Dr. Mary Battistella - Veterinarian
One of the more common questions I get is, "How did you become a veterinarian?" As I remember it, I knew what I wanted to do at the age of 12. I used to spend time in Canoe, AL with one of my best friends on her family's farm. They had everything from horses to hogs, to soybean fields and pastures; from there the desire grew to be involved in farming or veterinary work. God led me in the direction of veterinary school at Auburn University. At the time, women were fairly new to the veterinary profession and we learned everything from large animals to house pets, even some exotics and wildlife. Between 1983-84, after I graduated, I opened Wayside Animal Clinic and Dadeville Animal Clinic.
I have two children, Joseph (29) and Elizabeth (26) with my husband Bob. Joseph is an organic gardener with his own market garden. Elizabeth is in graduate school with a degree in wildlife ecology and is working on her masters in conservation biology. After the birth of my children I continued my education with a certification in Chinese Herbal Medicine and Veterinary Spinal Manipulation. I've also been active on local state boards and committees such as: Veterinarian Medical Association, Alabama Academy of Veterinary Practitioners, the U.S. International Acupuncture Societies, and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.
In 1996 I hit a bump in the road when I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. It was then I quit working with the larger animals and spent the year going through chemotherapy, surgery and more chemotherapy. I myself used many holistic or complementary therapies including nutrition, acupuncture and herbs. I am happy to say I am now 20 years cancer free.
I sold Wayside Animal Hospital in 2005 and started doing Integrative Therapies at Riverview Animal Clinic in Birmingham along with relief work in other practices. I missed working with younger pets and decided to move into a different direction. In 2007, I opened Kowaliga Whole Health Pet Care & Resort. I had a calling to help shape the health of pets in a preventive manner. It is easier to keep our pets' health at optimum levels when preventive measures are taken. This includes starting their lives with good nutrition practices, and catching problems or diseases before they are considered chronic. I want our pets to live as long as they can, as happy and healthy as possible! Some of the therapies included are Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Nutrition, Herbal, and Homeopathy. Many clients live a distance away; they have a local veterinarian as a primary veterinarian and I work with educating them on integrative therapies that might decrease the need for long-term medications. I also do Nutrition Response Testing and allergy work. I still work in Birmingham once a month and can schedule recheck appointments there, but initial exams are done at my practice in Eclectic.
In my spare time I love going to the lake, gardening, travel, and continuing to expand my knowledge on the best care for our pets. I have recently completed my masters training in Nutrition Response Testing after two years of study. "NRT" is the best method of preventive care that I have found.
Widget, Samantha (dogs) and Jamocha (kitty) are my pet family at home and Lucy, Liga and Zeke keep us company at work.