What are Happy Visits at Oakview Vet?

What are Happy Visits?

At Oakview you may hear us suggest a happy visit for your pet — WHY?! It doesn’t mean your pet is bad or naughty! It is because we recognize FAS (Fear, Anxiety, and Stress) in them through their body language. Here at Oakview Vet, we want to provide the best behavior visit with the least amount of stress possible. Sometimes that means we need to take a step back and reset. That means happy visits!

A happy visit is a specific time set aside with one of our fear free certified staff members. We start slow by having your dog just get on the scale and take a few treats or getting your cat used to his kennel and car rides. We work our way up to entering the exam room, the exam itself, or procedure needed (blood draw or nail trim).

Each visit is tailored to your pet and how they respond to us. During the visit our staff members are continuously watching and assessing their body language and their reactions. We make specific notes in the medical chart to help other staff members understand what your pet like or doesn’t like.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and reset

We use specific desensitizing and counter conditioning techniques to help your pet learn and understand what we are asking of them (for example, tolerate restraint for an exam).

We want to see your pet taking treats and showing signals that they ENJOY being here.

Stay tuned for next weeks blog on what to expect and recommendations for Happy visits!

by Emily Karpinski, CVT

Emily - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI

Emily earned her Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology at Madison Area Technical College and joined us as a CVT in 2004. She shares her home with her husband Jaime, daughters Violet and Abigail, a black lab called Clyde, Chloe the cat, and 3 horses named Nikki, Cody and Poppy.
She has a strong interest in animal behavior. Emily is certified in Fear Free handling and experienced in low stress techniques. She is a member of the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians.

The Fear Free Movement Continues at Oakview Vet

Last year ten members of our staff completed the first level of certification of the Fear Free program developed by Dr. Marty Becker. The goal of the Fear Free program is to provide the best care for our patients by limiting fear, anxiety and stress as much as possible during a veterinary visit.. This year we have decided to continue onto the second level of certification. The second level of certification provides more in-depth education in the areas of patient handling, advanced handling techniques, and in-hospital care. In addition to step by step procedures, the modules feature numerous videos detailing procedures, handling techniques and client communication examples. Each member who is completing the second level certification views the module and completes a quiz at the end. We then meet monthly to discuss what we learned and how to best utilize the information in our daily practice.

LK Fear Free

Our staff feels it is important to continue learning how to recognize fear, anxiety and stress (FAS) in your pets and the best methods to minimize these as much as possible. Our goal at Oakview Veterinary Medical Center is to make your, and your pet’s, visit to our clinic as stress free and enjoyable as possible. This helps us do our jobs better by allowing us to deliver high quality care as we look after the physical and emotional well-being of our patients. We then can practice better medicine because we can get more accurate vital signs and diagnoses, thus providing the best treatment options.

When your pet is relaxed and eating delicious treats during their visit at the clinic it is easier for our veterinarians to complete a thorough physical exam. This is as important during a wellness exam as it is when your pet is sick. Because our patients can’t tell us what is wrong, or where it hurts, we must rely on our pet owner’s observations and the physical exam to tell us where to look or what tests to run. Often during a wellness visit we find new lumps or dental disease that owners were not aware of. If a pet is stressed and it is difficult to complete the exam, then we may not find these important issues.

Cat Cheese Beard
A cheese beard is a sign of a happy vet visit!

We have patients that love coming to our clinic, gladly take treats and allow a comprehensive physical exam. But we also have patients that are nervous, stressed or fearful. One way we can decrease the anxiety associated with a trip to the veterinary clinic is through “happy visits.” Happy visits are just that, a visit to the clinic that is a pleasant experience. This month we will detail what happy visits entail and give some examples of how they may help your pet feel less anxious about a veterinary clinic visit.

For more information about how we currently implement fear free at Oakview, please visit our website.

by Lisa Karnitz, DVM

Dr Lisa Karnitz - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI

Dr. Karnitz graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2004. She has been in practice ever since. She was also the resident veterinarian at the Globe University for two years.
Dr. Karnitz has a special interest in dentistry and internal medicine.
She shares her home with her husband, two children, and a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel named Harry.


Holistic Nutritional Support


Are you overwhelmed with all the information out there? What’s the best food? What kind of supplements should you use? Is my dog getting everything he/she needs?
There are so many options out there and everyone you ask will have their own opinion. I have been supporting Canine nutrition with Whole Food Supplements for 15 years with great results. Standard Process is a Wisconsin company that offers exceptional supplements for your pets. Let’s discuss your dog’s dietary needs.

I’ve seen some amazing results. My own dog, Dally, is a 13 year-old Corgi. On a recent hike I noticed that he was limping and we had to cut our hike short. I added Standard Process Musculoskeletal Support to his diet and saw immediate improvement in his comfort and stamina.

Another patient, Ruby, had a seasonal cough that the owner was unable to get rid of with veterinary care. When we added Standard Process supplements, the cough went away and Ruby is back to running and playing.

We also have excellent results with dogs recovering from surgery with less scarring and quicker return to activity.

Make an appointment to see how Standard Process supplements can support the health and wellness of your pet today.

by Dr Nikki Johnson

dr nikkiDr. Nikki Johnson is a Wisconsin licensed Doctor of Chiropractics. She graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is certified in Animal Chiropractic by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.
She works on small animals at Oakview Vet and does barn calls for large animals. Visit her website: https://drnikkijohnson.com

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