Dr. John Miller is a veterinarian at Dog & Cat Clinic, Leavenworth.

Dr. John Miller is a veterinarian at Dog & Cat Clinic, Leavenworth.

1. What motivated you to become a veterinarian and did you realize that you wanted to work with animals since childhood?
I have always been very interested in animals and nature in general.
Growing up on a dairy farm in Leavenworth gave me the opportunity to interact with many different types of animals.
As I grew up and started thinking about a profession, I found veterinary medicine was a good fit for me to put my passion and profession together.

2. How has the fast-paced introduction of high-tech testing devices and a wider range of treatments changed the way animals are diagnosed and treated over the last 20 years?
Technology has certainly changed the way veterinary medicine is practiced in the past 20 years.
As diagnostic tools like digital radiography and ultrasound have become available, animals are being diagnosed and treated more quickly and efficiently than ever before.
All of this means a better quality of care for the patient which is always a good thing.

3. What are some diseases and health problems in dogs and cats that you are seeing more frequently and how can they be prevented? What sort of diet and exercise routine would you recommend for a dog or cat to ensure a long, healthy life?
Pet obesity is one of the most common disease processes that walk through our door. Overweight pets can be more at risk for metabolic, orthopedic, and cardiac disease.
All of this can be prevented by talking with your veterinarian and taking steps to make sure your pet is at a healthy body condition.
This plan is tailored to each individual but can include increased exercise, caloric intake control, and routine veterinary visits.

4. How do you deal with 'difficult' patients who are most likely frightened and inclined to bite? Are cats or dogs easier to treat?
Safety of owners, staff, and pets is of extreme importance in the veterinary profession. It is important to identify a "difficult" patient early on in the process of the appointment.
Most animals will give warning signs to their mood before acting on them.
Most anxious or nervous patients can be handled by simply going slow or taking a minute to let them relax.
It is important to also use tools such as muzzles or sedation if indicated.
The cat's ability to contort their body can make them very difficult to control at times.
I must say I would rather see a fractious dog than a fractious cat.

5. What are some of the most challenging and rewarding parts of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is when it is time to help a client say goodbye to a loved one. Euthanasia is a reality of my job, but it will never be something that isn't challenging for me.
The most rewarding part of being a veterinarian is aiding a client in increasing the quality of life for their pet.
It is always nice to see the smile on a client's face when they have made life happier for their pet.

— Rimsie McConiga