Posts From The Docs

We will be posting little tidbits of information and anecdotes from the vets here on our website.  Unless it says otherwise, these are generally posted by your friendly neighborhood vet, Dr. Kate Washabaugh.  Check in occasionally or “Like” us on Facebook to stay posted.  Thanks!

Welcome Dr. Karen Vanderloo!

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Karen Vanderloo to A Breed Apart Animal Hospital!!  Dr. Vanderloo will be joining the practice as of December 4th and will be working with us on a part time basis.  She has been in practice in Oregon, WI for the 10 years since graduating with Dr. Kate Washabaugh from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in 2007.  We are excited to bring her energy and high quality medicine into our practice and look forward to the synergy that is sure to come.  Because she is so experienced, we are also looking forward to her jumping right in and getting to know all our great clients.  When we talked about the things she is most looking forward to, she seemed truly excited to develop the meaningful relationships with all of you that Dr. Meyers and I value so much.  Be sure to introduce yourself when you’re next in.  Welcome Dr. Vanderloo!

Did you hug your Vet Tech today? Don’t…

Because she’s probably covered with anal glands or feces or urine or blood. Or sweat from running to help a patient while simultaneously attending to a client and helping a vet and keeping track of all the other invisible things that are going on behind the scenes. She’s probably scraped up and bruised from battling recalcitrant cats and dogs and making sure the vets don’t get injured.  She doesn’t have time for a hug because her brain is busy monitoring all the vitals and reading all the monitors that are keeping your pet alive under anesthesia or reading the organisms on a slide or problem solving why that dang fluid pump keeps alarming.  She’s focused on scaling that awful tartar or recovering that dysphoric patient after surgery or calming a distraught parent in the phone or educating an owner about heart worm. Or fleas. Or ticks. Or puppy training. Or vaccines. Or diarrhea. Or inappropriate urination. Or…

It’s National Vet Tech Week. And we have the absolute best. I count them all as friends as well as employees and I am the first to say I couldn’t do this job without them. 

So don’t hug them. But do thank them. They are the quiet heroes that make it all happen.

Thank you Melissa, Katie, Chris, Julie, and (vet tech in training) Pam.

Help For Animals Effected By The Hurricane

There are terrible things happening in this country right now and plenty of people suffering. We’ve received several calls asking how people can contribute to the efforts in Texas to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Of course, there’s a lot in the news about how to donate to people in need (check out the Red Cross link below), but there are plenty of animals that are suffering, too. If you are interested in helping, please check out the links below. There’s a lot of good people trying to make a difference. And plenty of people and animals that need it.  Thanks to those who have thought to ask and are giving their support.

Help for people:


Help for animals:



Celebrating 20 Years of A Breed Apart Animal Hospital!

On Sunday we celebrated our anniversary! It’s been 20 years of A Breed Apart Animal Hospital as of this month. So everyone dragged their very supportive families up to Devil’s Lake and we celebrated together in the sun. Lots of food, lots of drinks, lots of games and screaming happy children. Most importantly, a floating unicorn! We all got a turn and I can’t think of a better way to honor the amazing women who have made this clinic what it is. I’ve known a lot of very strong, smart women and I love that this particular group has come together to build on each of our strengths, cover for each of our weaknesses and generally made us better than we are alone.

Drs. Kate Peterson and Claudia Meyers began it all 20 years ago and nurtured it as it grew. But we can’t just thank the two great vets who started it all, nor the awesome technicians who keep this place going strong. We really need to thank all of YOU. Our clients who care about their pets so much. Our clients who pass our name along at dinner parties and book clubs and farmers markets. And our clients who have become our friends. We appreciate everything you give us and your support in making this clinic what it is.

We look forward to many more celebrations together! Thanks to everyone for being a part of this great journey!

Welcome Dr. Zimmerman!

Please join us in welcoming our newest team member, Dr. Rheba Zimmerman. Check out Dr. Zimmerman’s bio on our website. We threw her into the frying pan yesterday and she did great. Dr. Meyers and Dr. Washabaugh are always here to provide support as she settles into her new position here, but we expect she will do well all on her own. Welcome Dr. Zimmerman!

Dr. Zimmerman’s DVM degree was awarded from the University of Wisconsin in 2016. Before returning to school to become a veterinarian, she taught in the sciences, including veterinary science. She is a passionate Wisconsin Badger fan, attending as many events as possible with her husband and young son, is a national tournament golfer (formerly the #1 golfer on the UW’s golf team), and is a professional clown!

Celebrating Partnerships


Moms and Dads are great.

This last week Dr. Peterson retired and Dr. Meyers and I became the sole owners of A Breed Apart Animal Hospital. We celebrated Dr. Peterson with lots of fun and lots of treats and we wish her every relaxing moment she can get.

Meanwhile, Dr. Meyers and I are holding down the fort and working hard to find the right addition to our veterinary family. We want to make sure he or she fits into our team, but also that she makes all of YOU, our pet and client family, happy. It’s been challenging behind the scenes and of course, I share that with my supportive family. So today, these lovely flowers arrived at the clinic. Thanks Mom and Dad!

I am happy to celebrate my renewed partnership with Claudia and am excited for all the things we will continue to accomplish together. The people may change a little, but A Breed Apart will always be the same in its philosophy. You are our family, friends, and neighbors and we hope to treat your furry friends as just that.

Celebrating Dr. Kate Peterson!

We had a lovely time celebrating our dear Dr. Kate Peterson last night.  I’ll save all the nice things that were said for another time.  For now I’ll post the pictures as evidence of our excellent retirement bash.  Dr. Peterson won’t be saying an official good bye for 2 more weeks, but it’s never too early for a party!


A Breed Apart Knows How To Do Puppy Up Right!

The A Breed Apart Team all together

The A Breed Apart Animal Hospital Team enjoying the sun in their fancy Puppy Up Tshirts

The A Breed Apart team and their cohorts

The kids and dogs couldn’t resist photobombing

The whole clinic turned out to attend the Puppy Up Madison dog walk for cancer research and we had a blast. It was a beautiful day, the dogs were happy, the kids were crazy, and the adults had fun seeing each other outside the clinic. We donned our fancy team t-shirts, walked our two miles, saw a lot of old friends (furry and not) and then headed to Dr. Kate’s house for some relaxation. That means lots of carbs, and lots of lazing around laughing at the endless energy of the young people and the canines that kept them running.

Next year we hope to see even more of you out there! And to those of you who donated on our behalf, we give you a big thank you. We’ve all been touched by cancer. Anything we can do to advance treatments for humans and furry friends is great.  And this organization does a lot to help.

The A Breed Apart team at Puppy Up Madison

A big thank you to Finn for his unending patience. It’s hard to keep up with Sofie!

An Announcement From Dr. Kate Peterson

We celebrate all of Dr. Peterson’s accomplishments and friendship as she prepares to embark on this next phase of her life.  While we are sad to see her depart from our clinic family, we are happy to see her take the time she deserves.  Please find her letter to all of you below:
Dear friends and clients,
I’m announcing my retirement as of June 1. I thank you for your faith in
me, and it has been my pleasure and privilege to serve you and your
pets. I have and still enjoy each day in veterinary medicine, but many
family commitments make my time too short to do both.
I have no doubt that A Breed Apart will continue to serve you in the
tradition of respect and compassion. I again thank you for allowing me
the honor of being part of the care of our furry friends.
Kate Peterson DVM

The Times Are Changing – Marijuana and Your Pet

There’s been a lot in the news lately about the medical merits of marijuana. Whatever your political views, it appears it’s going to be increasingly accessible, and even legal, in a number of states. So how does this impact the veterinary community and our pets? Well, for one thing, I expect we’ll start seeing a lot more toxicity cases. But, we are also starting to field questions about the medical use of this drug. Marijuana itself is not yet legal in Wisconsin, but different legal products are becoming available and they may be useful in managing some or our pet diseases.

The thing to understand is that CBD products do NOT contain THC, so we can already use them in our pets. Keep in mind, as with all non-FDA products, there is little regulation with these supplements, so be sure to talk to us about good sources if you decide to try one. We know in humans these products can help manage anxiety, help with sleep disorders, help with nausea, and even some types of seizures and pain. What’s potentially great about this group of drugs are the mild side effects. We really struggle with drugs in our dogs and cats as they effect the liver and kidneys as well as cause all kinds of awful side effects like nausea and increased urination. Other than some sedation and managing the “munchies”, it’s not looking like there’s a lot of bad things associated with these CBD products.

On the other hand, there is a down side to this fun little plant. We see A LOT of marijuana toxicity and animals can get really sick when they get too much. While they rarely die from THC toxicity, it can be a pretty expensive problem to manage. Toxicities like this typically take a little detective work on our part. Rarely does a client come in and tell us exactly what their dog ingested. Usually it starts off with the college teenager home for vacation reporting “he ate the pan of brownies”. Hmmm… then why does he seem so dopey instead of hyperanxious? Why won’t he vomit when we give him injections to make that happen? Why is his heart rate so slow, his pupils dilated, and he’s dripping urine? And why is he staring hungrily at my potato chips? With a little more “sensitive” questioning, we can usually pull out the truth – it wasn’t JUST chocolate in those brownies. Please always keep in mind – VETERINARIANS ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO REPORT MARIJUANA INGESTION. And we won’t. We’re just here to help.

So how do we help our doggies get through their bad “high”? Usually it comes down to fluid support and monitoring. Once the drug is on board it can be really difficult to vomit it up (that pesky anti-nausea side effect) and it can take a few days for this drug to work it’s way out. That means a lengthy hospital stay, but when they leave with their half eaten bag of Cheetos, they are usually just fine.

Its an interesting time to be a vet. There’s a lot of “old” drugs that are getting new life, new classes of drugs that are being invented everyday, and experimentation with drugs like marijuana that may offer some relief to our patients. We’ll keep you posted as new information in this field arises.