Q&A with longtime veterinary technician Lori Lutskas

Lori Lutskus performing rehabilitation therapy with a small dog.

Not many remember when McCoy Hall served as WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Lori Lutskas hasn’t forgotten – she worked there. For the past 27 years the Cascade, Idaho native has worked as a licensed veterinary technician in the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital and has helped thousands of animals, most recently in Integrative Medicine. “I especially enjoy being able to establish a long-term relationship with the patients and clients,” Lori said.

How long have you worked at the hospital and what service are you currently working in? 

I have been with WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine for 27 years. I started in McCoy and then moved into the new Veterinary Teaching Hospital when it opened. I am currently with Integrative Medicine.  I obtained my CCRP (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner) while working with Small Animal Orthopedic. After receiving my CCRP I switched to neurology to gain experience with neurology rehabilitation.

What are some of your primary duties? 

I help perform rehabilitation treatments (hydrotherapy, massage, photobiomodulation treatments, exercises), client communications, exercise demonstration, and assist in student instruction. 

What’s your favorite part about your job?

I especially enjoy being able to establish a long-term relationship with the patients and clients, like being in a general practice.

What are some of your hobbies?

Fishing, reading for pleasure, and gardening. My favorite authors are Nicholas Sparks and Debbie Macomber, especially the Cedar Cove series that was set in Puget Sound.

Do you have a weird/fun/unique fact about yourself?

I am part owner (with siblings and mother) in a fruit ranch that was established in 1890 by my great-grandfather outside of Emmett, Idaho. I grew up in Cascade, Idaho. We traveled back and forth from Cascade to Emmett to help with the fruit ranch. My Dad’s love was the fruit ranch. 

Why did you choose this career or what led you to it?

I am one of the many that wanted to become a veterinarian at an early age.  During my senior year in high school, I learned of the veterinary technology program in Tacoma. I decided to pursue that degree. I got a veterinary technology degree from Peirce College in 1981. I practiced in small animal and mixed animal for 13 years before coming to WSU.