Karla Juhl

Never a Doubt

Her career path never wavered.

Not from the moment when local veterinarians came to care for her family’s farm animals. Not in junior high. Not in high school. Not as an animal science major at Iowa State.

And definitely not when she was admitted to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

“I grew up on a farm and loved working with and taking care of our animals,” said Dr. Karla Juhl. “I always looked forward to helping the vets when they would come for herd health or to treat sick animals.

“I never had a backup plan or wanted to do anything else.”

After graduation, Juhl worked in a mixed animal practice for two years.  Then the Fredericksburg Veterinary Clinic near her Sumner, Iowa, hometown came up for sale.

And while Juhl had no doubts about becoming a veterinarian, becoming an owner of a veterinary clinic was another matter.

“I had little intention of owning a practice while in school,” she said. “I didn’t have a strong business background and like working with animals better than numbers. But this seemed like a good opportunity.”

Juhl purchased the Fredericksburg Veterinary Clinic in 2012 and has continued to grow the practice in northeast Iowa. The practice has more than doubled in the almost decade since, allowing Juhl to hire an associate.

“Honestly, my best day as a veterinarian was when I hired an associate after practicing solo for over a year,” Juhl said. “Our clinic continues to grow and like most other clinics we are looking to hire another veterinarian.”

While she grew up around farm animals, Juhl focuses on the small animal appointments, typically only doing large animal calls after hours or on emergency. Fredericksburg Veterinary Clinic sees about 65% small with the rest of the cases split between beef, equine and small ruminants.

Even though Fredericksburg Veterinary Clinic is only a two-veterinarian practice, Juhl firmly believes in the need to have a doctor on call 24/7. She advertises that prominently on the clinic’s website.

“Being on call is probably the biggest down fall of being a veterinarian,” Juhl said, “but I feel it is necessary for our practice to serve our large animal clients and provide our small animal clients with affordable emergency care for their pets.”