Dr. Ashley Peterson | Care First Animal Hospital Veterinarian
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Ashley Peterson

Years of Practice: 22

Education: North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Her entire life, the only thing she can ever remember wanting to be was a veterinarian. In 8th grade, everyone laughed when she won the class spelling bee on the word V-E-T-E-R-I-N-A-R-I-A-N because they knew that was what she wanted to do. During her senior year in high school, her father wisely told her she needed to figure out whether she just loved animals or would actually like to be a veterinarian. That summer, she began working for a veterinarian. He was just starting out, so she was able to do everything from cleaning cages to handing him instruments in surgery. She loved it, and from that summer on, her goal was to become a veterinarian.


Dr. Ashley Peterson attended Duke University for undergraduate school and North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine for vet school. How does she decide who to cheer for during basketball March Madness?

Dr. Ashley is passionate about giving us as much time with our pets as possible, and we are grateful she enjoys Geriatric Medicine as well as Internal Medicine.

Married to her husband Doug since 1992, they have 4 children, and their fur children include Fancy (long haired Chihuahua) and Daisy (DSH cat). Dr. Ashley’s hobbies include cheering for her kids in all their activities, hiking, scrapbooking and reading.

When asked about her favorite veterinarian story, Dr. Ashley recalls a middle-aged English Setter named Pirate. The client brought Pirate in because “he just wasn’t himself for the past week.” In veterinarian language, we code that in the appointment book as “ADR” which stands for “Ain’t Doing Right,” and often times, that is all we have to go on. Pirate was eating and drinking normally and going for walks as usual, but the client could tell something just wasn’t right. Dr. Ashley examined him and no problems were detected upon physical examination other than a small lump in his armpit. She took him to the treatment area to have him lie down to examine the lump more thoroughly prior to drawing blood for lab work diagnostics. That was when she noticed a tiny green thread under some of his long fur on the side of his chest.

Thinking it was a piece of lint from the carpet at home, Dr. Ashley tried to remove it, but it didn’t come off, and she noted that she could follow it all the way into his skin. Radiographs indicated a sewing needle right next to his heart! The client had been mending a green blanket and thought she must have left the needle on the sofa where Pirate sleeps. It had punctured his skin and migrated through his chest muscles into his chest cavity! He was taken to surgery that afternoon, and amazingly, the needle had gone between lung lobes without puncturing them but was about to enter the heart! The needle was surgically removed, and Pirate recovered beautifully. Could it be that BOTH people AND animals have Guardian Angels?

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