Wednesday, July 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Placerville Veterinary Clinic: For the love of animals

DSC_6892e

VETERINARIAN Rick Parsons, here in his exam room at 6610 Mother Lode Dr. in Placerville, enjoys working with animals. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

By
From page SOS18 | December 31, 2012 |

 By the time he was in the fourth grade, Rick Parsons knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

“I loved animals,” said Parsons, DVM, owner of Placerville Veterinary Clinic, located on Mother Lode Drive in Placerville. “I had my first dog, Tiny, and that was it . . . Ninety-five percent of vets decide they want to be veterinarians in elementary school, actually. Very few professions can say that.”

After high school, Dr. Parsons attended UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and then did an internship in medical surgery at Colorado State University. In 1975, he joined Dr. Jon Vilhaure at Placerville Veterinary Clinic, and he’s been there ever since.

“When I came, this was about the only clinic in the area,” said Dr. Parsons. “It was started at this location in the 1950s. Back then, Mother Lode Drive was the main drag through town — the Highway 50 of the ‘50s.”

From its modest beginning, Placerville Veterinary Clinic has grown to a caring staff of 11, including Dr. Parsons and his associate, Melissa Richards. Dr. Vilhaure retired in 2010. Today, the clinic offers pet owners hundreds of different services, including emergency medical care, pain management, dental hygiene, nutrition counseling, vaccines, microchipping, pet boarding and many more. Dr. Parsons also says that veterinary medicine itself has changed a lot during his career.

“Whereas in the past we dealt with a lot of trauma, today I handle a lot more medical care,” said Dr. Parsons. “People are taking better care of their pets and are more preventative oriented. Because of this, pets are living longer, and we’re now seeing conditions like cancer that didn’t exist before. When I graduated from veterinary school, a dog’s average life expectancy was seven. Today, it’s 13.”

Some of the most common reasons pets visit Dr. Parsons are pet allergies and vaccinations. Lethargy, lack of interest in eating, persistent lameness, vomiting and diarrhea are other common signs that it might be time to for pet owners to have pets checked. In all situations, however, Dr. Parsons has learned to trust the owner’s assessment of their pet. “If you feel something is wrong, have your pet checked. We weigh how you feel.”

Like any business in the community, Placerville Veterinary Clinic has felt the effects of recent hard economic times. With less money to go around, people are choosing to have fewer pets per household, and there are times when pets’ care, especially elective procedures like dental work, is delayed.

“Sometimes we’re seeing things that could have been handled much better if they’re been treated earlier,” said Dr. Parsons. “Veterinary care can be difficult because owners have to make decisions that involve putting a dollar value on their pet. We understand that and try to put ourselves in their shoes. We lay everything out there and help them sort through their options as they decide what they can afford.”

When asked what he feels has brought Placerville Veterinary Clinic success over the years, Dr. Parsons is quick to emphasize his Christian upbringing and belief that you should do unto others what you would like done to you. He’s also extremely proud of his profession itself and of his staff, most of whom have been with him for many, many years.

“I have a tremendous staff,” Dr. Parsons said. “They love on these pets while I focus on their medical care. Most of them have been with me for 10 or more years, and that long-term relationship make a difference.”

Ultimately, though, the best marketing is to practice the best medicine. Veterinary care offers vets an incredible variety and will always be in demand because people want to take good care of their pets. Dr. Parsons is proud to have long-standing relationships with many of his clients and feels fortunate to be in a profession he is passionate about and that, he says, is extremely rewarding.

“There’s nothing better than to see the smile of a little boy when his pet is fixed. That’s worth its weight in gold,” said Dr. Parsons. “Except, of course, for when the older man brings in his trusted pet, and you’re able to care for his friend for him. In that situation, the little boy has become the older man. Then it’s worth even more.”

Comments

comments

Jessica Cyphers

.

News

Six file for Dist. 2

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

 
District 2 candidates forum Aug. 14

By News Release | From Page: B1

EID ditch customers get relief

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1

 
Veterans receive wildland fire training

By News Release | From Page: B1

Market data open for local biz

By Ross Branch | From Page: B1

 
Heard over the back fence: Attorney to warn about scams

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Road zone of benefit protester reaches dead end

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Volunteers clean up national forest

By News Release | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

My turn: Special interests at EID

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Russian metastasis

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

The Democratic-Chronicles: Not invented here

By Gene Altshuler | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

DA hogging Main St. parking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
CAO and staff hiring friends

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Altshuler’s hypocrisy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Small Farm compromise

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

EID and Dale Coco

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
.

Sports

Roundup: July 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Dolphins ring up another title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Sharks defeat Loomis Basin in season finale

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Celebrity golf at Tahoe

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Dodgeball: Not the national pastime but …

By Shane Theodore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

At a glance: Comets to meteors

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Taste the best at the State Fair

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Tractor Supply Store recognized

By Uc Cooperative | From Page: B3

 
Amador Fair honors cowboys

By Amador County Fair | From Page: B3

 
Arbor Day book helps to identify trees

By Arbor Day | From Page: B4

Learn about lavender and its many benefits

By Christian Women's Connection | From Page: B4

 
Lee’s Feed appreciates customers

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B5

 
My Time meeting in August

By Senior Day | From Page: B5

Builders’ Exchange honors scholars

By El Dorado Builders' Exchange | From Page: B5

 
En garde at Silver Screen Classic

By Auburn Silver Screen | From Page: B5

.

Essentials

Weather stats 7-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 8-10

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Walter Vali

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Jean Lachelle Taylor

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Arthur J. Funston

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Thursday, July 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, July 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8