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Southlake Animal Hospital

3570 E. Lincoln Hwy
Merrillville, IN 46410

Our Veterinarians

Meet the folks who make it all happen. We see big potential in every moment, & care deeply about what we do every day.

Dr. Andrea Carlson

Dr. Andrea Carlson, DVM CVA CVCH CVFT CTPEP CVTP CVMMP CTCVMP

Practice Owner, Veterinarian

One day when she was 12 years old, Dr. Andrea Carlson and her father heard loud cries coming from the next-door neighbor’s garage. When they investigated, they discovered a small kitten stuck under the door. The instant that Dr. Carlson pulled the kitten free, she felt an overwhelming sensation—right away, she knew that she was destined to become a veterinarian!

Dr. Carlson grew up in Miller Beach, Indiana, where her father instilled a love and respect for animals early on in life. She was only a junior in high school when she started working here at Southlake Animal Hospital as a Veterinary Assistant and continued serving pets at the clinic throughout her undergraduate and veterinary studies at Purdue University. After graduating in 2002 with her DVM degree, Dr. Carlson began her career as an Associate Veterinarian at Southlake Animal Hospital. In March of 2015, Dr. Carlson became the owner of the clinic and converted the traditional vet practice into a thriving integrative practice.

Dr. Carlson’s professional interests include integrative medicine, reproduction, training, and rehabilitation. She breeds Bernese Mountain dogs under the kennel name Singing Sands, and loves helping other breeders with their programs. She’s trained all her own dogs in conformation, agility, and rally, and is even a Canine Good Citizen evaluator for the American Kennel Club.

Dr. Carlson believes in integrative medicine which combines traditional veterinary medicine with holistic veterinary care that allows her to focus on the whole patient and preventing illness. Dr Carlson focuses on nutritional counseling and helping patients when conventional medicine fails or has no treatment available. She is certified thru the CHI institute in Chinese veterinary food therapy, as a veterinary food therapist she uses the energetic properties of food to provide dietary therapy to patients. Additionally, Dr. Carlson is certified in Chinese herbal medicine, which can be used to treat chronic medical conditions and is often used to relieve pain, improve and restore proper organ function, and strengthen the immune system. Dr. Carlson has become certified in Veterinary Acupuncture, Veterinary Medical Manipulation (chiropractic treatment for animals), Tuina (Chinese massage), and Palliative and End of Life care. She is a certified TCVM practitioner, which means she is certified in all 5 branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. She has also been trained in animal aromatherapy (essential oils) and is currently training to be certified in integrative rehab medicine.

One day, Dr. Carlson hopes to build a training and rehabilitation center on the property behind Southlake Animal Hospital. The facility would include underwater treadmills, a swimming pool, and room to do therapeutic exercises allowing pets to recover from surgical procedures or injuries with targeted and efficient physical therapy.

Currently, Dr. Carlson and her husband live in Rensselaer on 10 acres with her eight Bernese Mountain Dogs- Ayla, Rio, River, Pepina, Brook, Plush, Mags, and Kwani; as well as, three cats, Honey Badger, Heathcliff, and Toops. All of their cats were rescued. Dr. Carlson has had multiple other animals: rescued labs, goldens, and pyrs, cockatiels, guinea pigs, rabbits, lizards, fish, and even a rooster!

In her spare time, Dr. Carlson enjoys breeding and showing her Bernese Mountain Dogs, reading historical fiction, listening to Grateful Dead music, traveling, dining out, camping in their RV, and practicing photography. She and her husband keep several photo galleries in their home from their trips to state parks in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Dr. Carlson journeyed through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to photograph all the waterfalls that she could find. She hopes to eventually take an extended vacation out west to see the majestic mountains, visit Alaska, and do some international traveling.

Dr. Carlson
Dr. Lauren Beaird

Dr. Lauren Beaird, DVM

Veterinarian

Southlake Animal Hospital is excited to welcome Dr. Lauren Beaird to the clinic as a relief veterinarian. She is an integrative vet that is trained just like Dr. Carlson. 

Dr. Beaird started her career at a progressive small animal veterinary practice in the southern suburbs of Chicago. After her own pet was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor at the age of six, she began exploring alternative ways to promote health and provide healing for pets. Her love for learning and desire to provide a complementary approach to medicine led her into an Associate Veterinarian position at the Royal Treatment Veterinary Center in Chicago. Dr. Beaird completed both her undergraduate and veterinary medicine degrees at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana and graduated in May of 2015.

She is acupuncture-certified through the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and plans to become certified in herbal medicine and chiropractic care. She has a strong interest in pet nutrition and believes it is the foundation of health — Dr. Beaird looks forward to helping pets heal through balancing their nutrition and promoting all their causes of health.

Dr. Beaird is the oldest of four girls and married her high school sweetheart in September of 2016. The couple has a dog named Finn who enjoys stand-up paddle boarding and attempting to catch fish. In her spare time, Dr. Beaird loves to spend as much time as possible outside hiking, running, enjoying the lakeshore, living healthfully and mindfully, spending time at her family’s lake home, and backpacking through our nation’s lovely national and state parks.

Dr. Beaird