Dr. Katie Vagliano’s passion for biomedical science led her to pursue a pre-med major in college, but it was at her summer job in rural Vermont at a small animal hospital where she discovered the amazing profession of veterinary medicine. It all started with an entry-level job walking dogs and cleaning cages, and Dr. Vagliano never looked back. She worked her way up through every position at the hospital until she earned her veterinary degree in 2003. Over the years, Dr. Vagliano has also obtained various memberships, being part of organizations including the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA). She is also licensed in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.
As far as her professional interests are concerned, they can best be described as “family medicine.” Her work is aimed at educating people about how to best care for their dogs and cats to keep them well, along with guiding them through the harder times that accompany illness. Managing chronic illness, and ultimately guiding family through hospice and end-of-life care is another area that is deeply important to Dr. Vagliano in her work as a veterinarian. She values communication, which includes listening; her job is as much about listening to a family’s concerns as it is providing information so they can work together to care for the pet. As she often tells her clients, “In many cases there is not a right or wrong choice to be made, only an informed choice.”
Dr. Vagliano is deeply invested in animal rescue. She worked as a shelter veterinarian for a number of years, and later joined the shelter’s board of directors. Her work there involved one of the most rewarding projects she has ever take on in her career, and she looks forward to getting more involved here on the South Shore. At the first dog rescue she worked for, Dr. Vagliano was in charge of caring for Boston Terriers and Jack Russell Terriers. However, circumstances led the shelter into taking on a skinny young harlequin Great Dane. Dr. Vagliano worked with the shelter to treat the dog’s health issues, and throughout this long process she enjoyed watching him gain strength and confidence. Eventually, she fell in love with this gentle giant and adopted him into her own family. This experience led to Dr. Vagliano rescuing a series of Great Danes, and becoming more involved in animal rescue.
Her best advice for first-time pet owners is “to enlist the help of a trainer as soon as possible. Training the right way from the start makes the whole process much easier! I also like clients to understand that we are a team ready to help guide them through the challenges of puppyhood. Bring the puppy in right away to meet their veterinarian so we can answer your questions and prepare you for caring for your new family member.”
For Dr. Vagliano, the most rewarding moments are often the small ones—a cat that purrs during an exam, or a dog that walks over and lays its head in her lap. This conveys trust, which she hopes to build with all of her patients.
Currently, Dr. Vagliano shares her home with one pet, a spunky, rescued Chihuahua named Tango.