wagmag March 2012

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reveling in her patients By Jane K. Dove Photograph by Bob Rozycki

requires surgery, some go home the same day while others stay overnight. Patients that require extended supervised care are sent to the Cornell Universality Veterinary Specialists in Stamford. There is plenty of room for animals awaiting treatment in immaculate, spacious cages, along with a bathing facility and large weighing table. Staff includes two vets, two vet technicians, two veterinary assistants, two receptionists and the office manger.

A dream comes true

“From the time I was a little girl in California I wanted to be a vet,” said Carol Gamez, a partner in the thriving Georgetown Veterinary Hospital in Georgetown. “I always loved animals and was constantly drawing pictures of them and playing with them. I got my love of animals from my mother, who also adored them. She was always saving and treating injured and sick animals and then finding good places for them. I swore that when I grew up I would be a vet and devote myself to the care of animals.” Gamez prepared herself for her future career from an early age with her goal firmly in sight. “I studied science in high school and did premed at Stamford University. I met my husband at Stamford and we moved to New York in l984, where I got a job 24

at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in Manhattan. While working there, I applied to the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in Ithaca and was accepted.” After getting her DVM degree, Gamez returned to the Animal Medical Center for a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery before starting to work in her profession. “I worked at the County Animal Clinic in Yonkers, the Katonah Veterinary Group, Quarry Ridge Animal Hospital in Ridgefield and then opened my house-call practice for a year.” Gamez came to the Georgetown Veterinary Hospital in 2005, joining in a partnership with its founder, Stanley J. Truffini. The two veterinarians care for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, mice, rats, hamsters and fish.

“Both of us do general medicine and surgery,” Gamez said. “We have a great staff and my partner is absolutely the best. His wife, Carol, is our office manager and pulls everything together on a daily basis.”

State of the art

A tour of the Georgetown Veterinary Hospital, located in a fully restored general store (circa 1850) in the heart of the quaint hamlet, reveals an immaculate, beautifully organized facility. Cutting-edge features include human grade ultrasound equipment, digital radiology, cold laser therapy, digital dental Xrays and specialized anesthesia equipment. The hospital has a spacious treatment room, two exam rooms and complete surgical facilities that include a prep room with autoclave and an operating room with the latest equipment. If an animal

Gamez said her career has completely fulfilled her expectations. “I come here to work every day and just love it. No two days are alike. Some are harder than others, but they all have their rewards.” She and her staff form strong bonds with the animals and their owners. “We have an extremely loyal client base. We start out with dogs and cats as puppies and kittens and treat them throughout their lives. Our patients come mostly from Ridgefield, Redding, Weston and Wilton in Fairfield County and South Salem and Pound Ridge in Westchester.” The strong emotional ties forged with her clients are very rewarding, she said. “One thing we do that is very important is to help our owners deal with loss. When we have to euthanize an animal, we all feel it deeply but help our clients through those tough times. But when the family comes to us with a new puppy, it is a rebirth. It’s the circle of life. I am fortunate and grateful to be doing this and don’t take any of it for granted.” Gamez also enjoys teaching and mentoring young people who might be interested in veterinary medicine as a career. “I teach at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry and we have our own program right here where middle school and high school students can work as interns to see if this is the career for them.” Gamez, her engineer husband, Howard Citron, and son Dylan, 15, live on the shores of Lake Truesdale in South Salem. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she has her own collection of beloved pets. “We have two mixed-breed dogs, a 21-year-old cockatiel, a tortoise, a koi pond and one goldfish.” Treating fish is a special area of interest for Gamez, who recently brought a 20-pound koi patient back to health. “Every day is a new day. It’s challenging, rewarding and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.” Georgetown Veterinary Hospital, 53 Redding Road, Georgetown. (203) 544-9098. n