a board-certified specialist. That led me into a residency in comparative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. In my case, the NIH’s investment in veterinary student training to produce more lab animal specialists worked. Upon completing the residency, I was hired by a large medical school to care for their research animals. I started as an entrylevel clinician and eventually became the Director of Laboratory

Animal Medical Services before being recruited to join a large pharmaceutical company. I spent many years working to develop new drugs for treating cancer, depression, and other maladies before the company’s best-selling, blockbuster drug went off patent, forcing the corporation to downsize. Five of the 7 research campuses operated by the company closed, including my facility. I ended up back in academia, caring for research animals and teaching comparative medicine and disaster response medicine to veterinary students. Now at Penn State’s main campus, our department provides daily husbandry for the research animals and veterinary care for all the University’s animals, including agricultural, research, and wildlife. I get to teach in the undergraduate, pre-veterinary curriculum and serve as an advisor to the students facing that same uphill battle to gain admission to veterinary school that I faced decades ago. It has been and continues to be an amazingly rewarding career! I have had the opportunity to visit and learn from research animal programs all across the United States and Canada. I have had the opportunity to travel and see other cultures while working with research facilities in China and India. I have enjoyed working with a wide variety of species from fish and mice to monkeys, bears, and bison. I have helped new medicines through the development process and have watched them go on to benefit human and veterinary patients alike. I have been able to try and repay the efforts of so many of my own former mentors by teaching pre-veterinary and veterinary students, and I have been honored to see multiple former students become board-certified specialists in laboratory animal medicine, the next generation of leaders in our field. I can only imagine the exciting new advances in medicine–both veterinary and human– that I’ll get to see in the future!

About the Author: Dr. Jackson is a board-certified specialist in laboratory animal medicine and serves as the Director of the Animal Resource Program in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and as a Research Professor and Academic Advisor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University’s University Park campus. He can be reached via e-mail at

Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association | 11

Healing Pets to Nourishing Them:

My Transition from Vet Clinic to Pet Food By Tiffany Ruiz-Dasilva, VMD, cVMA

Like many of you, I became a veterinarian because I wanted to be rich… just kidding! Of course, I grew up with a love for animals, and I wanted to do everything I could to help them. Fast forward twenty-something years, I got into vet school and I was overwhelmed with excitement. By this time I had firmly decided that I wanted to work in conservation medicine. Once I was in vet school, I quickly realized the realities of working in that field and kept my mind open to determine which area of specialty I liked the best. I loved behavior and nutrition, but I wasn’t sure if I loved them enough to pursue residency. I also knew I wanted to have a family more than anything and that was my priority. Once I graduated from Penn Vet, I worked in general practice to “get my feet wet.” There were aspects I enjoyed, as with anything, but I knew this wasn’t what I wanted long term. I had my son, and soon after, we were faced with a global pandemic. I have always had a very entrepreneurial and creative spirit, so I channeled my passion and created a telehealth platform to make veterinary care more easily accessible. I loved the process of creating the business and educating pet parents, but I still did not feel the passion I felt before vet school. Before my daughter was born, my dog suffered an orthopedic injury, and I was taking him to acupuncture and rehabilitation weekly. After seeing what a difference it made for him, I decided to become acupuncture certified. If nothing else, I could help

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my own dog. But as it turns out, once a colleague heard that I was certified, I was offered a job at a rehabilitation practice. I absolutely loved it more than general practice because the pet parents were very much invested in their pets. But I still didn’t feel the spark. By now, as you can imagine, I was pretty much resigned to never feeling that excitement again.

Finding My Passion in Nutrition To this day I am so grateful to my husband who pushed me to take chances and “try everything” to find something I loved. Similar to many of you, I had only experienced a small sector of veterinary medicine, and I wasn’t really sure of which types of jobs were available outside of clinical practice. Regardless, I set an alert on some job posting websites in case any vet jobs became available. Low and behold, on a Saturday afternoon (months later), I happened to get an email of current listings and saw one that caught my eye– it was for a pet food startup. Of course, I felt very underqualified (imposter syndrome anyone?) and continued with my day. I had mentioned it to my husband, and he urged me to apply. I guess I just needed a push, because I submitted my application that day! A few weeks and long interview process later, I got the job. I had never been so excited to go to work. I finally had a job that challenged me daily in the best way possible, allowed me to

focus on my true interests and made me feel like I was making a difference. And just like that, the spark was back! With time, I have grown in my position, received several certifications, written a book, and have been approached to consult for several companies.


Keep your LinkedIn up to date and reach out to people that have your “dream job.”


Reach out to companies you like, and ask if they would ever be interested in having a vet on staff.

So what do I do on a daily basis? Well, I do A LOT of reading in order to stay up to date on new studies, nutritional guidelines, and regulatory affairs. I also do a fair amount of writing too–I write articles, website content, retail content, and basically all consumer-facing information. Not only do I work to educate consumers and retailers, but I give a fair amount of presentations to vet students and attend many pet industry and veterinary conferences throughout the year. I also coordinate feeding trials and work on case studies. My favorite part of this job, though, is getting to learn constantly. Whether it’s working towards another certification in nutrition or reading one of the many textbooks on animal nutrition, I am always learning.


Keep your resume up to date.


Create job alerts.


Apply–even if you feel underqualified! We all know imposter syndrome too well, but fake it until you make it.

Tips for transitioning to industry Why am I telling you all this? Well, if you are struggling with your current job, and have lost that spark, don’t feel discouraged. There are so many jobs out there for veterinarians. You are qualified. You will find something you love. My tips for transitioning to an industry job are:

We all went into this profession to help animals, but helping them doesn’t have to mean losing ourselves, not having time with our families, and being unhappy. Your dream job is out there, and you will find it. I did!

About the Author: Dr. Ruiz-Dasilva is a passionate, creative and enthusiastic veterinarian interested in nutrition and pet parent education. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Brown University and attended veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ruiz-Dasilva works in the pet food industry and has expertise in novel proteins. @thepetfoodvet

Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association | 13

A Year of Unity and Progress:

P V M A’ s 2 0 2 3 i n R e v i e w As we reflect on the past year, it’s evident that the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) has once again successfully fostered a sense of community among veterinary professionals across the state. The events organized by PVMA not only provided exceptional educational opportunities but also served as platforms for networking, engaging with vendors, and exploring innovative products that are shaping the future of veterinary medicine.

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Spring Symposium: Partnership with Valley Central Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center PVMA expanded its reach by partnering with Valley Central Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center to present the 2023 Spring Symposium at Bear Creek Resort in Macungie, PA. More than 150 veterinarians and CVTs attended this event, which featured presentations on the latest advancements in veterinary medicine. Notably, Dr. Craig Clifford and Dr. Philip Bergman led a session on “Improving Communications Between Veterinary Specialists and Primary Care Clinicians.” Other topics covered emergency and critical care, oncology, and the importance of a team approach to veterinary care. This collaboration exemplifies PVMA’s commitment to providing diverse and cutting-edge educational opportunities for its members.

Spring Clinic Blooms with Success: May 24-25 In May, the Penn Stater Hotel in Happy Valley hosted the Spring Clinic, attracting more than 300 dedicated professionals. The atmosphere was conducive to growth, both in knowledge and professional connections. The highlight of this year’s Spring Clinic was a panel discussion on emergency medicine, featuring insights from a general practitioner, certified veterinary technician, and specialist. This multi-dimensional approach enriched the learning experience, ensuring attendees gained a comprehensive understanding of emergency cases.

Keystone Veterinary Conference: August 17-20 The summer featured the highly anticipated Keystone Veterinary Conference in Hershey, PA. More than 650 professionals joined PVMA for this annual event, which not only delivered a robust educational schedule but also provided unique experiences. The Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine hosted an alumni luncheon, offering attendees an update from Dean Hoffman. Additionally, PVMA members witnessed the gavel pass to the newly elected President, Dr. Tom Munkittrick, and the graduation of the 2021-2023 Power of 10 Veterinary Leadership Class. The keynote presentation focused on One Health, emphasizing the interconnectedness between people, animals, and the planet. This approach positions the veterinary profession to contribute to a sustainable future worldwide. The keynote underscored veterinarians’ unique position as One Health champions, responsible for focusing on professional relationships and personal development to attain optimal health outcomes for clients and patients alike. continued on next page >

Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association | 15

A Year of Unity and Progress: PVMA’s 2023 in Review continued from page 15

3 Rivers Veterinary Symposium: November 11-12 In November, the DoubleTree in Cranberry Township hosted the 3 Rivers Veterinary Symposium for the second consecutive year. More than 300 professionals gathered for two days of immersive learning, further establishing this event as a key fixture in the PVMA calendar.

Networking Beyond the Lecture Halls PVMA’s commitment to fostering connections among veterinary professionals is exemplified by the vibrant networking opportunities embedded in each event. Whether during coffee breaks, social events, or dedicated networking sessions, attendees found time to exchange ideas, share experiences, and establish valuable professional relationships. The synergy created within these events extends far beyond the conference days, contributing to a stronger and more interconnected veterinary community in Pennsylvania.

Advocacy at the Forefront Throughout the year, PVMA has been at the forefront of advocacy, actively engaging with key issues impacting the veterinary profession: •

Act 18: Updates to Dog Law: PVMA played a crucial role in advocating for updates to the Dog Law, ensuring the welfare of our canine companions.

Senate Bill 785 - Animal Welfare Board: PVMA has been proactive, advocating for the creation of an Animal Welfare Board, a crucial step in addressing broader welfare concerns.

Support for Fair Pet Insurance: Dr. Munkittrick testified to the House Insurance Committee, advocating for fair pet insurance practices in Pennsylvania.

Veterinary Nursing Initiative: PVMA continues to champion the Veterinary Nursing Initiative, advocating for proper titling for credentialed technicians.

Combatting Rural Veterinarian Shortage: Dr. Holt, Equine Trustee at Large, testified about the rural veterinarian shortage, highlighting actionable steps to address this critical issue.

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Preserving Access to Xylazine: PVMA assisted in the effort to keep Xylazine available to veterinarians, demonstrating a commitment to preserving essential tools for quality veterinary care.

The association actively engaged in initiatives that promote the welfare of animals, elevate the veterinary profession, and address the evolving needs of the industry. From legislative updates to grassroots campaigns, PVMA’s advocacy efforts underscore the association’s commitment to being a voice for the veterinary community.

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Guiding the Future: A Transformative Year with Visionary Leadership In a significant stride towards bolstering organizational excellence, PVMA welcomed a new era of leadership by hiring an association management company, Atlas Management Resources. Marking a pivotal moment in PVMA’s trajectory, the Atlas team seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the organization, demonstrating unwavering dedication from the outset. Under the guidance of new executive director Denise Ott, CAE, a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience, PVMA is now led by an extraordinary team of professionals. Denise Ott’s dynamic leadership, coupled with the collective expertise of the Atlas team members, has invigorated the association with fresh perspectives and innovative approaches. Together, they have become instrumental in the organization of events, showcasing their commitment to advancing the mission and vision of PVMA. This infusion of new leadership represents a testament to PVMA’s commitment to continuous improvement and dedication in serving the veterinary community. As we conclude this remarkable year, PVMA stands proud, having united veterinary professionals, facilitated education and networking, and championed critical advocacy efforts. The association’s commitment to excellence continues to shape the future of veterinary medicine in Pennsylvania. We eagerly anticipate another year of growth, collaboration, and advancement under the steadfast leadership of PVMA. Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association | 17

A Grain of Truth:

The Bear Expert! By Todd A. Jackson, DVM, DACLAM

This series of articles depicts funny, tragic, terrifying, or otherwise memorable anecdotes and stories from veterinary careers. Some of them might be mine. Some might belong to other people. I’m not telling. In all cases, the names have been changed to protect the innocent and the comically guilty. Some are completely true, but at a minimum, every story has at least a grain of truth. For those of you who haven’t been in the veterinary field long enough to remember back when the best drug to treat arthritis in dogs was aspirin (available in 5 grain tablets), a grain is an obsolete unit of mass based upon the mass of a single ideal seed. In the Apothecaries’ system it is equal to 64.79891 milligrams. So, maybe not much, but there is at least some truth in there. If you have an adventure that you want to share, contact me through Penn State, and maybe others in the veterinary community can get a good laugh out of your predicament.

The Bear Expert After graduating from veterinary school, I worked in a rural, private, mixed-animal practice. We were the only veterinarians in the county and were therefore called upon to treat anything and everything—except for people. About midmorning on a sunny fall day, I had just finished spaying a cat and was peeling the surgical gloves off my hands while walking out of the OR. I heard my boss, Dr. Phil Wintertown, say from the waiting room, “Just a second. I’ll send Dr. Jackson. He’s our bear expert.” Tilting my head to the left like a dog who doesn’t understand a command from its owner, I thought to myself, ‘I couldn’t have heard that correctly.’

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I walked over to the window to look at the parking lot and panicked when I saw 3 bears in some sort of giant livestock trailer made with oversized steel bars like the trailer had been taking anabolic steroids. I was about to play Dr. Goldilocks. Gathering up my courage, I walked out into the parking lot and introduced myself to the owner. I wasn’t certain how to begin a case with 600-pound animals full of teeth big enough to shred me into confetti, making the average rabid rottweiler look tame in comparison. In picturing all the things that could go wrong, I wondered whether or not bears do a death shake when they get prey in their mouths like our little Chihuahua does with her chew toys. I shuddered but tried not to let the owner see me quiver. For lack of any guidance and training on what to do in situations like this, I settled on getting a history and doing an observational examination while standing far away from the trailer, out of the bears’ reach. The owner and the bears were traveling through town and had stopped to film a commercial for the local Dodge dealer. While filming the commercial, the owner had been distracted and hadn’t noticed the 3 bears climbing into a trash dumpster and helping themselves to the spoiled, rotten food within. He said the bears had all been vomiting and asked what we could do to help them. The diagnosis was easy enough: garbage can gastritis. Because the bears were not obviously dehydrated, I recommended the simplest course of action: no food for 24 to 48 hours and then starting them back on a bland diet. If they got sicker, couldn’t hold down their water, had trouble standing, or had abnormal mentation, the owner was to call back so that we could run blood tests and treat more aggressively, perhaps with intravenous fluids. (I especially liked that plan since my boss, Dr. Wintertown, was on call that night.)

I was never certain how the bears did. We always did follow up calls a few days after seeing any sick animals to make sure they were doing OK. In this case, the owner had moved on to the next town to film their next commercial and was lost to followup. I did see the commercial from the Dodge dealer a few days later on television. One bear was jumping up and down in the back of a pickup truck while the announcer explained that their trucks were tough enough to stand up to anything. I wasn’t convinced. My next truck was a GMC. After discussing the treatment plan with the owner, I went back into the clinic to write up the veterinary medical record. My boss walked in and asked me about the case. I explained my diagnosis and treatment plan, and he agreed with how I had handled everything. I couldn’t help but ask him, though, saying, “Phil? You know, I have only treated one other bear in my entire life. Back when I was a senior veterinary student doing farm calls on my off-campus rotation, we drove up to a ranch with a pet bear. The vet said that it was time to deworm the bear and had me walk up to the farmhouse, knock on the door, and give the owner a tube of Panacur paste. I never actually had to touch the bear. What made you tell this owner that I’m a ‘bear expert’?” Phil looked at me with a confusing, but goofy grin. He said, “Well, you are the youngest, least experienced, and therefore most expendable veterinarian in the practice. That made you our ‘bear expert’.” Sadly, it made sense. It’s just one of those things experienced practice owners know that they don’t teach you in veterinary school. About the Author: Dr. Jackson is a board-certified specialist in laboratory animal medicine and serves as the Director of the Animal Resource Program in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and as a Research Professor and Academic Advisor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the Penn State’s University Park campus. He can be reached via e-mail at Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association | 19


Throughout my career as a veterinarian and a mom, I have at times received comments from colleagues, friends, and clients criticizing the amount of time I dedicated to either my work or my children because of my decision to be a working parent. In their eyes, my devotion to my work negatively affected my fitness to be a mother, and vice versa. Over the years, I’ve learned not to give these voices much playtime in my head. However, these sentiments do speak to how challenging it is for working parents to manage (I hate the word balance) their responsibilities to both their career and their family, especially when both are so important to them. There are many different ways to do this, so it would be impossible to create an exhaustive list. I’ve gathered here just a few of the variables parents in vet med may consider when creating a good quality of life for themselves and their families.

Choosing a Practice Type The type of practice in which you engage–and how that practice is managed–can have a huge effect on your ability to integrate your work with your priorities outside of work. This can include scheduling factors like the number of hours you are expected to work per day, the flexibility allowed, and any requirement

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to work nights/evenings/holidays. In some roles, there may also be on call requirements and/or travel expectations. Some veterinary roles such as telehealth, industry, consulting, and content creation may allow individuals to work from home. Practice type can also affect everything from average salary, type of clientele and frequency of client interaction, and the average daily workload. Which practice type is best for working parents? That’s different for everyone and can vary from one individual workplace to the next (and from one phase of life to the next). The important thing is to find something that works for you and your family’s needs.

Finding a Family-Friendly Employer Anyone can call themselves “family-friendly,” but not everyone really means it. A true family-friendly employer will create a culture of psychological safety so that employees feel comfortable sharing their news when they are expecting a child or asking for flexibility if they need to schedule extra doctor’s appointments. They will not discriminate against those who are, who want to be, or who could become parents. They will be open to discussing flexibility in scheduling and will respond with empathy when a parent needs to stay home with a sick child.

They will explore ways to offer parental leave, ideally with at least some of it paid. They may even offer other benefits like a dependent care flexible spending account, corporate discounts for childcare, a childcare stipend, or even onsite childcare. They will encourage you to get out of work on time whenever possible. They will not perpetuate outdated norms about mothers always being the default parent and will make fathers and other non-birthing parents feel empowered to ask for what they need to be an involved parent.

Making a Schedule that Works Should you work part time? Should you stay full time? Relief? Should you only work when the kids are in school? Should you only work nights and/or weekends when your partner is home with the kids? Should you start your own business so that you can have total control of your schedule? Should your kids hang out at the clinic with you? Does it make the most sense for you to stop working and stay home with your child(ren) for a period of time? Any of these options can and do work for various parents. What works best for you will depend on your family’s needs, your preferences, and many other factors.

Creating a Support Network Whether it’s family, friends, paid help, coworkers, neighbors, or members of a local community group, we all need help at least some of the time. We seem to have forgotten that in modern Western culture. Our support network can help us pick up kids from school, carpool to practices, be reachable in case of an emergency, drop off dinner after a tough day, or take the kids to the park so parents can rest. They can also be there just to listen and commiserate during stressful times. Our lives as working parents can be so much more fulfilling if we can overcome our sense of guilt and/or pride and just reach out sooner for help.

Putting Yourself on the List Often, the stereotype of a parent (or at least a mom) involves someone who puts themselves last. Veterinary professionals are also very good at self-sacrifice for the benefit of pretty much everyone else around them. While this trait is sometimes expected and even romanticized, it is very unhealthy. Contrary to popular belief, it is not selfish to take care of yourself. While it can be tempting to wait for someone else to put you first, it is imperative that you don’t. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean a night out on the town or an expensive purchase. It can be any decision or change, no matter how small, that brings you peace and/ or reduces your stress. So, when considering the needs of others, just remember to put your needs on the list too.

Connect with the Joy What made you pursue a career in veterinary medicine to begin with? Was it a love of animals, an obsession with

problem solving, the desire to help others, a fascination with the workings of the body, or all of the above? Find ways to stay connected (or reconnect) with those feelings and share them with your family. Your children can learn so many helpful skills and lessons from watching you thrive in your career. The skills you develop as a parent are also often transferrable to your success as a veterinary professional. This may even lead to finding new ways to use your skills and experience in veterinary medicine and beyond. Being a working parent will undoubtedly be one of the hardest things you do in your life. Hopefully you can also find ways to make it rewarding and fulfilling at the same time.

About the Author: Dr. Emily Singler is a 2001 graduate of Penn State University and a 2005 graduate of University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Her career in veterinary medicine has included experience in shelter medicine, private practice, and as a relief veterinarian. She currently works as a veterinary writer, consultant, and mentor and enjoys writing for both pet owners and veterinary professionals. Her writing interests include public health, preventive medicine, the human-animal bond, and life as a working mom. She is the author of Pregnancy and Postpartum Considerations for the Veterinary Team, available now at www.

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Life of a Relief Veterinarian:

The Good, the Bad and the Different By David J. Henzler, DVM, Ph.D.

The best part of being a relief veterinarian is the independence of working for yourself. You can choose full- or part-time work. But there are downsides too, such as having no benefits provided. You will pay all your own taxes, deal with clients (now your veterinary colleagues), variable schedules, and travel. Let us explore.

The good You will have that latitude and responsibility for cases without having to deal with the personnel management, telephone and computer issues, inventory, equipment, and non-paying clients. Working at numerous clinics allows you to schedule more time at favorite hospitals. You will not be bound by a contract you find not amenable to your practice ideals. You can definitely “feel out” the staff and philosophy of practice owners and how you are treated by both.

The bad While most doctor/clients will honor the time you have set aside (sometimes a year in advance) without changes, a small subset will only see you as a “widget” to fill their needs. With any deviation from this or a change in an Associate Doctor leave schedule they will “cut you loose.” If you have established clientele doctors, you may well fill some of those canceled times, but there will be some unscheduled days off without pay. You will have none of the established 11 paid federal or 12 state holidays or some lesser version therein. No sick days, no CE allowance, no vacation time, no health coverage, no IRA. Most often you will receive a 1099, and you will have to work with an accountant to pay quarterly federal and state taxes. You will pay both the employee and employer Social Security/ Medicare (15.3%) portions. Local taxes can be paid at the time

of your tax filing. Your accountant can help decide what type of IRA to choose. Examples include: traditional, Roth and SEP.

The different One must be very flexible to schedule clients (hospitals), travel, rapidly adjusting to a varied level of veterinary nurse skills, and varying appointment times. Most clinics will have a subset of Certified Technicians that will take the lead and be helpful. You will lose the ability to follow-up some of your sick patients if you are not “filling in” at a particular practice on a regular basis. One must decide how far they are willing to travel and determine compensation for commuting beyond a local area. There are list service veterinary relief businesses that may handle some schedule details and taxes, but you will give up some independence. One other very important component is protecting your veterinary license. You will be placed in situations either by practices squeezing in too many patients to provide adequate care for sick appointments, not vetting patients adequately for surgical procedures or medical record keeping not meeting your standards. For this reason, many relief veterinarians decide not to do surgeries. Be sure to be reimbursed fairly for your professional services and education (including complete lack of any benefits provided as routine for an Associate Veterinarian). This should be much higher than a traveling nurse (who also receives benefits). I enjoy most the many different clients, staff, and variety of practices. You will never feel “boxed in” and if you stay at it long enough, you can choose your client veterinarians!

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Tailored Solutions for PVMA Members First a thank you. As I sit and type this article, my black lab’s white eyes are staring up at me, all 92 pounds of him keeping my feet warm. He patiently waits for me to finish the work day and take him outside. Or to play. Or to cuddle. Or to give him treats. Or his absolute favorite – holding hands. He doesn’t need to talk to let me know these things, but there have been occasions I wish he could. Finn can’t tell me when something is wrong, but he has had his fair share of medical issues – each one diagnosed and treated with ease by my local veterinary practice. I am so grateful to those in the veterinary practice for shouldering the responsibility of knowing what is ailing him and keeping my family healthy and happy. I’m sure running a veterinary practice is a rewarding endeavor, but I know the demands of the profession often leave little room for relaxation. The constant juggling act between caring for animals and managing a business can lead to stress and burnout. In the hustle and bustle of caring for animals, managing a veterinary business can be overwhelming. In the same way that you give me peace of mind whenever Finn has an issue – the Alera Group Small Business Unit wants to give PVMA members peace of mind while running their practice.

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Recognizing the unique challenges faced by veterinary professionals, the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association has partnered with the Alera Group Small Business Unit to offer a portfolio of business products designed to alleviate stress and streamline operations for practice owners. The portfolio is extensive. Everything needed from hire to retire for your employees, as well as the insurance protections you need for the business itself. Here are a few opportunities you can take advantage of as a PVMA member.

Employee Benefits Veterinary practices thrive when their team is engaged and satisfied. Alera Group’s employee benefits packages are crafted to attract and retain top talent in the industry. From comprehensive health insurance plans to wellness programs, these benefits not only contribute to the well-being of your staff but also enhance the overall workplace environment and include:

Group Health Insurance (Fully Insured, Level/Self Funded)

Group Life

Group Disability (STD/LTD)

Policy & Coverage Review


Employee Handbooks

Accident/Hospital Plans

Wrap SPDs

Voluntary Benefits

Employer Benefit Notices

Flexible Spending Accounts

Section 125 Documents

Group Gap Insurance


Executive Benefits




Property and Casualty


Protecting your practice from unforeseen events is crucial. Alera Group’s property and casualty insurance options provide comprehensive coverage tailored to the unique risks faced by veterinary practices. From property damage to liability claims, these solutions safeguard your business, giving you peace of mind to focus on delivering exceptional veterinary care. These offerings include:

401K Administration

Employee Assistance Program

Workers Compensation

General Liability Insurance

Liquor Liability Insurance

Commercial Crime

EPL Insurance or EPLI


Directors and Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance

Professional Indemnity/E&O

Commercial Auto Insurance

Inland Marine Insurance

HR Solutions Managing human resources can be a time-consuming aspect of running a veterinary practice. Alera Group’s HR solutions streamline processes, offering assistance with employee

handbooks, compliance support, and employee assistance programs. Our AleraHR resource helps business owners create and manage everything needed to run a successful HR department, such as:

What sets Alera Group apart is our commitment to providing the best customer service, products, and pricing. We have a national scope of resources for PVMA membership, but we maintain a local team dedicated to your needs and the needs of your industry. That pairing has created a great number of success stories for local businesses. Those successes could mean great savings on your Property and Casualty insurance. Our extensive network of carriers helps us find the coverage you need at the best possible price. We also have unique group health plan options that can decrease premiums, deductibles and out of pocket expenses for you and your employees. One group with 25 enrolled saved over $100k in annual premiums! Some of those options even provide $0 procedures and specialty prescription costs. By providing comprehensive solutions in employee benefits, property and casualty and human resources, Alera Group is not just a service provider but a trusted partner in the success of veterinary practices. Visit today to explore the solutions available to PVMA members. Fill out the form and we’ll reach out to help you elevate your practice, streamline your operations, and focus on what you do best – caring for your patients.

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Improving Utilization of Credentialed Veterinary Technicians By Alyssa Mages, CVT

As we head into the end of a year and into a new one, let’s take more than a moment to look back on a trending topic that is resonating throughout our profession – the utilization of veterinary technicians. This was highlighted very thoroughly in the recently published AAHA Veterinary Technician Utilization Guidelines in October 2023, and this author was fortunate to be a part of the task force that worked on their development and compilation. Below and to the right are pictures of a snapshot of the guidelines and a poster – both available to download and print via AAHA’s website – that lend a pictorial representation of what will be further discussed in this article.

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Are you leaving credentialed veterinary technicians on the bench when they could be star players? Credentialed veterinary technicians are a valuable resource for a veterinary practice, but their skills, education, and experience are often not being used to their full potential. Optimal utilization of credentialed veterinary technicians can benefit the entire veterinary team by supporting professional longevity, mutual trust and collaboration, improved patient care, and financial sustainability. The 2023 AAHA Technician Utilization Guidelines outline the steps you can take right now to improve credentialed veterinary technician utilization in your practice. These guidelines include practical tools to help implement optimal utilization, including: Goal worksheets Workflows by role for everyday clinical examples Veterinary team member utilization assessment tools Examples of levels and skills for professional growth and increased learning potential for credentialed veterinary technicians Case examples showing optimal utilization Open-ended questions to structure conversations around improving utilization

Meet Ind y, o


Guidelines tion za

at a Glance

Technicia n U AHA tili 3A


mascot of the 20 ic al 2 f

3 Takeaways

Credentialed veterinary technicians cite lack of utilization as a top reason for leaving the profession, along with burnout and decreased job satisfaction. Proper utilization is crucial for optimizing team efficiency, which in turn can increase access to veterinary services, improve patient care, and address staffing and retention problems. Using credentialed veterinary technicians to the full extent of their education and training contributes to financial sustainability. Practices where veterinarians rarely perform tasks that credentialed veterinary technicians can, and should, do show an average revenue increase of 36%.

2 Actions Recognize that the causes of poor utilization often stem from lack of knowledge and learn about what tasks and procedures credentialed veterinary technicians can legally perform in your area. To begin integrating greater utilization into your workflow, prioritize appointments/initial assessments, surgeries and anesthetic procedures, and telehealth/teletriage. Develop detailed plans based on agreed-upon protocols and train everyone on implementation.

1 Thing to Never Forget Optimal utilization is tied to job satisfaction, and it’s an essential piece for retaining credentialed veterinary technicians in the profession. Veterinary practices must make the commitment of time and training for all team members to implement optimal utilization. When practices make this commitment, change can start now! ©2023 AAHA

Ready to make a positive change for your practice and the veterinary profession? The 2023 AAHA Technician Utilization Guidelines are available now at The 2023 AAHA Technician Utilization Guidelines are generously supported by CareCredit, Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc., and IDEXX. Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association | 27

Classifie d Ads VETERINARIANS East Suburban Animal Hospital | Full or Part Time / Export/Murrysville, Pennsylvania East Suburban Animal Hospital is family owned and has been part of the community for over 40 years! Our hospital offers a flexible work schedule; most of our full time Doctors are scheduled 4 days per week. We are currently a six Doctor practice, which affords opportunities for collaborative care and mentorship. No after hours on call service and refer after hours emergencies to one of the several 24-hour ER/Specialty hospitals nearby. We provide Health Insurance, Vision Insurance, Long and Short-Term Disability, Retirement, a generous Continuing Education Allowance, Association Dues and Licenses, Liability Insurance, and VIN Subscriptions. Please email: katiecaslow@ Lehigh Valley Humane Society Vet Clinic |Full or Part Time / Allentown, Pennsylvania Do you have passion for delivering a highquality level of medical services in a true state of the art Community Vet Clinic? Do you have a passion for serving those animals that otherwise would never get the health care they deserve? Do you have the desire to build lasting relationships with clients, their pets, and the community? Great! We may have an opportunity for you! Please call Hal Warner at 610-797-1205 ext 314 and/or email hal@lehighhumane. org.

Buckingham Animal Hospital | Full Time / Doylestown, Pennsylvania Seeking full-time veterinarian in beautiful Central Bucks County for Buckingham Animal Hospital, a privately-owned five-doctor practice. Veterinarians are supported by our highly trained and friendly staff within our well-equipped, bright, and spacious stand-alone building. We are seeking a kind team member with excellent interpersonal and communication skills – sense of humor is a bonus! The owner is a 2003 Penn Vet graduate with experience mentoring new veterinarians. Generous salary and benefits. Schedule averages 30-35 hours/week, no after-hours emergencies. Close to the charming towns of Doylestown and New Hope and driving distance to Philadelphia and NYC. Please email Brad Kube, VMD, at buckah1950@ 28 | Keystone Veterinarian

Coventry Animal Hospital | Full Time / Pottstown, Pennsylvania Coventry Animal Hospital is looking for a Managing Veterinarian to join their team in Pottstown. Coventry is one of the oldest continuously operating veterinary hospitals in the tri-county area. We offer comprehensive wellness exams, tailor-made vaccine protocols, in-house laboratory testing, radiology and routine surgery services, and an intensive care ward. The ideal candidate will be innovative, with strong leadership skills to lead our team of doctors. Coventry Animal Hospitals offers many desirable benefits including generous sign-on and retention bonuses, medical, dental, and eye insurance, 401k with employer match, liability insurance, and so much more. Please email Arianna Dobroski at Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital | Full Time / Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania Are you looking to work in a smaller practice that allows you to still have a large network of doctors that can provide mentorship? Do you want that hospital to still have high-quality medicine and advanced equipment? Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital offers pets expert veterinary care with small-town warmth and compassion. There are no rushed appointments or long waits to see our veterinarians, ensuring you have time to focus on providing excellent care. As a full-service animal hospital, we pride ourselves in offering a variety of services, including wellness exams, allergy testing and dermatology, pet dental care, and veterinary surgery. Please email Arianna Dobroski at Oley Valley Animal Clinic | Full Time / Oley, Pennsylvania Oley Valley Animal Clinic is looking for a Managing Veterinarian to join their team! Oley Valley Animal Clinic is a wellestablished, small animal veterinary hospital providing comprehensive medical, surgical, and dental care. Our mission is to provide the Oley Valley and surrounding communities with advanced, compassionate, and comprehensive care. We aim to embody our core values of efficiency, compassion, responsibility, dependability, and professionalism in everything we do. The ideal candidate places a high priority on fostering client relationships and will thrive in a busy, multidoctor practice, has a love of people and

collaboration, and enjoys a progressive medical approach. Please email Arianna Dobroski at

Larkin Veterinary Center | Full Time / West Lawn, Pennsylvania Are you looking to refresh your career? Practice high-quality, progressive medicine? Have a flexible schedule that promotes work-life balance and taking vacations and CE time? Want to do it all in a modern, recently renovated facility? Larkin Veterinary Center is built on the belief that patient care and comfort come first, whether it be a dog, cat, or exotic pet. We pride ourselves on preventative care through routine vaccinations, twice-yearly exam recommendations, and preventative diagnostic testing. Our dental program is top-notch with digital dental X-rays for every patient, and all our surgeries receive full, advanced monitoring. Please email Arianna Dobroski at arianna.dobroski@ Exeter Veterinary Hospital | Full or Part Time / Reading, Pennsylvania Exeter Veterinary Hospital is an AAHAaccredited, Fear Free Certified small animal/exotic pet hospital in Exeter Township just east of Reading, PA and an hour west of Philadelphia. We have been serving the Exeter community for over 30 years. We offer a full range of services, including laser surgery and advanced dentistry, full in-house lab, digital ultrasound, endoscopy, digital radiographs including dental, laser therapy, acupuncture and much more. Our emphasis is on client education, good preventative medicine and the very best patient care. Benefits include very flexible schedule, all dues and license fees, health/vision/dental, CE allowance and matching retirement plan. Please call 610-779-2300 and/or email ExeterTVH@ Cove Mountain Animal Hospital | Full or Part Time / Duncannon, Pennsylvania Cove Mountain Animal Hospital is a privately owned full-service veterinary hospital in Duncannon, PA that has been serving the community for over 40 years. We are a busy, rapidly growing facility looking to add an additional doctor to our team with future ownership options. Our hospital is equipped with digital radiology, ultrasound, dental x-ray, and full inhouse laboratory. We offer wellness care, orthopedics, soft-tissue surgery, ear

Interested in placing a classified ad? Visit for information on all classified ad placement opportunities. endoscopy, laser therapy, dental services, and more. We operate Monday – Friday, no weekends. We are offering full and/ or part-time positions for a veterinarian. Experience preferred, but new graduates welcome and encouraged to apply by email,, or call Tanya Conrad 717-834-5534.

Pets First Veterinary Center, LLC | Full Time / Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania Holistic Associate Veterinarian Opportunity – Conventional and Holistic Care for Comprehensive Well-being. Are you a dedicated Associate Veterinarian with a passion for both conventional and holistic veterinary care? Join Pets First Veterinary Center, the oldest and most respected practice in the heart of Delaware County. We provide a holistic approach to animal health and wellness while offering comprehensive full-service veterinary care, including dental and surgical services. About Us: With a legacy of serving the community for years, Pets First Veterinary Center is at the forefront of providing a harmonious blend of conventional and holistic care. Please call Gabriele at 610-525-5041 and/or email petsfirst@ New Stanton Veterinary Service | Full or Part Time / New Stanton, Pennsylvania NSVS is a privately-owned small animal practice near Pittsburgh, PA. We recently renovated and are equipped with plenty of new equipment (Idexx laboratory, digital x-ray, ultrasound, lift tables, etc). Additional upgrades are planned. Cases include preventive care, illness, and injuries. Surgery time available if interested. Experienced veterinarians or new graduates are welcome. Salary and schedule is negotiable. Hours open are 8AM to 6 PM M-Th and 8 AM to 2 PM Fri. No weekend or on-call duty. Benefit package may include PTO, CE, IRA, health insurance, PLIT, state and DEA licenses, AVMA/PVMA/WPVMA dues, VIN, pet care discount, etc. Please call Dr. Rebecca Caldwell or email drcaldwell@ Animal Hospital of Mt. Pocono | Full Time / Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania Do you love your profession but are tired of corporate Veterinary Medicine? Are you considering the transition from employee to practice owner? Can you appreciate a committed team, working together in a positive and supportive culture? Are you

looking for a great work- life balance where you determine your income, and how and when you practice? We are both a privately owned, general small animal hospital plus a dental and oral surgical referral facility operating in the beautiful Pocono Mountains. No after-hours emergencies, (unless you want them). Looking for a full time associate interested in future practice ownership. $100 k base salary plus ProSal, 401k, PTO, CE, benefits package tailored to your preferences. Please call or email Dr. Joseph Valese 570-817-6567 ahmp@ptd. net.

community for over 30 years. We offer laser surgery and advanced dentistry, full in-house lab, digital ultrasound, endoscopy, digital radiographs including dental, laser therapy, acupuncture and much more. Our emphasis is on client education, good preventative medicine and the very best patient care. Benefits include a very flexible schedule, all dues and license fees, health/ vision/dental, generous CE allowance and matching retirement plan. We pride ourselves on a team atmosphere and a great work environment. Please call 610779-2300 and/or email ExeterTVH@aol. com.

TECHNICIANS Cove Mountain Animal Hospital | Full Time / Duncannon, Pennsylvania If you’re ready for a position that is Monday-Friday and no weekends, Cove Mountain Animal Hospital is the practice for you. We are a full-service fast-paced veterinary medical facility located in Duncannon, Pennsylvania, approximately 20 miles north of Harrisburg. We provide veterinary care to Marysville, Harrisburg, Dauphin, Newport, New Bloomfield, and all surrounding areas. We are currently looking for experienced veterinary technicians. Call or email Tanya Conrad at 717-834-5534 or for additional information. Silver Maple Veterinary Clinic | Full Time / Kutztown, Pennsylvania Would you like to work in an extremely progressive 5 doctor practice that allows their technicians to progress? Wonderful opportunity for someone interested in rehabilitation or is currently certified. Silver Maple has 5 days a week surgery, CVT appointments, full in-house laboratory, acupuncture, laser, a new rehabilitation suite and a full time pharmacy technician. If needed, you will be mentored by some of the best. Our benefits package includes a generous sign on bonus as well as continuing education allowance and health care. Call us to join our family of compassionate, caring professionals who love what they do. Please contact Jaime Vanek at Exeter Veterinary Hospital | Full or Part Time / Exeter Township, Pennsylvania Exeter Veterinary Hospital is an AAHAaccredited, Fear Free Certified small animal/exotic pet hospital in Exeter Township. We have been serving the Exeter

PRACTICE MANAGERS Center City Veterinary Hospital Full Time / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Center City Veterinary Hospital is in the “Old City” neighborhood of Philadelphia and is seeking an experienced Veterinary Practice Manager. Salary range – $60,000 – 75,000. We offer an excellent benefit package. Center City Veterinary Hospital has a strong focus on pet wellness and preventative care. We are certified in low-stress handling. Our ideal candidate is a visionary leader who is team-focused, self-motivated, has strong organizational skills, is task and detail oriented, and can prioritize and delegate, works well under pressure, can negotiate through difficult conversations and has knowledge of all aspects of business management. CVPM preferred. College degree in business management a plus. Candidates with management experience are encouraged to apply. Veterinary technician experience a plus. Email your resume and professional references to: Shirley A. Lockhart, MBA, at

PRACTICES/EQUIPMENT FOR SALE Dover, DE FIRE SALE! Dover, DE – Established Wellness Clinic for sale. Located next to Dollar Tree and Redner’s Market. Current business doing spays and neuters, vaccinations, and general pet wellness services. Busy practice with potential for immediate profits. Inhouse equipment includes continued on next page >

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clas sifie d ads continued from page 29 anesthesia machines, autoclave, dental scaler/polisher, stainless kennels, washer and dryer, surgical instruments, and standard office equipment. The clinic is currently open Monday through Friday and sees approximately 25 patients per day for vaccinations and neuter surgery. Let’s talk! Call Dr. Thompson at 928-699-2195, or email

Northwest PA-near Chautauqua Lake NY (PA123) This is an active & healthy, one doctor, small animal practice that is located in beautiful northwest Pennsylvania. Within a 2 hour drive, you can be in Pittsburgh, Cleveland or Buffalo! AND – to help you get a start, the owner has reduced the purchase price by over $100,000!! The practice is well-equipped and is located on one of the main roads in the community and sits on a 2.5 acre lot that has plenty of space for future expansion. Both the practice and the real estate are for sale. Contact Simmons Mid-Atlantic at (814)4667084 or visit us at Central PA (PA 313) This is a solo practice in central PA with easy access to all things PennState and Happy Valley! It is an established practice with over 30 years’ history of providing clients with full medical, diagnostic, wellness and surgical services. It is housed in a free-standing building that has 1,900 sq ft and all the usual amenities. It is wellequipped and uses the Avimark software. The owner is ready to retire so the practice is for sale. The owner will help with the transition and the staff is expected to stay. Contact Simmons Mid-Atlantic at (814)4667084 or visit us at Pocono Mountains! (PA322) This is a solo, small animal practice that is nestled in the Pocono Mountains, east of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It is housed in a well-equipped, free-standing facility with 3,000 square feet that contains all the usual amenities. The location could not be better as it is on the main road for easy access and great visibility. The owner is ready to retire so both the practice and the real estate are for sale. Contact Simmons Mid-Atlantic at (814)466-7084 or visit us at Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA (PA311) This is an established, small animal practice that is located in the Scranton-WilkesBarre area. It is very well-equipped and

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organized for efficient work-flow which is focused on quality pet care and a positive client experience. It has an attractive, freestanding, 2,400 square foot facility that has two exam rooms and all of the usual amenities including extra storage areas for future growth (or personal use!) The owner is ready to retire so both the practice and the real estate are for sale. 100% financing is expected for the buyer. The owner will help with the transition. Contact Simmons Mid-Atlantic at (814)466-7084 or visit us at

North of Philadelphia PA (PA204) This practice is located just north of Philadelphia. It is a one doctor practice that has a long history providing veterinary care to clients in the surrounding communities. The practice is housed in a free standing, 2,000 sq ft building that has 2 exam rooms, a treatment area, the surgery suite and all the usual amenities. It is located just off one of the main roads which provides easy access for clients. The owner is ready to retire so both the practice and the real estate are for sale. The owner will help with the transition. Contact Simmons MidAtlantic at (814)466-7084 or visit us at East of Pittsburgh Solo small animal practice. Gross 380+/high Net/low overhead. Prices/hours can easily be increased. New x-ray (can be converted to digital), new shoreline lift exam table, recently paved lot/roof. Practice is on a main road with a 4-acre lot and a house that sits behind in a private setting. 4 bedrooms, 2 ½ bath, 2 fireplaces, and double integral garage. No commute – keep family/pets close or rent/staff housing. Dr. retiring and willing to help with transition. Practice/equipment/real estate/house all for $550k. Would consider subdividing properties. Kernick Animal Hospital. Listing on Veterinary practice transition. Please email Lebanon, PA East Lebanon Animal Clinic of Lebanon, Pennsylvania is for sale: 425,000.Please see website for more information at URL: 5 room facility, lab room, X-ray machine, waiting area, and more; 2 receptionists available to work. Call Dr. Aisha Jaffri (609.203.3281) or email at jaffriusp@

RELIEF VETERINARIANS Erin K. Murphy, DVM Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, and Schuylkill Counties Outgoing, energetic, and professional veterinarian in search of small animal practices where I can utilize my 24 years of clinical experience. I enjoy surgery, internal medicine, dermatology, wellness visits, and participating with the human-animal bond. Excellent communication skills, active listener, compassionate, and empathetic. Email David J. Henzler, DVM, PhD Dauphin, Lebanon, Berks, Schuylkill, Lancaster, Lehigh, and York Counties RELIEF VETERINARIAN with 15 years of clinical practice experience, including 3.5 years as a full-time 24-hour emergency doctor. PhD in Veterinary Science. Serving small animal and exotic practices in Dauphin, Lebanon, Berks, Schuylkill, Lancaster, Lehigh, and York counties. Available to cover vacations, illness, maternity, and other needs. Energetic with a professional appearance and excellent communication skills. Integrous, dependable, and detailed. “I treat your practice like my own!” Call 717.341.4357 or email Jacqueline Burke, VMD Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Monroe, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties 1987 Penn honors grad seeks relief work within 30-60 minutes of the QuakertownPottstown area. Fast and proficient in surgery. Very dependable, professional appearance and manner. See website at Call 610-7541155 or email at Michael Reese, VMD, MS Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties Small animal veterinarian practicing in Philadelphia and the surrounding region. 13 years’ experience working in hospitals in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. I am knowledgeable, efficient, and personable, and I enjoy and highly value client education. I am also flexible and readily able to adapt to various hospitals’ protocols and procedures. Please let me know if I can be of help in providing shortor long-term relief services to your practice. Thank you! Email reeseveterinary@gmail. com.

In Memoriam David Lee Moyer, VMD Posted on January 2, 2024 by Denglerfuneralhome

Surviving along with Darlene are 3 stepsons.

David Lee Moyer, VMD, 83 of Exeter Township, Berks County, PA died on Saturday, December 30, 2023, at the Reading Hospital in West Reading, PA. Born May 7, 1940 in Reading, PA to the late Robert and Helen Verna (Lutz) Moyer. He was the husband of Darlene E. (Kreiser) Moyer. David practiced veterinarian medicine for 55 years and worked till the time of his death. He was a graduate of Penn State and received his VMD from the University of Pennsylvania school of Veterinary Medicine. He was a life member of Pikeville Sportsmen Club. David’s interest were trains, tractors, gardening and his love of animals.

The family will receive friends from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM on Sunday, January 7, 2024, at Dengler Funeral Home, 144 N. Spruce Street, Birdsboro, PA with the funeral service to follow, with the Rev. Gary J. Dierolf officiating. Memorial contributions may be sent to Animal Rescue League, 58 Kennel Rd., Birdsboro, PA 19508 or University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, 3800 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Linda E. (Blissman) Domergue Gloria Ann Hess

John Hess Shissler, VMD John Hess Shissler, 82, of Newburg, PA, passed away January 6, 2024 at his home. He was born Friday, January 2, 1942 in Elizabethtown, PA. He was a son of the late Russell A. Shissler and Mary Farver Hess Shissler. He graduated from the Hershey High School in 1960. He was a member of the Air Hill Brethren in Christ Church, Chambersburg, PA and church affiliations were Diller Mennonite Church, Newville, PA and Stouffers Mennonite Church, Hershey, PA. John was a Veterinary Medical Doctor, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 and affectionately known as Doc. He practiced mostly large animal veterinary medicine in his career. He received his undergraduate degree from Elizabethtown College in 1964. He was an avid hunter, enjoyed hiking, and he had been a member of the Newburg Men’s Chorus. He was a member of the PA Farm Bureau, PA Veterinary Medical Association, and Keystone Trails Association. He owned and operated Blue Mountain Veterinary Medical Service for 53 years.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ruth A. Shissler; son, John, wife Denise, Schuykill Haven, PA; son David, wife Kathy, Hummelstown, PA; son Andrew, wife Andrea, Delmont, PA; daughter Jann, husband Rodney Diller, Chambersburg; and daughter Susanne, husband Eric Fisher, Red Lion, PA and 14 grandchildren; sister, Anna Houser, Lebanon, PA; sister, Miriam Shissler, Elizabethtown, PA; and brother, Allen Shissler, Sabinsville, PA; and 13 nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, James Shissler and Jacob Shissler. Funeral services will be held Monday, January 15, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. at the Air Hill Brethren in Christ Church, with Pastor John Melhorn officiating. A viewing will be held Sunday, from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the Fogelsanger-Bricker Funeral Home & Crematorium Inc., and also one hour prior to the service on Monday at the church. A private graveside service will be held in Spring Creek Church of the Brethren Cemetery, Hershey, PA. Online condolences may be expressed at Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association | 31

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