New vet enjoys variety when treating animals

Dr. Stacy Melzer with her French bulldog Maple.

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Regional Veterinary Clinic expanded its roster of doctors with the addition of Dr. Stacy Melzer.

Melzer has been a veterinarian for eight years. She says her favorite part of the job is how every day is unique.

“You do everything,” Melzer said. “You see regular appointments, you do surgeries, you do dentals — you do it all and you never know what the day is going to bring.”

She studied at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. At first, Melzer was not sure if she wanted to be a vet.

“I took a few years off, I took actually five years off between undergrad and going back to vet school, just because I did not know for sure what I wanted to do and veterinary medicine kept coming back,” Melzer said.

She initially studied to become a pharmacist, but preferred veterinary medicine and switched.

Growing up on a dairy farm near Searles, Melzer has spent much of her life surrounded by animals.

It was always in the back of Melzer’s mind to be a veterinarian. By 14 she was working for what was Minnesota Valley Veterinarians.

After spending some time in northern Minnesota, Melzer and her husband Bryan, of Hanska, moved back to the area to be close to family.

Currently she spends Mondays in New Ulm performing surgeries and occasional same-day appointments. Most days Melzer is at the River Hills Pet Care Hospital.

Bulldogs are some of her favorite animals to work on due to their physiology.

“I like to see bulldogs because they have their own set of issues just because of their smooshy face, that makes them more challenging,” Melzer said. “I also like sporting dogs or hunting dogs.”

Melzer owns a French bulldog named Maple, a Weimaraner named Scout and a cat named Cricket.

The most difficult animals for Melzer are what she termed “pocket pets,” such as hamsters or gerbils.

So far she just does not have a lot of experience with the animals. Her education touched on them, but not in-depth and she hopes to learn more as she moves forward.

According to Melzer, the most common mistake she sees pet owners make is “consulting with doctor Google,” she said.

It can often delay treatment or even cause more harm. An example would be treating a dog’s pain with Ibuprofen, which is toxic for them.

On top of the harm, the painkiller has to pass through the dog’s system first, delaying treatment further Melzer said.

A good indicator of an animal in pain is simply a change in behavior, Melzer said. Pet owners should also be on the lookout for the water consumption habits of their pets.

“If they are noticing that their animal is drinking a lot more and urinating a lot more, that could be a sign of significant disease,” Melzer said. “Anything from diabetes to kidney disease.”

Aside from her work, Melzer also likes to camp. She is currently looking for a new campsite to set up a camper recently moved from Park Rapids.

Connor Cummiskey can be emailed at ccummiskey@nujournal.com.