Heartworm disease can have a devastating effect on your pet's health. National Heartworm Awareness Month, observed annually in April, reminds pet owners about the health dangers this preventable d ...View Article
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Dr. Brian Willows graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1979. His 36 year career has been spent almost entirely in mixed animal practice in Gananoque. Raised on a nearby dairy farm, he has had a keen interest in both domestic animals and family pets. He considers himself to be very lucky to have been able to spend his career in Gananoque. He loves this area and feels so blessed to have been able to be a part of the farming community for so long, while also getting to provide quality medicine and care to this area's pets and the people who count them as family, throughout the majority of his career. In the past 7 years his time has been increasingly spent on the small animal side of the practice and on April 15, 2015 he became the sole owner of Thousand Islands Veterinary Services thus dedicating his team strictly to providing top quality family pet health care.
Over the years he has always challenged himself with the latest techniques and procedures of the day and continues to do so now that he can focus entirely on the small animal only side of practice. In recent years he has taken additional courses and training in otology, dermatology, dentistry, surgery, radiology and ultrasonography to name a few. He most recently has completed the course and has been performing the “Tightrope” technique for surgical repair of Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) ruptures, with great success! Dr. Willows values continuing education as a top priority both for himself and all of his staff members. He has had a long and diverse career and his goal has always been to strive to learn more and to be able to provide up to date and quality medicine for his patients.
He and his wife Judy currently reside on the north shore of lower Beverly Lake, near Delta, Ontario with their beagle, Belle, and golden retriever, Karma. They are certain that their cat, Sally Anne considers them to be her slaves and she does a fine job of keeping them in their places. In their free time they enjoy nearly every outdoor activity one can do from the front door of their home. Together they enjoy canoeing, swimming, fishing, hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or simply relaxing on their front porch. They also enjoy a day of golf or downhill skiing with friends. They like their good ole country music! Their favourite pastime though, whether sitting around a campfire or their dining room table is entertaining family and friends! They have worked together in the veterinary field since shortly after they were married in 1976. They have raised two beautiful and talented children, Andrew and Kimberley. Andrew and his wife Valarie have a wonderful little girl named Adele. Brian and Judy have fully embraced their roles as grandparents, taking every opportunity to spend time with little Adele and spoil her like good grandparents should!
Dr. Scott Stevenson is thrilled to rejoin the TIVS team as an owner! Scott is originally from Barrie, Ontario, but fell in love with the Gananoque area while investigating blacklegged ticks and Lyme disease in the Thousand Islands during veterinary school. He carries this passion with him today, regularly speaking to veterinarians and clinic staff across Ontario about expanding tick populations and the increasing threat of tick-borne illnesses to both pets and humans. Scott’s goal is to be the person that all current and new clients of TIVS seek out to answer all questions related to ticks in eastern Ontario!
Scott was first inspired to pursue veterinary medicine when his family dog, Katie, a cocker spaniel, experienced a gall bladder rupture and spent time at the Ontario Veterinary College’s teaching hospital. He was fascinated by how the veterinary team was able to improve Katie’s health while also strengthening the bond his family had with both Katie and the veterinary team.
He has a special interest in emerging technologies, particularly in how new technology can help build a stronger relationship between the veterinary team and the patient’s family. He considers himself incredibly lucky to have spent the past year working with LifeLearn in Guelph, Ontario, training Sofie - the first cognitive computing solution in veterinary medicine, powered by IBM Watson.
Scott lives with his wife, Lisa, their son James and their two cats, Aurora and Raven. In his spare time, Scott enjoys playing golf, and is looking forward to once again competing in provincial amateur championships and local invitational tournaments. He also enjoys backcountry camping and canoeing, hiking, playing hockey and snowboarding.
Judy Willows grew up on the Rideau Canal near Jones Falls. She graduated from the school of Medical Laboratory Technology at Kingston General Hospital/ St. Lawrence College in 1976. She married Dr. Brian Willows that same year and moved to Guelph Ontario where she worked in the Clinical Pathology laboratory, in the chemistry division, at the Ontario Veterinary College until 1979. Upon Dr. Willows’ graduation from OVC in 1979 they were blessed with the opportunity to move back home to join the mixed animal practice ‘Gananoque Veterinary Clinic’ owned by Dr. Bert Wilson. She has worked alongside her husband in the Veterinary field ever since. She played an integral part in setting up the in-house laboratory within this practice. Along with her laboratory responsibilities, she worked as the evening receptionist on Dr. Willows’ nights on duty. Working with the clients in this role became a very rewarding part of her job due to the fact that she loves working with the public and has a never-ending smile that helps to put clients at ease during difficult times.
She and her husband were blessed with two wonderful children, Andrew and Kimberley, who she devoted most of her time raising in the 80’s and 90’s. Being a Mom, to her own children and a “surrogate mom”, as they liked to tease her, to their many friends was truly the greatest experience of her life. Their activity in all types of sports brought many wonderful and fulfilling experiences to her life. Canoe/Kayaking became their main interest with the end result of their son becoming a two time Olympian. Kimberley graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in Physical Activity & Sport with a coaching major.
In 1995 she joined her husband in the opening of Thousand Islands Large Animal veterinary practice. Her main role became the in house laboratory technologist and part time receptionist. In 2002 they expanded this practice to a mixed animal practice and her role as receptionist became full time. She takes great pride in serving her clients to the best of her ability to make them comfortable and welcomed. She has taken part in many conferences learning new and exciting methods to enhance their client’s veterinary experience. This past year, Judy’s focus has been on helping TIVS to have a clinic experience that is as low in stress as possible.
In her spare time she loves entertaining family and friends at their home on Lower Beverley Lake. Their dogs; a golden retriever named Carma, a beagle named Belle and their cat Sally Anne add much joy to their lives. However, the greatest joy is being Gramma to Adele, Andrew and Valerie’s daughter!
Donna Garrah has spent her entire working career to date serving the animal health care world of Gananoque and surrounding area. Donna studied Animal Care Technology at St. Lawrence College prior to returning to Gananoque in 1974 to take a full time job with Dr. Bert Wilson as his receptionist and veterinary assistant. When Dr. Willows arrived nearly 5 years later as a new graduate to work with Dr. Wilson, Donna was already a key employee in the practice. Donna has been one of the mainstays throughout most of Dr. Willows career and it is no secret that she likely knows as much if not more about the business aspect of his practice than he does! Donna is always, in Dr. Willows’ words “pH 7”. She is a very steadfast, reliable employee; never prone to extremes and never anything but very pleasant to work with. She knows her job well and performs it even better. Over the years the mutual respect and admiration Dr. Willows and Donna have for each other as workmates and as friends has grown to the point that if one should ever retire before the other, it will be a sad day for both!
It is no surprise Donna has spent her entire career to date in the veterinary world. In her lifetime she has never been without a horse and several dogs and cats to love and care for. She currently devotes a good chunk of her time and love of animals caring for her 19 year old Clydesdale cross horse “Jess”, her 10 year old Yellow Labrador Retriever “Maddie”, and 2 year old Golden Retriever “Tess” and her cats, a 13 year old domestic shorthair, “Maggie” and 8 year old domestic long hair “Orange Kitty”. She has found new homes for countless orphaned barn cats and strays along the way too.
Donna and her husband Rick reside in Gananoque and raised two wonderful children Mark and Michelle who now also have families and are residing in Gananoque. During the rearing of her children Donna could be found either in a rink supporting her kids love for hockey or along side a canoe/kayak venue cheering them on in a kayak or war canoe race. Now both Donna and Rick continue to share that same family love and devotion with their grandchildren, Abigail and Jacob and Addison!
Tracy graduated from the Veterinary Technology program at St. Lawrence College in 1998 and has worked with Dr. Willows as a Registered Veterinary Technologist at TIVS ever since. Tracy also teaches part-time in the Veterinary Technology and Veterinary Assistant programs at St. Lawrence College in Kingston. At TIVS, Tracy’s special interests are anesthesia, pain control, reproduction and behaviour. Tracy is a member of the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians. Tracy has been a long time employee of Thousand Islands Veterinary Services and she attributes that to ‘feeling like the staff is a big family that works together to provide the best care and veterinary experience to our patients and their families’. Tracy has gone to a veterinary conference each year since graduation and is thankful that Dr. Willows’ supports his Techs in furthering their knowledge and developing new skills. These conferences make sure that the entire team stays current and are constantly learning and developing their skill sets. Tracy loves to learn new things and acquire new skills. Staying up to date on diseases and drugs as well as new treatments and even learning about new complimentary medicine and techniques are all very important to Tracy. She was the driving force behind our acquisition of a Cold Laser Unit (also known as Therapeutic Laser). Customer service and client relations are very important to Tracy. She always wants our clients and their pets to have the best experience at the clinic that they can.
Tracy grew up on a dairy farm and her family had beef cattle and horses as well. Tracy and her husband Shawn live on a hobby farm in Elgin. They have a small flock of sheep, a grumpy goat and an opinionated donkey. Tracy also breeds Border Collies and she jokes that she got the sheep to keep the dogs happy and employed! Tracy lives with her Border Collies: Scarlet, Wink, Freya, Kit, Joy and her rescue girl, Brindle. She is well aware that she is on the verge of becoming a ‘Crazy Dog Lady’! Tracy’s cats Viper, Giles, Bizzaro, Solo & Yoda are perhaps the most spoiled barn cats ever!
Sonia graduated from the Veterinary Assistant Program in 2009 from St. Lawrence College. She did her placement at TIVS and joined the TIVS family as our receptionist once her placement was completed. Sonia is our full-time receptionist and you’ll see her smiling face at the front desk. Sonia loves to spoil the dogs when they come in!
Sonia grew up in the Seeley’s Bay & Gananoque areas. She now lives on Howe Island with her husband Tyler, their two little boys and their 3 fur babies! Sonia has a beautiful black lab named Lucy, and two trouble making dachshunds; Red Hot and Moose. Sonia loves spending time with her family at the cottage in the summer. She also loves to snuggle up with her dogs and a good book!
Karly completed the Veterinary Assistant program at St. Lawrence College in 2014. She joined our team in the summer of 2015 and she has quickly made a place for herself both working at the front desk and helping out behind the scenes. Karly has a yellow lab named Ellie and a 20 year old cat named Claire. Karly has successfully completed 3 levels of puppy classes with Ellie and now they are thoroughly enjoying learning agility and dock diving together as well. Karly has a special interest in dog training and positive reinforcement techniques and she loves to hand out treats to our patients to help to make their visits to the vet clinic as rewarding as possible for them. Karly is exuberant and her love of all animals as well as her genuine caring and concern for their human family has made Karly as asset to our TIVS family.
Stephanie is a Registered Veterinary Technician and she is the newest member of our team. She graduated from the University of Guelph in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science. She then went on to Sheridan College and Completed the Veterinary Technician program in 2015. Stephanie joined our team in October of 2015 and has been learning quickly ever since. Her main areas of interest as a technician are parasitology and anesthesia. Stephanie was born and raised in Niagara Falls on a hobby farm that had horses, goats and chickens. Currently she has 2 cats: Midnight and Shadow and a leopard gecko named Godzilla. Stephanie enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, Donny and their children. Stephanie’s professionalism and her attention to details are helping to make her a valuable member of Team TIVS!