Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a Fear Free Certified veterinarian and Board Certified Surgeon who travels to Brodheadsville Veterinary Clinic to perform specialized veterinary surgeries.

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Brodheadsville Veterinarian

Fear Free Certified Professional

Why did you become a veterinarian?

Very simply, to help animals. I’ve wanted to be a vet since the age of 5. Little did I know then what I know now: being a vet is just as much about helping people. My favorite TV shows were Flipper, Daktari, Skippy the kangaroo and Lassie. Becoming a vet (and later a surgeon), has been a dream come true, and I am as passionate about my profession today as I was when I first started. When I was a kid, I read countless books about all kinds of animals, including ants, bees and German shepherds.

Do you have pets?

I only adopt rescued cats, although when I was a surgery intern, I also rescued Valentine, a bunny, after fixing her broken leg. My cats are named after delicacies: Caramel, Nougat, Praline.

What training did you go through to become a surgeon?

After 8 years in vet school, I completed a 1-year internship at the University of Georgia, followed by a 3-year surgery residency at Surgical Referral Service in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. So that’s 12 years of schooling, and I consider myself a life-long learner, so I’m not quite done! After fulfilling multiple requirements, including passing a difficult exam, I became a board-certified surgeon.

What’s your philosophy?

I don’t use fancy words to try to impress you. I prefer to use simple words so you understand me. I don’t sugarcoat things. We will talk about possible complications, not to scare you, but to educate you. The rules are strict postop, but that’s how we achieve good results. I don’t just treat a knee, or a hip, or a body part. I like to treat the entire pet, so I will also make recommendations for physical therapy, supplements, special food, and even doggy or kitty psychology, as needed. So I see myself as a “holistic” surgeon. 

What is your most common surgery?

By far, my most common surgery is the TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy), a surgery to address a torn ACL. I’ve performed thousands of them, in dogs from less than 5 pounds to more than 250 pounds! The results have been very impressive. I am actually certified to perform TPLOs – not everybody is. I am also certified (and an instructor) for the TTA Rapid (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement), also to treat a torn ACL.

What other types of surgeries do you perform?

I enjoy all aspects of soft tissue, orthopedic, cancer, reconstructive, and neuro-surgery. I also have a strong interest in physical therapy, open wound management, and emergency cases. I enjoy helping with the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity, as well as pain management and arthritis management.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

I love writing. I’m a blogger, columnist, award-winning writer and book author. I write a blog, which pet lovers can subscribe to on my website. I’ve written hundreds of articles in all kinds of magazines over the years: human medicine, science, general interest, and of course veterinary medicine.

What are some of the nicest compliments you’ve received from pet owners?

“I wish my physician would treat me as well as you treated my dog.”

“You would never know she had surgery.”

“My 10-year-old acts like a puppy again.”

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