Small Town Specialist
Dr. Jessie Evoniuk doesn’t profess to be an expert on everything in veterinary medicine.
She even scoffs at describing herself as a jack-of-all-trades.
But geography and availability have evolved Evoniuk and her fellow veterinarians at the State Ave Veterinary Clinic in Dickinson, North Dakota, into small town specialists.
“One of the challenges of a rural practice is wanting to practice high quality medicine, but at the same time help our clients and patients find the assistance they need,” Evoniuk said. “None of us at my practice are specialists but we have to know a lot about everything since there’s not a specialty clinic within 12 hours of us.
“We do what we can for our patients and then send them elsewhere for additional treatment if necessary. They’ve come to expect a certain level of service from us.”
The State Ave Veterinary Clinic is a mixed animal practice. Evoniuk says she primarily sees small animals and exotics and has special interests in the clinic’s dentistry, chemotherapy and ultrasound services.
Even in Dickinson, North Dakota, Evoniuk given chemo treatments to dogs. She stabilized a tegu lizard so it could undergo surgery in Minneapolis. She’s been at the clinic long enough to see dogs and cats through their life cycles.
“I believe we are making a difference and improving the quality of life of the pets who come to see us,” Evoniuk said.
She has supplemented her Iowa State education with countless continuing education courses and her clinic has been active in purchasing new equipment so they could offer additional services. For instance, Evoniuk says her practice is the only one in the area that has a CT.
Evoniuk joined the State Ave Veterinary Clinic two years following her graduation and after working in a mixed animal practice in Rapid City, South Dakota. Dickinson was home to her and her husband, who reside on a nearby ranch with their two boys.
Her family’s ranch has about 200 head of cattle with 100 sheep. And although she may be primarily a small animal veterinarian by day, at night and weekends, Evoniuk does her fair share of treatments around the ranch.
“We probably do more in treating our animals than most ranchers in the area,” she said. “We have an ewe that has a titanium plate in one of its legs. We’ve done blood transfusions on a calf.
“It’s hard not to fix something you know can be fixed.”