Thursday, January 21, 2021

Marco Island Welcomes New Veterinarian


Dr. Carrie Portu and one of her furry patients.

Dr. Carrie Portu and one of her furry patients.

According to Dr. Carrie Portu, she has always wanted to be a veterinarian.

“I’m a very corny person,” Dr. Portu said. “I’m literally the kid that at three years old said I wanted to be a dog doctor.”

Dr. Portu is the Marco Island Veterinary Hospital’s newest veterinarian. You may recognize the last name. Her husband, Ray Portu, is Marco Island’s premiere beekeeper. He owns the Marco Island Honey Company, which sells fresh honey to locals.

For nearly 20 years, Dr. Portu has practiced veterinary medicine. Prior to moving to the west coast of Florida, she worked for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Miami, Florida, where she examined quarantined animals. For the past five years she’s practiced veterinary medicine in Naples. Now, Dr.

Eight-year-old Maltese, Charlie gets a regular checkup

Dr. Portu checking teacup Yorkie Zsa Zsa’s ears for signs of infection. Zsa Zsa is estimated to be about 12 to 15 years old.

Portu resides on Marco Island with her two children, her husband, and their two dogs.

“The benefit to being on the island is that we get to spend a little more time with our clients and our patients, which is really nice,” Dr. Portu said. “So we try to book half an hour appointments instead of fifteen minute appointments.”

On a typical day at the Marco Island Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Portu will encounter animals needing all kinds of assistance. She mostly handles dogs and cats but occasionally gets a bird or reptile thrown into the mix.

“You cover a lot of subjects,” Dr. Portu said. “You go from routine medicine to a really sick dog, to the behavioral consult. We do surgery too.”

According to Dr. Portu, the

Marco Veterinary Hospital staff member Lynn Pawlowski gingerly helps a whiskered patient.

Marco Veterinary Hospital staff member Lynn Pawlowski gingerly helps a whiskered patient.

Marco Island Veterinary Hospital is now capable of performing ultrasounds. The office recently installed an in house ultrasound unit that should be up and running within the next month or so.

For a lot of dogs (and their owners) going to the vets office can be a stressful experience. In order to combat that doctor’s office anxiety, Dr. Portu has a few words of advice.

“I get people with really nervous dogs,” she explained. “I’ll try and get them to bring the dog over when we’re not going to do anything to it.”

According to Dr. Portu familiarizing your pet with the environment can help put them at ease for future visits. She recommends that pet owners stop by the office, free of charge, to get

Marco Veterinary Hospital staff (from left); Front row: Mayra Ortega, Christina Kuntz, and Rosie Folks. Back row: Katlyn Smith, Dr. Carrie Portu, Lynn Pawlowski, and Dr. Megan Stewart.

Marco Veterinary Hospital staff (from left); Front row: Mayra Ortega, Christina Kuntz, and Rosie Folks. Back row: Katlyn Smith, Dr. Carrie Portu, Lynn Pawlowski, and Dr. Megan Stewart.

their dogs weighed and to say hello to the office staff.

“They don’t even have to call. Just stop by and say ‘hey!’”

Finally, she says that dogs look to their owners for support. Your feelings of anxiety or nervousness can easily translate to your pooch. Sometimes dogs are less anxious and better-behaved when they’re taken to the back for their appointment, without their owners. Of course, all dogs are different. Dr. Portu will work on an individual level to figure out what is best for your pup.

Going to the vet’s office should be an easy experience, and it can be with Dr. Portu.

If you would like more information about the Marco Veterinary Hospital, 1842 San Marco Road, Marco Island, visit: www.marcovethospital.com or call 239-394-2535.

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