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Veterinarian Roberta Hughes, DVM owner of PetWorks Cat Clinic at 537 E. Venice Avenue, Unit E. at the microscope consults with Audrey Lewis receptionist and veterinary assistant.

Establishing her new veterinary clinic on the border of an industrial estate encouraged Roberta Hughes, DVM to embrace the vibe or culture, naming it PetWorks Cat Clinic, located at 537 E. Venice Ave., Unit E.

Providing primary care for cats she expanded the scope to care for small critters. A convenient smaller office enables her to talk to people, often greeting them at the door. Being hands-on and involved encourages interaction with pet owners and call-back checks are done.

From Kansas City she graduated in 1989 from Kansas State University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine DVM, enabling her to treat any animal initially she practiced in small animal veterinary clinics.

For a year she worked at the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert, California, moving to Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia for eight years she cared for all zoo animals, native species, exotics and wildlife.

“In those situations, you cannot just go to a textbook and find out how to treat a greater Zion aquatic salamander,” she emphasized. “It is a unique and interesting role treating zoo animals.”

Moving to Florida, she worked with specialist veterinarians from Sun City Center to Venice and Port Charlotte. With 30 years’ of experience she decided to open her own business.

Taking the best of all her experiences she incorporated them into her philosophy. Realizing often a typical small animal practice tends to towards treating dogs, PetWorks philosophy is to try and give the cats the recognition they deserve. Designing the clinic, she chose an appropriate quiet and small setting.

“We try to think like a cat. What would it like, having a growing catnip bush, a smell which a cat will pick up, making it more relaxed and interactive,” she said. “As a primary care facility, we try to address whatever comes through the door, but where more specialist treatment or equipment is required, patients will go to a specialist facility for that level of care.”

The clinic is equipped with a large X-Ray, a dental and abscesses procedures unit, a laboratory for microscopic work and anesthesia equipment for surgical procedures. Medications are prepared in their pharmacy to go home with the pet.

Another aspect of pet care is assisting small pocket pets, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, snakes and small birds.

It your cat has any issues we want to see it, doing diagnostics to see what is going on and treat it, said Dr. Hughes. Encouraging annual exams, especially for senior cats, nine years and older. House calls may be available for cats in the Nokomis, Venice island and South Venice areas. PetWorks Cat Clinic is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, call 941-882-4580.

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