Veterinary Clinic Held Monthly In Highland

Highland County residents have faced a shortage of veterinary services since Dr. Joe Malcolm closed the doors of his Stonewall Veterinary Clinic eight years ago. The only available choices were to make a visit to facilities in Bath, Pendleton, or Augusta counties, or wait as physicians from there made the trip to attend to animals in need.

Assistance has now arrived in the form of a veterinary clinic provided by Westwood Animal Hospital of Staunton. The clinic is held the second Monday of each month on the grounds of the Highland High School. Dr. Jenna Adams explained more.

“I’m Dr. Jenna Adams, and I’m an associate veterinarian at Westwood Animal Hospital, and I do mixed animals, so I do both large and small animal medicine.

“So on the second Monday of every month, a mixed animal veterinarian is going to come over, and we’re stationed at the modular unit behind the high school, kind of near the Ag shop, providing basic wellness care for small animals there. We can do vaccines, physical exams, heart worms tests, feline leukemia tests, and basic exams. We cannot do blood work, or x-rays there, but we can take the blood back to the main clinic in Staunton, if we need to, and we can discuss from the work-up, and discuss bringing the animal to the clinic if that’s required to do so. We’re also doing large animals, by appointment only. That has to be haul in at this point, so that seems to be at this point, limited to horses and small ruminants, things that can be easily hauled into the school. We don’t have a cattle,chute or head catch at this point, so it would be hard to do any hauling cattle work. We’re doing that by appointment only, our mobile unit, the ambulance only has limited room for supplies, and right now, that’s pretty well stocked with the small animal stuff, so if we’re going to do any large animals, we need to know in advance, so we can make sure we have it on the ambulance.”

Dr. Adams talked about how the clinic got started with the assistance from Steve Heavner, agriculture instructor at the school.

“The past two falls, I have travelled over to help check in the show animals for the kids, with the sheep and the goats and the hogs and the cattle, just to make sure everything looked healthy and was ok for the fair, and during our time there, Mr. Heavner and I discussed just how there is a deficit in veterinary care in that area, and how we were just kind of thinking how we could be more involved. I mentioned that to the partners at Westwood, and then the opportunity came that we had an ambulance, to acquire and ambulance, which can be converted right into a mobile unit, so all the pieces kind of fell in line. And them collaborating with the school, they’ve been very accommodating, and very welcoming, and everything fell in line for us to give this a try.”

The clinic is also an educational resource.

“We’re going to try and involve the high school students as much as we can. Mr. Heavner has been a great resource for us, and we want to make this an educational opportunity for students, so we’re probably going to give them opportunities to observe, and educate them as much as we can.”

To make an appointment, contact Westwood for a reservation.

“It would be best if they called Westwood – that phone number is 540-337-6200. They do all the scheduling there. At this time, we can probably handle a few walk-in small animal appointments, but like I said, with limited room on our mobile unit, we really need to know about any large animals in advance.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Current Weather