San Antonio Animal Hospital provides high quality, compassionate veterinary care for pets and their owners living in San Antonio as well as nearby communities of Dade City, Zephyrhills, Wesley Chapel and Ridge Manor. San Antonio Animal Hospital offers wellness exams, vaccinations, soft tissue surgery, dentistry, digital radiography, nutritional counseling, micro-chipping, breed identification testing and much, much more. We also have an in-house pharmacy and laboratory! Annual wellness exams are an opportunity for our veterinarians to provide your pet with a comprehensive exam to determine if your pet has any potential health issues. If you have any questions about your pet's health, don't hesitate to call us today at 

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Dr. Diana Mattox

 

Dr. Diana Mattox
San Antonio Animal Hospital | 352-588-2132


 

Veterinarian credits PHSC with giving her the right start

Dr. Diana Mattox examines Elby, an 11-year-old cockapoo held by vet tech Michelle Wagner, at San Antonio Animal Hospital.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Dr. Diana Mattox examines Elby, an 11-year-old cockapoo held by vet tech Michelle Wagner, at San Antonio Animal Hospital.

 

SAN ANTONIO — Wearing silver sneakers with her hair tucked in a surgical cap, Dr. Diana Mattox hunches over a white shorthair cat and works deftly as two technicians stand by.

 

The veterinarian is performing a procedure that has become second nature over the course of her career: spaying a feral animal. She operates in a brightly lit, open space at San Antonio Animal Hospital, which she opened 17 years ago.

She carries on a conversation during the surgery, making incisions and listening to the steady beep of a heart rate monitor.

"When we spay a cat, we remove the whole uterus," she explains. The cat she's working on is pregnant, and she gingerly removes the six fetuses and puts them in a red biohazard bag.

"Some people are against spaying a pregnant cat, or a pregnant dog for that matter," she said. "The reality of the situation is that there aren't homes for the kittens."

Mattox, 46, traces her success all the way back to community college. Pasco-Hernando State College honored her as a distinguished alumna this spring.

The school chose Mattox because of her accomplishments as a Florida veterinarian and practice owner, college spokeswoman Courtney Boettcher said.

Mattox, who graduated from what was then PHCC in 1988, said she could not afford to attend a state university directly after high school.

"If we had not had a community college, I can't imagine I'd be where I am," she said. "They played a huge role in where I am today, whether they know it or not."

A Zephyrhills native, Mattox had known she wanted to be a veterinarian since she was 12.

She received a bachelor's degree in animal science in 1991 and a doctorate of veterinary medicine in 1995, both from the University of Florida.

She returned to the area and joined the animal services advisory committee. That's when she noticed a sizable problem.

Stray animals were having litters and overwhelming Pasco County Animal Services. The influx of dogs and cats had led to an increase in euthanasia.

"Somebody had to do something, because at that time we were kind of treading water," she said.

In 2007, Mattox founded Spay Pasco. Residents can take feral animals to participating clinics for low-cost spaying or neutering, which ultimately reduces the county's euthanasia rate by preventing strays from breeding.

"The aim of this program is not adoption," she said. "We're trying to decrease the number of animals that need to be adopted."

Normally, cat spaying surgery takes 15 minutes and costs about $140, she said. Through Spay Pasco, it costs $10. Cats and dogs also receive rabies shots.

Low-income pet owners can also get a huge break on spay/neuter surgery and rabies shots.

Spay Pasco operates largely with county funding and grants.

Since the genesis of the program, the county animal shelter has seen a "significant decline" in intake, she said.

"We're just here to help and do what we can do."

Veterinarian credits PHSC with giving her the right start 09/18/14 [Last modified: Thursday, September 18, 2014 9:39am]

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