Thursday, September 27, 2012

We are proud to highlight Dr. Guoan!

Dr. Guoan grew up in Naples, Florida. After high school graduation, she found herself  in Nashville, Tennessee knee deep within the music industry interacting with Pam Lewis, manager of “Garth Brooks”, as well as having her own interest in artist management, tour management and sound/lighting. While in Nashville, she attended Middle Tennessee State University where she played collegiate soccer. Upon graduation, she continued on the music path as a tour/artist manager as well as broadened her athletic career by playing Professional women’s football for the Nashville Dream Team, which is part of the National Women’s Football Association.

In 2004, she chose to turn corners and explore her other passions in life. Since then, she has been within the Veterinary community and has been consumed with unconditional love from animals. A 2012 graduate of University of Florida, Morgan was a Student Ambassador,  president of “Team Vet Med”, which is a cycling team geared to providing scholarships/support for veterinary students. She was also Hill’s Science Diet’s school representative. While not consumed with school, Morgan was a free lance writer and wrote for the “Critter” which is a nonprofit animal newsletter.
Morgan finds her true love in veterinary medicine as an emergency doctor. She also is actively involved in palliative/hospice care.  Her life experiences being an athlete, working in the music industry and having a life on the road, have enabled her to learn people and their lifestyles and to enjoy many different personalities and walks of life. Her past has taught her how easy being unconditional to someone can be, when you are able to put your own judgments aside. Being an ear to someone and a voice for others helped shape her into who she is today.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Team Member of the Month: Nadine

We are pleased to honor Nadine as our Team Member of the Month!

After volunteering throughout high school, Nadine Rust started working at the HAH in July, 2007 as a Vet Tech. Working full-time and completing her Bachelors at FAU, Nadine is also perusing her certification as a licensed veterinary technician. These pursuits, as well as her love of travel take her away from us more then we’d like but her terrific work ethic has enabled her to handle whatever opportunity comes her way.

Taking on leadership roles within our in-house blood bank and our orthopedic surgical team, Nadine consistently steps in when a hand is needed and brings energy to our staff that is unique and valued.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Employee Highlight: Roxanne

We are proud to highlight a HAH team member that has used her love of animals to reach outside the hospital and make a difference within the canine community. Roxanne Shobe serves behind the scenes in accounts receivable but was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Miami Coalition against Breed Specific Legislation, MCABSL, for her tireless efforts to promote awareness, education and responsible ownership in South Florida.

Her community activism, social conscience and genuine love of animals have made her a strong source of change and we are proud to have her on our team.  Read more about Roxanne at

Friday, September 14, 2012

Patient of the Month: Comet Williams

Comet Williams, a 5 year old, Maltese was brought in after an automobile hit and run. Comet’s owner, a single mom who recently suffered a stroke, was witness to the accident and clearly distraught. Upon physical evaluation, Dr. Holland found multiple fractures to his pelvis and os penis (a fracture few of our senior doctors have ever seen) as well as significant skin abrasions. Fortunately, Comet was still able to urinate but could not walk and would not eat.

For several days Comet was treated for his initial shock. He was hand fed and kept very comfortable to make any movement as painless as possible. Some might say he was pampered by our own Dr. Holland who developed a very strong attachment to Comet and was caught carrying him around often.

On his fourth day of hospitalization, Comet underwent his first surgery where Dr. Jon and Dr. Vaughn repaired his right hip. 
Because of his size, Comet could only undergo one lengthy procedure that day and his second hip repair was schedule for two days later. 
                                                                   After First Surgery
                                                                                           After Second Surgery 
After both surgeries, Comet continued intensive TLC and began standing (with a little assistance) and urinating –with one leg up. His spirited attitude was returning and he was eating on his own.

Comet returned home after 8 days at the HAH. Per doctor’s orders, his owners will maintain strict cage rest for the next 8 weeks and only take him outside for elimination purposes. Currently Comet occasionally stands in the cage and tries to use his left hind limb. Both his owners and our doctors are happy with his progress and honored to be a part of his recovery.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pet 911: Prepare Now Before Needing Costly Emergency Veterinary Care

When Joan Michel's Saint Bernard Jazzi laid down and refused to come inside after a routine potty break in the yard, her husband, Jerry, knew something was seriously wrong. "He could not coax her up," says the Overland Park, Kansas member. "He started to lift her and when he put his hands on her belly, he noticed it was rigid."

Jazzi was suffering from gastic dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, a potentially fatal condition in which the stomach becomes twisted. Jerry rushed the 135 pound dog 6 miles to BluePearl Veterinary Partners, where she received lifesaving surgery and several days of follow up care at the facility, formerly known as Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center. "When we wanted to visit her, we could just come right in and they'd let us sit there with our dog as long as we wanted," says Michel, who praised the A-rated company for calling with daily updates on Jazzi's condition. "We joke that she's still alive one year past her expiration date!"
      The Hollywood Animal Hospital in Hollywood, FL offers emergency care 24 hours a day, as well as general practice and specialty care during daytime hours. 

A Whopping 83 percent of Angie's List members who took an online poll have a pet, and 65 percent have experienced a pet emergency. For Jazzi's emergency and follow-up care, the Michels paid $5,000, which demonstrates how costly emergency care can be due to factors like the expense of specialized equipment and staffing, especially in cases where vets have specialty training beyond veterinary school.

Pet owners can find 911 care in a variety of settings, including general practices and emergency clinics, some of which maintain hours only on nights, weekends and holidays. Cases that come through their doors, emergency vets say, include injuries from car accidents, bites and lacerations, vomiting and urinary blockages. Some emergencies occur as a result of a chronic medical condition, sudden medical even or trauma. Veterinarians say pet owners should use their best judgment when deciding whether to take a pet to the emergency room, but obvious signs care is needed include an inability to go to the bathroom, immobility, frequent vomiting or diarrhea, seizures or bleeding. It was 10p.m. on a weeknight when Bob Kennedy's African Grey parrot Opus flew into a door, injuring his beak. "He scared the bejeezus out of us and was bleeding like a stuck pick," says the Berwyn, IL member. Kennedy's avian vet's office was closed, and the nearby emergency clinic didn't handle exotic pets. They recommend he rush Opus to the highly rated Animal 911 in the Chicago suburb of Skokie.

Animal 911 staff were able to stanch the bleeding and repair the bird's beak. "They did a beautiful job," says Kennedy, adding the parrot made a full recovery and soon returned to favored activities like singing "Old MacDonald" and eating peanut butter. Kennedy says Opus wouldn't have survived if he'd waited overnight for care.

Experts and members who've had emergencies recommend pet owners identify a high quality clinic that provides emergency care 24 hours a day before an incident occurs. "It's really hard to be ready for an emergency because by definition, it's something that's unexpected," says Dr. Chris Shacoski, owner of the Solano Napa Pet Emergency Clinic in Fairfield, CA, a clinic that operates outside regular business hours. "Knowing what your resources are ahead of time can make a difference in terms of outcome."

When searching on Angie's List, check whether a veterinary office's profile lists emergency services. Know the route to the clinic and keep the phone number on hand, along with the numbers for your regular vet and the Animal Poison Control Center for poison related emergencies. Once you choose an emergency vet, have your regular vet fax your pet's medical records to the clinic and keep a copy for yourself.

Dr. Thomas Sessa, who oversees emergency care at the Hollywood Animal Hospital in Hollywood, FL, recommends visiting a clinic you're considering using beforehand, with your pet, if possible. "When you're panicking, you'll go to the first place that will give you care," Sessa says. "Talk to your regular veterinarian and develop a plan for emergencies."

That's easy for clients of his A-rated hospital, which offers general veterinary practice, emergency services and specialty care in areas such as oncology and orthopedics. Their full-service facility houses a blood bank as well as equipment like defibrillators and a machine for digital radiography, and can deal with most health issues.

With different models of care, navigating the choices for where to seek emergency services for your furred, feathered or other animal friend can be difficult. Most general practices provide some emergency care, some dedicated clinics specialize in emergencies only, and other pet health care facilities provide a spectrum of services, including emergency care.

About 15% of small animal practices in the U.S. are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association, a voluntary program that has stringent requirements for care, service and medical protocol.

Training among veterinarians also varies. Although specialty training is not required to administer emergency and critical care, some vets pursue to obtain additional experience. Some also become Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, which requires an additional three years of intense training in treating life threatening conditions after receiving a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. "This can be confusing to the pet owner, because if they go to an emergency clinic, it's not guaranteed they're seeing an emergency and critical care specialist," says Dr. Armelle de Laforcade, the executive secretary of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and a teacher of veterinary medicine at Tufts University in Boston. She says there are about 340 Diplomates nationwide, which is a small percentage of the 85,000 veterinarians estimated by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

De Laforcade acknowledges pet owners can find excellent emergency care at various settings by vets with differing backgrounds, but the most critical cases may require a specialist. "The critical care specialist is really there to ensure the best emergency care is being administered," she says.

If follow-up care is needed, your provider should be able to recommend other certified specialists, such as those trained in ophthalmology, neurology or other fields of veterinary medicine. After you receive a diagnosis and a referral, shop your options for continuing vet treatment if time allows. Whatever type of provider you choose for your pet, be warned that emergency services might take a chunk out of your wallet. Veterinarians and members interviewed for this story acknowledged that emergency care for pets can be quite costly due to factors like round-the-clock staffing; technology that may include ultrasound machines, oxygen cages or fluid pumps: and medicine or supplies. The costs for care vary depending on the case, but most require a fee for the initial exam.

At the Solano-Napa Pet Emergency Clinic, the base fee is $79, but Shacoski says $110 is not uncommon in California. The American Veterinary Medical Association says there is no standard model for the industry but some emergency vets require payment before treatment. 34% of Angie's List poll respondents reported paying between $251 and $500 for an emergency visit. Sixteen percent spent as much as $1000 or more.

While some members say they're willing to pay higher costs for emergency or after-hours care, others are turned off by prices. Member Jann Howell says she was treated with indifference at Animal Emergency Clinic in Greenville, SC, where she took her dog Ashleigh after she began throwing up on a Saturday night.

"They just want your credit card or check," says Howell, who complained about wait times and a lack of compassion from employees of the D-Rated company. "They don't care about your dog or you." After exploratory surgery revealed the pieces of bone marrow lodged in her intestines, Ashleigh continued to deteriorate and had to be euthanized the following day. Howell paid $4000 for emergency care.

Rana Sargent, hospital manager at Animal Emergency Clinic, says she couldn't comment on Howell's case, but the fact that clients usually come to the clinic in a state of panic can lead to misunderstandings.

"Like a human emergency, we have to triage, based on the how serious the case is," Sargent says to explain wait times. She also says because her hospital typically deals with clients on a one-time basis, it can be difficult to balance the medical needs of the pet with the expectations of its owner.

Members who rate their experiences with emergency pet care providers cite good communication about treatment options and kindness towards themselves and their pets as qualities that helped them get through tough ordeals. Megan Lamon, the veterinarian who manages emergency care at the highly rated Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Snohomish, WA, says keeping a calm, reassuring demeanor, and sharing as much information as soon as possible with the pet parent is key. "We're treating the owner and the patient similarly because they're both in a state of agitation," says Lamon, adding that she learned most of her communication skills on the job. "I have to work very quickly with people who don't know me to gain their trust."

Member Danita Applebaum of Sterling, VA, was mortified when her families pet guinea pic, Mo, lost his ability to walk after a fall. She brought him to the highly rated Towne Animal Clinic in Leesburg, VA where they diagnosed and treated a spinal cord injury for $150. "I was blown away with how caring and gentle everyone was," Applebaum says. "They had to flip this little guy on his back and x-ray him, and showed the finesse you need to deal with a small animal."

Applebaum found the clinic on Angie's List, and has since adopted it as her full-time vet for Mo, who was returning to hopping around begging for his favorite fruits and veggies. "Mo and the Towne Animal Clinic have reminded me how intelligent and responsive to care and kindness all creatures can be."

Angie's List - August 2011
By Emily Udell

Monday, September 10, 2012

We are proud to highlight Dr.Jessica Lukens.

Dr. Jessica Lukens was born and raised a south Floridian.  She saw snow for the first time when she moved to Ohio to begin her veterinary education.  She received her DVM from Ohio State University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida.  Dr. Lukens is an advocate for pitbulls and believe that they are a very loving and loyal breed.  The beach has always been her serenity.  Her special interests in veterinary medicine include surgery, emergency medicine and animal behavior.  Her three babies are “Lacie” a 7 year old Jack Rat, Tyson a 5 year old Pitbull, and Scarlet a 3 year old boxer.   In her free time, you can always find her somewhere in the sun.  She loves laying out, water sports, snowboarding, and any other outdoor activity.  She is extremely honored  and excited to be a part of Hollywood Animal Hospital and looks forward to meeting all of her clients!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Client Testimonials

We are always so pleased when our clients have good things to say about us. Here are some testimonials from clients that have appreciated the service they received at Hollywood Animal Hospital. 

July 19, 2012

Dear Dr. Herrington, Katie, Leah and staff,

I'm sure you get these letters all the time, so here's another one. It really is true that words can't express my gratitude for everything that all of you did for my "little old man" Winker. As you may know, he was rescued from Miami-Dade animal control on the day he was slated to be euthanized. He was so wild with fear that the staff there wouldn't go into the cage to get him, and told the rescuers "you don't want that dog". I adopted him 9 months later.

From then on, he proved himself to be a real survivor and outlived everyone's predictions. With all that he went through (bogus allergy injections, Cushings, an attack by a vicious large dog, and then the long battle with kidney disease) the endearing term trooper was certainly well earned.

I will always remember the love and companionship he gave me, the good times as well as the not so good. And each time I do that I will certainly remember all of you. Without you Dr. H, and all of you, standing by us I'm certain his life would have been much, much shorter.

Please give the fluids and meds that weren't used to another client that can use them, or dispense them in-house as a freebie to an owner and animal that really need it. If you have a favorite charity I would be happy to make a donation to it. I have already donated his meatl foof dishes, crate, unused toys etc. to Get-a-Life pet Rescue.

The only saving grace about this huge loss is that my house isn't empty. About six years ago my neighbor found a tiny kitten (probably dropped off) in their bushes and I took her in, So you'll see me from time to time when I bring her in for checkups.

Again, “thanks" will never be enough.

Ralph Wheeler

Dear Dr. Dee,

I live in Aventura and I have many Veterinary Clinics near my home, but I've been dissastified with all of them.

My daughter Jamie who uses your clinic for her animals suggested I use you.

This is a note to tell you how satified I was and to RAVE about Dr. Morgan.

She is a compassionate, loving, patient and professional Dr.

I feel very comfortable bringing all my babies to your clinic.

Sincerely yours,

Mary Ellen Marke