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Tracy Frank, Published June 29 2010

Fargo vet clinic has growth spurt

Animal Health Clinic has recently expanded, more than doubling its former size.

The Fargo clinic, which cares for cats, dogs and exotic pets such as birds, reptiles and rodents, renovated its existing space and expanded when two neighboring spaces opened in the strip mall where Hornbacher’s Express is located on South University Drive.

The original clinic was built in the 1970s. The remodeling and expansion project took it from a 4,000- square-foot clinic to 8,900 square feet.

“We were a five-doctor practice as of about 2005 or 2006 in a building built for two doctors,” said Kevin Dill, veterinarian and co-owner. “It was very, very crowded, very congested.”

The clinic now has eight exam rooms, twice its previous number. Two of the rooms have hydraulic exam tables that can be lowered and elevated to accommodate heavy dogs or animals that cannot be lifted.

“There are a lot of things now that we’re able to do in a bigger facility that hasn’t been done in this area,” said Paul Striegel, veterinarian and co-owner.

The clinic has added digital X-rays, a dental suite and a separate room for procedures like ultrasound and endoscopy. A chemotherapy room for cancer patients and an isolation room for animals with contagious diseases both have special ventilation systems.

As the clinic grew, Dill said “it became very clear to me there were some very specialized areas that we needed for doing those jobs better.”

The changes have made the clinic much more efficient, Dill said.

“We can do all those things at once instead of having to wait and jockey around,” he said.

Lisa Ferguson of Fargo has been taking her pets to Animal Health Clinic for 11 years. She shows cats and dogs and said the animals can pick up various sicknesses at the shows. Animal Health Clinic always finds a way to help her pets, Ferguson said.

“The doctors here have gone above and beyond,” she said. “They have gone to seminars specifically dealing with some of the problems that we have had.”

Mary Gunkelman of Fargo has been taking pets to Animal Health Clinic for as long as she can remember. It’s where her parents took their pets, and Gunkelman has continued to be a loyal customer.

“They’ve been really supportive to me,” she said. “They’ve always given excellent care.”

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526