Travels with Pickles

Exceptional Discovery: Kindness Animal Hospital


We all love our pets and we all worry about finding medical care for them as we travel across the country.  Sure there are national veterinary hospital, Banfield immediately comes to mind, but those are really only located in medium to large cities. 

When we moved from Cortez to Ignacio, Colorado in the middle of August we passed by Kindness Animal Hospital on the way to Sky Ute Casino.  Wally had crusty eyes, dried tears that form this hard as nails crust on his tear ducts.  He was rubbing his face on furniture constantly and pawing his face.  He would paw at his face trying to dislodge the crust.  He is face sensitive and won’t let us clean his face with a warm towel or our hands.  So unfortunately helping him wasn’t an option.  He wasn’t in pain, in fact he was running and playing like a much younger dog than his fifteen years.  But when his tear ducts started to bleed when he finally got some crust off, was the last straw for us.

I called Kindness Animal Hospital on a Monday morning hoping to get a Friday afternoon appointment.  Instead, the amazing staff got us in that afternoon without charging us for an emergency visit.  So, off we went to get his eyes taken care off and expecting the worst (he’s fifteen and over fifty pounds we know every day is a gift we treasure).

Dr. Lodahl, her staff, and the entire facility is amazing.  Dr. Lodahl lives on site and the hospital is in a converted house.  The grounds are filled with amazing fruit trees and there are separate entrances for large and small animals.  Dr. Lodahl is a soft spoken woman who has a magically touch with animals.  Wally, who is usually on guard with new doctors, was at ease with her.  He let her muzzle him and really only tried to snap at her fingers once through the muzzle as she cleaned his tear ducts and applied medication to his eyes.  Her gentle touch cleaned his crusty eyes and he looked so much better.  She gave him a steroid injection to help with the allergies. 

Below is how he looked after treatment.  As bad as it looks, it looked far worse prior to treatment.  He was happy and playful when we got home from the office 


She was also the first doctor to EVER discuss the fact that he might have allergies and that there was a blood work test for allergies that would figure out what he was allergic to and what food what safe for him to eat.  She was also the ONLY vet to mention there is a vaccination for rattlesnake bites.  That’s right, our regular vet (not Banfield) failed to mention this and he knew we where going fulltime and we lived in the desert at the time.  So this amazing woman and doctor in a small town in Southwestern Colorado had more information and provided far better care than a big city doctor. 

Even more amazing, there is an exotic veterinarian on staff at Kindness Animal Hospital.  That’s right, an exotic vet in a small farming community but try and find one in a big city, let alone find one that doesn’t charge a small fortune for a simple office visit.  We didn’t get the chance to met the exotic vet, but I have no doubt she has the same magical touch as Dr. Lodahl.

We decided to change permanent vets after Wally’s visit.  Sure it means returning to Durango, CO once a year but honestly, neither one of us has a problem with that “chore”.   Once the RV Park at Sky Ute opens for the season we will plan our return trip for all of the flock to have their annual check-up and shots.  Wally is doing much better.  His tear ducts still crust over but not nearly to the same extent.  We bought a soft-sided muzzle to apply the medicine Dr. Lodahl sent us home with but so far, no luck.  Not sure how one fifteen year old, fifty-five pound aging dog does it but a muzzle is no deterrent to trying to prevent the medication from being applied.  He’s not in pain and the crust does come off and we try and get some off every day.  I refuse to own a true muzzle.