VET SHARES KNOWLEDGE
August 24, 2013 10:39 AM
by CHAUNCEY ROSS

Professional courtesy paid off in a patriotic sort of way for an animal doctor in a central Pennsylvania veterinary clinic.

A pet owner quizzed Dr. Erin Brehm, of the Spruce Street Animal Clinic, Huntingdon, about the proper amounts of anesthetic that should be given to dogs of different sizes.

The pet owner was a reservist, who was home on leave from deployment in Afghanistan, and he was more than just a soldier — he was a medic, who operated not only on wounded soldiers but on service dogs that got hurt in combat.

With Brehm’s helpful advice in hand, the soldier returned to Afghanistan and continued to treat service dogs in a more practical way.

This summer, Brehm also took leave from the veterinary clinic, and spent two months on maternity leave.

And when Brehm returned to the animal clinic, she was surprised to find on her desk a United States flag in a display case and a letter of commendation. The soldier had left the gifts for Brehm while she was away, to thank her for her helpful advice.

In a large sense, the trades have created another link between Indiana County and the battlegrounds of the war on terror.

The flag had flown over the soldier’s Army base in Afghanistan, at the field hospital where he operated on soldiers and military animals.

And Dr. Brehm may have been better known in this area as Erin Leach, a 1998 graduate of Marion Center Area High School and the daughter of Garry and Pat Leach, of Marion Center.

Brehm earned her animal science degrees at Penn State University and the Virginia/Maryland College of Veterinarian Medicine at Virginia Tech.

— Chauncey Ross

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