For nearly 75 years, local animal owners have trusted the veterinarians at Cedar Grove Veterinary Services to care for their four-legged family members.
The clinic, located at 23 County Road RR in Cedar Grove, started in 1945 as a home-based business by Dr. Clarence Meeusen, who cared for large farm animals.
In 1974, Dr. Meeusen decided to expand, and bought the clinic on County RR to begin caring for companion animals. Shortly after, in 1976, Dr. Ron Hinze came on-board to help with the farm animals. Ever since, the clinic has added doctors as needed, and, in 2005, renovated and added on to the building itself.
Dr. Meeusen retired in 1984 and passed away in 2006, but today, four doctors share ownership of the business, with seven total doctors caring for its patients. One of the owners, Dr. Lindley Reilly, pointed out that the first veterinarian added, Dr. Hinze, is still with the practice, and many of the doctors on staff started their career at Cedar Grove Veterinary Services and never left.
“It’s a rarity to be in one place for that long and still be fired up about it,” Reilly said.
Cedar Grove Veterinary Services provides care for smaller companion animals like dogs and cats. They also provide service out on the farms for food animals including cows and pigs.
“At the clinic, we get to see you and your dog grow up together through the years, from the puppy stage through being there for you when you have to make that tough decision in the end,”
explains Reilly. “And we especially get to know our farmers.” She describes how she knows which sports their kids are in, where they went on vacation, etc. As a food animal veterinarian, she thinks of the farmers as family.
“These are the people we work for and the people we live around.”
As time passes and interests change, CGVS changes with it.
“The whole goal of the clinic is to meet the needs of our community,”
states Reilly. As hobby farming has grown in popularity, the veterinarians learned more about care for goats, sheep, alpacas and llamas.
“I wanted strictly to be a dairy veterinarian, but all these goat people kept calling me, so now I’m a bit of a goat expert,” she grins.
For the larger animals, the veterinarians generally travel to them, though it isn’t unheard of for a goat to come in the clinic for a surgery or x-ray. With the newfound popularity of keeping honeybees for beeswax or honey consumption, Dr. Reilly has also recently sought education on veterinary care for honeybees. So how does one care for a bee?
“Bees get mites,” says Reilly. “They get bacterial diseases.” She says sometimes they can be treated organically through a change in environment or food supply, but can also create a powdery sugar mix of medication that is sprinkled on the top of the hive. The bees consume the mix and are treated that way.
“It’s group medicine,” she explains.
In going with the times, the veterinarians are also becoming well-versed on natural treatments to supplement medications. Dr. Dommer practices acupuncture on small animals. Dr. Getson has become educated on using herbal supplements to mitigate diseases.
“If there’s something that can make them less anxious or support their immune systems,” says Reilly, “we are definitely open to it.”
The staff at Cedar Grove Veterinary Services want to be known as a dependable resource for all animal lovers. They have a 24-hour emergency hotline for both small and food animals.
“Someone will always answer the phone and help you decide what to do,” says Reilly. While CGVS does not handle all animals- for instance, they do not care for injured wild animals- they are always happy to be a resource to point you in the direction of someone else who might be able to help.
The staff is very community-focused. You may have recently seen one of their veterinary trucks in Belgium’s European Christmas parade or at Cedar Grove’s Christmas Village Market. Dr. Baker is active in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Dr. Hinze serves on the Cedar Grove Town Board. Dr. Dommer is on the Veterinarian Examining Board that reviews vet conduct and regulates vet license through the State of Wisconsin. Dr. Lindley coaches a Veterinary Science team for a local FFA chapter.
Being a veterinarian in a rural community comes with its share of interesting experiences. The staff recalled a client who had a pet fox. They have also have had buffalo as patients. Dr. Lindley was once called in to help birth an overdue calf. Upon examination, she found that the calf had already been born.
“Well, where is it?” the farmers exclaimed.
“As a vet, you always want to have all the answers, and that time, I didn’t have one,” laughs Lindley. (It was later discovered that it had been born at the same time as another calf, and the two were thought to be twins.)
Cedar Grove Veterinary services maintains an active Facebook page and can also be found at its newly updated website, www.cgvet.com or by calling 920-668-6212.