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The Face of Animal Care: Dr. Eric Buist

Dr. Eric Buist has dedicated his career to advancing veterinary care.

He began working at Riverside Small Animal Hospital in 2004 and bought into the business in 2007.

“I realized the potential of what veterinary medicine could be and the quality that you could offer people, and I think our work reflects that,” he says. “It’s been a really positive place to do good work and advance the profession.”

In December of 2021, Dr. Buist traveled to Boston to take a course on Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgeries for cruciate ligament injuries, which has since become a regular part of his scope of practice.

“There have been a lot of different types of surgeries to fix cruciate ligaments, but TPLO surgeries are a novel approach because we aren’t replacing the cruciate ligament, we’re changing the mechanics of the knee,” he explains.

“It’s been extremely rewarding because the patients do very well, as there are very low failure rates, low complication rates, and very good return to function.”

In addition to performing TPLO surgeries, Dr. Buist spends his days doing various medical and surgical procedures including ultrasounds, echocardiograms, laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures, as well as soft tissue surgeries.

“On any given day, you can be a surgeon, or you can be a dentist, perform diagnostic imaging or do oncology,” he says. “The variety is fairly spectacular compared to a lot of professions.”

Not only does he have a passion for animals, but Dr. Buist has a passion for people, too.

“I love my job because I have such great interactions with the employees and with my clients,” he says. “It’s a great way to build relationships with people, and the culture at Riverside has always been really positive.”

Riverside often welcomes veterinary students and new staff members to learn from their team of doctors.

“I’m always excited when somebody comes in and they’re keen on finding solutions,” Dr. Buist explains. “The next part of my career is helping others learn and utilize the skills we have obtained and teach them how to use the tools we have at the clinic.”

While he loves working in the veterinary industry, Dr. Buist admits that it can be challenging.

“We see the circle of life over and over again, so we are very involved in the emotional aspect of people’s lives,” he explains. “But it’s a wonderful emotionally connected profession and people can really have a full and satisfying career in this field.”

As pets become more of an important status in people’s lives, the demand for veterinary care continues to grow.

“It’s definitely mirroring what we can do in human medicine,” Dr. Buist says. “The entire profession is advancing dramatically and the standards of care are continually improving.”

“Generally in the veterinary field, and specifically at Riverside, there’s a culture of wanting to learn new things, solve problems, expand services, and offer exceptional care.”

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