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Photo by Dani Wilson
Dr. Jeff Spector with his dog, Rosie, who stays with him at Creekwood while he cares for the household pets of many families in the Granite City area.
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Photo by Dani Wilson
A wall at Creekwood Animal Hospital depicts the many pets cared for by Spector and his staff.
PONTOON BEACH — Creekwood Animal Hospital Inc. is a family-owned and operated business that has been serving the greater Granite City area since 1986.
It was begun by Dr. Allan Spector. His son, Dr. Jeff Spector, now serves as a veterinarian there. Jeff Spector said his career at Creekwood started when he was fresh out of veterinary school, a path he chose based on his lifetime of experience in a vet’s office.
“I’ve been here since May of 2006 when I graduated,” Spector said. “I’ve been around it for as long as I can remember. I got to college and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and decided this is what I wanted to do — I became an animal sciences major, then went on through vet school.”
Spector said the practice serves mostly common household animals with some variations.
“It’s pretty much dogs and cats only — occasionally other types of animals, not too common,” Spector said.
The services offered at Creekwood span through a pet’s whole life — from early preventative care to testing to certain types of surgeries, Creekwood’s staff cares for pets in all types of circumstances.
“It’s any work from simple puppy shots or kitten shots or examinations to yearly exams or shots, heartworm tests, or older preventative screening type things, to doing surgeries, spays and neuters,” Spector said. “We do a lot of dental cleanings and teeth extractions, to other types of surgeries — we do some orthopedic surgeries and tumor removals. Pretty much all life stages.”
Spector said the practice also maintains connections with advanced medicine practices throughout the area to account for more complex situations.
“We have good relationships with a lot of specialty practices in St. Louis when things become very complicated,” Spector said. “We have a traveling radiologist that will come here and do ultrasounds for us.”
Spector said one of the more memorable and rewarding experiences at Creekwood has to do with the simple cleaning and maintaining of an animal’s mouth — seeing an animal seem rejuvenated after its mouth is cleaned, Spector said, is a good feeling.
“If a dog has a lot of bad teeth, some people question if it truly is bothering the dog … they hide pain. They’re animals, that’s what they do — cats are even worse than dogs about hiding pain,” Spector said. “And then we clean the teeth, remove the bad ones, and then when they heal, people say they’re like a puppy again. They never realize how their mouth was bothering them until it was fixed and the problems are gone.”
This is also an encouraging result for an often painful procedure, Spector said.
“It’s nice to hear that because no one likes pulling teeth. It’s not the most fun thing to do, but it’s in the best interest of the animal,” Spector said.
One of the best experiences Spector said he gets to experience at Creekwood is helping to strengthen and maintain the bond between a family and their pet.
“A lot of people think of dogs like family. They’re the kid, or they’re the other kid of the family,” Spector said. “Just helping make sure they’re healthy, helping to stop or slow down disease progression to give them the best quality life and the longest life span possible. “
However, according to Spector, there is also the more painful side to the practice.
“Toward the end of life, it’s definitely hard to tell someone that their animal is at a bad point,” Spector said.
Spector said the atmosphere at Creekwood is very personable and close, and that this translates into high-quality care for pets.
“Everyone’s been here for a long time, and everyone’s close and works hard for their job. It’s definitely a small business; it fits that definition. It’s very personal,” Spector said.
Creekwood Animal Hospital is located at 3818 Pontoon Road in Pontoon Beach. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. They can be reached by phone at (618) 931-0101 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.