Heather Mitchell, DVM
Years in Practice: 12
Education: Undergrad- South Dakota State University; DVM- Iowa State University
Interests: Dentistry, Behavior, Senior Feline Healthcare, Birds, Reptiles
Employee of the Month- July 2018
Being a veterinarian is a rewarding, fast-paced, challenging and sometimes stressful job. I wouldn’t have it any other way! I am very lucky to be able to work in a clinic in which it hardly seems like work at all! I am also lucky to be the proud pet parent to 3 senior pets. Sometimes my husband says we have a geriatric pet nursing home at our house. One pet is a little old lady cat named Lando; she is 18 years old now and still sprinting around the house avoiding me at all costs when it’s time for her medication. Scooter is almost 13 years old and is often getting into trouble on a regular basis. His philosophy is that rules don’t apply to him and he does whatever he wants! He eats plants, dog food, jumps on the counters, jumps on the bed and sleeps on my husband’s pillows. As a kitten, he climbed all the way up to the top of the Christmas tree, stuck his head out of the branches and gave the most cutest and sweetest “Meeewww.” It was quite adorable until the tree fell down! Our third pet is Dorothy Gale, an 11 year old Labrador Retriever. She is the greatest and sweetest dog, so characteristic of a lab. She recently had knee surgery because she tore her cruciate ligament running into the back yard at rocket speed with 3 feet of snow on the ground, so she could bark at the neighbor dogs. Animal Health Clinic is such a great and progressive place to work. With all my geriatric pets, each one has something that needs to be treated. Lando is taking medication for hyperthyroidism and feline asthma; Scooter has a food allergy and has been difficult to manage his itching. Dorothy has arthritis in both her hips that has previously needed medication to help ease the pain. Thankfully, I have been able to use laser therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) to control her arthritis. She doesn’t even need medication anymore! I never would have known about laser therapy and PRP without the help of Animal Health Clinic!
Being a veterinarian is my day job; at night I put on my mother and wife hat. I am the mother and step-mother to 4 children ages 13 to 6. My husband and I are well-versed in video games, LOL dolls, hatchimals, and monster trucks! My wonderful husband is originally from Kansas so we take yearly family trips to visit relatives down south. My husband works for Dakota Refrigeration as a HVAC technician in the commercial business industry. He recently served as lead technician on a project to establish the first NXT-Cold ammonia-based refrigerant system in a storage freezer in the northern United States. In our free time, my husband and I like to go to movies, music concerts, the shooting range, and travel. I am not a fisherman by any means, but it is one of my husband’s favorite activities whether it be on hard water or soft. Therefore, I am a wife of a fisherman, and have developed an ALMOST liking to the sport!
Volunteering is an important aspect of who I am, also. Volunteering helps my heart become full by helping unwanted pets find loving and forever homes. I sit on the Board of Directors for Diamond in the Ruff Pet Rescue. This position allows me to be active in event planning, fundraising and community education. Diamond in the Ruff Pet Rescue is run 100% by volunteers. We don’t have a building to house our rescued animals, so we rely heavily on the availability of our foster families to take in these pets. Making a difference in the world is something I hope to do. I want to make sure our kids are kind, respectful, smart and self-sustaining, responsible adults. I want to make sure that all pets are loved, have their basic needs cared for, and are happy and comfortable. I just want to make the world a little better than how it was when I started.