A Message from the Vet - November 2011
Happy Anniversary KAC!

Happy Anniversary Kailua Animal Clinic! Twenty five years ago, Dr. John Haddock opened the doors to Kailua Animal Clinic and began providing an invaluable service to the community. This month, I sat down with the doctor himself to find out specifically about his experience as a veterinarian here in Kailua.

Dr. Haddock described what Kailua town was like when he first opened the practice 25 years ago: "Across the street was the old Foodland that was falling down, Susan Beers had her hair salon, and there was a coffee shop. There was a lot less traffic around and a lot less commerce. Liberty house was still there, the old Longs was there, and down the street there was Holiday Mart and the movie theaters. No Starbucks and it was a little run-down looking, but a quiet place and a nice place to do business. There was also big influence of the military with the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base."

Dr. Haddock chose veterinary medicine as a career after growing up under the influence of his father who was a human physician. Working with animals, being outside, and having a professional skill were all things that drew him to the field. After 18 years of successful practice in equine medicine, Dr. Haddock chose to switch to small animal medicine. The time on the road and limited number of patients he could see were major factors in his decision. It was also difficult being available to clients on a 24-hour basis and being available for his family as well. As a small animal veterinarian, he found himself able to see more patients and spend more time with his family.

One of the first cases Dr. Haddock remembers was the birth of a sea lion pup at Sea Life Park in 1979 (either a sea lion pup or a monk seal). He was in the middle of a hair cut when he was called out. When he arrived half shaved, the sea lion was in a cage and the flippers of the pup were exposed. Dr. Haddock opened his large animal dystocia kit which was used for abnormal or difficult childbirth and equipped with hooks and chains. As you can imagine, this was worrisome to the staff, but with the proper placement of the equipment and gentle steady traction, the pup was freed!

One of the major changes in veterinary medicine Dr. Haddock has seen over the years has been the knowledge and expectations of clients for the treatment of their pets. He believes most of this is due to the internet and the vast amount of information available to the general public, making many aspects of medicine "common knowledge".

Among the strangest things he has encountered has been a pit bull that was a hermaphrodite. In another case, a client once told him she tasted fluid from her dog when she was concerned about a miscarriage, and assured him it didn't taste of urine.

As far as a few of his favorite things, Dr. Haddock enjoys life-changing surgeries like the repair of a broken limb in a puppy who has his whole life ahead of him, or a Cesarean section to deliver a litter of puppies, which is fun for everyone in the practice. He finds one of the most rewarding aspects of practice is seeing a pet from their first visit at 6-8 weeks of age to the end of their lifetime and being able to provide their veterinary needs from Day 1.

Thanks so much to Dr. Haddock for sharing a few insights from his experience with Kailua Animal Clinic. All of the staff here at Kailua Animal Clinic would like to welcome you and your pet to join us in celebrating the practice's 25 years on Saturday November 12 from 9am-12pm. There will be behind-the-scenes tours, lots of information and giveaways, and free nail trims provided by the staff.

Candice Denham, DVM


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Last updated 2014 May 10.