ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
For Brendan Kraus, home is where the heart is. The heart of this doctor of veterinary medicine has brought him back to Marion County.
A 1995 graduate of Marion High School, Kraus has returned to Marion County after a nine-year hiatus to open the Spur Ridge Vet Hospital located at 424 N. Main St. in Florence.
“I look forward to meeting with all the clients and getting back in touch with the community,” Kraus said. “We’ve been gone for nine years, so just getting plugged back in will be exciting.”
Wife Tina will teach seventh-grade science and social studies at Marion Middle School.
The son of Don and Vickie Kraus of Marion, Brendan Kraus earned a degree in biology at Pittsburg State University after graduating from MHS.
From there, a four-year stint at the Kansas State University School of Veterinary Medicine enabled Kraus to earn his doctorate in veterinary medicine.
After graduating from veterinary school, Kraus managed a clinic in Louisburg.
“I didn’t own that clinic, but I was the only one working there,” Kraus said. “I always have and always will try to practice a high level of medicine. Having good equipment and instruments helps make that possible.
“I think having that experience is something that will benefit my customers here.”
Hours of the newly opened Spur Ridge Vet Hospital are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Kraus prefers his clients to call ahead for appointments.
“That just means to call and schedule a time for an appointment in case I’m out on a call and I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “I don’t want people to drive here and not have me available.”
Kraus is also available on a 24-hour emergency basis by calling 620-878-4500.
“We’re mobile and we’ll go just about anywhere,” Kraus said.
Whether your animal is large or small, Spur Ridge can treat them all, Kraus said.
“We really have expanded services in the area of large animals, but I also enjoy treating small animals too,” he said. “We’re sure here to do both.”
Kraus offers expanded services, many on the cutting edge of the science of veterinary medicine.
“We’ve got equine power dentistry (horse power dentistry), ultrasound and portable X-ray capabilities, so we can do lameness exams and things like that. We’ve got portable cattle chutes with scales, and we’ve got cow-calf herd computer software. We can log in information about cow herds and generate reports from year to year about how the cows are doing, and we can draw conclusions based on what the computer program tells us.
“With our portable chute and scales, we can also read electronic identification tags when we’re working cows,” Kraus added. “If cows have the tags, we can just wave the wand past their ear and pull up a complete history of each animal right there chute-side while we’re working them.
“We have all the latest technology available as far as computers and computer programs are concerned.”
Kraus said technological advances have revolutionized the veterinary business.
“With ultrasound and portable X-rays, we’re able to do things that might not have been possible as recently as 20 years ago,” he said.
“Ultrasound is used primarily on large animals and it detects early pregnancy,” he said. “We also use ultrasound to look inside the abdomen and inside the chest and do internal structure exams, which is a great benefit.”
Growing up on a Marion County ranch, Kraus has lived with animal health and related issues all his life.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with animals and I like being able to help out with problems that people aren’t able to solve themselves,” he said. “Florence and this area just seems like a good area that needed a veterinarian.
“I think there’s enough business in this part of Marion County that I view this as a good opportunity.”
Kraus said he plans to shape his clinic according to the need and size of his clientele.
“I’m in practice by myself at the present time, but I think most clinics would always hope to have enough business to expand and have another veterinarian join the practice,” he said. “We’ll just have to see what the future holds for us.”
Spur Ridge also offers numerous product lines to facilitate ranchers and pet owners with all their needs.
“We offer a full line of large-animal products and for the small animals we carry all the medications and over-the-counters as well as dog food,” Kraus said.
As he tries to meet the need for veterinary services in the area, Kraus said he wants to earn a reputation of being a capable and caring professional.
“We just want to be known for practicing high-quality medicine,” he said. “And we want to be able to do it at a good value for our clients.”