Get to Know Our Practice, Our Patients, Our Clients and Our Students

See How Our Persistent Pursuit of Excellence Results in Extraordinary Care for Your Pet

Small Animal Primary Care is a general veterinary medical practice operating within the Small Animal Hospital at Purdue University’s Veterinary Hospital.

Our practice serves our patients, clients and students as a real-world working model of excellence in compassionate, progressive, full-service primary veterinary care unsurpassed in Greater Lafayette.

Because we are part of Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, our every procedure and protocol reflects the veterinary profession’s highest standards for quality and conformance with the latest, most innovative, evidence-based best practices — many developed and clinically proven right here on our own campus.

We care deeply about our patients, clients, students and colleagues, and it shows in everything we do. We love that our work helps support and strengthen the human-animal bond as every day, with every patient and client interaction, we work hard to be our best so we can continue to become the best, both personally and professionally.

Our Practice

In many ways, Small Animal Primary Care is similar to ordinary, privately-owned and operated general veterinary practices familiar to most pet owners.

  • Our core primary care service offerings are similar to services offered by many private clinics — and comparably priced.
  • Our emphasis is on preventive care. Like most general practitioners, we encourage regular exams, vaccinations and parasite preventives appropriate for your pet at every life stage.
  • Over time, our veterinarians and staff members get to know you and build close relationships with you and your pet, just as you’d expect to experience at any competent general veterinary practice serving you throughout the life of your small-animal companion. Many of our clients have entrusted us with the care of multiple pets over many years — even decades.

We have always received excellent care for our pets. The staff is friendly and caring and takes a personal interest in not only the animals but their human owners.

Orlo Shoop

Owner of cats Katie and Maisy, Client since 1995

As realistic and as relatable to traditional practices as we strive to make Small Animal Primary Care for the benefit of our students, because of our relationship to Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, we can’t help but offer our clients and patients some critically important advantages:

  • Our connection to Purdue assures you your pet will always receive innovative, leading-edge care based on clinically-tested and currently-taught best practices, and we are always looking forward to what’s next.
  • As educators as well as clinicians, our three board-certified veterinarians bring advanced knowledge, skill and professional leadership not only to mentoring students but to providing your pet with an extraordinary level of primary care.
  • As they near the end of their studies and prepare for the giant leap into full-time professional practice, our students bring additional value, attention, focus and perspective to your pet’s every appointment. Our veterinarians are also closely involved in your pet’s care at every visit, conducting their own examinations to confirm and expand on the students’ findings and recommendations.
  • Should your pet ever need specialized or emergency care, the full resources of Purdue University’s Small Animal Hospital — including a number of world-renowned leaders in their areas of veterinary expertise — are quickly and easily available to you. As a Small Animal Primary Care patient, your pet’s medical records are readily accessible to departments throughout the hospital, making any needed referrals from the primary care practice fast, easy and virtually seamless.
  • Through Small Animal Primary Care, you also have fast, direct access to the hospital’s pharmacy, diagnostic imaging department, clinical pathology laboratory and emergency services.
  • Our practice is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association — a distinction earned by fewer than 15% of veterinary practices in the U.S. and Canada. AAHA accreditation assures you our practice meets stringent standards in all major aspects of veterinary medicine, including patient care, pain management, team training, medical record-keeping and more. 

I like knowing there are top people there. In addition to board-certified primary care doctors, the hospital has doctors in all the major specialties so that if anything comes up in the primary care visit, we can be referred on the spot. I appreciate the convenience, the depth and breadth of expertise and the quality of care.

Margie Berns

Owner of Allie, a cat, Client since 1992

Our Patients

Most of our patients are pet dogs and cats at all life stages. We care for working dogs, service animals and purebred showing, performance and breeding individuals, too.

We also care for just about every exotic species of small-animal companions imaginable, including ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, degus, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, lizards, snakes, birds, fish and more.

If it’s a small animal someone loves, chances are we can take care of it.

Each patient offers our students a hands-on opportunity to advance more confidently toward their future careers as veterinary doctors and nurses. With permission from their owners, patients’ medical cases are often used as teaching examples in college classrooms, advancing the educational mission of our College of Veterinary Medicine as well. 

Because of our direct connection to so many eminently-qualified veterinary specialists affiliated with the hospital, Small Animal Primary Care is especially suited as a convenient, integrated primary-care complement to specialty care for patients with ongoing, chronic health conditions. 

We cannot sing their praises enough! With the common issues boxers have of heart disease and cancer, we felt confident in using Purdue Small Animal Clinic for both primary and specialty care. We wanted our primary veterinarian to be able to consult with specialists for our boxers’ optimal care.

Erin Schultz

Boxer owner, Client since 2008

Our Clients

Our clinic is open to the general public with no referral needed. Clients often discover Small Animal Primary Care after their pets receive specialized or emergency care through our hospital. Many others find out about us from a friend or family member who is happy with our services and recommends us.

Most of the pet owners we serve live in the Greater Lafayette area and along the I-65 corridor. 

About half of our clients are Purdue West Lafayette campus employees and students. They enjoy the convenience of admitting their pets for care on their way to work or to class and picking them up on the way home. Our Purdue-affiliated employees receive a 10% discount off our services.

All our clients and their pets play a vital role in fulfilling the educational mission of the practice and the College of Veterinary Medicine. As a Small Animal Primary Care client, you become part of advancing many individual careers as well as the veterinary profession itself.

We’re part of the education of those students. My husband and I are both educators. We like knowing that by being Small Animal Primary Care clients, we’re part of the education of those students as they get ready to begin their careers in veterinary medicine. Our cats have helped, too, beyond just being patients in the clinic. Miss Kitty got to be a little too heavy, and the diet and exercise plan we did at home helped her lose weight. With our permission to talk about our case, they’re still using that success story in the classrooms to help teach students how to get a cat’s weight down.

Margie Berns

Owner of Allie, a cat, Client since 1992

Our Students

Our students are all making their final steps toward earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Nursing degree. Their work with you and your pets, with support and mentoring from our clinicians and staff, helps prepare them for their giant leap into professional practice.

The Primary Care practice has allowed me to learn routine practices that I will likely do every day at work after graduation. There is no replacement for actual hands-on experience when learning to become a veterinarian, so I was very grateful to have the opportunity to learn from each case I had. The client interaction is extremely helpful as communication is a key part of being a veterinarian. It also gave me the opportunity to see a large volume of cases with varying degrees of intensity. This really helped me to hone my physical exam and diagnostic techniques. The most important lesson I learned is that there is much more to routine care than I initially thought.!

Gina DiPasquale (PU DVM 2021)

Through hard work and perseverance, our fourth-year veterinary and veterinary nursing students have invested considerable time and effort in acquiring knowledge and seeking new possibilities for personal and professional growth. 

As they complete their degrees, our students are eager to apply all they’ve learned in our classrooms in a real-world setting.

The Small Animal Primary Care rotation offers them a rich, supportive environment in which to bring classroom learning alive and receive one-on-one mentoring from our board-certified clinicians. In their contact with clients and the practice team, students polish their communications skills as well.


Primary Care has allowed me to learn how to work in “real life” situations after I graduate. Being able to interact with clients and gain hands-on experience with their pets is one of the most important aspects of working in Primary Care and has given me the opportunity to enhance my communication and nursing skills. Working in Small Animal Primary Care has helped me prepare for the future by introducing me to the inner dynamics of the veterinary team relationship. The most valuable lessons I've learned have been how heavily relied on and valued our veterinary nurses are.

Bayli Grubb (PU BSVN 2021)