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Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital: Family-Focused & Fear-Free Pet Care

Posted by Caitlin Taylor

Aug 31, 2021 8:19:08 AM


Here at FLAVORx for Pets, we love learning about our customers and finding out how passionate they are about helping their patients. The team at Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital wowed us with their dedication to the health and comfort of their patients, and we're excited to share their story! Best known for their family atmosphere, the KMAH team strives to provide both patients and clients with exceptional care. We spoke with Tina Payton, the hospital's Marketing Specialist, who told us all about their amazing team, the benefit of fear-free veterinary care, and how they use the FLAVORx program to help their patients. 


Tell us a little about Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital and how you got started:


Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital was founded in 2011 by owner Dr. Carrie Friedewald, DVM. Specializing in family-focused, fear-free pet care, the thriving practice has expanded from two doctors with eight staff members to four doctors with 30 staff members and currently looking to add a fifth doctor. With a focus on feline and canine health, the doctors and the entire staff are well known for their compassion and knowledge.


From the beginning, Dr. Carrie had always dreamed of having a full-spectrum pet care facility, and in 2018 her dream came true when KMAH grew from a 2,500 sq. ft. clinic to an 11,000 sq. ft. facility. As the overall wellbeing of our patients is essential, the new facility provides day play, training, grooming, and boarding.



(L-R) Dr. Melissa Roberts, Dr. Carrie Friedewald (Owner), Dr. Kate Kent, and Dr. Taryn McDonald


What sets KMAH apart from other veterinary practices?


At Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital, it’s not just about the pet, it’s about the clients too, and both clients and patients are considered family. With a focus on fear-free care, our staff includes a certified Fear Free Professional who is also our in-house cat guru/Licensed Veterinary Technician specializing in cat husbandry.


Besides his public speaking, Jeremy teaches the hospital's clients about the non-medical aspect of feline well-being, i.e., nutrition, enrichment, social structure, and litter boxes. Aside from medical health, educating pet parents on animal behavior is very important; therefore, the entire staff has completed two courses in dog behavior, Body Language and Group Play, whereby they are happy to spread their knowledge with clients.



In-house cat guru - LVT, Jeremy, with Quincey, at the FLAVORx compounding station


Tell us about fear-free care, why you practice it, and how it can help pets:


Veterinary medicine has changed immensely over the years, and Fear Free practices are one of the most significant changes to come about. The basic idea is to reduce the anxiety and stress of the patient while performing a necessary treatment. Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital has several fear-free protocols in place to prevent a pet from being traumatized by fear during treatment.


As a resource-intensive mindset, these protocols require more time from the staff to perform procedures, more overhead for the clinic in extra rewards, and more time built into the schedule to perform proper fear-free appointments. From a business standpoint, it is considered a poor economic choice. But none can deny the benefit in the quality of medicine AND in the lives of pets. Fewer negative experiences at the vet leads to greater compliance which means healthier animals overall.



Dr. Melissa Roberts administers vaccines with vet assistant, Danyell, as patient enjoys sugar-free whipped cream


What makes the KMAH staff special and why do they work well together?


Our selfless staff at Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital are all on the same page with small animal care and share the same high level of compassion for every patient. It takes a particular personality and set of attributes to thrive in a quality veterinary environment, and we are very fortunate to have a team that gels on all levels. The technician team brings an experienced staff with expertise in specific areas, which plays a significant role in streamlining the daily treatment of patients.


The staff demonstrates that they are close and care for one another as friends, rather than mere work acquaintances. Their friendships are beneficial as veterinary medicine demands long hours in high-stress situations close to the same people day in and day out; it’s something akin to being on a naval ship. A happy pet environment starts with a happy staff.



RVT - Meredith, Dr. Taryn McDonald, and Dr. Melissa Roberts teaching newborn pups to latch on to their mama


What are some of the most important and frequently utilized services you offer patients?


Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital is a state-of-the-art facility equipped to perform a full spectrum of medicine, including wellness, surgery, pain management, cancer care through chemo, and in-house echocardiography for cardiac workups. Anxiety and allergies are frequent reasons for visits, followed by pancreatitis, skin conditions, IBD, etc. Being in the South, allergies and the resulting skin conditions are particularly prevalent.    



Dr. Carrie Friedewald performing surgery with veterinary assistants, Matthew and Mary


How have you seen FLAVORx and medication compounding benefit different species of pets?


A frequent source of frustration in the veterinary industry is medication compliance at home. Simply put, an owner will typically stop giving medications properly to their pet if it is too difficult. At Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital, FLAVORx compounds have been a great tool to ensure appropriate medication administration.

ESPECIALLY in cats, FLAVORx compound shines. The ability to compound medications into flavored liquids is extremely helpful in cat medicine, as there are numerous techniques owners can utilize to get their cat to accept the needed dose. With dogs, it’s more of a dosage and size issue. Drug manufacturers provide a limited number of dosage ranges; this is problematic with the vast array of breeds and sizes. For tiny dogs, being able to compound medication in-house means precise dosages and healthier pets.


6-veterinarian-kennesaw-marietta-gaA tiny patient photo op with veterinary assistants Matthew and Meredith


How has FLAVORx helped the veterinarians at your hospital provide care for pets?


Keeping medications at therapeutic levels is key to successful treatment, so when a pet refuses meds, it becomes an uphill battle to gain control of their condition. Not only do the pets continue to suffer, but the owners also become frustrated and usually discontinue meds, prolonging the treatment, and most times, requiring additional costs for trips back to the vet.


FLAVORx compounding provides the ability to accurately control the dosage and increase compliance, in turn, providing multiple options for the medical management of pets. Options that previously wouldn't have been a realistic consideration are very doable in most cases (like the chronic usage of Gabapentin for cats at individualized doses). The bottom line, the ability to administer scheduled medications shortens the pet's suffering, reduces stress for the owners, with successful results for the doctors at Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital.



Happy patient playing Pat-A-Cake with veterinary assistant, Caitlin


All of us at FLAVORx for Pets would like to thank the team at Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital for going above and beyond for their patients and clients. We admire your commitment to providing healthy outcomes for pets in a stress-free environment! 


If you are interested in being featured as our next FLAVORx for Pets Practice of the Month, please send an email to ctaylor@flavorx.com.


Topics: Pets and Pet Health


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