Vet celebrates 35 years

By Geoff Lee

March 23, 2017 12:00 AM

CONGRATS DOC! Dr. Doug Weir, of Weir Veterinary Services, celebrated his 35th year membership with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association on March 17 with a cake and visits by 75 clients. Weir's son, Kent, is working with his dad in this third family generation business. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Dr. Doug Weir didn’t have much time to savour the celebration of his 35 year membership with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association.
He held a cake and coffee social at his Weir Veterinary Services clinic the afternoon of March 17 with many visitors and clients aware he runs a 24-hour veterinary hospital.
That meant he spent Monday night in the field, for example, delivering five calves, and getting home at midnight.
Being a veterinary for pets and farm animals is a labour of love for Weir who expects the unexpected.
“We’ve worked with the petting zoo, so we’ve done everything from neutering bears to camels to whatever,” he said.
“We’ve had snakes come in; there’s never a dull moment.”
He remembers dragging behind the back end of a buffalo cow in the pasture when she was not too pleased with him being there.
“But she couldn’t get up and I was trying to pull a calf on her,” said Weir.
The majority of calving problems, though, are brought to the clinic that is equipped to attend to large range cows.
“They’ll come in and we’ll do cesareans and they’ll come in the door and out the door within an hour to an hour and a half with their calf and they do extremely well,” said Weir.
At the clinic, the animals are in a warm and clean environment for all types of surgeries.
“It’s not that it couldn’t be done in the farm, but it’s preferable to do it in the clinic,” said Weir.
Being a veterinarian is just as much a people business as it is fixing pets and farming animals and Weir is adept at both.
“The animal can’t make the decisions,” he said.
“Standing at the back end of cow does get a little old, but visiting with the people and helping them out with their farming or pet decisions is what keeps it enjoyable.”
Weir picked up his knack for working with people and animals from his dad, Glenn who started the clinic in 1952.
“As a young teenager, it wasn’t in the plans, but after high school I decided it was for me,” said Weir
“I did three years of agriculture first and three years of veterinary medicine.”
Weir graduated from Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982 and after a couple of clinic jobs, he and his wife Debbie eventually bought the Lloydminster practice from his dad in 1986.
After Glenn died in 2012, Weir’s son Kent came onboard and will eventually take over as a third generation owner when he retires.
“If my dad was still here, his buttons would be popping on his shirt,” said Weir noting he was extremely proud of Kent’s career choice.
“We are proud to be a family business as well,” said Weir who has two uncles, two cousins, a son and niece that are all veterinarians.
He also has two daughters who work in other fields.
With the clinic providing more than 60 years of veterinary service to the community, Weir said one of the benefits of his job is getting to know an awful lot of people on the pet side and farm animals.
“In the farming community, we’ve spent time on their farms, had lunches with them and really got to know them over an extended period of time,” he said.
“With the pet side, these pets are like children and they are in here annually for many years, so you really do get to know the customers.”
Weir Veterinary also operates a small clinic in Neilberg and has grown to employ 26 people including 10 veterinarians.

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