After spending nearly 25 years on Trosper Road, Tumwater Veterinary Hospital has moved and expanded into a new, 7,000-square-foot building on Littlerock Road, giving staff and the animals they work on a little more room to wag tails.
The hospital and its 20-person staff previously were confined to 2,400 square feet.
In addition to more room, the new site is more visible to passing traffic and has better access for clients and their pets, said owner and veterinarian Gregg Bennett, who opened the hospital in 1989.
The new location has a lab, a pharmacy, X-ray and ultrasound rooms, as well as five exam rooms and an operating room. There’s also a lobby, kennel space, offices upstairs and an employee lounge. The staff moved in at the end of March.
Bennett knew by the seventh grade that he wanted to be a veterinarian.
He stuck to his goal, eventually attending The Evergreen State College and Washington State University before graduating in 1984. Five years later he opened the hospital.
The hospital focuses mostly on serving dogs, cats and birds, although wild animals, such as falcons, owls and bald eagles are sometimes brought to him for care, Bennett said.
Animal medicine, like human medicine, has developed some similar trends, with medical services becoming more specialized for pets, such as teeth cleanings, root canals and even orthodontics, he said.
Another similar trend is that some pet owners have steered clear of getting vaccinations for their pets because some feel it leads to long-term health concerns.
That has resulted in a rise in parvovirus, which affects the lining of a dog’s intestines, leading to vomiting and diarrhea, Bennett said.
Pet medical insurance is a growing trend, too, although less than 5 percent of his clients have it.
“Most pay out of pocket,” he said.
There’s also an underwater treadmill at the hospital, heated to 90 degrees, which allows a dog to walk without joint pain.
Jerry Long of Tumwater, who has owned as many as five dogs and one cat, has taken his pets to the hospital since 1998. He praised the professional and personal side of the hospital’s operations, saying the staff shows real compassion for the animals under their care.
“When you bring a pet into your life, it leaves paw prints on your heart,” Long said. “They really understand that.”