New vet speaks to Brundidge Rotary

Published 3:00 am Thursday, November 6, 2014

Snakes get sick. So do turtles and birds and rabbits and, when they do, the doctor is in the house.
Dr. Christine Simmer entertained the Brundidge Rotarians Wednesday with stories about unusual patients she had treated when she worked in a veterinarian clinic in Ozark and now in her own clinic in Brundidge.
Simmer purchased Jones Animal Clinic in Brundidge in September but said she “wisely” contracted with Dr. Jack Jones to “stay on at least five years.”
“Dr. Jones now works Monday through Saturday and has one day off a week,” Simmer said, laughing.
Simmer said the name is the same, Jones Animal Clinic, the faces are familiar and the caring remains the same.
“The only changes are that we are open on Thursday and during lunch for the convenience of those who need to come to the clinic during lunch time,” she said. “And, we do offer grooming services.”
Simmer gave the Rotarians a bit of her background. She is from the Birmingham area and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Montevallo and her doctorate of veterinary medicine at Auburn University. She worked at a veterinary clinic in Ozark for five years before taking advantage of the opportunity to own her own practice.
Simmer said she grew up on a farm and her family raised show horses and Black Angus cattle.
“I grew up with large animals and they are part of the practice at Jones Animal Clinic,” she said. “Right now, Dr. Jones handles most of the treatment of large animals but I can do it and probably will do more in time. I did grow up with it.”
The Rotarians took the opportunity to learn more about the medical treatment of animals and had more questions than members in attendance.
They wanted to know about the treatment of wildlife and “exotic” animals such as snakes and turtles.
“We do treat birds and deer and rabbits,” she said. “Some of them come to us from Big Ben’s Wildlife in Enterprise. We treat them and they go back to the wildlife refuge and are rehabilitated and returned to the wild.”
The Rotarians asked if snakes get sick and, if so, how they are “relaxed” so they can be treated.
“Snakes can get thrush in their mouths and we have to gas them so we can treat them,” Simmer said. “Some people have snakes as pets and I have treated a few snakes but no poisonous snakes.”
Simmer said she once had to amputate at gopher turtle’s leg that had been badly mutilated.
“Turtles can hold their breath for a long time so it took a long time to give it enough anesthesia so I could amputate its leg,” she said. “Just recently a dog was kicked in the face by a cow and its whole face was peeled back. We did the surgery and its fine. It’s a good feeling when you can help an animal like that.”
Simmer said she hopes to expand her practice to include an enclosed boarding area and to add the necessary equipment to take the blood pressure of the different animals.
“We always have kittens and dogs dropped off so anyone who would like to adopt a kitten or dog should just stop by the clinic,” she said. “If we don’t have one today, we probably will tomorrow.”

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