Wellington The Magazine May 2017

Page 77

wellington | health

Dr. Richard Kelleher Of Palms West Veterinary Hospital Loves Helping Animals In Need Story by Deborah Welky • Photo by Abner Pedraza

They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. That might explain why Dr. Richard Kelleher became a veterinarian. “Ever since I was young, I have been just fascinated by animals and the creatures around me,” Kelleher said. “Growing up in New Jersey, I had fish, lizards, pocket pets — it was a God-given passion. When I took our dog to the vet, I think it must have made an impression on me. Animals are such innocent, helpless creatures. It feels good to be able to give them the help they need.” Kelleher attended Virginia Tech for his undergraduate work and went on to receive his veterinary degree there. He has been in practice for 17 years now, eventually moving to Florida, where he has been an associate at the Palms West Veterinary Hospital for the past four years. Much more than a standard veterinary office, the Palms West Veterinary Hospital functions much like a hospital. Animals stay briefly or overnight, depending on their needs. Some may need to be hooked up to an IV. “There’s always a doctor present and a nurse present 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Kelleher said. “We also are an emergency and critical care hospital. If another vet doesn’t have overnight care, and that’s what the animal needs, they can transfer them here.” With eight doctors on staff, the facility is well-equipped to treat any medical, surgical or dental issue that may arise. Owned by Dr. Ira Grossman, the Palms West Veterinary Hospital primarily serves dogs and cats, although some of the veterinarians work in equine practice on their own. A calming environment in the waiting room was designed to put your pet’s nerves — and yours — at ease. And, just like at a hospital for humans, the staff is always looking toward the next big breakthrough. Kelleher is particularly enthusiastic about recent innovations in veterinary care that are especially helpful to Florida pets. “Florida is such an allergenic state,” he said. “But there are a lot of newer medications to relieve pets of the symptoms of their allergies that are very safe and relieve them of a lot of suffering. One of these innovations has come out within the last four to five years and one — an injection — as recently as eight months ago. They are extremely safe. The allergy injection helps control itching, poses no complications with other medications and can last four to eight weeks.”

Without paying for allergy testing, sometimes pet owners don’t know specifically what is causing their animal’s discomfort. “I’ve been doing this for a while, and it’s extremely gratifying to see pets that have come in in bad shape — whether they have skin issues or injuries — and being able to treat them and return them back to the family,” Kelleher said. “It’s like the family receives a revitalized child.” The Palms West Veterinary Hospital is located at 556 Folsom Road in Loxahatchee Groves. For more information, (561) 798-2780 or visit www.palmswestveterinary.com. wellington the magazine | may 2017


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