Talking shop with Dr. Sean Byrd, DVM, Skyview Animal Clinic

Monday, July 26, 2010
Dr. Sean Byrd of Skyview Animal Clinic poses with a bunny named Vanilla Ice, which the clinic is trying to find a home for. (Kristin Eberts)

Dr. Sean Byrd, DVM, considers himself "your other family doctor." After all, pets are part of the family too. Since joining Skyview Animal Clinic in 2002, his practice has continued to grow. In the last five years, Skyview's patient load has increased from 11,000 to 18,000 clients annually and the staff has grown from five to 18. Earlier this year the clinic was named Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the year.

Q: How did you become interested in caring for animals?

A: I have been interested in animals ever since I was a little boy. It was not uncommon for me to drag home a stray dog or rescue an injured squirrel. Growing up with animals and pets made me realize the importance of animals as a part of our families.

Q: Tell me about your background and education.

A: I graduated from [Cape Girardeau] Central High School and then entered and completed my undergraduate at Murray State University in their pre-veterinary program. I then went on to complete my doctorate of veterinary medicine as a Mizzou tiger.

Q: Tell me about Skyview Animal Clinic. When did it open and how has it changed over the years?

A: Skyview Animal Clinic opened in 1961 by Dr. Edward Snider. It was primarily a large animal facility treating the area's cattle and horses. He was known for his hands-on approach to veterinary medicine and his friendly personality. Through the years we have followed his example when treating our furry family members. Although we do not treat horses and cows anymore, the variety of animals that we deal with has increased and includes dogs, cats, reptiles, ferrets, rabbits, pocket pets, birds, sheep and goats. We also have a wildlife license. Our slogan is "your other family doctor" because we know pets are the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night and they occupy so many of our personal conversations in life.

Q: Because of advances in technology, are you able to do more things now to help animals now than veterinarians of the past?

A: Technology has really improved our quality of care. In-house blood work allows us to achieve a diagnosis in minutes rather than days. Digital radiology can now pinpoint abnormalities that were undetectable before. The use of the Internet allows increased ways to communicate to pet owners, including scheduling visits via e-mail, online ordering of medications and client consultations.

The technology of medicine has changed drastically also. We used to have to give heartworm preventive every day, and now we have the ability to apply a medication that prevents heartworms, intestinal parasites and fleas every month.

Q: Tell me about your work as a member of the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri board. Why is this an important cause to you?

A: The Humane Society of Southeast Missouri is a vital part of our community. Without their work and the support of donations, many stray animals in the area would suffer from exposure, starvation, trauma or worse. Through their efforts they are able to provide assistance and programs to increase the compliance of spaying and neutering the dogs and cats of Cape Girardeau County. This is extremely important for population control.

Q: What do you love most about what you do?

A: I thoroughly enjoy connecting to owners through their pets. Solving the challenges that come with pet ownership together with the owner of that pet is extremely rewarding. We have an amazing staff at Skyview Animal Clinic and it's a joy for me to come to work every day and make the world a better place one fuzzball at a time.

Q: What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

A: In my spare time I enjoy spending time at the lake with family and friends. I enjoy running and have recently got back into biking.

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