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By Tony Vindell
Some time back, Raymondville’s vibrant business community had a little bit of everything. Residents said the locals took their pets and some of their farm animals to the two full-time veterinarians in town.
That was more than 10 more years ago.
Today, people have no choice but to travel 15, 20, 30 or more miles away to seek the services of one of the many animal doctors found throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
This week, however, there is some relief as a group of veterinarians from Texas A&M University Veterinarian Emergency Team will provide their service free of charge during Operation Border Health/Preparedness.
Willacy County will host the only veterinarian clinic under OBHP from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. July 24 through July 28 at Raymondville High School, 601 FM 3168.
Some of the wellness preventive healthcare services that are available for pets include rabies vaccines, distemper/parvovirus/adenovirus, Type 2/parainfluenza and leptospirosis vaccines, feline rhinotracheitis/calicivirus/panleukopenia and leukemia.
Also, physical exams and low-level diagnostic testing for conditions like heartworms and tick-borne diseases and pets may also receive a dewormer and a single dose of heartworm and flea prevention based on their age, health status, and previous health history.
In the last two years, more than 1,200 critters were treated by the team of experts.
The week-long program costs the university about $120,000 in one includes the salaries of a staff of about 80, supplies, transportation and other costs.
For the public, this translates into savings of close to $400,000 altogether.
The vet clinic is open to anyone. In other words, people do not need to live in Willacy County to bring their pets.