For Dr. Catie Brown, veterinary medicine has been a lifelong pursuit. In fact, she was still a baby when she attended her first classes with her mom, who is also a veterinarian! Some of her favorite childhood days were spent riding in the vet truck to make farm calls. Watching her mom influenced her passion for veterinary medicine.
Dr. Brown earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Oregon State University and completed an internship at DoveLewis, where she learned the ins and outs of emergency and urgent care medicine. For this interview, we caught up with her to learn more about her special interests, the current state of veterinary medicine, and what inspires her about her work!
Meet Dr. Catie Brown
What do you find most inspiring about caring for pets?
CB: I find the animals' resilience really inspiring. A dog or cat can go from feeling really crummy to back to 100% in a few days with the right treatment. They can have surgery and bounce back to their normal energy in less than 24 hours and I really love that. Seeing improvement or impacting a patient’s life positively or improving the bond between a patient and their person.
Do you have any special interests when it comes to veterinary medicine (ex. chronic disease care/management, surgery, senior care, etc)?
CB: I love neurology cases, it’s cool to put together the pieces to localize a lesion. Additionally, I have found dermatology cases really rewarding. Allergies and skin infections can be so uncomfortable and distressing to patients! When they are under control, that animal can almost seem like a new version of themselves.
How do you think your emergency veterinary internship with DoveLewis helped shape your career?
It really helped me to see some of the more common emergencies and have the confidence to address them in a general practice setting. I think it has helped me stay calm in stressful situations and taught me to communicate directly to determine the next steps that are needed for the pet’s care.
This month we’re also blogging about pet summer safety tips. Do you have any tips or tricks for how pet owners can keep their pets healthy and safe during hot weather?
A little precaution can go a long way in hot weather. Consider booties to protect their paw pads on hikes or walks. Always keep your pet hydrated and avoid strenuous activity in the heat of the day.
What’s the most memorable patient or moment during your career in veterinary medicine?
When I was in emergency medicine, there was a young dog that had a strangulated bowel obstruction. The pup had to have a significant amount of small intestine and large intestine resected and was going to deal with GI issues for the remainder of their life. After surgery, that dog was eating readily and you would hardly know less than 24 hours prior they were crashing, in hypovolemic shock. It’s amazing what our animals can overcome!
How do you think vet med has improved in recent years?
I really love to advocate for fear free practice and feel that that has been more or a priority for owners and veterinary clinics in recent years. I think this will help us provide better care and teach important animal handling techniques to our staff and to our owners.
Based on my experience as a newer veterinarian, I think we have made some improvements in regards to mental health awareness. This is a difficult field to be in and it’s really important to feel supported and to be able to collaborate. I know in this regard we have a long way to go as a profession, but I’m happy that we’ve started the conversation and I’m excited to see where it will take us as a profession.
What’s one thing you wish every pet owner knew about their pet’s health or care?
Prevention is so worth it! I promise that when vets discuss prevention—vaccines and flea/tick/heartworm prevention, baseline labs—it’s because we do not want to see your animal go through having the disease, or if a disease is present we want to address it early.
When you’re not at the clinic, what are you up to? Hobbies, organizations, interests, etc?
I am getting married this year, so that’s been taking up a lot of my time this summer. My fiance and I love to get out and hike, backpack and camp when we can find the time. We love to explore with our dog, she’s an avid hiker. I love baking, reading, and crafting. This year I have been getting into gardening and have a small herb garden and some peppers that we have been harvesting throughout the summer.
Veterinary care with heart in Beaverton, Oregon
Come meet Dr. Brown! With her love of animals and passion for problem-solving, she’s an incredible addition to your pet’s care team. Her special interests include neurology, dermatology, and general medicine. Get in touch to schedule your pet’s next appointment.