Patients at Santa Clarita Animal Hospital are now receiving more comprehensive care, thanks to a new member of the team: Sarah Marino, DVM.
In early June she became a part of the Newhall area practice, where Dr. Marino found a great opportunity to continue her passion for general veterinary medicine.
“For me, it’s really about getting to see the animal come back throughout the years, developing a relationship with both patients and clients,” Dr. Marino said. “When you see the same person you have the consistency of care. That’s where we get to identify problems earlier, when the tiniest thing is off. It’s a lot easier when you know a case so well you can address all facets of it.”
She was inspired from a young age, when her family brought their dog to a vet and saw the doctor successfully handle the emergency – right in the lobby. Her love of animals and tendency to be a problem solver made veterinary medicine her dream job.
Dr. Marino graduated from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, with honors, in 2008, which was followed by an internship, where she gained additional training in a variety of specialties. Some of her most unusual experiences as a vet have included, so far, drawing blood from a monkey and a dolphin. A lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Marino relocated to Santa Clarita about a year ago, and recently joined Dr. John Burkhartsmeyer and the other professionals at Santa Clarita Animal Hospital.
“I like how well the doctors collaborate with each other on cases,” she said. “It allows for a lot of different ideas. It helps a lot when you’re able to go back and forth, stimulating new ideas and thoughts and new avenues of treatment.”
Dr. Marino sees mostly dogs and cats at the practice. “For me, choosing dogs and cats was really because of the amazing emotional relationship most owners have with their animals, and I wanted to be a part of that,” she explained. “I appreciate both of them so much. I tend to respect cats due to their independent nature. Dogs are happy-go-lucky and they want to just love on you.”
A lot of the patients at Santa Clarita Animal Hospital come in with skin issues, often with symptoms such as rashes and itching. “Though there are a million things that can be done over the counter, we have a lot of different avenues to help animals with, not just medication,” Dr. Marino said. “It breaks my heart to know animals are out there itching and people don’t think they have anywhere to turn.”
Dr. Marino also has a passion to treat animals experiencing pain from arthritis. “Dogs are so stoic and they don’t show it,” she said. “Some people assume they’re just getting old if it’s difficult for them to get up. … Yearly exams are important because we can measure muscle tone to see if they’re losing muscle in their hind legs.”
One of the local vet’s biggest challenges is an aspect shared by her colleagues – their patients can’t talk to them. “I also see it as such a unique and interesting challenge,” she said. “It forces me to use all of my senses and hone in on each individual patient, to sense slight, subtle changes.”
Becoming a veterinarian is a challenging and expensive educational process, so individuals who are interested in the field and stick with it are the ones who are deeply committed to the goal, she said.
“Ultimately, you have to follow your heart,” Dr. Marino advised. “It is a challenging job – we definitely don’t go into it for the money, we go into it for the love.”
Santa Clarita Animal Hospital is located at 24899 Railroad Avenue in Newhall. Contact: 661-425-9911 or visit SantaClaritaAnimalHospital.com.