Veterinarians hard at work, late at night - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Veterinarians hard at work, late at night

 By Anna Carrera - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MOSINEE (WAOW) -- If it's late at night and you get sick, you can head to the emergency room. But what if your pet isn't feeling well and the vet clinic isn't open?

"Veeta is sick," said three-year-old Isaac Reemtsma.

Isaac may be young, but even he knows when his puppy isn't feeling well. And his mom, Kendra Reemtsma, said she noticed something was wrong with Veeta when she started having little accidents.

"She started having some issues with diarrhea yesterday," said Kendra, "and I came home today and somebody left her out of the kennel so I had all kinds of mess to clean up all over the house."

Veeta's regular veterinarian already closed their doors for the night, so Kendra turns to the Animal Emergency Center.

"It's just nice to know there's an alternative when your first action doesn't work out," said Kendra. "And everybody has really been great, very courteous, you know, explaining everything very well. So it's been a good experience so far."

Even though she's usually a playful puppy, Veeta looks nervous on the examining table. But the experienced vet techs know exactly where to look and what questions to ask.

"We're good at figuring out what they're coming in for," said Dr. Carlo Riolo, a Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine, "focusing on what is most immediate and what is most emergent in treating that animal."

Doctor Riolo and his crew work together to shoulder the load. While other area vets are sleeping, he and his crew are wide awake tending to injured animals.

"I'm proud to be a service for our referring community," said Dr. Riolo. "To have all the area veterinarians trust us with their clientele, it feels very good to have that kind of respect from the referring population. And I think it also gives them a break."

The doctors need to be prepared for anything -- and they are. With sterilized equipment packaged and ready, they do many things you might expect at a human hospital. Vets utilize x-rays and ultrasounds, anesthesia and all kinds of medications. And they do whatever it takes to get pets back in tip-top shape.

"We'll get anything and everything sent in from the referring community and we're happy to accept," said Dr. Riolo.

Ashley and Jodan Thao don't have any kids of their own, but they said two-year-old Leejmuam is part of the family. So when she started limping around, they knew they had to do something to try to help her feel better.

"Hopefully she just bumped her leg or something and hopefully she'll feel better soon so she can start running again," said Jodan.

Dr. Riolo doesn't speak dog, but by paying attention to Leejmuam's body language, he figures out her right shoulder has been causing her grief. He takes what he gets from the exam and pays a visit to her owners. Dr. Riolo said even though the animals can't talk, their humans can.

"A lot of people really do know what is normal for their animal and they tell us what's wrong," said Dr. Riolo.

It's Leejmuam's first time at the clinic and Dr. Riolo said she may have Lyme Disease, one of the most common issues with animals around here because of the abundance of ticks in wooded areas. Even though it makes her sad to watch her dog limp around, Ashley said the doctors put her at ease.

"We really like bringing her here," said Ashley. "We feel really comfortable since we know the vets and the techs and stuff and feel really secure having her here just knowing the quality of work they do behind the scenes."

Dr. Riolo said he likes being able to make a difference in the lives of the animals and their owners. And even though he loves taking care of all kids of pets, he counts his blessings on the nights when they're not so busy.

"A bad day for us is a good day for animals and we're okay with that," said Dr. Riolo. "We take the good with the bad."

Veeta and Leejmuam are doing better now and have returned home with their owners. Dr. Riolo encourages pet parents to pay attention to their animals and bring them in at the earliest sign there may be something wrong.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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