VetzInsight seeks to educate pet owners in a lighthearted, sometimes poignant manner by taking a sideways look at companion animal issues. Rather than explain what occurs in a disease process and how to treat it - which is what our sister site Veterinary Partner does - our goal is not only to inform on larger issues but to tap into the numerous emotions at play within the human-animal bond. We're here to learn and have fun.
Additionally, VetzInsight seeks to facilitate the notion that communication between veterinarians and pet owners is not only okay, it is essential. To provide the best care for your pet, you and your veterinarian need to listen to and understand what the other is saying.
A cooperative effort from the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), an online community for the veterinary profession, VetzInsight is brought to you by the same folks who offer Veterinary Partner, a trusted source for pet lovers since 2002. VIN is the largest community of veterinarians in the world, and is committed to the well being of companion animals
Tony Johnson, DVM, DACVECC, is a 1996 Washington State University grad and obtained board certification in the shadowy art of emergency medicine and critical care in 2003. He is currently the Minister of Happiness for VIN and is a former clinical assistant professor at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. He has lectured for several international veterinary conferences and is an active blogger and writer. He used to live in a converted one-room schoolhouse in the middle of a cornfield, but has since taken up occupancy in a normal house in a normal neighborhood with very little corn. He has three young kids and a beautiful wife named Gretchen, who is also a veterinary emergency and critical care specialist. His animal family consists of: Cupid – formerly shot with an arrow, now a feline meatloaf; Crispy – formerly set on fire, now rules with a furry feline iron fist; and canine Rocco, missing a leg from a Buick-induced injury. The chickens are Uno, Rosita, and Carlita, and he plans on naming his next chicken Omelet. He has lost count of how many fish they have, and believes it is in the low double digits. In his spare time he enjoys sleeping, eating and breathing with occasional forays into woodworking, cooking, wine, reading and writing (but not arithmetic).
Christy Corp-Minamiji, DVM, is a 1996 graduate of UC Davis. Outside of her work with VIN, she writes (largely equine-related) magazine articles and blogs. Before turning her veterinary attention toward writing, she spent several years working in the livestock biologics industry followed by a decade in large animal ambulatory medicine. Her main professional interests include equine medicine and surgery, food animal emergency medicine, and veterinary-client communications. Christy jointly parents three kids who are begging for a kitten but have yet to answer the question of "who will clean the litter box when you are at Dad's house?" to her satisfaction. In the moments free from article deadlines, cello, soccer, and homework, she enjoys distance running, reading, painting, writing fiction and poetry, and medicinal chocolate.
Teri Ann Oursler
Teri Ann Oursler, DVM, is a 1993 veterinary graduate from Colorado State University. A Wyoming native, she lives in Powell, Wyoming. She doesn't do clinical work any more but works for VIN and doesn’t mind answering medical questions for writers and editors. She shares her abode with her husband of three decades, their youngest son (his older brother lives on his own), two old dogs, and three cats of various ages. She doesn't discuss the five cats she still has living at her old clinic or the parade of dogs she takes care of for friends, but everyone else talks about them behind her back. Teri loves photography and seems to have a camera attached at all times. Teri has at least a gazillion or two photos of sunrises, sunsets, the mountains, and her pets. Sometimes humans saunter into a shot, which she tolerates as long as they don't ruin the view. Teri recently started writing for VetzInsight and providing some humanless, mountainless photos. Teri is also a terrific proofreader, which is really funny since her nickname is Typo Teri!
Phyllis DeGioia, who passes out at the sight of blood (she can't even watch needles pierce skin on TV) and thus could not be a veterinarian, is the editor of VetzInsight and Veterinary Partner. She also uses her highly scientific degree in English from UC Irvine to write for the VIN News Service. Over the years she has written and edited material for numerous pet-related companies and client education material for VIN. Phyllis fields panicky "What do I do?" phone calls from friends with the same practical response: "I think you should go to the vet." She lives with two dogs, a Pomeranian on steroids and a beautiful collie. Her clinic keeps giving her free pets because she brings them in if they even look like they're thinking about puking.
Wendy Smith Wilson
Wendy Smith Wilson, DVM, is a 1998 graduate of the University of Georgia. A proud daughter of "West-By-God Virginia," she endures endless teasing about her accent and one short leg. After 15 years of mixed practice in the rural West Virginia/Kentucky/Ohio tri-state region, she took the plunge and came to work for VIN in 2013. One of those folks who never quite decided what to do in life, she managed to end up with a teaching degree from Marshall University in 1989 (Go Herd!), immediately went to work as a television production technician for the next five years, and then decided to become a veterinarian after ceaseless prodding from her father to go back to school. She and her husband own a “working” farm where they currently are attended by dogs, cats, and horses; they added honeybees as part of their efforts to raise, sell and preserve food with sustainable agricultural practices. Wendy sings with a choir or two as well as the occasional local theatre group, and switches back and forth from flute to percussion in the symphonic band, depending on which section is short-handed at the time.
Michele Gaspar, DVM, DABVP, MA is a board-certified feline specialist who lives in Chicago and never had cats as pets prior to adulthood. She came to appreciate the species and all of its quirks and charms when she met her husband, Dave Elsner. His two cats, Cinnamon and Fleur, were the catalysts for Michele's desire to pursue feline medicine. While Michele now considers herself to be an ailurophile, she also has a weakness for short-legged, long-eared hounds and currently shares her home with four bassets, four cats and, of course, Dave.
VIN News Service commentaries are opinion pieces presenting insights, personal experiences and/or perspectives on topical issues by members of the veterinary community. To submit a commentary for consideration, email firstname.lastname@example.org.