Mattawan Animal Hospital

Providing Quality Pet Care Since 1976

50588 CR 652

Mattawan, MI 49071

269-668-3307

                     How it all began...

 

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Jimmy Carter was elected president, the first Apple desktop computer was invented, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Rocky were box office hits, and Send In the Clown was heard all over the country.  At the very same time in a small town in southwest Michigan, a young ambitious veterinarian opened the doors to a new animal hospital. 

 ---------------The year was 1976.  ---------------

Dr. Thomas Griffiths, DVM saw his first patient at Mattawan Animal Hospital on December 6, 1976.  At that time, the 1800 square foot practice employed one veterinarian and one office staff.  Computers were not commonplace so all transactions were performed on paper and all appointments were made on one rotary corded telephone.  The area was very rural and a majority of Dr. Griffiths’ workday was spent on Van Buren county farmland providing medical care to horses, cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, and poultry.

1976 - Young Dr. Griffiths with his trusty Farm Call Vehicle

 In 1976, food animal and equine practice provided a living for many Van Buren County folks.  Companion animals consisted of mainly farm dogs and barn cats.  Diseases that are rarely encountered today were seen commonly in 1976.  Mortality of dogs and cats due to the distemper virus was seen frequently; cattle were commonly tested for tuberculosis; and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as “sleeping sickness”, was causing many horses to die.  The human health concerns were enormous.  Today, due to vaccination programs, these diseases are all but eradicated.  Dr. Griffiths and other veterinarians of that era’s tedious herd health management and attention to milk safety kept southwest Michigan (and other areas of the country) safe from food-borne disease.

The average day as a veterinary practice owner in 1976 involved small animal care and surgeries for a portion of the day and farm call practice filling the remaining hours.  There were no emergency veterinary clinics at that time, so emergency calls were seen at any hour of the day or night and in any weather.  Emergency calls included such procedures as: delivering calves, bloated cows, treating mastitis in cattle, suturing horses that had run through fences, dogs and cats hit by cars, and C-sections on pigs and cows.  The number of interesting and unusual cases that Dr. Griffiths has seen throughout the years is countless!

Since 1976, Dr. Griffiths has seen a variety of animals at Mattawan Animal Hospital and in the surrounding areas.  He has cared for horses, cattle, hogs, llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, chickens, ostriches, emus, rheas, dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, rats, mice, turtles, raccoons, skunks, hawks, owls, snakes, and even a wallaby.  He has performed excellent medical and surgical care for any animal presented to him.  There has been no animal or task too great or small for Dr. Griffiths.

Currently, Mattawan Animal Hospital continues to offer excellent pet care.  Dr. Griffiths’ compassion and love for animals has transcended through his present staff of four veterinarians and seven other staff members.  The Mattawan area is rapidly growing and farmland with food-producing animals is being replaced by homes with companion animals.  An addition to the hospital in 2003 created a total of 2800 square feet in which to provide quality wellness care or sick animal care.  The hospital now offers: ultrasound, laser surgery, radiology, in-house laboratory, blood pressure monitoring, and access to numerous specialists in veterinary care.  Our doctors have special interests in behavioral medicine, exotic and pocket pet medicine, dermatology, endocrinology, cardiology, surgery, and orthopedics.

    1980 - Dr. Griffiths with patient "Mugs"

Since 1976, Mattawan Animal Hospital and Dr. Griffiths have become icons for family pet care.  Dr. Griffiths still performs surgery most mornings, as that has always been a special love of his.  Most weekends he is in and out of the hospital medicating and treating hospitalized pets.  He still sees appointments on a regular basis but not in the capacity that he did in the hospital’s earlier days.

Over thirty years later, Dr. Griffiths still offers a quiet reassurance and mild manner that gives owners confidence and puts anxious animals at ease.  His over thirty-nine years of veterinary care provides expertise in surgery and general wellness care.  Dr. Griffiths’ hard work, dedication, compassion, integrity, and ethics throughout the years have made Mattawan Animal Hospital the wonderful place for companion animal’s care that it is today.

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