Country Hills Pet Hospital is proud to introduce our newest doctor of veterinary medicine, Dr. Stephanie Winske! We have asked her a few questions to help get to know her!
1. When did you first know you wanted to be a veterinarian?
· I've always loved animals, but it wasn't until college that becoming a veterinarian entered my mind as a possibility for a future career. In high school, I entertained the idea of being a pharmacist. I worked for a couple years as a pharmacy technician and realized that was not the right job for me. I started spending time at a veterinary clinic in Fitchburg, WI where I fell in love with the profession. The rest is history!
2. From Madison to Eden- how did you come to choose Country Hills Pet Hospital?
· I grew up in a smaller town in Wisconsin. After spending eight years in a large city like Madison, I thought it would be nice to return to a smaller town to begin my career. I am enjoying the Fond du Lac atmosphere, and I appreciate the beauty of the fields and rolling hills in Eden.
3. What do you like most about working for Country Hills Pet Hospital?
· What don't I like about it?! The staff is kind, skilled, and fun to work with, Dr. Thompson is a wonderful mentor and resource, the facility is well-equipped, the clients really care about their pets, and the patients are adorable as always. I could not have found a better job, and that's the honest truth!
4. What is your best moment or favorite memory in veterinary school?
· It's difficult to choose a favorite memory. When I look back at veterinary school, I remember the people I met and became close friends with. We shared a lot of experiences, from studying until 2am before an exam, performing our first surgeries together, and seeing our first patients. The people I met along the way were the most memorable part of veterinary school.
5. Since being a new graduate, is there anything you wished school would've taught or covered more in class?
· During the fourth year of veterinary school, I went through many different two-week rotations in different departments such as primary care, emergency, cardiology, etc. One of the rotations that is not required (but I took anyway) is dermatology. I'm so glad I took that rotation because skin/ear/allergy issues are something that we see every single day in private practice. I think it should definitely be a required rotation for students planning to do small animal medicine.
6. What is the craziest case you've seen either at school or since being at Country Hills Pet Hospital?
· As a fourth year, I was the student for a dog that had a fungal infection in her nasal cavity. Topical therapy was not an option due to severity of the disease, so we went in surgically and manually debrided fungal plaques from the nasal cavity and frontal sinus. It was crazy to see that surgery!
· As a third year veterinary student, I was part of the student group who helped repair a sternal defect in a humane society cat named Maeve. I oversaw anesthesia for the case, so I didn't get to physically see the surgery, but it was very cool to be a part of! Here is the link for the story on Maeve that was published on the UW School of Veterinary Medicine website: https://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/svm-surgeon-students-make-cat-adoptable/
7. What is your favorite part of being a veterinarian?
· I love animals and always have. Getting to spend my day seeing a wide variety of dogs and cats is perfect for me! I also enjoy being someone my clients can trust and go to when they are concerned about their animal. Before veterinary school, I was a regular pet owner, and I know how scary it is when there is something wrong with your pet but you don't know what to do. My hope is that my clients feel comfortable turning to me for help in those situations.
8. What do you least like about being a veterinarian?
· The answer people usually think veterinarians would say is having to euthanize animals. This actually isn't my answer. Euthanasia isn't easy, but it is a precious gift that the veterinary community has to offer. Pets that are at the end of their life or have a debilitating disease with no good treatment are allowed to pass peacefully in the company of their family. What I like least about being a veterinarian is when there is something I can do for a pet to improve his/her quality of life, but the client declines because they don't believe it is necessary. An example would be pain medication for a dog with osteoarthritis, or a dental procedure for an animal with a severely infected mouth. Those situations are frustrating.
9. If your kittens could talk to you, what would they say?
· "I WANT TO BE FED 17 TIMES A DAY".. If they were left to their own devices, they would each be dragging their fat bellies on the floor. I feed them an adequate amount of food so they stay in good body condition. Being overweight is hard on joints and can lead to metabolic diseases like diabetes.
10. What is your favorite breed of dog and cat? Also if you could pick any type of animal to have for a pet, what would you choose?
· I really like Standard Poodles. I had a few Standard Poodle patients during my fourth year of veterinary school, and they were all very sweet and nice to work with. I also love how they carry themselves; as if they are royalty, so poised and proper! In terms of cats, I love long-haired cats.. they are so beautiful and look like tiny lions.
· My favorite wild animal is the cheetah, but I would never want one as a pet!
11. What is one thing you wish all pet parents knew?
· Doing routine preventative medicine is a lot less expensive than having to treat a preventable disease. Along with monetary value, preventative medicine also helps prevent pain and discomfort for your pet. Yearly wellness exams, being up to date on vaccinations, using regular flea/tick and heartworm preventative, and maintaining an ideal weight are all things that can help your pet live a longer, healthier, and happier life.
12. Is there anything else you would like clients to know about you?
· I want what is best for your pet. I will never try to sell you a product/medication/service that is unnecessary. My job is to be an advocate for the animals that I see as patients, and I take that responsibility very seriously.
Thank you Dr. Winske! Welcome to Country Hills Pet Hospital!