Dr. Giselle Tolson received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Western University of Health Sciences in 2013, and her undergraduate degree at University of California Merced in 2009. She is originally from Los Angeles, California and moved to Portland in 2014.
Her areas of interest include feline medicine, dentistry, ultrasound, and dermatology. She particularly enjoys senior cats (both medically and as creatures), and has significant experience managing hyperthyroidis. She loves the educational aspect of being a veterinarian, as well as helping cats live a better, more comfortable, and if possible, longer life. She’s not all cats, though, and relishes any pit bull who comes into the clinic or any dog who is too affectionate for their size, as well as comprehensive care for allergies and asthma.
She shares her home with five senior cats: Ken, Charlie, Bobby, Mimi, and Hannah. She aspires to have a dog someday, but is certainly busy enough with her current clowder. Outside of work, she loves cooking, baking, camping, hiking, running, and generally existing outdoors.
Do you have any nicknames?
At work, I’ve been GAT (my initials), Dr. T, Dr. Gigi, Eeyore, G Unit, SuperVegan, cat lady, cat doctor, and probably innumerable others. I tend to go by Dr. Tolson, but at this point I’ll pretty much respond to anything. I seem to be prone to nicknames… I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s an affliction.
In your words, what is your job at Frontier?
My job as a veterinarian is to advocate for the health of cats and dogs, whether that means finding and treating an illness, or advocating for preventative steps to preserve their wellness; this could be as simple as recommending vaccines and prescribing heartworm-preventing medication, as tedious as treating advanced dental disease in a little dog, or as weird as removing a piece of grass seed from an ear or assuring someone that it’s OK that their kitten likes to sprint around the house at night. As a part of the veterinary team, I also help to create an environment where both cats and dogs feel comfortable in an otherwise unfamiliar environment, both to reduce their stress as well as better enable us to help them.
I don’t have any official special projects, but I love senior cats, as well as making cats have a better experience at the vet in general.
Why did you decide to work at Frontier?
I first became familiar with Frontier by working at a referral practice in the region, so I got to know them through the cats and their families that they sent my way. I had always been impressed by the quality of medicine and thoroughness of their care, as well as how well-informed their clients were. My luck would have it that they also have a wonderful workplace culture as well, with supportive and positive colleagues.
Do you have any pets?
I have five cats. Do you want one? Ha, ha…
Ken is my oldest cat (a mystery age, of at least 11), a dapper gentleman who is a bit wall-eyed (or as we like to call it, bilateral lateral strabismus) and a little too enthusiastic for whatever snacks he can find. He’s the only cat I’ve known to eat chocolate, and then want seconds; I’d always thought he was very intelligent, but apparently he didn’t know chocolate was just as toxic to cats as it is to dogs… the cabinets have child safety locks now. Oh, Ken. Ken also has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and a root canal of one of his teeth!
Charlie is another of my cats, who is now 9. Oh, it’s so weird to have all your pets be seniors. She was found as a tiny orphan when I was in vet school, and has continued in “bottle baby” fashion to have various malaises while being extremely attached to people. In her free time, Charlie likes to chase any type of light as a laser pointer, growl while eating, and want to be up on a person’s shoulder and not know what to do when she’s there.
Tell us a little known fact about you!
I make bread and love baking in general, and I always have various projects I’m angling to try. I also collect LEGOs and am a fan of Superman, Oreos, peaches, and adventuring outdoors.
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