Our Veterinarians

Dr. Renée Poirrier

Practice Owner / Veterinarian

Growing up in the small town of Scott, Louisiana, Renee shared her life with a menagerie of animals including dogs, cats, horses, and cows. She joined her local 4-H chapter to show dairy cattle and to learn more about veterinary science. Dr. Renee’s childhood experiences with her animals shaped her veterinary career. One pet in particular helped her realize that a veterinary career was the right path for her. Hoppy, her pet dachshund, had neurologic damage to his back, leaving him paralyzed. Renee was determined to help her beloved pet become active and playful again. Following her veterinarian’s instructions, she gave Hoppy intense water therapy in a metal washtub for a month. Through Renee’s love and persistence, Hoppy gradually regained much of his normal function. This experience showed Renee that she could make a difference in the healing process of animals in her care. As a veterinarian, this is one of the childhood experiences that reminds her of the importance of collaboration between pet owners and veterinarians as they work to heal pets. This experience also pushed Dr. Renee to pursue integrative therapies such as acupuncture, therapeutic exercises, and water therapy.

After graduating from Acadiana High School in 1982, Renee embarked on her lifelong quest to become a veterinarian. She had always felt a special connection with animals, and she appreciated their joyful, loving spirits. Renee wanted to dedicate her career to keeping these beautiful creatures healthy. Graduating from Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 1988, Dr. Renee was ready to begin her veterinary career and her lifelong pursuit: to improve the health and well being of the furry family members in her care.

Dr. Renee spent several years as an associate veterinarian living in North Carolina, Arkansas, and Louisiana. During this time, she was exposed to veterinary acupuncture as therapy for chronic illnesses such as arthritis in animals. In 1992, Dr. Renee pursued and attained certification in Veterinary Acupuncture from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.

In 1996, Dr. Renee was able to return to her roots, and she purchased Acadiana Veterinary Clinic. Within her practice, Dr. Renee uses many conventional medical treatments, along with veterinary acupuncture, therapeutic exercise, and underwater therapy to improve her patients’ quality of life.

Dr. Renee also takes special care with her feline patients. Since cats originated in the wild, they often hide their medical problems to keep from being vulnerable. Also, each cat has its own special handling preferences. While uncovering each cat’s medical problem can prove difficult, Dr. Renee feels a sense of satisfaction when she is able to help these fabulous feline family members.

Throughout Dr. Renee’s career, she has been grateful for the opportunity to practice veterinary medicine, and she has always shared her skills in charitable work. After traveling overseas for veterinary mission and disaster relief work, Dr. Renee focused her efforts on disaster relief work closer to home. In 2003, she began volunteering with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team. In 2004, she became the director of the Louisiana State Animal Response Team; and she has coordinated many pet shelter and animal response efforts. Dr. Renee’s work made a difference during Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike; and also in the wildlife response to the BP oil spill and the Haitian earthquake.

Each year, Dr. Renee volunteers to teach workshops and trainings on pet evacuation and sheltering, with animal responders as her audience. She wants to ensure that people will be able to evacuate with their pets during disasters. Dr. Renee is honored that she was named the 2011 Association for Women Veterinarians Foundation Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year, as well as the 2008 Louisiana Veterinarian of the Year. Dr. Renee also received the 2006 Everett Besch Distinguished Service Award for her community service work.

Dr. Renee has also come full circle in her educational career, as she serves as an adjunct assistant professor at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Renee is part of a team of instructors, teaching the next generation of veterinary students about animal emergency response.

Away from her busy career, Dr. Renee relaxes by riding Dusty, Pride, and Mince, her gaited horses, on quiet woodland trails. She also loves spending time with her furry family members. Belle the border collie, a retired herding dog who retains her love of herding, occasionally herds Dr. Renee’s small group of haired sheep. Jack, the rescued Jack Russell Terrier, thrives on Dr. Renee’s attention and love. Holstein, her aptly named black-and-white cat, rounds out Dr. Renee’s household pets. Outside, Senior the miniature burro lives a peaceful life in Dr. Renee’s pasture, always happy to receive his favorite treat of peanut butter crackers.

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Dr. Nicole Laviolette

Associate Veterinarian

Nicole Laviolette’s country childhood made her realize that pet ownership doesn’t only involve dogs and cats. Besides her canine and feline pets, young Nicole owned birds, hamsters, turtles, rabbits, a ferret, and a sugar glider. Nicole also took small farm animals, such as chickens and ducks, under her tender wing. On several occasions, Nicole was able to witness puppy and kitten births, and she even had the opportunity to bottle feed a baby calf. While Nicole didn’t realize it then, she was building an ideal foundation for her future veterinary career!

Growing up with her parents and sister just outside of Erath, Louisiana, Nicole’s community consisted of her father’s grandmother and many extended family members. Nicole loved life in the country, playing with her cousins and spending many fun hours in her tree house during the summers. 

When Nicole graduated from Erath High School, she attended Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. After she graduated with a veterinary technology degree in 2004, Nicole moved back to Lafayette and gained experience working as a veterinary technician.

In 2006, Nicole moved closer to realizing her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian, as she began her studies at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge. Graduating in 2010, Nicole felt called back to Erath to reconnect with her family. Arriving back in her home town, she welcomed the chance to work at the nearby Acadiana Veterinary Clinic.

Each time Dr. Nicole sees a furry patient and their pet parent, she enjoys getting to know them a little better. Dr. Nicole also likes to delve deeply into cytology, studying the cellular structures of microscopic creatures that can cause medical problems for her patients. Dermatology also intrigues her, as she receives great satisfaction from helping a constantly itching, scratching pet to feel much better.

Living close to the water, Dr. Nicole enjoys a number of water sports. She loves fishing, crabbing, swimming, and sunning on the boat on a lazy afternoon. Dr. Nicole truly finds relaxation at the beach, as she sits for hours under her umbrella, reading and listening to the hypnotic waves. At home, Dr. Nicole works on cross stitch projects, often planned as special gifts for family and friends.

Finally, Dr. Nicole’s dog Stratus takes top billing in her life. Stratus is a good-sized standard poodle who plays fetch until he’s too exhausted to move another step. Spoiled poodle Stratus thrives on riding in Dr. Nicole’s convertible. Of course, Dr. Nicole puts the top down so Stratus can soak up the maximum number of interesting smells.

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Dr. Tanya Mestayer

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Tanya Mestayer has come full circle with her animal care experiences. Tanya grew up surrounded by animals, as she closely followed her father’s career as a thoroughbred race horse trainer and jockey. When Tanya was a high school freshman, her father was sidelined due to a training mishap. While he recovered, Tanya began working at a local bowling center, but she couldn’t get her mind off the beautiful horses that had become an important part of her life. Now, Dr. Tanya is again surrounded by animals, as she cares for her clients’ beloved pets every day!

 

Growing up between Louisiana and Texas, Tanya and her family followed her father’s work on the thoroughbred racing circuit. After Tanya graduated from New Iberia Senior High School in 1993, she enrolled at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. While studying there, Tanya gained experience at a local veterinary hospital, and she was inspired by a veterinarian who encouraged her to follow her dream of a veterinary career. As Tanya moved along that path, she was pleased to receive her Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science in 1998. Of course, she was equally happy to become an official Ragin Cajun Alumni.

Next, Tanya entered veterinary school, enjoying the warm, sunny weather at St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. Graduating in 2007, Dr. Tanya came back to Louisiana to complete her preceptorship, and by chance spent her first week with Dr. Renee Poirrier at Acadiana Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Tanya passed an important test, giving Dr. Renee’s often-fussy cat Billy a physical exam with no trouble at all. Following that experience, Dr. Tanya was thrilled that Dr. Renee offered her a position as an associate veterinarian.

At Acadiana Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Tanya has a special affinity for surgery, especially soft tissue operations and basic orthopedic procedures. She believes in the benefits of physical therapy, and is pleased that her patients can now receive physical therapy services on site. Dr. Tanya also focuses on client education, whether she’s speaking to a current pet owner or a young 4-H member learning to take care of their new farm animal.

Of course, Dr. Tanya’s animal-friendly household hosts six furry family members, three dogs and three cats. Derek the Australian cattle dog, Cacie the heeler mix, and Henry the toy poodle are unlikely companions who have adapted well to each other. The cats include Michael, an import from Grenada; Huey the phantom tabby cat; and Bushy, who has some odd facial features but gives Dr. Tanya plenty of love. Bear, Dr. Tanya’s beloved horse rounds out this multi-species menagerie.

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