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A new kind of vet care in Quincy

Reserved 'Fear Free' parking spots at Western Illinois Vet Clinic in Quincy.

If you or your pet dread going to the veterinarian, you're not alone.

That's why a Quincy vet clinic now offers a "Fear Free" method to help ease some of that anxiety.

A new initiative is now sweeping veterinary medicine.

It's designed to ease stress, fear, and anxiety, and it's now offered right here in the Tri-States.

Dr. Melissa Gundel is a veterinarian at Western Illinois Vet Clinic in Quincy.

"It's a completely different way--sort of a re-imagination--of how to provide veterinary care to our dog and cat patients," Dr. Gundel said.

She says Fear Free Vet Care is the future.

"Whenever I have pets come to see me in the veterinary hospital, I very often find them coming in showing signs of fear," Dr. Gundel explained.

That's why Dr. Gundel is taking a new approach with her patients.

"With our fear free experience, they have a special parking outside and they call us from their vehicle to let us know they've arrived and then we go out to the vehicle and walk them through a separate entry way that avoids the waiting room, those high traffic areas. We pre-warm towels to line our tabletop services. We have a very special cleanser that removes odors from the environment. We have pheromones that are plugged into the outlets in our exam rooms," Dr. Gundel said.

Before the pet is examined, they'll get a relaxing massage.

"Just relax them. There's certain places on the pet that I can touch that right away they're like butter in my hands," said Beth Entrup, who is certified in pet massage therapy.

Entrup turned to pet massage after seeing positive results with her senior dog who has arthritis.

"To know that you're building this bond with the pet and the pet parent," Entrup said.
"Because you remember that experience and your pet remembers that experience," Dr. Gundel said.

Reducing fear in pets can help veterinarians get a more accurate picture of the animal's whole health.

The program was developed by board-certified veterinary behaviorists.

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