AXIS Pharmacy Northwest is proud to announce that Dr. Joan Emery of Woodhaven Veterinary Clinic has been named the “Vet of the Month” for July 2020.
This month’s recipient was nominated by one of her clients, Nancy Cohen, who shared these kind words about her:
“Best vet I’ve ever had! ~ Dr. Joan Emery is a wonderful, compassionate vet. I have two dogs and two cats. One of my dogs has IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease). She has had two back surgeries over the years, which have helped keep her going for 7 years since the first disk rupture at age 7. Her mobility is now severely limited, with her back end not functioning much at all. She has also recently started showing clear signs of dementia. Dr. Emery has helped us so much – we worked hard to come up with a medication plan that keeps Polly pain free and calmer. She really listens to me, and we make decisions together. Polly is a happy little dog, who loves her wheelchair runs at the park, rides in the car, playing with her sister, and most of all, her Mom. Without Dr. Emery’s thoughtful and capable help, I don’t think Polly would still be with us. I’m so grateful.”
Dr. Emery took some time to tell us a little bit more about her and her team at Woodhaven Veterinary Clinic and we’d like to share that with you now.
Tell us a little bit about Woodhaven Veterinary Clinic
Woodhaven Veterinary Clinic has been a fixture in the Edmonds, WA community for over 50 years. Led today by Dr. Ann Brudvik, we are proud to still be a mainstay in our community. Dr. Brudvik purchased WVC in 1992 and built a loyal client base in an outdated, well-loved building. In 2012, Dr. Brudvik achieved a dream by rebuilding Woodhaven Veterinary Clinic into the beautiful, functional space it is today. Woodhaven Veterinary Clinic strives to provide the most current health care in a warm, friendly environment. We also focus on education to enable you to understand your pet’s health and to help you make decisions. Our goal is to help keep your furry friends healthy and a part of your family as long as possible.
What type of animals do you help the most?
Exclusively cats and dogs.
What makes your veterinary clinic special/unique?
We strive to enhance the family and pet bond. Caring for a beloved pet is more than just shots and medicine. It’s about creating relationships with the pet owners and their families. Each family is different in their pet care and pets’ needs. We want every owner to understand what is going on with their pet and what are the therapeutic options. The decision making is based on the goals of the family as well as what’s feasible for each family.
When was the moment that you decided that you wanted to become a veterinarian?
I never experienced the “aha” moment that occurs in books. I enjoyed math and science as a student and always felt compassion for all animals. It sort of fell together: Science + animals = veterinary medicine. And I enjoy this career so much! The added bonus for me is client education. I really enjoy being able to extend a pet’s quality of life and longevity by sharing with their owners medical and lifestyle management.
What has been your most rewarding moment/experience as a veterinarian, thus far?
Just ONE? I can only say: Collaboration. When a sick pet is evaluated, then our team provides medical or surgical care which culminates in improved health, and the client understands what is going on and why, and then the pet leaves in a better place and clients are feeling good and there are thanks and “high-fives” from each part of our crew (client services, technicians, assistants, and administrators as well as clients). The outcome of every pet interaction requires a group effort. I trust every member of my team to communicate together to provide the best care for each pet.
For you, what is the most difficult or challenging aspect of being a veterinarian?
The most challenging aspect of being a general practice veterinarian is accepting that I cannot fix them all. Each pets’ life story has a beginning, middle, and end – regardless of how much I intervene. So many times I want their story to continue for many more years. My heart hurts when a family or owner says their final goodbye. But I am also thankful that I can provide a loving and safe option of passing.
In what ways has veterinary medicine changed over the last 5-10 years?
So many amazing diagnostics, medicines, and treatments have become accessible over the past 5-10 years. Ultrasound to visualize internal organs, specialized blood testing for specific diseases, medical treatments with few side effects for common ailments (arthritis, allergies, heart disease, GI issues, and more), cancer therapies, surgical techniques, flea control and more!!!! The ability to COMPOUND oral (or transdermal) medication to treat the most finicky of creatures. Science and practice continue to provide so many options for happy pet health care.
What is your most radical prediction for the future of veterinary medicine?
General public awareness about the emotion and stress of our industry. Veterinarians have one of the highest suicide rates of professional careers. I am extremely lucky to live in a community that knows the value of small animal veterinarians. Unfortunately, many of my colleagues across the country are not as fortunate. They can be accused of “just being in it for the money” and “not having any compassion for the animal, why do you charge so much”. With the expansion of social media, the negative abuse of veterinarians when an outcome is not what the client expected can be devastating. My hope (and prediction) is for pet owners to be aware that veterinarians are human too. We have feelings and lose sleep worrying about our patients. We feel horrible if a client is upset – regardless of the reason. We are caregivers – to pets AND people.
What’s something that consistently surprises pet owners most about dogs or cats?
That male animals have nipples. That fleas can be present year-round in the PNW. That cats
have 30 teeth and dog have 42 teeth and it’s okay if we need to extract a few due to severe
periodontal disease – they will still be able to eat perfectly well. That “Fluffy” behaves
somewhat better when away from their owner.
Which charities are you most passionate about?
Pasado’s Safe Haven, Old Dog Haven, PAWs, and Perfect Pals are excellent organizations that advocate for so many small animals. Even our city shelters deserve thanks and compassion for the spectrum of animals they accept and do their best to re-home.
Outside of taking care of animals, what are your hobbies/interests?
I listen to True Crime Podcasts when walking my dog or gardening. I enjoy exploring Edmonds
beaches with my family, as well as hiking, biking, and camping. I enjoy cooking and baking
despite the critiques of my kids.
Congratulations again to Dr. Joan Emery and Woodhaven Veterinary Clinic on being selected
as the AXIS Pharmacy Northwest “Vet of the Month”! We applaud and commend you for the
extra special care that you provide to the pets in our community and wish you all the very best.
The Woodhaven Team and Griffin
Woodhaven Veterinary Clinic is located at:
23204 Edmonds Way, Edmonds, WA 98026
They can be reached by phone at 206-546-5164 or via email at [email protected]
Do you have a stellar vet that you’d like to nominate for our “Vet of the Month”?
If so, we’d love to hear from you! Email Dave Doane at [email protected] with your nomination and share a bit about why you think they are a deserving candidate. Who knows? They could be next month’s recipient!