The Veterinary House Call

Bright's Mobile Veterinary Service began out of necessity and has developed into a labor of love.

Brenda Bright '89 began making veterinary house calls in Ames a year after graduating from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. To this day she continues to travel throughout Story County caring for the pets of the elderly, young professionals and working couples.

"At the time, I had two small children and stayed home with them during the day," she said. "When my husband came home from work at night, I would grab my bag and go make house calls."

Initially Bright wanted to build up a client list she could use to establish her own veterinary practice. In 1998 she purchased the Heartland Pet Hospital in Story City, Iowa.

Even with her goal accomplished, Bright didn't stop making house calls. These days Bright’s Mobile Veterinary Service is on the road every Tuesday from 1-8 p.m. She typically has six or seven appointments each Tuesday where she provides primary care, vaccinations and blood work, and takes care of the occasional sick animal.

She has declawed cats, neutered dogs and cats, and sewn up lacerations. She has made house calls for guinea pigs, rabbits, parrots and rats, and even did a house surgery on a chinchilla. She does draw the line on snakes and large animals.

"I've crawled under more beds than I care to admit," Bright says. I've neutered animals on kitchen tables and performed just about any type of procedure you can do away from a clinic.

"The animals are much more relaxed at home than they are in the clinic," Bright said. "Plus I believe it helps me diagnose some problems much easier. I see them in their own environment. If there are behavioral issues, I see how the owners are feeding them or what the litter box situation is. The owners are also more comfortable at home which I believe significantly helps with the whole process."

That's the particularly true when Bright is asked to euthanatize a pet at their home.

"I think this is a great service I and other veterinarians provide," she said. "This is a very emotional time for pet owners and it seems to relax them and their pets, more than when we do the same procedure at the clinic."

The connection Bright makes with her clients and patients is why she continues to make house calls.

"I enjoy providing a service that benefit not only the pets, but their owners as well," she said. "I do believe this is a niche market many of our clients really like and appreciate."

April 2015