She fixes beaks, scales and puppy dog tails

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Dr. Leanne Eggert’s plans to become a veterinarian specializing in exotic pets has roots in her childhood. Growing up in Keizer, she had hamsters as pets, but her local animal doctor didn’t quite seem to know what to do with them. “That’s what kind of steered me towards exotic pets,” Eggert said. “They need care too.” She recently bought Creekside Veterinary Clinic from Dr. Jerry Williams, who continues to practice part-time at the clinic. Including Williams and Eggert, there’s eight full and part-time employees, plus Sylvester, the office cat. The clinic continues to see all manner of domestic dogs and cats, but with Eggert expanded the range to include rodents, ferrets, birds, reptiles, snakes and chickens. “We’ve been seeing a lot of chickens lately,” Eggert added. “Kind of from all over the place. I actually think (the urban farming trend) is kinda neat. Hens are quiet.” Eggert attended Keizer School and McNary High School, where teacher Bea Epperson helped nurture the future veterinarian’s love for science and research. Seeking a biochemistry degree at Lewis and Clark College, she found that working in a laboratory probably wasn’t for her. “All the jobs are not-so-kind to animals,” Eggert said. “I was working with rodents in a research setting and determined that wasn’t the direction I wanted to go.” Pivoting towards veterinary science, she attended Oregon State...

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