Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Festival honoring dogs!!

There is an entire day during a festival in Nepal dedicated solely to thanking dogs for their loyalty and friendship. The time itself is called “Diwali” celebrated by Hindus, and is a ‘festival of lights’ celebrated by millions every year in the fall, in India, Nepal and elsewhere.

Specific to Nepal, there is a day during this celebration dedicated to all the Dogs, called Kukur Tihar, specifically to thank our 4-legged companions for always being our loyal friends. Tihar is a five day Hindu festival, but the second day is reserved for our loyal companions.
Image sources: Imgur

It is called Kukur Tihar or Kukur Puja (worship of the dogs).
People offer garlands, tika (a mark worn on the forehead), and delicious food to dogs, and acknowledge the cherished relationship between humans and dogs.

Image source: 
The garlands are a sign of respect for the animals. Because dogs are the best people. The images honoring these animals are truly breathtaking.

Image source: Rebloggy

The thought of this beautiful festival is lightening the heavy hearts of dog lovers everywhere.With red powder, the dogs are marked on their foreheads as a sign of sacredness.

Source: http://themindunleashed.org/2015/06/there-is-a-festival-in-nepal-every-year-that-thanks-dogs-for-being-our-friends.html


Welcome Dr. Sarah Mounedji!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Sarah Mounedji was born and raised in Southern California. She received her Bachelor’s in Animal Science and Management at the University of California, Davis. While at Davis, Sarah was a member of Chi Omega and served as Secretary and President of Alpha Zeta, an honors agricultural fraternity. She spent over two years working with parrots during her Parrot Cognition Internship and earned several awards during her undergraduate studies for both academic achievement and contribution to the student experience.


Sarah earned her veterinary degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. During which time, she was actively involved in various extra-curricular activities through the university and in the Edinburgh community. She was a member of the ladies rugby team and served on the Staff Student Liaison Committee and Veterinary Student Council. Sarah’s outside interests include Krav Maga, kickboxing, martial arts, jewelry making, arts and crafts, and traveling.
Sarah has done veterinary related volunteer work in various countries including Canada, Costa Rica, Egypt, Scotland, and the United States. She was trained to work with multiple species and underwent marine mammal medic training. Sarah is interested in animal behavior and animal welfare. She is committed to helping maintain the human-animal bond.

Pets play an important role in the family and Dr. Mounedji is committed to helping you keep your pets healthy and happy.

Welcome Dr. Kevin Frame!!!!



Dr. Kevin Frame, BVSc grew up outside Denver, Colorado. For his undergraduate degree he studied at Tulane University and received degrees in chemistry and anthropology. He then moved to New Zealand to attend Massey University where he earned his veterinary degree and completed an 18-month small animal rotating internship. His goal following his surgical internship is to complete a small animal surgical residency and become a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Kevin has a keen interest in all types of surgery, along with oncology and neurology. Outside of work he enjoys all sports and especially loves playing basketball and rugby. He has been lucky to explore New Zealand for the last 6 years and looks forward to traveling to other parts of the world in the future.

Welcome Dr. Lauren Vezzosi!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Lauren Vezzosi is originally from Chicago IL, but spent most of her childhood in Charlotte, NC and Wayzata, MN. She attended Penn State University where she received her undergraduate degree in Animal Sciences. While in undergrad, Dr. Vezzosi was a member of the Penn State Equestrian Team. She received her DVM degree from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Vezzosi’s veterinary interests include preventative care, internal medicine, and dentistry. In her free time, Dr. Vezzosi enjoys traveling as often as possible, spending time outdoors, horseback riding, and spending time with her family and dog, Uno. She is thrilled to join the VCA HAH team and is looking forward to exploring South Florida.
Dr. Vezzosi has already made her mark on our clients and pet community with her wonderful care and commitment. We are glad she is a part of our team.






Welcome Dr. Kristi Medearis!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Kristi Medearis grew up in the Los Angeles, California area.  She completed a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology at California State Dominquez Hills before attending Veterinary School at UC Davis.  She enjoys emergency and critical care as well as client communication.  

Dr. Medearis has only one cat at home, a tabby named Buddy but looks forward to hopefully getting more pets soon!   In her spare time, Dr. Medearis enjoys the ocean, camping, video games, and going to concerts.  

Dr. Medearis has brought a lot of energy and passion for animal care to our family and we look forward to you and your pets meeting her.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Welcome, Dr. Matthew Schexnayder!!!!!!!!!



Dr. Matthew Schexnayder was born and raised in South Louisiana. His love for animals domesticated and wild was evident from a young age and he vividly recalls bandaging his stuffed animals after a veterinarian visited his Pre-K class. He attended Louisiana State University for undergraduate, graduating in 2012 with College Honors, a Bachelor of Arts in Geography, and minors in Asian Studies, Chemistry, and Chinese. During his undergraduate years at LSU, Matthew competed in several club sports, including rowing, powerlifting, and quidditch.  In 2009 he was the Quidditch Captain and led LSU to fourth place in the Quidditch World Cup.

Matthew stayed on at LSU for veterinary school, where he worked as an after-hours laboratory and surgery technician. Additionally, Matthew was a Co-Chair of the Wildlife Hospital of Louisiana, devoting his free time to the rehabilitation and release of injured birds. Matthew also volunteered as a surgeon at a local animal shelter throughout his final year of veterinary school.

These days, Matthew enjoys nature photography, trail running, paddle sports, tennis, becoming a better author, and spending time with his dwarf rabbit Blackjack. His professional interests are broad, but he particularly loves cytology and plans to pursue a residency in veterinary clinical pathology.

Canine bloat- GDV!!!

I remember the night like it was yesterday. I was finally relaxing at home after a long day of clinics when Captain, my four year old German shepherd starting acting, well, strange. Twenty minutes later, radiographs at the emergency room confirmed my suspicion. Captain had gastric dilatation and volvulus or GDV.

GDV is commonly known as canine bloat. Many of you may remember this as the heart-wrenching disease from Marley and Me. This is a potentially life-threatening condition where the dog’s stomach rotates completely around itself causing the entrance and exit of the stomach to become obstructed. This obstruction leads to air getting trapped in the stomach (bloat) and decreased blood supply to the affected areas. Emergency surgery is required to correct this situation.

While the exact cause of this condition is still unknown, several risk factors have been identified. These risk factors include large or giant breed dogs (Great Danes, German Shepherds, Irish Wolfhounds, Labradors), older age, rapid food intake, naturally anxious or stressed dogs or dogs with a parent that had GDV.

Signs you may notice at home that may indicate your dog has GDV include but are not limited to the following: pacing, circling, restlessness, whining, increased breathing rate or effort, looking at their side, attempting to vomit a foamy substance or nothing at all produced, distended abdomen, pale gums, drooling, weakness or in severe stages collapse. GDVs have a better outcome the sooner they are addressed. So if you notice these clinical signs a veterinarian should immediately see your dog.

Treatment of GDV is based on the needs of your individual dog when they arrive to the hospital but initially consists of fluids and pain medications. Once GDV is confirmed with radiographs, the stomach is decompressed. Meaning the air trapped in the stomach is released prior to surgery to relieve some discomfort to the dog and lessen the stretch of the stomach. Then surgery is performed to de-rotate the stomach. The stomach and surrounding intestines and organs are examined to make sure they are still healthy. In some cases, the compromised organs die due to the lack of blood supply they experienced. In these cases the dead portions are removed and the remaining healthy gut is reattached. A gastropexy, a fancy word for suturing the stomach to the side of the body, is then performed to prevent the stomach from rotating again in the future. Following surgery, your dog will likely be hospitalized for a couple of days for close monitoring and supportive care.

While we cannot tell for sure which dogs will develop GDV in the future, it can be prevented in at risk dogs. A prophylactic, or preventative, gastropexy can be performed. It is highly recommended at the time of spay or neuter since the dog will already be under general anesthesia.

Luckily in my case, Captain’s surgery went smoothly and he recovered perfectly. I hope that you never have to experience the fear of what I went through with Captain. But if it does occur, now that you know what to look for, hopefully your dog too will be back to doing what they love in no time


Abigail Kreines