Tales of a Pet Vet

Stories From the Clinic and House Calls

Non-Fiction - Memoir
256 Pages
Reviewed on 04/17/2024
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Author Biography

I have been a small animal veterinarian for 32+ years, 9 of which I ran my own house call practice. I have a blog, www.drdawnthepetvet.com, and enjoy teaching, where I share medical info, pet news, behavioral training, and personal anecdotes, some of which are humorous, and other that discuss the benefits of the human animal bond. Feedback from readers inspired me to write this book. I am a pet parent, a vet, and an animal lover, and I hope readers will enjoy and learn from my insight, while connecting with my stories, and end up loving my patients and clients, as I have come to love them.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

It takes a special type of person to care for pets. Not just owning pets, but treating them for their well-being, caring for their special needs, helping to heal injuries, and putting up with aggression and messes in the line of duty. That’s what a vet does daily. Dr. Dawn Filos shares her experiences as both an in-clinic and house-call vet in her book Tales of a Pet Vet. She tells stories of clients, both the pet and their human owners/parents/caregivers, some of which will have readers chuckling, and others that will make readers want to cry. There’s the story of a pit bull terrier who needed urgent care after consuming $500 worth of marijuana and other dogs and cats who consumed all manner of toxins and foreign objects like tennis balls. No matter how pet-conscious the pet parent is, the unexpected and unwanted can and will happen. Dr. Filos has seen it all.

Dr. Dawn Filos’s memoir, Tales of a Pet Vet: Stories From the Clinic and House Calls, is a heartwarming and endearing collection of stories from the files of a very caring and versatile small animal vet. The stories are shared like a memoir, beginning with a brief introduction that summarizes the doctor’s career, before taking readers back to the beginning of her love for animals and the tragic accident that threatened her beloved childhood pet. The stories lead the reader through her struggles to get into vet school, her studies and training, and her first jobs in vet clinics before she started her own business doing house calls. It’s been a busy and rewarding life, but not one free of unusual and sometimes difficult situations. The author is a gifted storyteller and this collection will certainly entertain and engage readers.

Stephanie Chapman

Dr. Dawn Filos’ Tales of a Pet Vet: Stories From The Clinic and House Calls is a memoir filled with highlights from her thirty years of experience as a veterinarian. She describes why she became a veterinarian after her miniature poodle was struck by a car on the first day of first grade. The author claims there are seven types of pet parents: "The chronicler, who meticulously records every detail of their pet's life; the fashionista, who dresses their pet in the latest trends; the foodie, who prepares gourmet meals for their pet; the helicopter, who hovers over their pet's every move; the well-lived or well-rounded person who provides their pet with a luxurious lifestyle; the social media pets, who have their own social media accounts; and the 'yes, sir, that is my fur baby,' who treats their pet as their child.” Dr. Filos uses the personal tales of various clients while also recommending dos and don’ts for most pet owners. She also goes over the painful subject of a pet's last days and euthanasia.

Dr. Dawn Filos made this book lighthearted and funny. Her section about how people explain their animals' symptoms made me laugh out loud. I could envision the couple who were imitating cats hissing and swatting at each other. I found the organization of the information exceptional. Each chapter involved several sections dividing the topic into manageable pieces that included stories of her experience. Dr. Filos avoids using jargon, which makes it easy to understand the message she is conveying. As a veterinary technician, several of the stories were relatable to my own experiences. Statements like, “We realize she's spayed, but we have decided we want to breed her anyway,” and “He's not in any pain. He just limps." These are memorable moments that make it difficult not to laugh at clients. Tales of a Pet Vet: Stories From The Clinic And House Calls will appeal to companion animal lovers who like humorous, informative books.

Rosie Malezer

Tales of a Pet Vet is a memoir by Dr. Dawn Filos. Detailing how she decided on veterinary science, her fears and encounters of the strange, the sad, and sometimes quite amusing kind, Dawn outlines not only medical problems and emergencies with her patients but also unusual dealings with her more unique (and often anxious) pet parents. Giving medical instructions to help heal a pet, only to find the pet parent has completely ignored every word she had said because "they know better," is commonplace. Intoxicated people bringing in their sick pets and spending the entire consultation listening to them laughing at what amuses them can become more than a little frustrating. Dealing with end-of-life issues for the pet, whether big or small, is one of the most devastating pieces of news to have to tell any pet parent. With many years of experience under her belt, the multitude of reflections on her patients and their human caregivers is a must-read for every pet owner.

As a former RSPCA Vet Tech, I couldn't help but laugh, cry, or scorn the owners of many of the pets mentioned throughout Tales of a Pet Vet. It is always wonderful to enjoy the knowledge and know-how of different veterinarians from around the globe. Until reading Dr. Dawn Filos' accounts - especially those of her house calls - Dr. Harry Cooper's and Dr. Chris Brown's amazing reads had been the only ones on my bookshelves. Whether dealing with larger animals such as horses or livestock, or the tiniest patient of the lizard, rodent, snake, or fish variety, Tales of a Pet Vet is the quintessential guide to all readers with a love of working with or living their everyday lives with these beautiful species on our wonderful planet. The hilarity in so many different stories had me gasping for air. I highly recommend Tales of a Pet Vet to be stocked in the bookshelves of all responsible animal lovers.