Austin started caring for a variety of animals at a young age, helping out on his father’s boarding house for horses. Whether it was binding an injured foot or feeding any of the cows, chickens, or sheep on his family property, there was always something to do.
As he got older, his love for education and animal communication grew.
“People learn more about themselves through their animals,” Austin said. “Being able to share that knowledge with others is all I want to do.”
The fourth year Colorado State student is interested in small animal practice. Austin believes that veterinarians play a very important role in the community and is focused on education, engagement, and animal behavior.
“There is a plethora of wrong information out there that people have access to at the tips of their fingertips,” Austin said. “It is important to have a professional that clients feel comfortable with to help guide them on how to care for their pets.”
Austin is from New Mexico and enjoys spending his study breaks with his pointer mix, Jerry.
Meet Gypsy Rose, one of the most sociable cats in Nevada!
This three-year-old Calico is one playful kitty. With personality to share, Gypsy Rose loves everyone who crosses her path. Not only does she like to make new friends, her siblings are her favorite companions, sharing her attention between the two dogs and cat that share her home.
When Gypsy Rose isn’t sunbathing on the patio, you can find her sitting right on top of mother’s shoulders!
Her curious behavior can sometimes get her into purses, where she likes to collect keys, money, and anything else she feels entitled to. At the end of the day this lovely kitty just wants to be pampered, and she’ll always roll over for a nice rub on the belly!
Congratulations Gypsy Rose, you’re our May Pet of the Month!
This Maltipoo is anything but boring. “He has so much energy,” said mother Cheryl. “He just never seems to get tired.” Ziggy has some athletic attributes as well. Mom says he’s all legs and can jump 5 and half feet high.
Ziggy also enjoys the nightlife. “He’ll only eat at night and that is when he is the most active…but he’s pretty much running around all day long,” Cheryl laughs. His personality doesn’t always match his roommate’s, a mellow 11-year-old Shih Tzu who he follows around everywhere. “She tolerates him but will let him know she’s not having it when he tries to play with her,” she said.
Ziggy loves attention and toys. Mom says he has about 20 toys in his room and at night time, he makes sure to pull each one out, one by one, and spends quality time with each. But Cheryl’s favorite characteristic? “Sometimes he’ll be doing something and then when you catch him, he’ll just give you this silly little look,” she said. “He’ll just sit straight up and look right at you and I just fall in love with him all over again.” Congratulations Ziggy, you’re our March 2016 Pet of the Month!
By Tianna Winters
Sara was making her normal rounds on the farm when she stumbled across a brown heap of fur. “He was just curled up into a little ball, and you can tell that he was starved, just skin and bones,” she said. Sara remembers how it was easy to tell he had been out here for some time. When she offered him some water, he slowly uncurled and cautiously walked towards her. That’s when she noticed his injury. “His leg looked like it was completely crushed, it was just limp and bent the wrong way,” Sara said.
She called over one of the field hands to help her pick Bill up and carry him back to the farm. “We all discussed what we wanted to do,” she said. “We knew that the leg was going to have to be amputated because it just looked terrible.” Sara and a few of her coworkers take their pets to Craig Road Animal Hospital which is how we came to know the story of Bill. “We saw Bill right away and decided the best thing we could do was to amputate the leg,” said Katherine Ballor, DVM who saw Bill that day. “We took x-rays to check for internal injuries, we ran blood to check the internal organs, and ran a fecal test to check for parasites,” Dr. Ballor said. “Bill was malnourished, had parasites, and a severely injured leg. The poor guy had it rough.”
After a successful surgery, Dr. Ballor wrapped Bill up and sent him home. A few days later Bill came in for a check-up and the difference was night and day. “The timid, emaciated dog that came in for an emergency turned out to be a playful, affectionate pup,” Dr. Ballor said. “He even started to gain some weight and was already well accustomed to getting around on three legs. He was a completely different dog.” Our entire staff fell in love with Bill the moment he came through our doors. We could not put into words the feeling we had to see him walking around like a normal, lovable dog. And Sara said he’s flourishing at home. “He runs and plays all over the place. He is also starting to understand commands,” she said.
He is also a bit of a guard dog, letting any unfamiliar face know that this is his pack…or at least until Sara tells him to back off. “Overall, he’s just a big teddy bear,” she said. “We all love him on the ranch, he’s our mascot.” His love for his mother definitely shines through. Anywhere she goes, Bill is close by. Her favorite story to share is how affectionate Bill is. He sleeps in his own bed next to hers and throughout the night, Bill lifts his head onto the side of her bed, just to let her know that he’s there. Congratulations Bill, you are our March Pet of the Month!
Watch Bill’s whole story here:
Megan is a Las Vegas local who is studying Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. She was brought back to Las Vegas through Craig Road Animal Hospital’s externship program where she will be getting hands on experience on what it is like to work at a veterinary practice. “I am definitely interested in pursuing a residency in small animal internal medicine,” Megan said. “I’ve always wanted to help animals and the more experience I get, the more I realize that it isn’t just about the animal, it’s about their owners too.”
Megan started working with animals as a Veterinary Assistant while still in high school. “That is where I learned just how important excellent care, medicine, and communication is for the client and patient.”
Megan has a cat named Quincy and a snake named Loki.
“I’m so excited to get started,” she said. “Being a pet owner myself, I can relate to wanting to bring your pets to someone you trust to take care of their loved ones.” After her stay in Vegas, Megan will be on her way to another internship Greensboro, North Carolina before graduating in May.
Craig Road Animal Hospital’s very own Marketing Manager Tianna Winters shadowed Dr. Shane Murphy during one of his shifts to get a feel of how the hospital runs and its culture. Below is the final addition of her personal account of what it’s like to be a veterinarian in North West Las Vegas.
7:15 p.m. I meet Dr. Murphy in the doctor’s office where he is able to sit down for the first time. He takes one bite of his sandwich before being called to another room. It’s another vaccine exam for a very playful bulldog puppy.
7:45 p.m. – The new bulldog owners are full of questions and Dr. Murphy answers them all. They apologize for keeping him. “You’re already the best kind of puppy parents because you have questions, ask away,” Dr. Murphy says.
8:00 p.m. – Dr. Murphy takes a few more bites of his sandwich (apparently finishing an entire snack is very rare) while researching some possible reasons for the cat’s lethargy. Two of the other doctors huddle around him, sharing their thoughts. Theories range anywhere from anemia to constipation. Dr. Murphy will have to wait until the test results are back to be able to narrow down a potential diagnosis. Another emergency is brought in and Dr. Murphy walks out of the office.
8:05 p.m. – The emergency is a tiny pup that had been involved in a dogfight. This time it’s a long-haired Chihuahua weighing in at four pounds. He’s shaking, but still manages to kiss anyone he comes in contact with. Dr. Murphy checks everything. His eyes, ears, chest, legs, and stomach. He listens to his heart and lungs. And X-rays are taken.
9:15 p.m. Dr. Murphy discusses the extent of the injuries and care options with the family. One of his eyes is going to have to be removed. The dog has a few punctures around his torso and will have to have a tooth extracted but other than that, it looks like he’ll be okay.
9:50 p.m. The Chihuahua is prepped for surgery and given anesthesia. After the dog goes under, Dr. Murphy scrubs in to perform the eye enucleation (removal). He also cleans and stiches the Chihuahua’s puncture wounds and extracts damaged tooth.
11:15 p.m. Dr. Murphy is done with another successful surgery. He calls the parents and says that they can pick up their pup in the morning and that he is doing well, though he is a little drowsy.
Dr. Murphy sits down for a few minutes and checks his voicemail. He then gets back up to take a walk through the patient ward to see how everyone is doing.
The hospital technically closes at 10 p.m. but the doctors are on-call for emergencies 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I didn’t stay past the surgery but I do know that two more emergencies were brought in after midnight.
Following Dr. Murphy was everything I thought it would be and so much more. Yes there were a lot of cute puppies to play with, but there was a lot of science, compassion, and care. From the slides to surgeries to research, no wonder they go to school for so long!
Craig Road Animal Hospital’s very own Marketing Manager Tianna Winters shadowed Dr. Shane Murphy during one of his shifts to get a feel of how the hospital runs and its culture. Below is the second addition of her personal account of what it’s like to be a veterinarian in North West Las Vegas.
Missed the first article? Read it here.
3:20 p.m. – After Dr. Murphy makes sure the Border Collie was comfortably waiting in a kennel, he checks on the Pit Bull mix with the mass between his toes. The friendly dog that greeted us in the room earlier has been replaced with an uncooperative bulldozer. “Dr. Murphy room six.” With the help of three Veterinary Technicians, Dr. Murphy is able to retrieve the needed samples.
3:50 p.m. – Dr. Murphy goes into room six. He currently has two dogs in the treatment area and three exam rooms he is working between. Exam room six has a lethargic cat that has had one bite of food in the past four days. Exam room three has a very sick puppy that looks like she may have contracted Parvovirus, a common and potentially fatal viral disease in dogs, and exam room eight has a three-year-old Golden Retriever that ate his owner’s birth control pills.
I decided to take this opportunity to chat with a few of the other doctors while Dr. Murphy tends to his many rooms, as I felt I was slowing him down. I laugh when I remember how worried I was when coming up with ideas of what to talk about during “down time”. I was able to talk to the five other doctors on the floor who were also busy prepping for surgeries, giving vaccines, and analyzing blood work. There are only eight exam rooms, but this place is busy! Besides the appointments, there are walk-ins that are coming in as well. I ask if this is normal and was told that this is just a typical day at Craig Road. The hospital caters to an average of 150 to 200 pets per day and one doctor can attend up to 20 to 30 rooms each shift.
4:30 p.m. – Dr. Christopher Roberts offers to take a look at the blood samples from the Pit Bull with the mass for Dr. Murphy while he attended to his other rooms.
The process for the samples is a long one. First the sample must be dyed so that the different cells are readable. After the dye dries, they can be viewed. All in all, the process takes about 15 to 20 minutes and if the sample isn’t readable, the process starts all over again. The third sample was the winner.
5:10 p.m. – Dr. Roberts deciphered the cells…it looks like cancer. He calls over Dr. Murphy to take a look at the slide. Dr. Murphy agrees but wants to send it to the outside reference lab for a confirmation.
5:30 p.m. – Dr. Murphy makes a few calls to update owners on their pets. The lethargic cat is being held overnight so that tests can be performed and treatments started. The puppy does have Parvo and is placed in isolation for aggressive treatment and the exam room is sanitized. The Golden Retriever is given an injection that makes him vomit. And then an emergency comes in and it’s given to Dr. Murphy.
6:00 p.m. – A brown, mixed breed dog, is brought in with three BB-gun shots between her torso and abdomen. She was in her front yard before being shot by an unknown assailant. The poor dog is groaning and barely moving. It doesn’t look good. The dog is 10-years-old. An ultrasound is performed and there is fluid in her abdomen. Surgery will need to be performed to evaluate the full extent of the damage. But even with surgery, the dog may not make it. “These are the discussions I never get used to having,” says Dr. Murphy before he walks out of treatment.
6:45 p.m. – The parents tearfully request to have their dog euthanized.
Yes, I got a little teary eyed. I needed to take a break.
Next week: Another emergency that leads to surgery and puppies! Stay tuned!
Craig Road Animal Hospital’s very own Marketing Manager Tianna Winters shadowed Dr. Shane Murphy during one of his shifts to get a feel of how the hospital runs and its culture. Below is her personal account of what it’s like to be a veterinarian in North West Las Vegas.
By Tianna Winters
I never thought that being a veterinary doctor was easy, but I also did not realize it would be quite so hard.
Their patients don’t talk. They squeak, bark, and meow. Sometimes they even growl. If my skin is terrible I go to a dermatologist. If my sight is blurry I go to the optometrist, and if I have a toothache I go to the dentist.
If any of these ailments are affecting my pet, I go to the vet. A doctor of veterinary medicine’s (DVM) education is never ending, even after the eight to 10 years it takes for them to receive their title. They have many different hats- a dietician, dentist, cardiologist, dermatologist, surgeon – the list goes on. A veterinarian must specialize in everything. They wear these different hats every day and sometimes multiple hats at the same time.
I decided to follow one doctor around. And to be honest, I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the day…and I was just watching. I was there for appointments, walk-ins, and emergencies (that’s where the juggling really gets interesting).
2:00 p.m. – My “shift” has started. I’m following Dr. Shane Murphy, and I’m excited because I found out he shares my love for Star Wars and metal music, so we can have something to chat about during the slow periods. I think it must be nice to start in the afternoon, having your mornings all to yourself, until Dr. Murphy checks up on the emergency he had at 4 a.m.
Dr. Murphy was the “on-call” doctor the previous night. A Pomeranian was rushed in due to seizures. Dr. Murphy had to give the dog an injection to stop the seizures, run blood work, and then place a collar with bells attached to monitor for additional seizures. The patient had one more seizure that night and Dr. Murphy didn’t leave until 6 a.m., when the first doctor of the morning shift took over.
2:15 p.m. – Dr. Murphy’s first appointment of the day is an adorable Labrador puppy coming in for his first round of vaccines. This puppy is very playful and sweet. Dr. Murphy examines him while discussing new puppy care and how he is adjusting with his new family. Dr. Murphy then administers the vaccines right in the exam room. “Well that was easy,” he says.
2:30 p.m. – “Dr. Murphy room seven.” His next appointment. As he walks into the exam room, he is also called again, this time to room four. He has now had three rooms in less than 30 minutes.
As we walk into room seven, we are greeted by a friendly Pit Bull mix with a huge smile on his face. The owner does not share his enthusiasm and has a look of distress. The dog has a mass that has sprouted between his toes and his Dad is worried it could be cancerous.
Dr. Murphy takes a look and proposes to take the dog into our treatment area to retrieve a sample. He explains that depending on what it is, there could be a few different ways to remove it. “The good news is that you brought him in as soon as you noticed it, and that could be very important,” he tells the owner.
2:50 p.m. – Dr. Murphy gives the dog to his exam room assistant to the treatment area while he goes and starts room four. Here we have a five-year-old Border Collie checking in for a laparoscopic spay, which is the removal of the reproductive organs using a smaller incision than the traditional spay. This type of spay uses a monitor and tiny camera to assist in the removal of the ovaries. Dr. Murphy explains the procedure to her parents and also, because of the dog’s age, suggests to have pre-operative blood work done to see if there are any health issues that could affect the surgery. They agree, and they let their baby know they’ll be back soon, and we’re off with the dog leading the way.
Next week: Find out just how we go about deciphering the cells in the mass. I also encounter my first emergency call. Stay tuned!
Meet Rocky, a Pomeranian and Brussels Griffon mix. But mom, Christy, says don’t let his little angel face fool you. Mom says that he’s “ a little a**hole and Tasmanian devil and asshole all in one.” Yes, not only is he very energetic, Rocky likes to chew up everything…remotes, CD’s, toys. Mom took him in after her granddaughter decided he might be too much for her, and after he chewed up all of her shoes. And it was love at first sight. Mom says he’s mellowed out over the years but he’s still a very active pup. Just four years old and Rocky dominates obstacle courses and loves playing fetch. Rocky may be a little bit of a misfit but he fits right in with mom and she loves him dearly. Congratulations Rocky, you’re our February Pet of the Month!
Sammy is a veterinary student visiting Craig Road Animal Hospital from the University of Missouri. He originally thought he wanted to get into dentistry or human medicine until a personal experience changed his mind.
“My dog was severely attacked by a coyote my freshman year of college,” Sammy said. “We all thought we had to say our good-bye’s but the doctor placed him into surgery right away and saved him.” He said the moment he saw his pup running around and playing the next day as if nothing happened was when he realized saving animals was what he wanted to do with his life.
“As I progressed in my studies and through the hands on experience I learned just how much I love this industry,” he said. “You get the satisfaction of treating the patient and then seeing the smile on the client’s face when they’re reunited.”
After he graduates, Sammy would like to move back to L.A. where he can practice small animal medicine. Sammy says that his ultimate goal is to have his own practice. Thanks for choosing to learn from our hospital, we are so happy to have you here!
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This French Poodle with the teddy bear face joined her family on Christmas Day. They named her Noel. She has been coming to Craig Road for a few years now and loves Dr. Daniels and getting groomed. Noel is a very prissy and pampered pup. Sometimes when Noel gets too hyper, Mom has to hold her like a baby to calm her. Besides being the center of attention, she also enjoys her belly rubs. Noel is definitely a daddy’s girl. Every night, like clockwork, she will sit on Dad’s lap and stare at his face for hours.
Congratulations Noel, you’re our January 2016 Pet of the Month!
By Tianna Winters
In 2006, a three-year-old Shih Tzu named Oliver went missing on Halloween night. His family searched everywhere for him. They posted signs all over town, went door to door, then checked into every animal shelter and rescue. They did everything they could do to find their Oliver but returned home every night with a broken heart. Oliver was microchipped so they hoped that somebody, anybody would scan him and they would eventually be reunited.
Oliver never came home.
Oliver’s mom, Mikah Leihan refused to give up. Every move and new phone number, she updated the information linked to Oliver’s microchip. Others said he was lost, or worse but Mom still hoped her little boy would be returned to her arms one day.
One day, Leihan received the phone call that she had always hoped for. On Nov. 19, 2015, nine years after he went missing, Oliver had been surrendered to a local animal shelter. If nobody claimed him, they told her he would be euthanized within 48 hours.
Mom rushed over to meet him but nobody could prepare her for his current condition. Oliver is now 12-years-old and barely recognizable. He was blind, mostly deaf, and had a terrible skin condition.
The few teeth he had were infected, causing foam to run from his mouth. His foot was bleeding due to a toenail that had been ripped out and a new one growing in. His skin condition is said to have been caused by the lack of baths and is believed to have been left outside most of his life in the Vegas heat. The cataracts that Oliver developed were hindering his ability to see.
Dr. Christopher Roberts of Craig Road Animal Hospital is Oliver’s doctor. After bandaging his foot and giving him a thorough check up, Dr. Roberts found a severe heart murmur and his blood work showed signs of liver disease. But the most heartbreaking reality from Oliver’s long stay away from home is his seemingly inability to show any emotion. The sweet pup that his mother remembers is gone and it seems as if Oliver has given up on life. His mother promised to love and care for Oliver since day one, and she will not give up now. “He was returned to me for a reason,” Leihan said of his condition. “It is a big relief to have him home. He is exactly where he should be.”
Due to the severity of his heart murmur, Oliver is unable to undergo any surgeries to pull his teeth or fix his cataracts. “It’s just too risky,” Dr. Roberts said. “But he’s a fighter and he deserves a fighting chance.”
In the few weeks he’s been home, Oliver has been showered with much needed affection and care which mom says is the main reason for Oliver’s comeback. It took some time, but Leihan has her good natured, baby boy back. He perks up when he hears his name, recognizes mama’s voice, and even completed his first walk this past week. A stark contrast to the dog Leihan picked up from the shelter a few weeks ago.
Oliver will need to see a specialist for his heart murmur for the rest of his life. He will also have to stay on medication for this time as well. “We just take it day by day,” Leihan said. “I just want him comfortable, happy, and home.”
Dr. Roberts believes that Oliver was able to receive this second chance due to his microchip. “This is just one of hundreds of stories as to why a microchip is so important,” Dr. Roberts said. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in a study consisting of 7,700 in stray shelters, microchipped dogs had a 52 percent return rate compared to those without it at 20 percent. As for cats, 38 percent with the chip were reunited over the 2 percent returned without it.
It is also important to update your contact information accordingly as Oliver’s family did. The same AVMA study showed that pets that were microchipped and not returned to their family was due to incorrect owner information.
There is nothing worse than losing a pet, and microchipping is one of the simplest and cheapest ways of giving your pet a chance of coming home.
Samantha has always loved animals but it was her experiences in high school that led her to pursue a career with them. “I volunteered at a shelter when I was a senior,” Samantha said. “Then volunteering turned into schooling, which turned into internships, so here I am.”
The third year student attends the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine and has turned her hobby into a passion. “Veterinary medicine is the perfect mix of science and mystery,” she said. “The animals can’t tell you what is wrong so I really enjoy the challenge.”
Samantha is interested in working with exotic animals but surgery is her craft of choice. She has two blue kitties named Kevin and Baloo, a Beagle named Lily, and a Shih Tzu named Oliver. This southern lady is looking forward to moving out west when she graduates and already has some ideas of where she might want to stake her claim. “I originally planned on Oregon,” Samantha said. “But I’ve only been in Vegas for a week and I fell in love instantly!”
Meet Linus, a beautiful long-coated Dalmatian. The six-year-old has a long list of jobs attached to his resume including a therapy dog, agility competitor, and has even modeled! But his favorite role is being his mom’s best friend. He is an absolute lover and is completely attached to mom who rescued Linus from a shelter in Waco, Texas.
Congratulations Linus, you’re our December Pet of the Month!
Murray was found on a cold night and all alone. Mom says it was love at first sight and now Murray has a warm place to call his own. Murray has taught himself to play catch but will sometimes request assistance from mom, meowing until she throws a ball for him to chase after. He is more of a lover than a fighter, preferring to cuddle any chance he gets. Murray is also very vocal, especially when he is ready for breakfast. He’ll walk all over his sleeping mother, meowing and attempting to eat her hair.
Congratulations Murray, you’re our November Pet of the Month!
This little dog has a very big name and rightfully so! Augustus Caesar rules the hearts of his mom and dad while living the pampered life in the Panorama Towers. Augustus lives up to his name. Not only is he popular in with neighbors, he has over 500 followers on his Instagram ! The self-proclaimed “king of everything” stole the hearts of our staff during his last visit due to his sweet nature. The Petit Brabancon is a rare version of the breed Brussels Griffon. And pictures just don’t do Augustus justice! When he isn’t getting a blueberry facial or working out on his treadmill, this little cutie likes to dress from his ever growing closet.
Congratulation Augustus Caesar, you’re our October Pet of the Month!
Precious and Oliver were brought to us over the summer as boarders but due to unusual circumstances, the two cats ended up being the property of Craig Road Animal Hospital.
Our entire staff instantly fell in love with the kitties. Both the domestic shorthairs are not only very sociable, but also the sweetest companions anybody could ask for. Oliver is a male and about two years old. He loves attention and just wants to give affection to anyone who has the pleasure to be around him. He is very mellow, lovable, and the kind of cat that just wants to curl up next to you at anytime, any day of the week.
Precious tends to be a little more playful, which could be because she is only a year old. She is a little more independent but likes to know you’re close by. Precious is your typical curious cat. She likes to explore and take a look around but always returns for a little lovin’. It wasn’t until two weeks into her stay that the staff noticed Precious getting a little more robust. We performed an ultrasound and found out that this little lady was pregnant!
And our staff was delighted! Of course we love babies here, because they’re just so, well, cute. On August 25, 2015, Precious went into labor. This was her first time having babies, and it wasn’t easy for her. Our staff worked with her and were successful in helping Precious give birth to four kittens. Unfortunately, one was a stillborn, and another passed the next day. Precious currently has two very healthy kittens, one boy and one girl.
This mama and her babies are given around the clock care here at Craig Road. Our staff has already grown attached but we know a day will come when we will have to find them all homes. One of our veterinary technicians will be fostering Precious and her babies for the time being. Stay tuned and we will let you know when or if the kittens, mom and Oliver are ready for adoption. To follow their story and see more photos of the family, follow us on Pinterest and Instagram