Our La Crosse, WI Veterinarians

Dr. Robert R. Spencer, DVM

veterinarians in la crosse wiDr. Robert R. Spencer, a General Practitioner, founded Hillside Animal Hospital in 1974. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

In addition to his many years of practice, Dr. Spencer has been very active in the veterinary community locally and statewide. He is a member of the Coulee Region Veterinary Medical Association where he served a term as president and 18 years as its secretary and treasurer. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) where he served on the board of directors. He was selected as chairman of the Executive Committee in his final year on the board.

In 2001, Dr. Spencer received the WVMA’s Meritorious Service Award. A few years ago, he was appointed by Gov. James Doyle to two terms on the Wisconsin Department of Regulating and Licensing Veterinary Examining Board and he has been chairperson for the Veterinarian Examining Board for the past three years. He is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association.

Dr. Spencer has also been a very committed member of the La Crosse community. He has served for two terms on the Board of Directors of the Coulee Region Humane Society, one term on the Church Board of the First Congregational Church, and 18 years as a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader.

He is married to Robyn, the love of his life since 1975. They have two sons, Adam and Peter.

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Dr. Janet Veit, DVM

la crosse wi veterinarianDr. Janet Veit joined Hillside Animal Hospital in 1996 after graduating from the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Originally from rural North Dakota, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of North Dakota.

Dr. Veit shares her home with her husband Brian, as well as their four-legged children: Deacon and Angus are Pointers, Dora is a Vizsla, and Cassia is an Abyssinian cat. Their pets occupy much of their free time, as they are involved in dog showing in AKC conformation and hunt tests. Cassia, their newest pet, may also introduce them to the world of cat showing.

Dr. Veit is also involved with many dog clubs, locally with the Coulee Kennel Club, regionally with several Vizsla and Pointer clubs, and nationally with the American Pointer Club and the Vizsla Club of America.

Professionally she is a member of the Coulee Region Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association and American Animal Hospital Association. She teaches Pet First Aid classes for various organizations such as the American Red Cross and 4-H clubs, and is also trained in Dog Bite Prevention education.

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Dr. Emily Houge, DVM

la crosse wi animal hospitalWhile growing up in central Iowa, Dr. Emily Houge spent a great deal of time on her uncle's farm chasing and naming the many dogs and cats that lived there. Her natural affection and affinity for animals stayed with her into adulthood. Dr. Houge attended Iowa State University for her undergraduate studies and earned her bachelor's degree in animal science in 2009. She continued her education and earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine as well as her master of public health at the University of Iowa. While in veterinary school, she was inducted into Gamma Sigma Delta and Phi Zeta because of her academic achievements. She joined our staff in June 2013.

Choosing a career in veterinary medicine seemed a logical fit for Dr. Houge. "I have always loved medicine, people and animals and this profession allows me to work with all three," she said. "I love interacting with clients and their pets and truly enjoy being able to help them. And I never get tired of being bathed all over my face by affectionate pets!" Dr. Houge is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, and Coulee Region Veterinary Medical Association. Her professional interests include internal medicine, surgery and dermatology.

Throughout her career, Dr. Houge has participated in many veterinary service trips around the United States and internationally to China, Ecuador and Jordan. During these trips, she engaged in opportunities to vaccinate, spay, and neuter different animals, learn about exotic animal medicine and also educate herself on local veterinary medicine and culture.

In her spare time, Dr. Houge enjoys being active. She likes running, swimming, biking and yoga. She also likes to play sports, including volleyball, curling, and basketball. Her additional hobbies include cooking, traveling, photography and hiking. In her downtime, she enjoys watching movies, reading books and spending time with her family and friends.

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la crosse wi animal hospitalDr. Casey Konrad, DVM

Growing up on a family dairy farm in Clintonville, Dr. Casey Konrad was exposed to working with animals at a young age. He has fond memories of riding along with his mother to cut hay and then collecting and caring for any wild bunnies who were occasionally injured in the process. Dr. Konrad would nurse their injuries, keep them safe from predators, and then release them once their wounds healed. This constant interaction with animals fueled his desire to pursue a career where he could enhance their well-being.

A member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Dr. Konrad graduated summa cum laude with his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Wisconsin in 2004. Before enrolling in veterinary school, he pursued pharmaceutical research at Covance Laboratories, worked for two years as a veterinary technician and another two years as a supervisor.

In 2008, he began his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin's School of Veterinary Medicine. While there, he worked at the school's veterinary teaching hospital for two-and-a-half-years alongside world-renowned professors. He graduated summa cum laude with his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2012.

For the next several years, Dr. Konrad gained valuable experience working as a mixed animal veterinarian.

"One of my emergency night calls in the winter brought me to an Amish resident to help with a calving," he recalls. "Walking into an unlit barn, with a handful of dairy cows comfortably laying in deep straw beds with frost lining the walls, no radio playing, and a young Amish gentleman standing with a kerosene lantern illuminating a cow in need of medical help brought me back to a simpler time."

Dr. Konrad joined our staff in January 2016 and is a member of the American and Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Associations. His professional interests include soft tissue surgery and internal medicine.

"Every day presents new and interesting challenges allowing me to utilize both mental and physical skills to solve problems," he says.

In his spare time Dr. Konrad enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, volleyball, softball, gardening and skiing. He has one dog, a German Shorthaired Pointer named Kate.

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Dr. Monica Wagner

veterinarians in la crosse wiDr. Monica Wagner joined the veterinary team at Hillside Animal Hospital in June 2016 as an associate veterinarian. Dr. Wagner was inspired to practice veterinary medicine as a child in Lansing, Iowa, where she lived in the country and surrounded herself with a variety of pets and livestock animals. She spent a lot of time on a neighboring organic dairy farm, where she learned the importance of animal health and animal care from her boss and her family. At the same time, other neighbors guided her while she trained and worked her horse.

It was those early experience that led Dr. Wagner to University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, cum laude, in 2012. She then attended Iowa State University where she earned her veterinary degree in 2016. One memorable event of her burgeoning veterinary career occurred during her senior year, when Dr. Wagner treated a dog that had been hit by a car. Although one of the dog's limbs had to be amputated, the dog was able to return back to its family. Dr. Wagner says, "It was an absolute incredible feeling to see the family so thankful to all those who gave "Ace" the extra TLC he needed throughout his stay at the hospital."

Dr. Wagner has previously worked at a local mixed animal practice in Waukon, Iowa, and served her local Northeast Iowa communities as the 2008 Allamakee Country Alternate Dairy Princess. Throughout college, Dr. Wagner was a member of the UWSP Wild Raptor Research Team. Her professional interests include internal medicine, surgery and dentistry.

At home, Dr. Wagner has an adopted mix-breed dog named Charlie and a rescued domestic short hair cat named Coal. In her free time, Dr. Wagner loves backpacking, hiking, horseback riding, camping, canoeing and almost any outdoor activity. She's recently begun learning to crochet. Dr. Wagner also enjoys reading, painting, drawing and exercising.

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