For vet, it’s not just about the animals |

For vet, it’s not just about the animals

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

SILT – It wasn’t just a love of animals that prompted Dr. Peter Langegger to open his Divide Creek Animal Hospital in Silt two years ago.It was a combination of things – including a love of science, medicine, surgery and a mentor who played a big role in Langegger’s decision to become a veterinarian.Although Langegger, like a lot of kids, had once wanted to be a vet, he later discarded that idea.”I think a lot of kids want to be a vet at some point, but I left that thought behind in high school,” he said. A man named Steve Warren, who has Steve’s Dog and Cat Repair in Edwards, changed all that.

“I spent some time with him, and that was it,” Langegger said. “That day I thought this was the coolest thing. You have to love animals, but you have to love medicine, surgery and people as well.”Langegger, who grew up in Vail, graduated with a bachelor of agriculture degree from Kansas State University. He went on to graduate in 2002 with a four-year degree from the same university with a doctorate in veterinary medicine.But the program isn’t easy.”If you don’t want it, you’re not going to get it,” Langegger said. “It’s a rigorous, emotional program.” He went back to work with Warren and in 2004, decided to open his own vet clinic on a piece of property he purchased on Divide Creek on County Road 311.

Not that he’s a stranger to the area. His father, Pepi Langegger, has a ranch nearby and is a well-known restaurateur in Vail. His establishments have included The Tyrolean, featuring cuisine from the family’s Austrian roots, but which has since been sold, and the Golden Eagle in Beaver Creek. And while Peter grew up in Vail, he spent a lot of time at his father’s ranch in Silt.

Langegger’s Divide Creek Animal Hospital services cat and dog companion animals and with his own home attached to the hospital – which he shares with his wife, Emily, and their 4-year-old son – he finds himself constantly busy, taking care of clients and emergency calls and is already making plans to upgrade and expand his facility.”With all the emergencies and surgeries, we’re running out of space,” Langegger said. “We want to add a kennel for boarding and add to the hospital.”Langegger’s clinic is unique in that he is one of the only vets between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction who provides laser surgery for his four-legged clients.Laser surgery, while not necessarily a new technology for humans, involves less pain for the animals, less bleeding and swelling. The laser is a device that generates an intense beam of light at a specific wavelength that can mean a reduced risk of infection, more precision when removing unhealthy tissue and a quicker return to normal activities.”I use it for everything,” Langegger said. “Laser surgery is progressing forward, and I think sooner or later it will become a constant veterinary practice.”

Langegger says he currently performs about five to seven surgeries per day, including spays/neuters and removing lumps and tumors. He also performs radiology and oncology care.As Langegger talks, Ginger, an extremely friendly orange and white cat rescued from a residence in the Rulison fire last month, decides she wants to visit and say hello. She’s now become the resident “hospital” cat.Langegger has a host of other pet patients staying at his facility that he checks on day and night. Two certified veterinary technicians help him out with his practice, as does an assistant and a receptionist. He is thinking of adding another veterinarian in the future.And Langegger is not just a doctor – he’s a pet owner who keeps five dogs that range in breed from a Chihuahua to a Great Dane. He also has two cats.Hours at Divide Creek Animal Hospital are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 876-5354.

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