Lori Cherney, DVM

Started at Den Herder Vet: 1996
Where I’m From: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Family: My husband and high school sweetheart, Ken (married 30 years!!!); Kids- Hannah (22 years), Bryce (21 years) and Ty (13 years)

Past Pets: I have been lucky in my life to have been blessed with a large number of pets. I have loved them with all my heart and soul. The list is long but here goes: dogs, horses, ponies, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, ducks, geese, a turkey, goats, fish, hamsters, cat, bearded dragons and Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches!
Current Pets: Festus (Shih Tzu mix) and Annie (Cavachon); and 3 birds-Baloo (blue fronted Amazon) and Super Dove and Powder (both ring necked doves)

One piece of pet advice: Enjoy them for who they are, not what we think they should be. Give them hugs and kisses every day!
Afraid of any animals? Not yet. I have learned to move very fast! I do have a healthy respect for teeth and claws!
What’s the farthest away from Waterloo you’ve ever been? Europe

How did you get interested in veterinary medicine?
I wanted to be a veterinarian by the time I was 5 years old. I had no plan B. It was the only thing I ever wanted to do. I loved helping care for all our pets when I was little. I enjoyed cleaning cages, stalls and thinking of new designs for them and making toys. I just wanted to be around them all the time. I was probably a weird kid!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far from being in practice?
Never underestimate the power of the body to heal and their will to survive. I think they love us as much as we love them!

What’s an unforgettable case for you and why?
It was my own gentle, sweet dog Capone, who was 14 years old, had heart failure and had survived 2 years post liver tumor removal. I remember the way he looked at me when he was telling me he was tired and was ok with passing on. It broke my heart, but I had been trying so hard to keep him going for me and the family I had forgotten to take into account his feelings. It’s important to know when is when and that quality is always more important than quantity.

Where do you see the field going in ten years?
It has changed so much already in the 27 years I’ve been out. More interactive behavior modifications to help animals live happier lives. More advanced diagnostic tools to help us figure out what’s wrong when our pets are sick. We’ve already started the whole wellness package. Trying to prevent problems from even starting with our pets by being proactive from the beginning. Fear free philosophy as well.

Ever have any challenges as a pet owner?
It’s kind of the same as “mommy guilt”. Am I doing enough: playing, interacting, petting etc. The list goes on.

If you weren’t a veterinarian, what job you would like to have?
I would like to be like Indiana Jones! 😊

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I am an OBSESSED gardener. Flowers, indoor, outdoor plants, vines, shrubs, vegetables doesn’t matter- I love them all!!

What’s something new you’ve learned recently?
Taking time to relax and enjoy just that! Drinking lemonade, reading a good book and having a few dogs or cats on your lap (with a bird on your shoulder) never hurts either!