Local vet connects with animals | SummitDaily.com

Local vet connects with animals


SILVERTHORNE – From salamanders to elephants, Mark Cowan has treated animals both large and small. These days, he concentrates on the 10- to 100-pound variety, mostly cats and dogs, at his new veterinary clinic in Silverthorne.Cowan, 44, was born in the American South, were he rode horses and developed an interest in animals and medicine at an early age. By junior high school, he had moved to Evergreen, where his family owned land and kept about a half dozen horses on its property. He considered going into human medicine, he said, but chose veterinary medicine instead.

“Animals don’t talk,” he said. “So there’s an added challenge of trying to find out what’s wrong with them.”But when he visits with patients at his clinic, Buffalo Mountain Animal Hospital in Silverthorne, it’s obvious he does communicate with animals, through eye contact any pet owner would find familiar. Cowan graduated from veterinary school in 1992 from Kansas State University and took a position in Golden at a mixed-animal practice, where he traveled all over Colorado’s Front Range working on farm animals from the back of a truck. “Horses, cows, pigs, sheep – on the Front Range, it was more of a backyard situation,” he said.

But large animal medicine is highly driven by economics, Cowan said. “A rancher might not spend any money on his dog, but he would spend any amount on a breeding bull,” he said.Cowan enjoys the emotional side of treating animals, connecting with both the pets and their owners. After a few years in Golden, he returned to Kansas to complete a one-year internship in small animal medicine, where he focused on new treatments and surgery.In 1995, he accepted a position in Broomfield at Broomfield Animal Hospital.

Wanting to escape the city, Cowan moved to Summit County in 2000 to be closer to the mountains. He skis and enjoys cycling, and takes advantage of the area’s proximity to the great outdoors.”In Broomfield, if I wanted to go mountain biking I had to drive a half-hour just to get to a halfway decent trail,” he said. “It’s a big part of my life.”When arriving in Summit County four years ago, Cowan first worked for a local animal clinic then decided to launch his own. His business opened at the Office Max shopping center on May 12.Kim Marquis can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 249 orkmarquis@summitdaily.com.

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