Tuscaloosa Veterinarian

Philip M. Smith


As a young Boy Scout in Birmingham, Dr. Philip Smith earned several merit badges in first aid and pet care and his achievements ignited his long-term interest with animals. He nurtured these instincts by helping to take care of the family pets, and by rescuing baby birds and caring for them until they could fly again. Later, while studying biology at Auburn University, Dr. Smith worked in a neighborhood veterinary clinic and performed kennel and veterinary assistant duties such as assisting in radiography and surgery. While in college, he received academic recognition by making the Dean's List, graduating with high honors and participating as a member of Gamma Sigma Epsilon (Chemistry Honor Society).

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Veterinary Career Beginnings

After earning his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985, Dr. Smith began practicing veterinary medicine and opened Indian Hills Animal Clinic in July 1994. "My favorite aspect of being a veterinarian is seeing sick or injured animals restored to health and the joy it brings to their owners. Also, when a tentative diagnosis on a complicated case is confirmed by lab diagnostics and consultation, I realize how much I love my job," Dr. Smith says.

A Passion for Pet Wellness

Throughout his career, Dr. Smith has encountered several memorable cases. "Once we had an emergency situation where a dog had jumped over a wrought-iron fence and landed on top of the pointed tip which speared into his rear leg. We were able to surgically correct this wound and the dog regained the full use of his leg," Dr. Smith said. On another occasion, a cat suffered a gunshot wound to its face. "The bullet destroyed an inch of bone from each side of the cat's jaw but we were able to successfully repair it and nurse the cat back to full health."

Dr. Smith is a member of the Tuscaloosa Veterinary Medical Association, the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. His professional interests include internal medicine, gastroenterology, dermatology, cardiology, and avian medicine. Furthermore, Dr. Smith has received continuing education certificates in pain management, dentistry, and dermatology.

Community Involvement

Community service is very important to Dr. Smith. He and his staff helped the 2011 Tuscaloosa tornado victims by offering Indian Hills Animal Clinic as a temporary shelter to injured pets or pets who had lost their owners or homes. Each summer, he travels to Skagway, Alaska where he spends one week providing care to pets in this small town. He has also served on five mission trips to Kenya where he administered rabies vaccinations and other care to pets in one of the local villages.

Dr. Smith likes to spend his free time with his wife Caroline, a dietitian who often assists at Indian Hills Animal Clinic with special projects. Together, they enjoy attending their children's activities and sporting events. Dr. Smith also enjoys yard work, skiing, church activities, and playing with his three dogs and one cat.

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