Dr. Kim Tran and friend

“Man’s best friend” and other pets have a new best friend in Spring Branch when it comes to their health and wellness: The Baxter and Cleo Veterinary Clinic.

It opened last year after the retirement of Dr. Paul Smith, at the location formerly known as Spring Woods Veterinary Clinic, at 2021 Gessner, to serve dogs, cats and other animals.

“We chose Spring Branch because we wanted to serve the community here in a way that was not currently being served,” said Dr. Kim Tran, associate veterinarian for the clinic. “Meaning there were a lot of corporate veterinary practices in the area, but there was a space for a modern progressive, patient focused, personal practice.”

What does such a practice look like? There are on-site imaging and diagnostics, which were not present before. In addition, the clinic offers mobile services and pharmacy services on site and online.

According to the American Pet Products Association survey, almost two-thirds of American households have at least one pet. Pet services have grown in the past decades to include mobile grooming, day care, pet resorts and more, throughout Spring Branch and the rest of the metropolitan area.

Baxter and Cleo’s mobile-in-home services include physical exams and re-check exams, vaccines, heartworm tests, microchipping, nail trims, lab sample collections and euthanasia.

“The clinic environment can be impersonal, they are medical facilities,” said Tran. When families are faced with the tough decision to end their pet’s life, she added, “this is such a heartbreaking experience, and we find that the pets and their families are understandably more comfortable at home.”

First-time “pup-parent” Jessie Lantz chose the clinic after receiving a referral and doing some research.

“I found the pet portal user-friendly, After making the appointment for Luke (a 10-week-old Maltese and dachshund mix), I received a reminder about the appointment from the clinic. What I loved is it was not one of those ‘do not reply to this email’ but actually encouraged us to reply with any questions,” she said. “The staff was really friendly and greeted Luke by name as soon as we walked in.”

The clinic provides services in English and Spanish to meet community needs and is open on Sundays to provide better access to care for those working families.

“By 2050 over 50 percent of veterinary clinics will be corporate owned and operated. I believe we may lose some of that personal service that is important to pet families. We are committed to providing great medical services and great customer services,” Tran added.

The clinic offers VIP membership for $10 a month for a minimum six months. Members enjoy unlimited office visits (usually priced at $49.95 each) and 10 percent off goods and services.

Foot and paw traffic has doubled since the clinic opened, according to Tran, who earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University and her bachelor of science in animal science at Ohio State University.

Dr. Zach Irell joined Tran as an associate veterinarian last year. He spent a few years practicing emergency medicine before joining the staff.

Where did the Baxter and Cleo name come from? No pet in particular. Tran felt they were pet names people could relate to.

Baxter and Cleo Veterinary Clinic
2021 Gessner
Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sundays.

– by Jessika Leal