Dr. Claire Peterson
Dr. Claire Peterson
Dr. Claire Peterson received her DVM degree from Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. Before that she received a bachelor of science (BS) at the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies from the University of Redlands in California. Although she traveled away for college, Dr. Peterson grew up in the larger Portland area and loves all of the outdoor opportunities this area provides.
Dr. Peterson’s clinical interests include avian medicine and surgery, as well as those lovely felines! Dr. Peterson also now works for Chintimini Wildlife Center in Corvallis, OR after volunteering her time there for many years. She helps with surgeries and trickier medical cases for the rehabilitation patients, as well as working with the training of the education birds there.
Do you go by Claire or do you have any nicknames?
Currently, I’m pretty boring! I just go by Claire!
In your words, what is your job at Frontier?
My job at Frontier is to advocate for the patients, as they don’t have the proper vocal cords to do it themselves. Having the education to know that say a broken tooth really does hurt even if Fluffy is hiding it, or animals can still get bitten by fleas and it itches even if you never see a flea means I have a lot to impart to our patient’s caregivers! I consider surgery like suturing up lacerations the fun part of my job. There’s something very satisfying to see a problem and to be able to fix it with your hands and see that immediate relief and benefit for the pet. So really, more of my job is advocating and education than the usual bits (like surgery) that people think make up most of the doctor role.
I’m also the primary avian provider at the time here at Frontier – this has been an amazing adventure! I loved introducing birds to Frontier several years ago and seeing everyone here coming to appreciate and be more comfortable in working with our feathered patients. We see parrots, backyard chickens, and even occasionally a falconry bird.
Why did you decide to work at Frontier?
I was impressed by Frontier’s dedication to quality medicine and to their clients. The first thing I noticed was the AHAA accreditation and the Cat Friendly Practice accreditation. I know these probably aren’t the first things pet owners look for, but from a veterinarian standpoint that was a huge plus as to why I wanted to check Frontier out! I was impressed by how all of the doctors here share ideas and wisdom and how there is a constant environment of collaboration (we call it “the hive mind”). I love an environment that works together as opposed to competition and stress. I know most people who bring their pets in don’t get to see our technicians very much since they mostly hide behind the scenes, but let me tell you that they are amazing! I am constantly impressed by everyone who works in the hospital, from those that you meet at the front desk to our hospital staff back in the treatment room to everyone who takes care of the boarders and keeps the hospital so clean!
Do you have any pets?
Of course! I have two young cats who I got as kittens last year. Their names are Thistle (a girl) and Bramble (a boy). Thistle is the smart and bold one of the two, but Bramble still chases his tail and they are both absolutely wonderful.
I do have birds, but they aren’t “pets”. I am a licensed falconer and I raised my goshawk, Fletcher, from a wee little white fluffy chick. He free flies and hunts with me, and lives in his own enclosure in the backyard called a “mew”. Falconry is an ancient sport that is still alive today, and yes you do need a special license to do it. I also commonly have other birds of prey rotating through – either rehabilitation patients who need extra conditioning or skills before they can be released, or education birds I am helping to train for Chintimini Wildlife Center.
Tell us a little-known fact about you!
Photography is a favorite hobby of mine! I love to travel and take photos of, what else, birds!