Last May, Performance Equine Dental and Vet developed a new fixture on its back road farm property: a small animal dental and veterinary service.
Foothill Small Animals Dental and Veterinary clinic isn’t so much a new business as it is a new limb of the Performance veterinary business, which has been at its current location in Buckley for two years.
The new branch of the business has united Dr. Richard Vetter and wife Kathy Vetter with Dr. Bill Hougham, a vet with 18 years of experience at Enumclaw Veterinary Hospital and years more experience at Klahanie Center Veterinary Hospital in Issaquah.
“He’s a bit of a local yokel,” Business Manager Kathy Vetter said. “He’s been in the community a long time and he’s concerned about doing right by his patients.”
For years, the Vetters operated their horse services from a mobile unit that traveled throughout Washington and Oregon. That lasted until 2008, when they purchased a plot of farm land on 112th Street East to settle a permanent veterinary location. Requests for expansion would soon follow.
“Several of our horse owners that had been bringing in their horses also owned two or three cats or dogs,” business manager Kathy Vetter said. “They wanted to know if we could offer services for small animals.
“So we took a house on the property, gutted it and put in a clinic. Nothing has changed. We’ve literally added a wall to a nook that used to be a kitchen and that was it.”
The small animals clinic offers a full range of services, including check-ups, treatment for worms and other afflictions, X-rays, dental cleaning, surgery, allergy screening, genetic testing and euthanasia. Genetic testing in particular is gaining popularity because it can allow owners of mixed breed dogs to prepare for health problems unique to its makeup, Richard Vetter said.
The small family-owned model and expansive farmland have so far allowed the doctors to take more time and care with appointments. On the afternoon of July 7, Barbara Gohl brought her dog Zoey in for a routine check-up. Hougham took the dog outside in the yard during a bright and sunny day for the lameness test. Afterward, both doctors joined her in the examination room for the physical.
The clinic will also attempt a free community outreach education night once a month for people who call ahead. The July education night is tonight, Wednesday, and the topic will be first aid.
Foothill Small Animal Dental and Veterinary is located at 28512 112th St E in Buckley. Their phone number is 360-829-0500.