New veterinary clinic moves Spur Ridge toward goals

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Veterinarian Brendan Kraus poses outside the entry door to the new Spur Ridge Vet Hospital in Marion. Kraus said in the midst of changes in his field, he wants to stay ?progressive, focused on providing the best care possible.?

Any Kansas cattleman who?s had to work on an animal outside in the cold, wet weather can probably appreciate the indoor, heated handling area in the new Spur Ridge Vet Hospital, PA, which opened this month in the Marion Industrial Park.

Brendan Kraus, who earned his doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University in 2002 has returned to his home town with his young family.

His wife, Tina, who has an education degree from K-State, runs customer relations for the clinic and stays home with two young daughters and a baby on the way.

Kraus grew up in farming and ranching with his parents, Don and Vickie Kraus, who still run the operation east of Marion with his brother, Nick. He said that his family was able to offer practical advice in designing the clinic.

His sisters, Melanie, Coldwater, and Kristi, Topeka, left the farm to pursue marriage and family.

Kraus went through all 12 years of grade school, junior high and senior high in Marion.

The clinic also employs Becky Soyez, front office, Bobbie Picknell, registered veterinary technician, and Belinda Skiles, veterinary technician.

Kraus said he feels he has achieved one of his listed goals with his employees, to provide ?a caring and capable staff.?

He moved the clinic from Florence to Marion to follow through with new facilities for separate handling of small animals, horses, cattle and other food-production animals in the spacious metal building, which was begun in February.

The different sections offer the latest in equipment, Kraus said, such as in the cattle section, where a new machine is used to lay a large animal on its side for foot treatment.

There are specialty services offered, such as for horses, dentistry, lameness therapy and reproductive care, he said.

Kraus said there have been major changes in veterinary practices over the past 20 years, and he wants to stay ?progressive, focused on providing the best care possible.?

For instance, he advises customers to bring in their household animals for routine preventative care through an annual wellness examination.

He said dogs and cats, along with many other animals, usually don?t show pain although they may be suffering a chronic affliction.

?They?ve evolved that way,? Kraus said. To show pain or weakness in the wild may mark an animal as the predator target for another animal, he said.

The examination can reveal such things, possibly prolonging the pet?s life and wellness.

He gives three-year rabies vaccinations to minimize unnecessary vaccinations and risks to pets. He focuses on physical exams, internal parasite screening and other preventative medicine to catch and control illness before it becomes a major problem.

Kraus said he hopes to offer the same philosophy even in commercial animals doing things such as helping cattlemen maintain herd health.

Kraus said, in his mission statement, ?Our purpose is to establish and uphold an unparalleled, full-service veterinary hospital that our staff, clients and community can take pride in. By offering excellence in care and customer service, we will deliver first-class medicine to our patients while maintaining a trustworthy relationship with our clients.

?It is our objective to provide a facility and patient care akin to that of a large hospital without compromising our small town values and rural surroundings.

?A close-knit community is a family, and as such, should receive treatment deserving of a family member.?

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