By Valerie Baldowski
Matt Hamlin held Daisy, his pet Boxer, on the examining table while a veterinarian's assistant examined the dog.
Daisy was one of the four-legged patients being treated Monday at Mallard's Landing Veterinary Hospital, which opened on April 5 at 2675 Ga. Highway 155 in Locust Grove.
One of the veterinarians there, Dr. Lisa Chambers, entered the room later and examined the dog, ensuring there was nothing seriously wrong before prescribing medication to treat the animal.
Daisy was accompanied by another Boxer, Buster, that Hamlin also brought to the clinic for the veterinarian to examine. After Chambers completed her exam of the two canines, she gave them a reassuring pat and slipped each of them a dog treat.
Hamlin, a McDonough resident, said he heard about the opening of the clinic from a steady client.
The vets were previously operating from a smaller clinic in another location in Locust Grove, said Chambers, the owner of the practice.
"My father-in-law has been coming here for the last several years," said Hamlin. "He's got a whole fleet of animals. This place comes very highly recommended."
Chambers said she chose to expand to the new location because she wanted more space to treat her patients.
The newly opened, two-story clinic has 10,000 square feet of space on the first floor, and 3,000 square feet on the second floor, according to Dave Gardner, Chambers' husband and a veterinary technician who assists in the examination room.
Hamlin said he makes the trip to Locust Grove to take his dogs to the clinic because of the personal attention the staff provides. "[I like] the one-on-one service," he said. "It's not your typical vet."
Following her examination of Daisy and Buster, Chambers diagnosed the dogs.
"I think the little female has a urinary tract infection," she said. "We've got her some antibiotics, and hopefully, we'll get her straightened out."
She said Buster had a cyst. "We're not going to take it out right now. I think it'll be OK," Chambers said.
A good rapport with animals and humans is an important trait for a veterinarian to have, she said.
"If you have a good bedside manner with the owners of the animal, then that's going to make them feel comfortable and confident in the vet they're coming to," Chambers said.
Gardner was assisting when Hamlin's two dogs were seen. He said the clinic was treating several other dogs for a variety of symptoms.
One animal was a schnauzer who experienced seizures.
"She was at the emergency clinic over the weekend, and she's just here for observation to see if we can pinpoint what may be causing the seizures," Gardner said. "She'll go home this evening, and depending on what we find, she may come back again tomorrow."
The job of a vet at the clinic is multi-faceted, he continued.
"You're a general practitioner, a dermatologist, a pharmacist, a general surgeon, a radiologist, a dentist, a gynecologist, and an ob/gyn," he said. "You do it all."
The clinic focuses solely on dogs and cats, said Dr. Lori Stose, who worked with Chambers for five years at Eagle's Landing Veterinary Hospital in McDonough before moving with her to the Mallard's Landing clinic.
Stose said animals, like children, need specialized care.
"They are just like part of the family," she added. "Puppies and kittens need booster [shots] just like children do, and then yearly check ups after that to make sure they're healthy."