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Hoodie made himself comfortable very quickly.

Hoodie, seen here asleep next to Sasha, made himself comfortable very quickly.

When Joe Nattle started up his Toyota Highlander all seemed perfect. He left the driveway of his Phoenixville home to meet his wife, Debbie, at his mother-in-law’s house in Royersford.

That’s when a typical drive last September turned very unusual.

“He started to hear what he thought was a cat meowing,” says Debbie. Joe pulled over to the side of the road to call his wife. “But every time he stopped the car, the sound of the cat stopped. He looked inside the hood, under the car, and couldn’t find anything.”

Bewildered, and yet confident that he was not imagining the sound, Joe had no choice but to continue to the house. He would switch on the radio and the mewing would stop. Turn off the radio, and the crying would start again. By the time Joe arrived, Debbie, Debbie’s mother and brother and a group of neighbors had gathered on the sidewalk to meet him.

“When he got there, everybody was looking and we opened the hood and sure enough this little kitten popped its head up, he was right underneath the window washer fluid,” says Debbie. The buff and white tuxedo cat with four white paws had just a smudge of grease on his nose.

“There wasn’t a scratch on him,” says Debbie. “We couldn’t believe it. I scooped him up and we got him some food.”

Debbie and Joe have a young son, Trey, and they already had a 17-year-old Himalayan named Sasha.

The couple had been talking about getting another cat, but this wasn’t the way they thought it would happen.

“You could tell he belonged to someone,” says Debbie. “We called the SPCA, all the vets and we put posters up to see if we could find his owner. We had him scanned for a microchip, anything we could think of, but nobody claimed him.”

By this point the little intruder had made himself at home, following Joe around the house and launching play attacks. “He’s very social and he’s a terror, too,” says Debbie. They brought the kitten to Valley Veterinary to have him examined. “We have been going to Valley Vet for 17 years,” says Debbie. “I just love Dr. Shreiber. He’s taken care of my cats. I trust him with Sasha. He’s always been there. He gets you in when you need an appointment.”

It wasn’t too hard to come up with a name for the wayward kitten, she says. “We named him Hoodie,” says Debbie. “It just seemed to fit.”

It’s official! Valley Veterinary Hospital is celebrating 19 years of caring for animals and sharing our knowledge and experience with their devoted owners.

Our first patient arrived February 27, 1996. Dr. Lindsay Shreiber started Valley Veterinary with the mission of making a positive difference in the lives of his patients and clients. His practice has been to provide veterinary medicine with Care, Commitment and Compassion. Drs. Shreiber, Seelaus, McCartin and Valley Vet’s staff is dedicated to carrying out this mission every day.

“We are thankful and grateful to our clients, patients, staff, and our community for the opportunity to serve them and are looking forward to being able to care for many more veterinary patients as we enter our 20th year,” says Dr. Shreiber. “Not only has it been our privilege to see multiple generations of pets in households, but we are now seeing the ever progressing cycle of grown children becoming adults and forming household themselves and bringing their pets to us!”

We are proud to be the family veterinary practice of choice for our community. In 19 years we have celebrated new arrivals of puppies and kittens, mended broken bones, tended to senior patients, diagnosed both serious illness and common ailments.

Each case is special, because the health and wellbeing of our patients is our mission.

“The best part of having a veterinarian who knows your family … they take it as their personal responsibility to care for my dog and making sure she gets the best life possible,” says Kristin DePolo, Chester County, Pa.

Andi Winnemore, professional pet sitter, says Dr. Shreiber gives a wide range of care options. “He’s informative and he really takes the time to listen and come up with a solution,” she says.
Today we recall our very first case, which illustrates the peculiarities of veterinary medicine and the diagnostic challenges we often face. In January of 1996, three feet of snow covered the ground and snow storms continued weekly into April.

Our first patient was a collie coming in for a skin condition. Carrie, a 6-year-old female collie, stopped dead in her tracks when she entered our lobby. There were no ‘veterinary smells’ or other hints to inform where she was, only her canine intuition: Glass doors and laminate floor… it must be “the Vet!”

Carrie promptly “christened” the lobby with an unexpected potty break. We were officially a veterinary office. Dr. Shreiber was able to reassure Carrie and her owner that she would be well taken care of here. An examination showed her skin condition was chronic, but with fresh, more recent lesions. Despite the wintertime snow, it was determined that she had fleas. The culprit? Her favorite napping spots. The over-wintering fleas, despite the lack of warm temperatures, had thrived in was Carrie’s favorite indoor locations. They had become infested over the summertime, and her dog house which was infiltrated and infested with fleas, flea eggs, and larvae!

Carrie was treated with antibiotics, analgesics and anti- inflammatory medication for her painful skin eruptions, and put on an external anti-flea medication to kill the fleas on her. Dr. Shreiber also developed a plan for environmental flea control for the family, and further educated them about flea and external parasite control for the ongoing future. Sadly, Carrie would be 25 years old now, and passed away many years ago. But she is fondly remembered as the beloved (if a little wary) first patient of Valley Veterinary.

Cold weather rules! (But that’s only if you’re able to put on your own coat). For our animals, we need cold weather RULES – a checklist to keep them safe when the temperatures dip.

Gracie walking outside in her coat.Small animals especially can lose body heat quickly when they are exposed to the elements. Invest in a pet sweater and limit time outdoors. Long-haired breeds can get snow packed in their fur, make sure you use a warm towel to remove the snow.

“Extreme weather affects animals in ways similar to people,” says Dr. Shreiber. “If you need extra protection from the cold, your cats, dogs and horses will, too.”

To start, keep your pets warm, dry and inside when the weather is cold. But try to keep them active, too, even if your daily walks are shorter. Too often, our pets, like their owners are prone to putting on ‘winter weight.’

Unsure if your pet has been affected by the cold? Look for shivering, lethargy, huddling away from the wind, or uncertainty of movement. Bring your pets indoors and monitor the wind chill factor, which can become dangerous quickly and lead to frostbite and hypothermia. When walking your pets, watch for ice, which can be tricky for dogs to navigate and irritate their paw pads. Keep their feet dry, clean and free of salt and ice melt. While long walks in moderate spring and autumn temperatures may be routine, shorter more frequent walks may be better in extreme cold or hot temperatures. Be aware and check under your car in case a cold cat has curled up for warmth from the engine. If you keep water outside for your pets, make sure it isn’t frozen.Gracie getting ready to go outside in the cold.

“Common sense approaches work best when it comes to protecting our animals in cold weather,” says Dr. Shreiber. “Smaller dog breeds require additional protection from wind and cold. We need to take extra care with our dogs and cats regarding ice, salt melt and exposure to the elements.”

Andi, Professional Pet Sitter

Andi Winnemore, professional pet sitter “Dr. Shreiber gives a wide range of care options, he’s informative and he really takes the time to listen and come up with a solution.”

“I connected with animals at a very early age,” says Andi Winnemore, a lifelong resident of the Wayne, PA area. “I always knew I wanted to work with animals and was always taking care of my own pets as well as my friends’ pets.”

After years as a dedicated veterinary assistant, Andi now owns and runs a thriving pet care business. Andi has known Dr. Lindsay Shreiber for 22 years. She first worked with Dr. Shreiber as a veterinary assistant in Radnor and then helped him when he opened his own practice at Valley Veterinary in 1996.

Dr. Shreiber believes it’s important that clients understand his approach to the care of their pet, she says.

When Angel the orange tabby cat was sick, Andi brought her into Valley Veterinary. An exam showed the cause might be inflammatory bowel disease. Angel was given a new diet and medications to ease the discomfort. Andi brought Angel home and soon got busy with work. “When Dr. Shreiber hadn’t heard from me in a few days, he called to follow up and see how Angel was responding,” says Andi. “He takes that personal interest and caring,” says Andi. “I know he extends that same care to all his clients and their pets.”

“The best part of having a veterinarian who knows your family … they take it as their personal responsibility to care for my dog and making sure she gets the best life possible.”

– Kristin DePolo, Chester County, PA

Amber is a nine-year-old hunting Golden Retriever. Different from the American Show Goldens, the hunting Golden is somewhat heartier and savors its time in the outdoors. Dr. Shreiber has cared for Amber since Kristin DePolo first brought her in as a patient at 6 weeks old. “As she has grown, her requirements have changed,” says Kristin. Although she was a fussy eater as a puppy, she has evolved into the well trained (and well fed) family darling. Her favorite snacks include pizza and peanut butter.

“Dr. Shreiber caught on very quickly that this dog was like my child,” says Kristin. “He remembers every detail, not just of my dog’s life, but my family’s life, too.”

The bond between Amber and Kristin is strong. When Kristin was pregnant, Amber would rest her head on Kristin’s stomach and follow her around the house. The family lives on top of Valley Forge Mountain and they often walk the 20 acres of woods that surround their home. More than once, Amber has protected Kristin and her two young sons from coyotes on the property, says Kristin. Exercise and excellent care have kept Amber very healthy up until this August when she had to undergo surgery to repair a torn ACL. Playful and adventurous, Amber romps with the kids and likely tore it while chasing a ball. Although Dr. Shreiber is trained in multiple techniques for knee surgery, he referred Amber to the capable staff of Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital for the best available surgeon and procedure. “It was never a question that Amber, with her lifestyle, needed to return to an extremely high level of activity,” says Dr. Shreiber. “We discussed all options and different types of procedures and decided that Metropolitan could provide the best services for Amber’s surgery.”

Kristin counted on Valley Veterinary for the best advice. “Dr. Shreiber knew even though she was nine, she was still very active and that having surgery would help her maintain her active life,” she says. “That is the best part of having a veterinarian who knows your family.” In the days that followed Amber’s surgery, Kristin and her husband, Jeff, received regular phones calls from the staff at Valley Veterinary Hospital. “They take it as their personal responsibility to care for my dog and making sure she gets the best life possible,” says Kristin. “We love Dr. Shreiber. He jumps through a lot of hoops and has a lot of patience with me. Most importantly, I know he loves my dog, so I will always trust him to do what is best for her and my family.”

HeatherThis is Barbara: our client’s latest foster from The Seeing Eye. Heather is all grown up now and has entered the next phase of her training and is soon to be paired with her partner. Barbara as you can see is a cutie and is just learning to sit still. Valley Veterinary Hospital & Dr. Shreiber are proud to support The Seeing Eye and play a small part in these dogs development!