Local Veterinarians Named 2012 Distinguished Alumni By UT

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dr. Marc Smith of Natchez Trace Veterinary Services and Dr. Casey Damron of White Oak Animal Hospital have been honored with the "2012 Distinguished Alumni" Award at UT College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville for the creation of Pet-Tao Pet Foods and their service in the field of Alternative Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Smith and Dr. Damron had both been practicing veterinarians for approximately eight years when they began to notice that Western veterinary medicine left some of their patients with no treatments for their ailments. This led them to look for alternative therapies that could fill the void. After hearing of the success a colleague had with acupuncture, they enrolled at the Chi Institute to learn about acupuncture themselves. Afterward, they began to study Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2006. It was here they learned Acupuncture, Herbal Therapy, Tui-Na, Qi Gong, and Food Therapy.  

Dr. Smith and Dr. Damron applied these Food Therapy principles by prescribing diet formulas for clients to feed their pets. While they were enthusiastic about the results in just the first few weeks, the clients found that it was too difficult to find the proper ingredients and prepare the food themselves. Because Dr. Smith and Dr. Damron believe in the principle of Food Therapy, they wanted to be able to provide this to their patients. Thus, the idea for Pet-Tao was born, and they began creating diet formulas that relied upon the principles of Eastern Medicine.

Dr. Smith has been a practicing veterinarian serving Middle Tennessee since 1998. He is the founder of Natchez Trace Veterinary Services in Franklin, a full service equine and small animal hospital. In June of 2012, he opened an alternative veterinary medicine clinic under the same name, in Belle Meade, Tn., which exclusively provides Eastern and alternative treatments for pets. Dr. Smith received his DVM degree from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. Since 2005, he has studied Eastern veterinary medicine at the renowned Chi Institute in Florida. In 2012, he earned his place in the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association.

Dr. Damron is the owner of White Oak Animal Hospital, a full service small animal hospital located in Fairview, Tn.  Dr. Damron has been in veterinary practice since 1998. Trained in both Western and Eastern Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Damron’s primary focus is on treating small animals. Dr. Damron studied and received his Doctorate Degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1998. He also obtained additional training from 2006-2009 in The Principles of Eastern Medicine at The Chi Institute in Reddick, Florida, where he studied under Eastern veterinary medicine expert Dr. Huisheng Xie. His studies included Chinese Acupuncture, Herbology, Food Therapy and Tui-Na. His experience, training and research led Dr. Damron and his longtime friend and colleague Dr. Smith to develop a product that offered pets a better way to health. Their work and collaboration resulted in Pet-Tao Pet Foods, providing pets a way to better health through proper diet and nutrition. 

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