North Shore Veterinary Hospital's Services Go on the Road

Posted at: 09/13/2013 6:11 PM | Updated at: 09/13/2013 9:35 PM

A Twin Ports veterinary hospital is expanding, taking their services on the road for the first time Friday morning.

It's no secret a lot of pets hate that trip to the vet. But at North Shore Veterinary Hospital in Duluth, getting your pet the care it needs is becoming much easier.

"This is something I have been dreaming about for 18 years," said Dr. Michael Hargrove, a veterinarian and owner of North Shore.

Hargrove is talking about the new Mobile Wellness Clinic. For the last two weeks, he has been packing the 24-foot unit with supplies he needs for most routine exams, and some lab work.

All that preparing came ahead of Friday's inaugural appointment with cats, Conan and Homer, and their owner Melanie Grune.

"It's kind of nice to have the opportunity to have them just stay home and not have to go in the car," Grune, of Duluth, said.

That's part of the mobile clinic's purpose. Hargrove said "a lot of cats don't like to get into the car and come to the vet...they're very ramped up" from the ride.

He said "there are older arthritic pets that are tough to get into the car."

Hargrove said the mobile clinic will bring service to clients who might otherwise have a hard time getting to the vet.

"We have clients that have a hard time with transportation, some of the elderly that don't drive anymore...there are moms at home with a number of kids," he said.

Hargrove told Eyewitness News the mobile clinic isn't meant to be separate from the North Shore building in the Lakeside/Lester Park neighborhood, but rather an extension. He said whatever services that can be provided well through the truck, will be. That doesn't include X-rays, or more serious procedures like surgery or dentistry work.

"The things that are done best in the hospital will still be done in the hospital."

Should your pet need it, Hargrove said the mobile clinic will also do at-home euthanasia. He said "there are a lot of clients that would probably prefer to have their animals go through that process at home."

With the new wheels just up and running, the first checkups with Conan and Homer included a bit of trial and error. For example, Hargrove was missing some equipment necessary to do a specific test, which will likely be added before the next appointments.

Hargrove said "today is the day for us to work out the kinks."

But Grune said it went great. In the future, she said "it will be part of the whole picture of how we take care of our animals."

North Shore's Practice Manager Holly Rosendahl said the mobile clinic will primarily serve Duluth. But she said they may consider driving farther depending on demand.

Services will not be available in Wisconsin because Hargrove is not licensed to practice in the state, Rosendahl said.

For more information on the new Mobile Wellness Clinic or to set up an appointment for your pet, visit North Shore Veterinary Hospital's website.

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