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Valley vet passionate about emergency care

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/April Clark
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ASPEN A black Labrador retriever named Sadie lies unconscious on a stainless steel examining table.Her back leg is bandaged.A trickle of blood remains on her ebony fur from stitches that needed replacing.The scene is calm, as Dr. Scott Dolginow pulls off his latex gloves.

In his role as a veterinarian, Dolginow sees all types of cases.Hes able to help animals in need of emergency care. But hes also available for pets in everyday medical situations.To a lot of people, when you see a gaping wound, its an emergency, said Dolginow, of the afternoons work on Sadie.From a dog needing new stitches to a cat suffering broken bones in both front legs (Remember Cash from an earlier story?), Dolginow sees a variety of scenarios in his job as a vet. He owns Aspen Animal Hospital and Valley Emergency Pet Care in Basalt one of the only emergency vet facilities in the area.Dolginow recalled a bicycle ride he was on that nearly ended in tragedy when a Labrador puppy jumped out of the bed of a truck. He checked out the patient, then rode his bike as fast as he could to meet the pup and his owner at Aspen Animal Hospital.Ultimately, the puppy was OK.But Dolginow has treated animals that werent so fortunate.Hell never forget one difficult day some years back. A local surgeon was taking a morning run with his dog during rush hour. The dog suddenly took off, right into highway traffic, and was hit by a car.Multiple fractures. Internal bleeding. The dog was in bad shape.The dog didnt make it, dying as Dolginow was prepping for surgery. Thats part of life as a vet there are good days and there are bad days. Dolginow knows there are plenty of bad days when you work in the emergency pet hospital.All part of the job.That was pretty intense, he said. Weve also seen dogs who have fallen off cliffs at the Grottos or up Lincoln Creek that have broken their backs, or that have fallen through the ice.

Urgent care fuels Dolginows passion for veterinary medicine.In the 19 years hes worked in the valley, Dolginow has made it his mission to provide emergency services for animals. Hes always liked emergency work, an area of medicine he finds exciting and immediately gratifying, for the most part.I believe in the need if an animal is sick, it needs care and someone needs to be there, he said. I know how it is when an animal needs emergency care, especially when theyre a part of the family. Ive always been obsessed with making sure theres a vet available. After a recent house fire in Glenwood Springs, Dolginows Valley Emergency Pet Care made that possible.On that February afternoon, Bob and Annie Brooks home was ablaze. Angus and Fiona their two standard collies were trapped inside the home.Firefighters were on the way, but the collies were in real danger.The house was getting ready to blow up like a rocket ship, said Annie Brooks, a Glenwood Springs High School art teacher.Glenwood Springs firefighters, who happened to also be former students of the Brooks at GSHS, rescued the dogs. Annie Brooks said when she later went into the house, she saw how treacherous the situation had become.The charred walls told the story.I saw their glove prints as they were feeling their ways on the walls to find the dogs, Annie Brooks said.Both dogs suffered smoke inhalation. Fiona actually died, but was brought back to life by emergency personnel.The firefighters and police had been trained to use the animal oxygen cones, which theyd only had for two months, Annie Brooks said. She said that it was a real shock when she heard that Fiona had literally died. I heard from (Glenwood Springs Police Chief) Terry Wilson that was the first Code Blue done on an animal.Fiona was later taken to Valley Emergency Pet Care where she stayed the night in the facilitys oxygen tent after the harrowing rescue.After weeks of coughing, Fiona and Angus have slowly made progress in their recovery.



Such critical situations point to the need for Valley Emergency Pet Care.To provide care 24 hours a day, Dolginow has enlisted the services of Dr. Bisque Jackson, an emergency and critical care vet, in the Basalt office. Dolginow said its not so easy to find vets willing to be on call and work all hours of the day.Her level of expertise and experience is a phenomenal thing for us to have in this valley, he said.That piece of mind allows Dolginow to tend to general-need patients at the Aspen Animal Hospital.Like Harvey.The chocolate standard poodle was in the Aspen Business Center office to have a lump removed under local anesthetic.Ill cook you some lamb for dinner, whispered his owner, as Dolginow pulled out his razor to shave the dogs side.Harveys lumpectomy was over within 15 minutes while he was awake proving not all Dolginows work is critical.Hes a good dog, he said, rubbing the kinky-curled hair on the poodles head. Harvey wagged his tail in appreciation. I think well call it good with that one.For now, Dolginows work is done, until the next animal strolls or is carried into his office for care.Emergency or otherwise.Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext. 16601aclark@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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