As growing numbers of graduating veterinary students flock to big cities to practice on small animals, a shortage of rural veterinarians has developed nationwide and in Texas. Dr. Roberto Margo has served as Rio Grande City’s only veterinarian for 40 years. At age 69, his work on large animals like cows and horses has taken a toll. “My body’s worn out, my shoulders are worn out and I have arthritis and pain all over,” he said. Unable to retire until he found a replacement, Margo looks forward to the arrival this summer of a current veterinary student scheduled to graduate this spring. Photos by Reynaldo Leal.
Margo Veterinary Clinic provides the only access to veterinary care for Rio Grande City residents. The next-closest clinic is 100 miles away.
Dr. Roberto Margo at the hunting lodge an his Starr County ranch.
Photos and clippings of Margo, his family and animals he has treated in the past. Margo hopes to retire soon, after 40 years of service.
Dr. Roberto Margo administers a vaccination to Yesenia Martinez's puppy Karlee.
Shantacy Guerra's dog Precious lies on the examination table at Margo's clinic. It was one of two small dogs that Margo helped that afternoon.
Margo cleans his hands after attending to a canine patient. As a result of his large animal work, Margo has had back, shoulder and arm surgery.
Margo in his ranch home. After a long search, Margo found a vet student who will eventually take over his veterinary practice.
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