Copyright © 2010 by Paul E. Click, DVM; All Rights reserved; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Animal Care Center of Vernon, Inc.
Clinic from Street
Cow Pens 2
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Our clinic is located exactly one mile west of the intersection of Alabama highways 17 & 18, across from Lamar County High School, on 2.75 acres. We have a gravel driveway because I enjoy keeping it dressed with my little red Ford tractor, and because the delivery truck drivers would probably tear up anything else we had and I couldn't fix it!
The clinic is a highly factory customized one bedroom manufactured home. The floors are all one piece vinyl, and the walls are all vinyl covered sheetrock. The facility is easily kept clean and I believe that after 10 years it still doesn't smell like a veterinary clinic.
The practice is computerized with three workstations to help us keep track of over 4000 clients. We use the AVIMARK software, and though we don't use all of it's features, it has become a tremendous tool for practice management.
The reception area features two workstations, and displays for Hill's Prescription and Science Diets and some OTC products. Two exam rooms open off the hallway-one has no windows, so it's a good place for the radiograph view box and for doing ophthalmic exams.
The "kitchen" doubles as our lab and pharmacy. We use ABAXIS' Vet Scan and HM II for CBCs and Blood Chemistries. My 48 year old binocular Steindorff has helped me save many thousands of dollars worth of livestock and many thousands of pets. It's the best $400 I ever spent.
A portable MinXray HF l00 used in a stationary format gives us excellent radiographs which we develop manually. We also have a stand for taking shots of horses, etc. A homemade cassette holder for getting pictures of feet is included.
Our prep/intensive care/post-op area includes a scrub sink, records area, SS shoreline cages with racks, refrigerator and prep/treatment table.
The surgery features my homemade surgery table, which does everything the store bought ones do. Instrument tables and lights were salvaged from the old hospital.
Our personal office has two work tables and two desks and my library.
The kennel is in a separate concrete block building directly behind the clinic. It houses the laundry, 5 large runs, 18 SS cages, a bath tub and scrub sink and opens into a large exercise yard surrounded by a four foot chainlink fence. We use it for boarders and surgery patients.
Directly behind the exercise yard is the cowpen. It features 3 pens that crowd to the side opening Powder River Bull Chute. We can accommodate 2-3 gooseneck loads of calves at a time. The pens are made of angle iron panels 10 feet long and 6 feet high---when the critters look up all they see is blue sky! I like it that way!!
Three paddocks are divided by high tensile smooth wire and surrounded by woven horse fence. A two stall barn with a large feed/tack room resides behind my shop, across the paddock which also doubles as a terrific garden spot.
My shop is a 16'X24' metal building where I do woodworking, equipment repairs, and meditate!
We are the only veterinary practice in the county so we either do it or refer it. The closest other practices are 22-45 miles away (6 in Alabama and 5-6 in Mississippi). We have a good relationship with all of them.
Referrals go to Mississippi State or Auburn or to two excellent specialty practices in Birmingham, 2 hours away. We consult regularly with all of them, but often clients want us to give it our best shot rather than refer.
I do right much orthopedics. I like IM pinning, and use the Kirschner splinting apparatus quite a bit---it satisfies my itch to do good carpenter work, and tolerates clients that do less than a perfect job of post-op care. Thomas splints and metasplints still have their place as they are inexpensive, adaptable, and they work!
My health has required me to quit delivering foals and calves and palpating cows and I miss it! I used to say my favorite way to start and end the day was bringing a live foal or calf into the world---wish I could still do it! I have come to love working with companion animals and their people and that is most of what I do now.
I still do a fair amount of horse work. I guess my only notoriety/specialty is doing stifles. The medial patellar desmotomy has always been easy for me to do and there are quite a lot of gaited horses around here to benefit from the surgery. It's the only procedure that makes sense to me on paper and so far all that I have done were successful. I think some of the schools are back teaching it again.
Animal husbandry, stirring what you've got, and common sense have always been sort of my long suits, so although I can't do all that I once could, my brain still works and I enjoy consultation. I believe veterinarians should do more consulting work and charge for it appropriately, which I haven't always done.
I have a doctor friend in Tennessee that likes to quip "I'm a thinking doctor", when asked what kind of doctor he is. I believe as a profession we should cultivate that type mentality and reputation.
Preventive medicine has always worked better for me than fixing train wrecks, so that is the kind of practice I've promoted. It still works, and always will.
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