May 2011

Hilton Head Veterinary Clinics - Like Father, Like Daughter

Author: David Tobias

Dr. Kirk Dixon loves it when it’s assumed that his veterinary practices on Hilton Head Island and Bluffton are a husband and wife thing. The promotional literature shows a good looking guy with an attractive younger woman—both holding dogs—and it’s sort of a natural assumption, backed up by the matching doctor shingles that hang on the office wall.

Daughter, Dr. Lindy Dixon, however, is not so fond of folks jumping to that conclusion, although she’s otherwise quite pleased to be in the business with Dad. And they’re both delighted about the recently opened practice in Bluffton.

The fact is the doctors Dixon have a pretty good string of veterinarians going in the family—Kirk’s 12-years-older brother started it, then Kirk, now Lindy and there’s even talk of a grandchild showing veterinarian tendencies.

In the world of strategic marketing, Dixon would be labeled an “influencer” and his connections to the world of animals, other veterinarians and animal care would be exploited in the name of sales or research.

But Dixon neither exploits nor is exploited. Quite the opposite, actually. He prides himself on being the most experienced veterinarian in the Hilton Head area, having practiced 25 years of his 28-year career on the island. His acquisition of the Hilton Head Veterinary Clinic from Dr. George Lent 20-plus years ago makes his business the longest running vet clinic anywhere in the area—dating to 1968.

Dixon considers his services among the most reasonably priced and actually bristles at the thought of charging up bills based on available technology. “We’re a good value,” he said. “We don’t acquire a critical new piece of equipment and then plot a plan for it to pay for itself. We help our human customers decide the extent to which they want to use our wide range of services. We provide them with options, and different people decide differently. You don’t need to pull out all the resources all the time, and we let people know that.”

Dixon describes his human customers as a broad mix when it comes to how they view their pets—“everything from treating their pet as a member of the family to… not,” he said. And that relationship within the human/pet family is something, as veterinarians, he and Lindy would rather know than have to intuit.

Both Dixons work exclusively with small mammals: dogs, cats, ferrets. No birds. No reptiles.

They also make responding to animal emergencies a centerpiece of their practice. They’re almost always available, something both say is getting more and more unusual these days.

Experience, combined with the youthful enthusiasm of Lindy, who joined the practice last June, plus the expansion to the Bluffton location in January indicates quite clearly that the Dixons have made a commitment to animal care in the area for the foreseeable future.

Hilton Head Veterinary Clinics is located at 109 Matthews Drive on Hilton Head Island and the Okatie Viliage (Near Sun City) in Bluffton. For more information on the Hilton Head office, please call 843-681-2890. For more information on the Bluffton office, please call 843-705-9959. Or visit www.hiltonheadpet.com.

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