As the name of their veterinary practice would suggest, Sarah Copar and Mandy Company are identical twin sisters.
The doctors opened CoTwins Veterinary Care in 2012 and moved the offices to 2439 Whipple Avenue NW in 2017. Natives of Tuscarawas County, they graduated from Tusky Valley High School in 2005, earned bachelor’s degrees in biology from Kent State University, then attended the Ross University of Veterinary Medicine.
Avid pet owners themselves, Sarah has three beagles and a chocolate lab, while Mandy has two French bulldogs and two rescue cats.
Q. What made you become veterinarians?
Sarah: “We grew up on a farm between Bolivar and Strasburg. We grew up with a wide variety of animals—horses, cats, dogs, goats, cows. We made the decision that we wanted to be veterinarians in middle school, and we knew that we had to do good in school. The main thing was doing quality care for animals.”
Mandy: “We knew we wanted to work together.”
Q. What’s it like to be in practice with your sister?
Sarah: “Awesome. We get along really well, and we complement each other. Where Mandy likes surgery and holistic medicine, that type of stuff, I like internal medicine. So we pick our cases and bounce ideas off each other. It’s really fun.”
Q. This is the April issue of About. Are there any seasonal issues for cats and dogs?
Mandy: “I would say the main concern is heartworm disease for cats, which is transferred by mosquitoes, and it can go into the heart and cause severe issues. We do a monthly preventative treatment that we recommend especially in the summer months but technically year-round. For dogs, as well. There are topical versions and pills, as well. It’s a severe disease, and it’s definitely in this area.”
Sarah: “Flea and tick issues are something that pick up in the springtime. We have had a couple of issues of lyme disease from clients that came from ticks. Ticks and fleas are something we can help prevent easily with a chew or topical. Even indoor-only cats can pick up fleas from the owner walking through the yard and bringing them in on shoes.”
Q. Is there any basic pet maintenance that you recommend?
Mandy: “For dogs and cats, we definitely recommend an annual visit to the veterinarian. We do a routine physical, and hopefully, we can pick up on any issues and get them diagnosed early. We recommend routine bloodwork as well. We can pick up on early kidney disease in cats and get them on medication early. Routine vaccinations for cats and dogs prevent any sickness.”
Sarah: “We recommend the core vaccines, for distemper, parvo, rabies, that type of things, and we can span out from there depending on lifestyle. We do a good history and see if (dogs and cats) are at risk for other things.”
Q. Do you have any recommendations on pet food?
Mandy: “We usually stick with Hill’s Science Diet. Iams and Purina Pro Plan are good ones, as well. Have you heard of the grain-free issue with cats and dogs? All of the advertising says grain-free is super-healthy for pets, but they’ve actually found that it’s causing heart issues called DVM, which is thinning of the heart wall. So no grain-free. It really isn’t good for your pet.”
Sarah: “I had a client come in this week. It had been a year since I examined the pet, and I diagnosed a heart murmur that I didn’t hear last year. I asked if there had been any changes, and she said (the animal) had been on grain-free for about a year. We’re going to switch her back to regular food. We try to ask everyone who comes in.”
Q. Are there many weight issues with pets?
Sarah: “Unfortunately, over 50% of our patients are overweight, so diet and how much they’re being fed is a key part of what we’re asking owners about. We monitor that pretty closely because it increases their risk of diabetes, pancreatitis, arthritis—all those things.”
Q. What do you suggest if people have pet issues after-hours?
Mandy: “If it’s an emergency, the Stark ER (Stark County Veterinary Emergency Clinic) is right up the road off Whipple. The other one we recommend is MedVet Akron. Kind of depending on what is going on with the pet and the severity of it, if you can make it to MedVet, we recommend that. Also, VCA Green (Animal Hospital) in Uniontown.”
Q. Any unusual cases lately?
Sarah: “I had a call yesterday that a dog had chewed up a bar of some specialized hunting soap that they use to get rid of their own scent. Two weeks ago, I had a case where a golden had eaten a car battery. When that happens, it can damage the entire inside of the intestinal tract, and it’s a major emergency. Fortunately, the pet hadn’t swallowed the battery but had just punctured it. That was a little scary!”