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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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. Nicole Azene, DVM

veterinarians in la crosse wiDr. Nicole Azene became the newest Associate Veterinarian to join the Hillside Animal Hospital team in July of 2018. She enjoys small animal surgery and helping owners get off to a great start with their new puppy or kitten. Dr. Azene also has a great appreciation for the human-animal bond and considers it an honor to provide guidance to pet owners in the delivery of quality care at all stages of life for their loved ones.

Dr. Azene graduated with a degree in Biology from Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. She then returned home to her native Missouri where she obtained a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her academic achievements. Dr. Azene was honored at the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony for her perfect 4.0 GPA and for her thesis research which resulted in four peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Dr. Azene went on to attend veterinary school at the University of Missouri and finished her degree in 2005. She began her professional career as a small animal private practitioner in Baltimore, Maryland, where she also served as a Contracted Veterinarian for Maryland SPCA.

After three years in private practice, Dr. Azene went on to obtain post-doctoral training in laboratory animal medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. During those four years, she also completed a Master of Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and served as the Attending Veterinarian for University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. Upon finishing her postdoctoral training (2012), Dr. Azene went on to work at the National Institutes of Health's Division of Veterinary Resources in Bethesda, Maryland as a Clinical Veterinarian. There she provided medical care and oversight for animals used in research at one of the nation's primate centers and also ran the Division's ICU.

In addition to her role as an Associate Veterinarian at Hillside, Dr. Azene functions as the Attending Veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse and previously served as the Attending Veterinarian for Gundersen Health System.

At home, Dr. Azene enjoys spending time with her loving family. She and her husband Dr. Ezana Azene (Interventional Radiologist at Gundersen Health System) have 3 incredible children. Kaleb and Melayeh, their older children, enjoy playing basketball, biking, and swimming at the YMCA. They also study karate at Nicklaus Martial Arts America, and dance at Misty’s Dance Unlimited. Both perform as KidStuf dancers for their church, Bethany Evangelical Free Church. The Azenes also have a young son named Admas who enjoys banging on the piano and playing with friends at church and daycare. The family feels fortunate to have Nicole's mother, Veeda, living with them ever since they moved to La Crosse in 2013. The family also shares their home with a Dachshund (pictured) named Oliver who was adopted as a puppy from one of Dr. Azene's very first clients.

Dr. Azene is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, and the Chicago Branch of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

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Remembering Our Beloved, Dr. Janet Veit

We hope people who love Janet will find comfort in reading her bio to remember and celebrate her life!

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 shared her home with her husband Brian, as well as their four-legged children: Deacon and Angus are Pointers, Dora is a Vizsla, and also Nigel and Cassia the Abyssinian cats. Their pets occupied 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 was 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 was 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 taught Pet First Aid classes for various organizations such as the American Red Cross and 4-H clubs, and was also trained in Dog Bite Prevention education.

In her last couple of years, one of Dr. Veit's growing passions involved trout fishing. She was an excellent fisher and took great interest in being outdoors on so many wonderful adventures with her husband, Brian. Remember Dr. Veit's incredible contributions to Hillside Animal Hospital and the world around her with us, as her memory and legacy will never be forgotten.

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