Veterinaries thrive in Sylvania

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Sep 29, 2013 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

Dr. Robert Esplin, owner of Sylvania Vet, handles a brisk business from dogs.


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In a testament to how much residents care for their pets, the Sylvania area is home to at least five veterinary clinics.

Dr. John Dillon, owner of St. Francis Veterinary Hospital on Alexis road, said the numerous amount of clinics in Sylvania and northwest Ohio stems from local people “really valuing their animals, and wanting to take care of their dogs and cats.”

In Ohio, 57 percent of households have a pet, and of that, 37 percent own a dog and 33 percent a cat, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. The group estimates the state has 2.7 million dogs and 3.7 million cats.

In the city of Sylvania, 3,288 households have dogs and 4,400 dogs are licensed, according to the Lucas County Auditor’s Office, which tracks dog licenses. But there are fewer pets in Sylvania Township, despite having more people than the city, the county records show. About 810 households in the township own one dog or more, and 1,131 licenses have been issued. Cats are not licensed or easily estimated in the area.

Veterinary care in the area goes beyond those animals that speak the language of woof and meow. Pets range from palm-sized mice and rats to birds to horses and sheep.

In general, veterinary clinics are usually a single doctor, possibly helped by one or two other doctors.

“Veterinarians are very independent critters,” Dr. Robert Esplin owner of SylvaniaVET, said about why there are individual practices. Although his clinic has seven doctors, his practice seems to be the exception.

Despite the many individual veterinary practices, there is a spirit of camaraderie among the doctors.


“We often refer patients to other area veterinarians, such as the Bird and Exotic Pet Center in Toledo, whose doctors have advanced training in birds and exotics,” said Dr. Paul Pifer, owner of Countryside Animal Hospital on Monroe Street. His practice deals mainly with dogs and cats. 

The clinics generally keep pretty busy seeing patients for basic visits or performing typical surgeries, such as spay and neuter.

The cost of a basic doctor’s visit, depending on the ailment, typically is $40 to $60. Typical surgeries for a feline spay can start at $170, with neuters beginning at $110. The same operations for a dog, based on weight, is generally higher, costing up to $300. Dental cleanings can start around $200.

Dr. Esplin said he and his surgical staff perform eight to 20 surgeries each weekday. The hospital always has four doctors on duty, and does perform emergency surgeries at night. He sees more than 100 patients daily.

Dr. Dillon and his counterpart Dr. Brent Couts at St. Francis Veterinary perform an average of six surgeries a day and can see 30 or more patients a day. In an average day they could see at least 30 pets, Dr. Dillon estimated. 

That number of patients is mirrored in Dr. Pifer’s practice, which employs Dr. Brian Rizzo part-time. Although he did not have estimates for surgeries, Tuesday and Thursday mornings to mid-day are dedicated to medical operations.

“This is an attractive place to live. You are close to great entertainment and things like the lake … You can have a good quality of life and a successful practice,” he said, referring to having an office in the Sylvania area.


Below is a listing of some practices in the area and their specialty services.

SylvaniaVET, 4801 N. Holland-Sylvania Rd., 419-885-4421,

Pets cared for: Anything that one can keep in a home, such as dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and bunnies. They do not provide care for fish and potbelly pigs.

Services: Doctor on call 24 hours, emergency service, and daily care. Staff also on hand 24 hours a day so a hospitalized animal is never alone. Also provides boarding daycare, obedience classes, and physical rehabilitation.

Countryside Animal Hospital, 5510 Monroe St., 419-882-7688,

Pets cared for: Cats and dogs.

Services: Emergency care after hours, orthopedic surgeons, dermatology, dentistry, and boarding services for dogs and cats.

St. Francis Veterinary Hospital, 5726 W Alexis Rd., 419-824-8177,

Pets cared for: Mainly cats, dogs and smaller pets. Onsite visits can be arranged for horses, goat, sheep, pigs, and alpacas.

Services: Vaccines, internal medicine, orthopedics, including knee and bone surgery. They have laser therapy as well as a full in house laboratory.

West Suburban Animal Hospital, 3265 N. King Rd., 419-841-4745,

Pets cared for: Cats and dogs, and small pets including rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs.

Services: Dentistry, microchipping, hospice or euthanasia services, internal medicine, wellness, and nutrition.

Daniel Overmeyer Veterinary Center, 6625 Sylvania Ave., 419-885-1331,

Pets cared for: Cats and dogs, and small pets.

Services: Prescription diets, bathing and grooming, chemotherapy, dentistry, allergy testing, and thyroid surgery. 


Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or, or on Twitter @natalietrusso. 

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