Amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s often difficult to make time for routine doctor’s visits and checkups for human family members, much less their furry companions.
The Shot Spot mobile vaccination and sterilization clinic aims to make it easier for busy pet parents to give their dogs and cats the basic care they need in a quick, convenient, budget-friendly setting.
Affiliated with The Pet Vet at Petco in Frisco, The Shot Spot was founded and developed by animal advocate Amy Cox and her veterinarian husband, Dr. Danny Cox. In addition to providing low-cost vaccinations, heartworm tests and preventative medications, microchipping, flea and tick products, and prescription diets, the mobile clinic offers Zeutering, or non-surgical male dog sterilization.
The Coxes founded The Pet Vet in 2009 after noticing that a lot of people could not afford veterinary visits due to the rising cost of pet care. In 2013, they decided to take their idea to the road.
“We help take care of pets that might not get taken care of otherwise on a regular basis,” Danny said. “We do a complete examination on these pets complementary, which is a big savings to the client. A very small percentage of pets are actually taken to the vet each year. If we can find a way to have that market of people that don’t normally go to a vet and teach them about vet care and get them to establish a relationship with a local vet, I think that goes a long way to helping these pets live great, long lives.”
With pricing published on its website and on flyers in the Walgreens and CVS stores with which it partners, the only “surprise” patients are in for is the pain-free simplicity of the Zeutering procedure.
“I put off getting my boys [sterilized] because of the vet stay that would be required. This was the answer I had been waiting for,” said Misty Ashley, on The Shot Spot’s Facebook page. “My boys have been in no pain. This was so easy.”
Unlike neutering, the Zeutering procedure, which is essentially a form of chemical castration, does not require the animal to undergo anesthesia and takes only about 15 minutes. Dogs are lightly sedated to keep them still, while a small needle inserts zinc cluconate and arginine directly into each testicle. Sedation is reversed, and the dog is awake and ready to go home. Zeutering allows the animal to retain about 50 percent of its testosterone, which Dr. Cox said may help prevent certain types of cancers.
“Veterinary medicine is changing,” he said. “We used to ride horses to the grocery store, and now we drive cars to Walmart. Castration is not the best for a pet.”
Although only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for male dogs, Dr. Cox said it is also a safe product to use on male cats. There is not a product available for female dog or cat sterilization other than spaying, which removes the uterus and ovaries.
“People are very happy and very appreciative, because it’s on their schedule,” he said. “People can come home from work, pick their pets up and be home for dinner. … Cost is a factor, especially with people with multiple pets in the household … but the biggest thing is they feel good about the fact that they get a licensed veterinarian with extensive experience putting eyes and ears on their pet and getting to talk to them.”
Currently traveling to select CVS and Walgreens locations in Plano, McKinney, Frisco, Little Elm, The Colony, Wylie, Sherman, Fairview, Aubrey, Murphy, Greenville, Sachse and Dallas, The Shot Spot plans to add locations – and vehicles – to their two-vehicle fleet.
“I love that it’s so convenient for the clients,” said Kara Bradshaw, office manager for The Pet Vet and The Shot Spot. “It really brings the wellness services right into their own backyard, and the pets seem to be less stressed out.”
For information, visit theshotspot.org.