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Date: 13 May 2017. Finding a Veterinarian.


I use my daughter's house address as a Home Port when cruising. Recently she received notice that Skipper was due for her shots. Because my last vet moved, I had to locate someone new. When underway finding a veterinarian can be problematic. No one at the waterfront could offer advice so I was on my own. This is what I did.

First I visited the neighbors and asked for recommendations.

Relaxing with a glass of iced tea while chatting was fun. It did not result in vet names though.
"Everyone" used the recently retired vet, so we are all lost in the woods so to speak.

I am fortunate to have a friend here with transportation. Mr. Uber takes me places. We drove down the main causeway and spotted two vet offices close by. I went into both seeking policies and a pricing schedule.

The business I first entered did not feel like a good fit for me. The gal at the reception desk was on the phone. She did not make eye contact when I came in. Though the call was not long first impressions count. I was provided with prices and left, hoping the next place would be better.

It was much nicer. Affordable Animal Hospital was clean and Desiree charming. I was greeted with a smile and an offer of assistance. The whole place felt friendly. It was the end of the day (quitting time!) and Skipper and I were made to feel welcome.

Skipper snuggled right up with Desiree.

This is a place I could like, if the prices were good. They were. Dr. Callahan had a couple of specials we could take advantage of. I was able to get an appointment for Skipper the following day.


Affordable Animal Hospital
16701 Gulf Boulevard,
North Redington Beach, FL 33708

Dr. Tom Callahan, DVM
Phone: 727-317-0099
Website: http://affordablebeachvet.com

My girl had a thorough exam along with her yearly shots. She's got some clouding in one eye. I had seen that before. Dr. Callahan is the first vet who mentioned it. He examined her ears, felt everything (poor baby!) and pronounced her a fine dog. He also mentioned that Skipper's teeth needed cleaning.

Edwin, Skipper and her pal Sid.

Edwin navigates well and is an awesome mechanic too. Skipper likes Edwin.

Small dogs have a tendency toward bad teeth and my girl is no exception. That I allow her to have table scraps (chicken is a favorite) does not help. Her teeth needed cleaning.

Dr. Callahan and his assistant Chantelle took care of my baby. I was provided with four pictures, before, after, a tooth of concern to monitor plus one other photograph. It was nice to see what was done and how bad those teeth were. Eek!

Meet Chantelle. Chantelle is Dr. Callahan's assistant. She is real nice too.

When my girl came back to me she was beautiful. Her smile is white again.

Skipper and I left with a boatload of medicine. She has pain medication, a mouth swab and antibiotics.



Several things stand out about the Affordable Animal Hospital.

  1. There was no hassle getting copies of what was done. As a cruiser I want a hard copy for Skip's Records folder.

    My notes from the previous vet confirmed that Skipper received a 3-year rabies inoculation last year. Thus I did not have that expense for this year.

  2. Appointment times were respected. I did not have to wait.

  3. The exam was thorough. I did not feel like I was "hurried" to make room for the next patient.

  4. Dr. Callahan did everything. Some vets pass off shots on the office staff. Dr. Callahan administered her vaccines.

  5. Prices were actually affordable.



I keep Skipper's records in a plastic folder from the Dollar Tree. This allows me to easily keep track of her stuff without the frantic "where did I put?" issues that some have. Heck, I have that problem too. It is amazingly easy to lose stuff inside a 23' boat.

As for me, I am glad I chose Affordable Animal Hospital. Having the freedom to check out a couple places first allowed me to find the right fit. This place is not large. It feels cozy. I do not want my Skipper to be one of thousands. An experienced vet with a good staff is worth patronizing.

This is Dr. Tom Callahan, Skipper's vet:


You should visit Dr. Callahan too if you're in the Madeira Beach area. He is a hop skip and a jump via the beach trolley.

When underway and your pet needs to see a vet, how do you find a reliable one?
Do you carry with you a copy of your First Mate's medical records?

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