I chose being a veterinarian as a sort of “second career” and have never looked back! I was earning a PhD in molecular cell biology at Washington University School of Medicine, when I adopted two rescued dogs. After becoming more involved with dog rescue, I realized veterinary medicine would be the best career for me. After being accepted into multiple veterinary schools, I chose University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2004. My favorite topics are dermatology and internal medicine, which also happens to be the majority of what I see on a day-to-day basis.
I base my practice on a simple concept: treat people the way I would want to be treated. I take the time to explain diagnostic and treatment options, no matter how complex. My clients appreciate my directness and honesty the most, even when it’s “brutal honesty” sometimes. And, I have learned that laughing a little goes a long way in this job!
My clients know I am a doctor, but I am a real person. (Some of my dogs eat poop, no matter what I try.) I am a pet owner, and I know what it is like to love your pet like any “human” member of your family. Home hospice care, which helps improve the quality of life for geriatric dogs and cats, is a passion of mine. I am a member of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, and serve on the Veterinary Council for Breed Stewardship.
I currently am “mom” to four rescue dogs, ranging from chihuahuas with strong opinions to a blind chow mix. I also foster homeless dogs for a couple area rescue groups, as well as rescue dogs from puppy mills.
I started a blog in order to create an accurate, truthful online resource for pet owners. It’s called VetChick.com, and it contains articles covering a wide variety of pet health topics. It’s ever growing!
I also am certified in veterinary medical acupuncture. This is different from Chinese Medicine. I learned acupuncture from a scientific point of view, communicating with nerves and blood vessels with acupuncture needles. (Here’s the basics, and here’s the science-y stuff).
In 2019, my staff and I became certified in Low Stress Handling. Since we are a non-traditional practice anyway, earning our certification was a logical step, and we incorporate these techniques into every appointment.
I look forward to getting to know new people and their pets! Nothing makes me happier than helping a cat or dog who has been itching, sick, or hurting, and making life better for the whole family.
Karen Louis DVM, MS, cVMA