If you are ever looking for a place that will take care of your four-legged family members, then Vale Park is the top choice of veterinary hospitals in the area. The doctors who work there put their heart into their jobs, each specializing in specific areas so that more needs can be met. One doctor there, Dr. Kimberly Juhlin, is a one-of-a-kind woman who loves her job and her community.
Dr. Juhlin went to the University of Illinois to get her undergraduate degree in Agriculture. In 1990 she became a honor graduate from Veterinary School at Massey University in New Zealand.
"It was a really great school and a great experience," Dr. Juhlin said. "I wanted to work with my head and my hands and I wanted to help people and animals."
In vet school, Dr. Juhlin was interested in critical care. At the school there was an intensive care unit for foals and she was very involved there. It was a pivotal point for her in deciding what her career path would be.
Dr. Juhlin got a job offer in the US in Nevada. She did all of her testing there and maintained a job there as well. What brought her back to Valparaiso was her parents. She was visiting one year in July and her curiosity took her to Calumet Emergency Vet Clinic to see how things worked at an emergency clinic. She was offered a job a month after that and she worked there for two and a half years.
From there, Dr. Juhlin came to Vale Park part-time. She knew Dr. Mary Ann Sheller before coming there and that is actually how she came to work at Vale Park.
"I knew Dr. Sheller and we went out to lunch one day and she offered me a position there," Dr. Juhlin said. "I worked there part-time in 1996. I went full-time in 1997."
A few years later, Dr. Juhlin had a concern surface: how do we alleviate pain in animals? At the time the only pain reliever was Rimadyl, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. And she wanted to do more for animals than just give them a pill. This is when she began to become interested in alternative medicines.
"I became interested in acupuncture. And so I took extensive training at Colorado State and became qualified with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 2000," Dr. Juhlin said. "And that is how my journey started in integrative medicine. We need more tools in our toolbox. Drugs and surgery are great, but I've found that nutrition is very important. Having a species appropriate diet is number one and number two is having a robust immune system. And since 75%-80% of the immune system is in the gut, it only makes sense that it starts with nutrition."
Dr. Juhlin uses acupuncture, therapeutic lasers, nutrition counseling, nutrition supplements, and herbal medicine as remedies for her four-legged clients.
"We've had a lot of success with the laser therapy," Dr. Juhlin said. "I've also studied chiropractic at the Healing Oasis in Wisconsin. That deals with functional neurology. I do things over and above traditional medicine."
Dr. Juhlin's thinks of her clients and herself as a team. She and the rest of the staff at Vale Park are here for them. If the pet is healthy then she wants to keep them healthy. If it's an ailing animal she will work with the pet owners to make the pet better. Treatment plans are devised with different components that are unique to the pet's situation.
"We want to help the body help itself," Dr. Juhlin explained. "That will produce the best outcome. The body is so smart and so capable. If we put the right things into it and give it the raw materials that it needs then it will have the best chance for success."
Each doctor at Vale Park has their own special interests. And this means that more help can go to more animals. Dr. Juhlin and her colleagues are here to take care of the community and its animals.