Welcoming pets into a no fear zone
By Sue Siens
Photos by Kindred Moments Photography
Lebanon Animal Hospital has a long history of loving and caring for small animals, with primary treatment for dogs and cats. Founded in 1971 by Dr. Jim Hundley, the practice was purchased by Dr. Allen Craig and Dr. Amanda Wesson in 2014. Located at 1613 West Main Street, the clinic was renovated to enhance the treatment and care of our pets. The hospital features separate dog and cat lobbies (to lessen kitty’s stress and anxiety), with new treatment, surgery and dental care areas. Dr. Craig, Dr. Wesson, and Dr. Kelley Brown, who joined the practice in July, 2015, and their wonderful employees, recognize that visiting the doctor can be scary for our pets (just like it can be for people). This team of professionals aims to provide an inviting and comfortable experience for our cats and dogs, and the highest level of treatment and care available.
Their promises to pet owners and their pets are:
- We will evaluate each individual pet’s stress level.
- We will assess each patient for pain at every visit.
- We will be mindful of anxiety triggers within the hospital.
- We will use appropriate fear-free techniques individualized for your pet.
- We will use appropriate drug therapy to maintain the safety and well-being of the patient, owner, and staff.
- We will continually strive to improve the emotional health of your pet at each visit.
One way to create a no fear zone for your pet is to start bringing them to the animal hospital as soon as possible. Dr. Craig explained, “Our goal is to provide life-long care for your pets. When pets are brought in young, as puppies and kittens, and then come regularly for veterinary care, they become accustomed to the visits. They know they are safe, and have less fear and anxiety about coming to see us. We also send information packets home with tips for pet owners to help them know how to care for their puppies and kittens.”
Dr. Craig recommends twice-a-year wellness checks for all dogs and cats. He said, “We emphasize preventative care, so our pet patients have the healthiest and longest lives possible. Owners no longer bring their pets in only for vaccinations, but also for overall health screening.”
Dr. Craig noted that regular dental exams along with periodic cleanings and dental x-rays are also very important. This is what we expect for ourselves and it makes a huge difference in the pet’s life. Regular visits and preventative healthcare are particularly important for our senior pets, age 7 and older. “Identifying and treating problems early, and ensuring comfort and pain relief for older pets will give them a longer and happier life,” he said.
For our feline pets, the animal hospital takes extra care to help cats feel safe and comfortable. Dr. Wesson said, “The kitties have their own private lobby, so they aren’t scared by barking dogs. We use mats on the exam tables so they have something to grip, and we spray a safe hormone in the air, that only cats can detect, which has a calming effect for most cats.” When pet owners have an appointment to bring their cat in for a visit, they can come by ahead of time and pick up a packet of the calming hormone, to wipe inside their kitty’s pet carrier. For most of the cats, it soothes and calms them for the trip to the vet.
Lebanon Animal Hospital provides the full range of pet healthcare services including diagnostic blood and urine testing, digital x-rays, ultrasound, endoscopy and digital dental x-rays for their teeth. They also perform laser surgery, dental treatments and complex oral surgery. They can also assist with behavioral issues, nutrition assessments, pain management, and boarding for pets needing ongoing medical care.
To ensure compliance with the highest standards in pet care, Lebanon Animal Hospital is voluntarily accredited with the American Animal Hospital Association. They are currently the only facility with this accreditation in Lebanon. AAHA has stringent quality standards for all aspects of pet care, in nearly 1,000 different areas of quality of care and operation of the animal hospital. According to the AAHA, only about 12% of veterinary clinics in the U.S. are accredited.
Meet the Doctors
Dr. Allen Craig, Dr. Amanda Wesson, and Dr. Kelley Brown, have dedicated their lives to excellent and loving care and treatment of small animals. All three of the veterinarians at Lebanon Animal Hospital received their Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of TN.
Dr. Allen Craig began working at Lebanon Animal Hospital immediately after graduating from UT in 1999. He purchased the animal hospital in 2012. Dr. Craig and his wife Valerie live in Mount Juliet, with three children, and pets Daisy, a Walker Coon Hound, cats Captain Cuddles and Max, and three water turtles. Dr. Craig enjoys family time, gardening, and playing tennis. He is also an alumnus of Leadership Wilson.
Dr. Amanda Wesson is a native of Smith County, TN. She began working at Lebanon Animal Hospital in 2007, and became an owner of the animal hospital in 2014. Dr. Wesson and her husband Anthony have a daughter named Autumn, a dog named Cricket, and a cat named Festus. Her hobbies are spending time with family, church, and cycling.
Dr. Kelley Brown joined the team at Lebanon Animal Hospital in July, 2015. She and her boyfriend Nathaniel reside in Hendersonville. Dr. Brown has a dog named Cade, and two cats, Alli and Layla. In addition to working at LAH, she is an emergency vet for Nashville Pet Emergency Center.
Drs. Craig, Wesson, and Brown regularly answer pet questions for our Wilson Living Magazine readers. To submit a question that may be featured in an upcoming issue, send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Lebanon Animal Hospital and their pet care services, visit their website at www.lebanonanimalhospital.com, or call (615) 444-4422.