Brumfield caring for creatures of all sizes
Published 12:10 am Sunday, October 12, 2014
NATCHEZ — Experiences in a veterinarian’s office come in all shapes and sizes.
One moment, you may be trimming the toenails on a guinea pig.
The next, you might be dashing out the door to perform an emergency intubation on a colicky horse.
Email newsletter signup
But that’s expected, said Dr. Buck Brumfield.
“You see all kinds of things all the time,” he said.
“We even had this one Good Samaritan who brought in this baby squirrel she had been nursing, and she said he had never opened his eyes. When we opened his eyes, we found he didn’t have any — it was a congenital defect, and he wouldn’t have survived in the wild.”
Brumfield recently opened Riverside Veterinary Care Center at 239 U.S. 61 South in Natchez.
A May 2012 graduate of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, the Natchez native spent the last two years working as an associate veterinarian in another local clinic before opening his own.
Riverside Veterinary Care Center has a retail space in its front office, but the 3,200-square foot facility also offers general surgery, digital radiology, dental, boarding and intensive care services for animals.
Brumfield said he works with farm stock and pets.
“Our business is approximately 90 percent small animals and 10 percent large animals,” he said.
“That is basically the area demographics — there are not as many large animals in the area anymore.”
The back of the building holds the larger dog kennels, while a separate, closed room holds the cages for housing cats.
“The cat cages are set up so they can be six individual cages or you can leave them open and it makes one big cage,” Brumfield said.
The cat kennels share the room with the segregation cages for contagious dogs.
“We have them in here because cat and dog diseases don’t cross over,” Brumfield said.
Non-contagious dogs and cats needing to stay at the clinic for intensive care are housed in a third area.
Brumfield got his start in the veterinary field in high school, when he maintained kennels at a local clinic.
He wanted to pursue the veterinary field after graduation, but the challenge seemed daunting at the time.
“When I finished high school, I looked at it and it would be eight more years of school before I could become a veterinarian,” he said. “That seemed like an unreachable goal.”
Brumfield instead attended Alcorn State University and earned a degree in nursing, spending eight years working as an emergency room nurse.
He wasn’t happy with the career, however, and decided to pursue the dream he had once deferred because it seemed so far away.
“Once I came to that turning point in the emergency room, my wife Sarah and I sat down and talked about it, and I decided to do something I would be happy doing all of my life,” Brumfield said.
Though veterinary science is still in some sense medicine, it’s the right fit for Brumfield.
“One time, we were repairing a diaphragm on a dog that had been hit by a car,” he said. “When they get hit, there’s so much pressure on the diaphragm that it just sort of blows out and pushes the insides up into their chest cavity.
“When we opened up the chest cavity, the lungs were completely deflated, but as we did it they just filled up with air right then. It was something to see.”
And that blind squirrel Brumfield mentioned?
The lady who brought it in is no longer able to care for it, he said, so it will serve as the office pet.
Riverside Veterinary Care Center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.
On the first and third Saturday of the month the office will be open for appointments.
On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, the front office will be open for product sales only.
Riverside Veterinary Care Center can be reached at 601-653-4706 or online at facebook.com/RVCCNatchez.