Scott County Animal Hospital Achieves High Level of Veterinary Excellence

Eldridge, IA—Scott County Animal Hospital, pc has achieved the highest level of veterinary excellence following a thorough evaluation by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Scott County Animal Hospital earned AAHA accreditation after a rigorous review of the hospital’s practice protocols, medical equipment, facility and client service.

Unlike human hospitals, not all animal hospitals are required to be accredited.

Accredited hospitals are the only hospitals that choose to be evaluated on approximately 900 quality standards that go above and beyond basic state regulations, ranging from patient care and pain management to staff training and advanced diagnostic services. AAHA-accredited hospitals are recognized among the finest in the industry, and are consistently at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine. AAHA standards are continuously reviewed and updated to keep accredited practices on the cutting edge of veterinary excellence.

Pet owners look for AAHA-accredited hospitals because they value their pet’s health and trust the consistent, expert care provided by the entire health care team. At AAHA-accredited practices, pet owners can expect to receive the highest quality care from well-trained, professional veterinary teams.

Only the top small animal hospitals in the United States and Canada have achieved accreditation by the Association. To maintain accredited status, Scott County Animal Hospital must continue to be evaluated regularly by AAHA.

Scott County Animal Hospital has been practicing high-quality medicine at the same location in Eldridge, IA since 1976.  Over the years, the practice has transitioned from a mixed-animal practice to 100% small animal practice.  Throughout that time, their focus has been on top-quality state-of-the art medicine and surgery, client education, and preventative medicine.  The hospital is fully-staffed with veterinarians available for appointments every weekday, Saturday mornings, and Wednesday evenings.   

For more information about accreditation, visit, or connect on Facebook and “like” the American Animal Hospital Association.

Client of the Month for April 2016

Say hello to Josh and Aimee Behnke, our featured clients of the month for April. As you can see, the Behnke family has a small army of animals at their house. Josh and Aimee have had several other pets over the years which have also been our patients. Aimee told us that Josh came with two dogs and she came with a dog and a cat when they met, and the animals were all about 4 years old.

Aimee and Josh haven’t always adopted their pets, however three of their last four additions have been adoptees. The two newest cats are from a shelter and Jack (not pictured) was adopted from a family.

“Always always always watch your pets with small children though - they are animals and will defend themselves when needed.” Aimee speaks from experience, as they have two small children at home as well. They chose Harley (the goldendoodle) because her breed is known to be good with children. Josh and Aimee realize that is an important characteristic for their dogs to have.

Throughout the years, the Behnkes have had their share of health issues with their pets. They have had a diabetic dog, a Boston terrier with multiple health issues, and a toy Poodle with chronic allergies. In the end, the Behnkes had to make a difficult decision for those pets, but Aimee and Josh told us that “They will tell you when it is time and do not be afraid - be strong enough to help them go when they need to go.”

When asked why their family chooses to come to Scott County Animal Hospital, they told us that we started out as convenient but after that we had them hooked!! “We were instantly impressed with the friendly atmosphere and amazing veterinarians… Drs. Ewoldt, Sampson and Eaton are the most knowledgeable and caring veterinarians we have EVER met!”

Client of the Month for February 2016

Sue Pence

Whether it is gardening, reading, or going out with friends, our February client of the month, Sue Pence is always on the move. Sue would tell you that she adopted her 4 animals, but in reality we think they adopted her. Her three cats came to her as strays that Sue took in and made part of her family. Rocky, Jack, and Smokey thankfully have all been fairly healthy over their years with Sue. We enjoy seeing them for their annual health checks and wellness bloodwork, perhaps that is why they are so healthy!

Sue adopted her latest dog Lady just last year from the Humane Society to fill the void after the passing of her beloved dog, Abby. As some of you might remember from our Facebook posts, Lady has chronic ear issues and arthritis. We commend Sue for adopting Lady and giving her a great home for her senior years! She was attracted to Lady because “they (senior dogs) don’t walk as fast” so Sue could keep up with her on walks! Sue knows that senior pets need someone to care for them and they are in danger of not being adopted.

As a nurse, Sue knows there are many health benefits to owning animals. From the calming effects the cats give by sitting next to you to the unconditional love the dogs are always giving, they sure do lower blood pressure and make us laugh!

A client since the early 1990’s, Sue says she comes to see the vets at Scott County Animal Hospital because “They know what they are doing. The entire staff is compassionate, caring and kind.”

Sue says that she gets great satisfaction from adopting shelter animals. She thinks that they are always loving and seem to be happy to have a loving home. Sue’s words of wisdom “Always take a walk with the dog first and let the dog or cat choose you!”

New Hospital Hours

Effective today - February 29, 2016 - our hospital will no longer be open late on Monday evenings. We will now close at 5:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. We will continue to hold late hours until 7:00pm on Wednesdays only.

Clients of the Month for December 2015

Erin and Justin Thomsen

Our December clients of the month are Justin and Erin Thomsen.  These active pet owners (Erin runs ultramarathons and Justin does road cycling) have two dogs; Tuffy – a Jack Russel with a big attitude, and Diesel – a Dogo Argentino.  Shortly after their wedding, Justin and Erin had to seek help from a professional dog trainer because Tuffy (Justin’s dog) started acting out.  Luckily, they were able to get good help and within 6 months Tuffy’s behavior was completely changed.  Diesel joined the family a few months after that as an adoption from the dog trainer.  Erin admits she was not 100% on board with that adoption, but Diesel is definitely her dog now.  Erin also mentioned that she always loses when it comes to picking out the dogs’ names.

Diesel has faced a lot of challenges relating to veterinarians.  She had a terrible fear of veterinarians, and was a bit difficult to work with in the clinic at first.  Over time, however, we learned how best to work with her and she began to relax at her visits.  We have now reached the point where she washes our faces, eats tons of treats, and looks forward to coming in for her laser therapy treatments.  Diesel has had several health problems, including bilateral cruciate ligament disease in her knees and a small skin tumor.  She goes to physical therapy regularly and comes here for laser therapy also.  These treatments, plus meniscus surgery on both knees, have helped Diesel be able to walk again.

When asked what advice she had for senior pet owners, Erin said “Talk to your vet about what you are seeing to understand if your pet's changes in behavior are due to aging, an injury, an illness, or other. Slowing down doesn't necessarily mean getting older.”  Diesel is a great example of a senior dog with well-managed health issues.

Tuffy and Diesel are also great examples of dogs who may not like to come to the veterinary clinic very much, and we were able to find ways to deal with them and make it possible.  Erin says “We started coming to Scott County Animal Hospital after a couple bad experiences that the dogs will, unfortunately, never forget. The staff here understand that our dogs' less than perfect behavior in the clinic stems from fear and they treat the dogs, and us, only with respect and concern. Our pets have received exceptional care at Scott County Animal Hospital; we very much appreciate the staff's professionalism and customer service.”

Client of the Month for November 2015

Karen Brooke

Our client of the month for November is Karen Brooke.  A long-time client of Scott County Animal Hospital, Karen admits that she got her first dog when in her late 40’s.  She started with a Golden Retriever puppy and soon asked herself “What was I thinking?”  Working full-time left little time for puppy training, fortunately Callie “trained“ Karen and she went on to became a wonderful companion, living to be almost 14.  When the time came for another dog, Karen decided to adopt a senior Golden Retriever.  Mackey was 10 years old at the time.  Since his passing, Karen has adopted two other senior Golden Retrievers, and says she will continue to adopt senior pets in the future.  When asked why she adopts senior dogs, her response is simple; “Well, I’m a senior too.”  The older dogs seem to fit better into her lifestyle of working full-time, and yet being active.  They come to her already housetrained and are a little less active than a puppy, but still get tons of love and walks 4 times a day.

Karen admits that it’s not easy adopting seniors, as they often come to her with medical or slight behavioral problems, and they don’t live as long with her as a younger dog might.  Her dog Cassie was morbidly obese when adopted, but Karen’s walking regimen helped slim her down quickly.  Her current dog Missy is afraid of umbrellas, so Karen invested in a coat with a hood for walking on rainy days.  Luckily, Karen is willing to do whatever it takes to provide these sweet older dogs with a loving home for as long as their lives last.  She considers it providing a “wonderful retirement” to the dogs.

Speaking of retirement, Karen is looking at her upcoming retirement with anticipation.  She is looking forward to trying therapy work with her dog Missy.  Karen spends time visiting hospitals and senior homes on her own, and would love to be able to take her dog with her as part of this ministry.  Missy certainly has the personality for it, so we are certain she will qualify.

The most important thing for Karen is giving a senior dog a home.  As she puts it, “As soon as they walk in the door, they know they are home and safe.”  Karen believes that rescued or adopted dogs appreciate finding a home, and is glad to offer hers.  She encourages everyone to consider adopting a senior pet and enjoy the golden years with them!

2015 Client Photo Contest Winners Announced

The winners of our 2016 Scott County Animal Hospital calendar photo contest have been posted on our hospital's Facebook page. Click here to see the winners!

2015 Client Photo Contest Open Now

Want to see your pet in our 2016 Scott County Animal Hospital calendar?  Our client photo contest is now open - entries are being accepted until midnight on November 13, 2015.  See here for more details.

We want to see your cute pet photos!

Client of the Month for October 2015

Carol Vols

Our client of the month for October is Carol Vols. A long-time client of our hospital with both her dogs and her horses, Carol is a strong believer in the adoption of shelter pets. All of her dogs have been adopted from shelters over the years – she even adopted one online while working in Iraq for 7 months through her job at the Rock Island Arsenal. Carol’s love for her pets shows through daily. She jokes that with her three dogs, she currently has the greeter, the protector, and the one that hides under the bed. The certainly have different personalities!

Carol’s dogs have had their share of medical issues also. H. Baxter is her little terrier, who needs monthly injections and daily medication for his Addison’s disease. Marlee deals with arthritis and urinary incontinence as she ages. And Sadie is just scared of her shadow. Through it all, Carol just smiles and asks the receptionists not to read her total bill out loud when she hands over her credit card.

Carol also has a collection of larger animals. She competes in reining shows with her horse Kip, who nearly lost his eye last year and is still partially blind on that side. Her other senior horse hangs out with the mini donkeys at home. Carol ended up with several donkeys, thanks to a friend and a slightly delayed castration. They were supposed to live elsewhere, but as Carol says “Once it gets to my place and has a name, it never leaves”. Turns out that the donkeys make good company, and good alarm clocks!

Thanks Carol, for your great sense of humor and love for animals. Good luck at the horse shows!

Clients of the Month for September 2015

Annie Armknecht and Jill Gray

Our clients of the month for September are Anne Armknecht and Jill Gray.  Anne and Jill have a small herd of cats on their farm outside of Eldridge – a herd that started about 25 years ago when they began rescuing cats.  Some cats were rescued on purpose.  Some just showed up and stayed.  Others may have been dropped off near the farm.  All are welcome to stay, and are cared for very well, though they feel that they are currently at their maximum capacity.  Anne and Jill feel it’s important to spay and neuter all their cats, and they work hard to keep up to date on all vaccinations.  “The cats are our family”, said Anne.  “They get better health care than we do.”  In fact, both admitted that they sometimes take care of the cats before they take care of themselves.

Some of their current 12 cats live outdoors, some indoors, and some enjoy both environments.  Some have chronic diseases requiring a lot of medical care.  Baby Girl, for example, has undergone a limb amputation and now has diabetes, which requires daily insulin shots.  Bonus came with the farm (hence the name) and has a habit of disappearing for a while, then reappearing.  JJ has a slow-growing tumor in his sinus cavity.  Many of the cats have had ear infections, bite wounds or bladder infections.  All have received veterinary care for their problems, and will continue to do so for as long as they live.  Jill and Anne believe in care from birth to death, and will do whatever is needed for their feline friends.

We always enjoy seeing Jill and Anne at the clinic.  Sometimes they can’t find the cat that needs the vaccine, so we switch cats or appointment times.  They joke about the vet scaring the cats (but we forgive them).  We appreciate how well they take care of their “barn cats” and we know that they are not really just “barn cats”.  In fact, we might like to be reincarnated as a cat at their farm.

Breed of the Month for September 2015

Siamese cat photo from vetstreet.comThe Siamese cat may be one of the oldest recognized cat breeds.  These cats began to be imported into England around the time that English explorers were settling the Far East (Siam).  Siamese cats were fashionable due to the belief that they were somehow supervised by or bred in relation to the royal family in Siam.

Siamese cats are highly independent, and well-known for being vocal.  They seem to “talk” more than most other cat breeds.  Their color patterns and markings are quite distinct, with four recognized color patterns (sealpoint, bluepoint, chocolatepoint, and lilacpoint).  The original Siamese cats were quite fine-boned, angular and striking in appearance, though nowadays not all have those features (possibly due to interbreeding).  Several other breeds are known to have descended from Siamese heritage (Balinese, Burmese, Javanese, Oriental, Tonkinese, Havana Brown, and Ocicat for example).

Siamese cats can be genetically prone to diseases such as mucopolysaccharidosis VI and progressive retinal atrophy, but genetic testing can help reduce the incidence of these diseases. 

In general, Siamese are affectionate and active cats which make great additions to the family.

(Siamese cat photo from

Client of the Month for August 2015

Tim Johnson Client of the Month August 2015Our featured client for August is Tim Johnson.  Tim and his three dogs, Midnight, Beasley, and Yogi have been welcome visitors to Scott County Animal Hospital.  All three dogs are adopted from shelters.  When asked why he prefers shelter dogs, Tim mentioned that he prefers helping shelter pets and giving them a chance.  “I’m hooked”, he said jokingly.  In fact, Yogi was adopted at a car show which Tim attended.

Tim has his hands full with these three.  Beasley fights with her weight.  Yogi is an active little guy who always seems to have dental tartar.  Midnight, the eldest of the three, has had knee surgery and deals with arthritis and incontinence issues daily.  Luckily, they have found an owner who is willing to deal with it all.  

Tim is a Moline native who has a love for vintage cars, owning a 1965 T-Bird himself (hence the visit to the car show).  He and his wife Melanie also have a horse and Tim does some work at the stable where the horse is kept. Tim holds the honor of being the first client to redeem his loyalty punches from our new clinic app for an account credit – perhaps a dubious honor, but first nonetheless.   In parting, Tim said “I love coming here.  I would love to just stop by, though, rather than having to come in with a sick dog all the time.”  Well, Tim, you are more than welcome to stop by any time for a friendly visit.  We love seeing you and the “kids”!

Breed of the Month for August 2015

Breed of the Month August 2015 Labrador Retriever with Dr. Ann SampsonThe Labrador Retriever has long been a favorite dog breed.  Known for its friendly personality and laid-back attitude, the Labrador fits in well with families and multi-dog households.  Labs seem to vary in energy level from the very active hunting dogs to the couch potato types.  They are a highly intelligent breed, easily trained for many tasks.  They are generally very gentle with children, and many are used as therapy dogs or search and rescue dogs.

Labrador Retrievers originated in Newfoundland, Canada, as retrieving fishing dogs.  They are believed to have been derived from a breed resembling the much-larger Newfoundland dogs.  They excel at both water retrieving and dryland hunting, and most love to swim due to their heritage.  Depending on their personality, Labs may need a lot of daily exercise to keep them calm, or may need to be forced to exercise to prevent obesity.

Labs are notorious for their capacity to shed, so expect lots of hair in the house if you own one.  This can be controlled with regular grooming and brushing.  Choosing a dog from a reputable breeder is recommended, as the breed has been prone to arthritis problems and hip dysplasia, as well as allergies, ear infections and thyroid conditions.

There is a reason that Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular breed in the United States for many years.  If you have a Lab, you know what we mean.  They are just great all-around dogs.

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  • "Thank you so much for welcoming our new addition ZeVah to the SCAH family and taking such good care of all the fur-kids! 22 years later and you guys & gals are still the best!"
    Dora H. / Eldridge, IA

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