A bustling little office, Avon Veterinary Clinic is quiet but busy. A patient in the form of a droopy bloodhound puppy is being held behind the counter by assistants while another patient checks out. Dr. Brian Mehringer is busy with patients in exam rooms while his wife Lorie works as his operations assistant, doing everything from managerial duties and running errands to stringing up Christmas lights.
The two met in high school and have been married for 21 years. They live in Avon and have two kids, Riley, 15, and Devin, 17. A graduate of Indiana University, Brian went on to earn his DVM from Purdue University and has been in practice since 2002, but being a veterinarian wasn’t always in his sights.
His original plan was to become a medical doctor. A professor he had in college change his mind and, in turn, changed his life.
One of Brian’s professors in college was one of only four people in the world who studied chimpanzees in the wild at the time. He would go to Uganda to study them and invited Brian along. While Brian turned down the invitation, the question piqued his interest in primatology, a sub-field of anthropology. Anthropology happened to be Brian’s minor. After an externship working at the Indianapolis Zoo for six weeks, Brian quickly learned that zoo vets actually have one of the lowest paying jobs available, and one of the hardest jobs to secure. He had to consider other options.
While he interviewed at multiple places around Indianapolis and was offered a job at three locations, Brian had his eye on eventually owning a practice. He purchased Avon Veterinary Clinic in 2008, and two years later purchased Decatur Veterinary Clinic. He also owns All American Grooming in Avon.
“We are a full-service clinic,” Brian says. “We do surgery, medicine, and basically everything you need on a daily basis for your pet. We consult on medical cases, medical diagnoses, most surgeries, a little oncology, and radiology.”
While the clinic doesn’t do most emergencies, they can refer pet owners to other locations for situations that require immediate attention.
Brian is excited about the new technological additions to his office, one of which is a companion therapy laser. While lasers cut and make incisions, this laser is a non-cutting, therapeutic laser. It’s used to treat inflammation for conditions such as arthritic joints and inflamed ears. Light penetrates into the joint or tissue, and speeds up the healing process without making an incision. Whether an animal has been arthritic for years or is newly diagnosed, most patients face years of medications or even surgery to help. The therapeutic laser reduces inflammation and creates a more conducive environment for healing.
“(Therapy laser treatment) is a very good option,” Brian says. “It increases the length and the quality of life for the patient. It goes a long way in improving some of these cases. They’re so much easier to treat.”
The clinic also has a brand-new ultrasound machine. Typically, Brian’s traveling radiologist will see patients, do ultrasounds, and then read them. While Brian is not a radiologist, he is committed to getting better at using his new equipment, which is equivalent to what his radiologist normally uses.
Another new technology Brian has been using is SediVue, which is akin to facial recognition technology but for cells. A machine takes a picture of cells from a urine sample, for example, and recognizes what types of cells they are.
“Two months ago I’d walk into a room and say, ‘I suspect this,’” Brian says. “Now I can go in there and confidently say, ‘There are white blood cells in your pet’s urine.’ This makes it easier to diagnose animals.”
The Avon Vet Clinic is a three-doctor practice, but Brian does it all himself.
“I work six days a week and rarely take off,” he says. “In fact, I’d love to find a vet to hire. Those jobs are hard to fill.”
However, Brian doesn’t see it as a burden. It’s his life’s passion and work, and he loves the quality and practicality he can offer as his clinic’s sole doctor and owner. He handles payroll, ordering, and accounting on top of seeing patients, while Lorie steps in for managerial duties, helping to improve the flow of the office. Brian also makes sure he visits his Decatur office once per week.
“It’s simple really,” Brian says. “I like to see a patient and know I can help improve the patient’s life, and their family’s life.”
Brian’s office, which serves three of the four canine departments in Hendricks County, is currently being remodeled and will be complete within the year.
Brian’s mantra is practicality. While he knows he won’t be the most expensive vet in town, he’s extremely practical in diagnosing, and will always give clients estimates and offer as many options for treatment as he can.
“I’m as practical of a practitioner as you’ll get,” Brian says. “Overall, I love it when clients come back and they tell me their animals are improving. That’s the best part. And the puppies and kittens are great too.”
Avon Veterinary Clinic is located at 7253 East U.S. Highway 36 in Avon. For more information, give them a call at 317-272-8706 or visit them online at animalcaregroupllc.com.