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Companion Animal Pets Have New Resource at UF’s Veterinary Medical Center

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A growing number of companion farm animals — including llamas, sheep, potbellied pigs, alpacas and goats — are being kept as pets and seen as clients at the University of Florida’s Veterinary Medical Center, which has hired a new faculty member specifically to beef up services to these animals and their owners.
Ellen Wiedner, D.V.M., has always had a soft spot for these animals, and has worked with them in private practice for almost a decade. Recently, she joined the UFVMC faculty as a clinical assistant professor to begin building a more comprehensive program to provide care and treatment for them.

“I’m looking forward to this,” said Wiedner, who will be coming to UF one week per month initially and hopes to expand the service as her caseload grows. “UF has always welcomed these animals into our clinic and we’re excited to reach out to the community in new ways.”

She said she hopes to start educational programs focusing on topics such as nutritional and medical care and adds that the owners of companion farm animals will hopefully benefit from UF’s growing outreach.

”We will do farm calls for these patients when it’s appropriate, and they are also invited to be seen in the UF large animal hospital,” Wiedner said. “The bottom line is that our overall focus is going to be high-quality care for these animals, no matter what.”

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Wiedner completed an internship at Cornell University in Ambulatory and Production Medicine and a residency in large animal internal medicine at Purdue University. She is board-certified in large animal internal medicine and serves as a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network, an online information service for veterinarians. 

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