Dr. Shannon Comeaux-Brown has a long history of comforting animals. As a child, she would sneak the family dog into her family’s home, despite her father’s insistence that animals stay outside. That compassion and empathy for animals led her to a career in veterinary medicine. After 17 years of practicing on the Northshore, Comeaux-Brown, who is affectionately referred to by her clients as “Dr. Shannon,” has opened her own practice, Little Creek Veterinary Hospital, in Mandeville. “I love what I do, and I want to do it for a lot longer,” Comeaux-Brown said. “Creating a space that would allow me to direct patient care while also adapting to change was important to me. I wanted to take advantage of new tools and techniques available that increase the safety and health of our patients.”
The move to her own practice will allow her to evolve with the next generation of pet owners. As she has tended to family pets throughout the years, Comeaux-Brown has watched her clients’ children grow into adulthood and become responsible, caring pet owners themselves.
The generation of clients she’s serving now has different expectations when it comes to veterinary care, services and communication platforms. That’s why Comeaux-Brown has taken steps to incorporate technology into the animal hospital’s operations along with a warm, compassionate touch. “Even with conveniences like Facebook, web, email and instant messaging, personal communication remains a priority,” she said. “We take time to listen—to both the patient and the client. Most clients consider their pets part of their families. Their input is often as important as the diagnostics that are done. They are advocates for their pets, and I take their concerns into consideration when recommending treatment options. We then work together to develop a plan that will achieve the best possible outcome.”
Given her compassion, it is no surprise that Comeaux-Brown integrated soothing processes and amenities into her practice. Little Creek features a “cat only” exam room so that cats do not smell any trace of dogs or other animals while they are being treated. Soundproofing panels are in every exam room to help reduce noise, and pheromone products are used therapeutically to help decrease anxiety.
From preventive medicine and wellness checks to routine and complex surgeries, Little Creek’s focus is on improving patient outcomes. In-house diagnostic tools not only allow for expedited treatment, but also alleviate unnecessary worry for clients who are waiting for results. Digital recordkeeping allows for instant access to files. Laser therapy modalities are available to reduce pain and speed healing in patients suffering from musculoskeletal conditions as well as to aid in post-operative healing of incisions and skin trauma. And the state-of-the-art surgery room fea
tures a fully-heated surgery table along with constant monitoring of blood pressure, body temperature and other vitals. “New technologies, tools and techniques certainly make my job easier, but the real advantage is to the safety and health of my patients. Whether it be stimulating the healing process, identifying a pre-existing condition or decreasing sedation time, the result is improved patient care,” she said. And Comeaux-Brown is adamant that financing should never be a consideration when determining a plan of care for a beloved pet’s health concerns. Financing is offered to help in clients’ decision-making process. “We never want the ability to payto become a deciding factor in treatment.”
Along with caring for pets in her office, Comeaux-Brown is also actively involved with rescue organizations, most recently Pets and People as Partners and the Save a Lab Foundation. In fact, Comeaux-Brown and her husband Jim have a rescue dog from Save a Lab. The current medley of animals (four dogs, a cat and a lone fish) are beloved members of their ever-growing clan. With a blended family of five children, ranging in age from 30 to 13, the couple are the proud grandparents of two with another baby on the way. “Pretty soon the babies will outnumber the pets in our family,” she joked.
Comeaux-Brown has also donated her time and services to animals that were housed at Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales following the Baton Rouge flood of 2016. More than 200 animals—most of them family pets separated from their owners due to shelter restrictions—were in the facility. “We administered medication, provided microchipping and cared for wounded or sick animals,” Comeaux-Brown said. “It was exceptionally hot and many of the cats were having trouble dealing with the temperature. They ended up in bathroom facilities because that was the only place that had air conditioning. Despite the grueling heat, it felt good to be there helping. It always feels good to help. ”Indeed, Comeaux-Brown’s new practice is the culmination of her vision to care for animals with professionalism, advanced technology and compassion.
“Helping animals is what I do. It’s what I have always wanted to do,” Comeaux-Brown said. “It may have been my destiny to become a veterinarian, but it is my good fortune to have a loving husband that supports me every step of the way. Jim handles human resources and marketing efforts at Little Creek, so that I can continue to do what I was meant to do.”
Little Creek Veterinary Hospital is located at 22053 E. Koop Drive in Mandeville. For more information, please call 985-237-1333 or visit littlecreekvethospital.com.