I discovered Ironhorse Vet Care when, Lollie, my 17 year old Papillion mix rescue dog was diagnosed with a mucocele in her gallbladder that was at risk for rupture and time was of the essence. The diagnosing radiologist referred us to Ironhorse but I was unfamiliar with them and thought I preferred a local veterinary medical teaching hospital that I had used in the past which is much closer to my home. However, the preferred surgeon at the teaching hospital was booked a month out so I was likely looking at emergency surgery if I wanted to use that facility…
That is when I called Ironhorse and spoke with Practice Manger, Renee who told me that she could book a consult/surgery within 48 hours. She took the time to explain the process and answer all of my questions so I made an appointment for 2 days later. In the meantime, I received an email with further information about the Ironhorse practice and initial intake forms that I could complete in advance. I even called back a few times with additional questions that were answered by knowledgeable, professional and caring staff that were very adept at supporting worried dog moms. On the day of our appointment with Ironhorse, we arrived and were greeted by Virginia at the front desk who went on to provide warmth, humor and support throughout the day.
I met with Dr. Jamie Wignall, the surgeon to discuss my dog’s condition, surgery risks and benefits and even my advance care directive should that be needed. He delighted to see that my 17 year old dog was in such good shape for her age but carefully discussed increased risks due to advanced age. He compared laparoscopic and open surgery factors which helped me appreciate risks and benefits of each. Dr. Wignall was intelligent, personable and very good at handling all of my questions. Dr. Wignall and I came to agreement to move forward with laparoscopic surgery to be performed that day. My consultation with Dr. Wignall helped me be confident with my decision to pursue surgery and more importantly left me with a firm belief that my dog was in the best possible care. It took a few hours as dog was prepared for surgery so I explored the neighborhood and nearby mall. I returned just prior to scheduled surgery time. Dr. Wignall assured me that everything looked good and that he would begin the procedure shortly. He told me that I could request updates during surgery which I did and learned that everything was going well.
Surgery took about 2 hours during which time I chatted with staff, other clients and briefly met the founder of the practice, Dr. Kipperman who was consulting with a client. Current practice owner, Dr. Haburjak came out and introduced himself and we discussed my dog as well as my brief experience as a veterinary technician at a few different facilities where he had also provided specialty care. Practice manager, Renee took time away from her duties to answer my questions about whether pet health insurance has improved since last I had it a decade ago and I was delighted to find it had which meant that I will be able to afford first rate care for potential future dogs. Virginia, at the front desk reassured me that I could stay there overnight with my dog if I wanted, helped me find nearby accommodations if I preferred and recommended a great place for lunch. We laughed several times too which helped keep me calm as I waited to hear the outcome of surgery which was a success.
Dr. Wignall made himself available after surgery to debrief me about details and at my request, he even showed me the diseased gallbladder he had removed from my dog. I was able to see my dog after surgery and felt good knowing that she was under excellent care as I left her at the hospital overnight and stayed nearby with friends. When I arrived early the next morning, staff greeted me warmly and I met with Dr. Wignall. He reported that he was pleased with morning bloodwork and that she would be able to go home after IV pain medication had cleared her system. Dr. Wignall genuinely shared my happiness with Lollie’s status and future outlook. I received clear and explicit instructions from the vet tech on after care, help with ordering an inflatable e-collar in the right size on Amazon and even an extra post-op Ironhorse logoT-shirt to keep on my dog to protect abdominal incisions.
Overall, I am thankful to have found Dr. Wignall and Ironhorse. I plan rely on Dr. Wignall and Ironhorse services for any future specialty care instead of the veterinary teaching hospital because of the high level of expertise, ease of access, warmth, compassion and dedication to supporting excellent animal health and guiding pet owners through what can be a very anxious process.
Thanks to Ironhorse Vet Care, my 17 year old dog is back to her happy, healthy self and I can enjoy her companionship for a few more years. I highly recommend Ironhorse Vet Care!