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South Central vet office enjoys expanded building space

Certified veterinary technician Cassie Nelson clips her dog’s nails at South Central Pet Care. Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

One Albert Lea veterinary practice has expanded the possibilities for its clients.

South Central Pet Care, formerly in Skyline Plaza, moved to its new location at 1430 S. Highway 69 in Albert Lea around Thanksgiving 2016.

One of the practice’s veterinarians, Dave Wessling, said the move was prompted by a need for more space, and to offer more possibilities to clients. With the new location, South Central Pet Care now has double the examination rooms, a larger surgery room and waiting room, has expanded its lab capabilities and added additional equipment. Wessling said the expanded lab opens up more services for clients, such as more in-depth blood work testing and endocrinology studies, which used to be sent out to other labs for testing. It has also made it possible for the practice to offer cold laser therapy, which is used for treating such diagnoses as arthritis and skin infections, among others. Wessling said the new location also uses solar power.

Wessling said he has been practicing veterinary medicine in the area for about 34 years. He and fellow South Central Pet Care veterinarian Donald Larson were originally members of a veterinary group based out of Alden and Wells, before South Central Pet Care first opened in 2005. Wessling said Larson has been in the field for 40 years, and the practice added veterinarian Ariana Houge-Liebsch in August 2015, who has been a practicing veterinarian since 2008. South Central Pet Care also has three full-time certified veterinary technicians: Cassie Nelson, Kim Redman and Tami Vokoun. Wessling said the practice maintains strong working relationship with specialists for client referrals, as well, such as those with more specialized dermatology or ophthalmology needs.

South Central Pet Care veterinarian Dave Wessling and certified veterinary technician Cassie Nelson run through a routine exam on Nelson’s 2 1/2-year-old boxer mix, Murphy. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

South Central Pet Care is a mixed practice, but mainly sees dogs and cats. It’s open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays and is closed on Sundays. Clients with emergency needs can still call the practice’s regular number, 507-373-4440, and an answering service will page Wessling, he said.

Wessling said the client reception to the move has all been positive, especially to having a new facility and a larger waiting room.

“Each client’s needs are so different,” he said. “We’re open to their needs and use the experience of our multi-talented staff.”

By the Numbers

3 – Veterinarians and full-time certified veterinary technicians at South Central Pet Care, respectively

83 – Combined years of experience between the practice’s three veterinarians

About Colleen Harrison

Colleen Harrison is the photo editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She does photography and writes general-assignment stories.

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