Pets in southeastern Wisconsin have a new clinic where they can get traditional and integrative care in a family environment. Greendale Village Vet has four doctors who treat cats and dogs. Staffed with certified technicians, assistants, managers and customer-service representatives, the clinic is best known for its unique approach to working not just with pets but also with the pet owners.
“The time we take with the people is a level of commitment to our pet owners that is different than anywhere else,” said Dr. Michelle McDonough, clinic owner. “We want to learn about the owners and their pets, and we take more time to do that than other clinics do. Forging partnerships with the owners affects a pet’s care. By working as partners, we can make the best medical decisions together, and we can design the best medical plans to use at home.”
Greendale Village Vet provides service for wellness and prevention; soft-tissue surgery, including spaying and neutering; specialty care for orthopedic conditions; abdominal ultrasound; and dentistry. The clinic also offers integrative therapies such as acupuncture, herbal treatments and laser treatments.
Dr. Michelle McDonough purchased Veterinary Medical Associates from Dr. Eric Munson, who practiced in Greendale for decades before retiring last spring. Buying the practice was the next step in McDonough’s career. “I knew when I was 5 years old that I wanted to be a veterinarian,” she said. “I just loved animals. That love grew into a passion for science and medicine, but I also understood that veterinary medicine is also about caring for people.”
“When Dr. Michelle diagnosed my 18–year-old cat with an aggressive cancer, the news devastated me, said Kerry Condon. “Dr. Michelle was so kind. She gave me a bit of time to cry, and then we talked over what he rest of my kitty’s life was going to look like. I knew she truly cared about us.”
McDonough said the key to a quality of life for elderly pets is having them see their doctor twice a year, because catching problems early means their treatment starts earlier. Senior dogs are those older than 8 and cats older than 12, she explained. “Keep in mind our pets age at a quicker pace than humans do, so we want to look for signs of disease and especially arthritis, which affects many older animals. We can treat arthritis pain with medication, acupuncture or laser therapy, which increases the blood supply to joints and decreases inflammation.”
Healthy younger cats and dogs see their doctor just once a year, said McDonough. “Their physicals are primarily about wellness and prevention,” she said. “We examine the animals to look for signs of problems, of course, but usually we work on preventive care such as vaccinations. The annual physical is also when we prescribe heartworm medicine, and flea and tick preventions and discuss dental care.”
McDonough earned her bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater and her doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Kathy Passinault, who completed her undergraduate studies at Illinois Wesleyan University, earned her veterinary degree from the University of Illinois Veterinary School and has been at the clinic since 1992.
Dr. Ellen Reinke graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine after earning her biology degree from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Kristin BeVirt-Patneaude holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from Carroll University. She earned her veterinary degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, and she has several additional certifications in integrative veterinary medical therapies.