Tuesday, December 31, 2013

January Patient of the Month- Patches!!!!

At the HAH, we like to think of Patches, a five year old female cat, as our Christmas miracle.  In reality,  her story began long before Christmas, and her miracle was really her new family, Steve and Marina.

Steve and Marina found Patches three months ago, crying in their backyard, after hearing commotion from a pack of dogs. Patches suffered a vicious dog attack that left her with wounds over almost half of her body. Having never met Patches before, but knowing she needed help, they brought her to the HAH and was seen on emergency by Dr. Schoeller. Patches spent several weeks in the hospital under the care of Dr.’s Shapiro and Heim. She endured numerous surgeries and countless bandage changes to clean and repair the bite wounds. Once the wounds were nearly healed, she developed a resistant bacterial infection causing complications to the healing and extending her hospital stay. Finally, after three weeks of hospitalized care, her wounds were healing and she was discharged with prescribed homecare.

A few weeks later, after dedicated care by her now smitten humans, Patches was completely healed and had free roam of the house.

Sadly, only a few weeks later, Patches returned to the HAH very ill with a liver condition called hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver. Hepatic lipidosis is an accumulation of fats in the liver that, if left untreated will cause the liver to fail. The treatment is dietary and if diagnosed early, works well in reversing the condition. Dr. Heim and Dr. Shapiro placed a feeding tube in Patches’ esophagus and prescribed a regimen of antibiotics, liver supplements and a carefully formulated slurry of food to be administered several times a day for weeks.
After a few more weeks of hospitalization Patches was well enough to be discharged and continue her care at home.

Today, Patches is home and completely cured. After weeks of specialized feedings at home she was weaned back to her regular diet and the tube was removed just before Christmas.

This month’s Patient of the Month won the hearts of her new humans throughout this process and has made a forever home with Steve and Marina. The intention of wanting to help a wounded cat created a family and we are so pleased to be a part of their story.

Happy New Year to this powerful trio!!


2014 Broward Rabies Tag unavailable until mid-January.

The 2014 Broward County Rabies Tag will not be available from the County until the middle of January.

We apologize for the inconvenience but Broward County has not received or release their 2014 Rabies Tag due to an issue on their end. However they expect to have them available in two weeks. Vaccines can still be administered and you will receive your rabies certificate as proof of vaccination. When the tags arrive they can be at the HAH or at Animal Care and Adoption with proof of  your rabies certificate.

Feel free to call us with questions and we will continue to keep you informed as things change.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December Team Members of the Month!!!

Since the HAH’s inception it has grown to include a staff of over twenty veterinarians and more than 100 technical and supportive staff. All of which have been selected, not only for their compassion and communication skills but also for their appreciation of the special roles that pets play in our lives. Each month, we highlight one staff member that epitomize these qualities and who makes the days at the HAH more enjoyable. However, one group of team members is often excluded from these highlights.
This month we would like to recognize our favorite doctors and say “Thank you, for all your care, compassion and skill. We appreciate the job you do!”**

** All doctors are NOT represented here. Not as a reflection of our lack of undying love for them but rather a reflection of just how darn busy everyone is. It was hard enough pulling this crew out of exam rooms!!!

Thank you to everyone for all you do!

Breast Cancer Awareness!

Breast Cancer in Pets. (yes, they get it too!!)

Many pet parents don't realize that pets can also suffer from breast cancer. In veterinary medicine, these tumors are referred to as mammary gland tumors, and are unfortunately one of the most common kinds of cancer in pets.

Cats generally have eight mammary glands, arranged in four pairs. Dogs usually have 10 glands arranged in five pairs, though the number varies with the size of the dog. Mammary gland tumors in dogs and cats can be benign or malignant. In cats, around 90% of mammary gland tumors are malignant. In dogs, approximately 50% are malignant.

How can mammary gland tumors be prevented in dogs and cats?
The most effective way to prevent mammary gland tumors is to have your pet spayed before she ever goes into heat. There is a myth that animals should have one heat cycle (or give birth to one litter) before they are spayed. In fact, dogs who are spayed before their first heat cycle are 2,000 times less likely to develop breast cancer! Cats spayed before their first heat are 91% less likely to develop breast cancer than unspayed cats. After just one heat cycle, the risk rises in both dogs and cats.

Detecting mammary gland tumors
Just like in people, performing mammary exams in dogs and cats is very important. Early detection is key. If your dog or cat allows, perform a mammary exam on her once a month. Gently feel the tissue under and around each nipple, "rolling" the tissue between your fingers. Very small mammary tumors often feel like a little BB pellet under the skin. If you feel even a tiny lump or firm area, bring your pet to the veterinarian immediately.
There is evidence that canine mammary tumors can become malignant over time, so prompt removal is essential.

Treatment of mammary gland tumors in pets
The main treatment at this time is surgical removal. Depending on the situation, your pet may need to have the affected mammary gland, several mammary glands, or all the glands on that side of her body removed. The tumor that is removed will be sent to the lab for a biopsy to tell you if it is benign or malignant. If the tumor is malignant, your veterinarian may refer you to a veterinary oncologist for consultation.
For more information about keeping your pet healthy, please visit the ASPCA Animal Hospital.

Source:  http://www.aspca.org/blog/term/pet-care
Friday, December 13, 2013 - 3:45pm
Guest blog by Louise Murray, DVM DACVIM, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital and author of “Vet Confidential: An Insider’s Guide to Protecting Your Pet’s Health”

What exactly does AAHA accreditation really mean?

What exactly does AAHA accreditation really mean?  

The Hollywood Animal Hospital has been AAHA accredited for over 64 years. We have certifications in multiple categories and prepare all year long for scheduled reviews of our records, procedures and protocols. While the title sounds prestigious, what does it mean for pet owners. Ryan Mason, a pet owner and advocate explains it well in this article from the Pet Health Care Gazette.

An AAHA Accredited Veterinary Hospital Is Not Common

According to AAHA itself, only 17 percent of veterinarians are AAHA accredited. It goes without saying that any accreditation that is that difficult to earn undoubtedly has stringent requirements. This is true. The benchmarks for AAHA Accreditation are high in regards to cleanliness and sterility, and inspections are common. The standards go further than just cleanliness, though. Patient care, hospital management, pain management, and record-keeping are all subject to the high standards established by AAHA. The varied standards and high benchmarks make obtaining AAHA accreditation difficult for most veterinary offices.

AAHA Accreditation Does Translate to Healthier, Happier Pets

According to the AAHA website, “AAHA developed the accreditation program to raise the level of care being provided to companion animals.” The high standards in regard to pain management, cleanliness, and patient care clearly do result in healthier animals that are less likely to develop complications after treatment and surgery. For example, the anesthesia standards upheld by AAHA are intended to ensure that the risk of anesthesia-related complications during surgery are reduced. There are over 900 standards dictating patient care alone in the AAHA guidelines. These standards far exceed the ones required by law, meaning that the veterinarians who aren’t AAHA accredited are not required to do nearly as much in terms of patient care as accredited vets do. This isn’t to say that there aren’t good veterinarians who aren’t accredited, as there clearly are. On the whole, however, taking your pet to an AAHA accredited veterinarian gives a peace of mind that is difficult to measure.

AAHA Accreditation Actually Makes Veterinarians More Successful

Becoming AAHA accredited results in a veterinary office that is running at the cutting-edge of patient care, organization, and sanitary standards. Besides the increase in business that an AAHA accreditation can bring to an office, there are many other benefits that people may not immediately realize. Becoming accredited inspires pride in one’s office, and the process itself is a powerful team-building tool. Many offices have marveled at how their team members pull together during the accreditation process.

AAHA Accreditation Is an Extra Step That Benefits Pets

The takeaway from this is that AAHA accreditation, while not for everyone, is indeed a powerful step that benefits pets. The high standards in regard to cleanliness, patient care, hospital organization, and pain management benefit pets. It’s not surprising that AAHA accredited veterinarians are so proud of the accomplishment- and not surprising that pet owners are more apt to trust them. Finding an AAHA accredited veterinarian is not difficult. AAHA accredited veterinary hospitals like the Animal Health Hospital in Tucson, Arizona will display the AAHA logo clearly on their website. If you’re looking for an AAHA Accredited veterinarian in your area you can search AAHA’s website for pet owners.

Source: http://www.pet-health-care-gazette.com/2013/11/14/should-aaha-accreditation-be-one-of-your-criteria-for-picking-a-veterinarian/
About the author:Ryan Mason is a pet owner, feral cat advocate, and writer dedicated to pet welfare living in Tucson, Arizona.

Puppies!!! The before, during and after care.

Prenatal Care

Preparing for your dog's labor and puppy care can be both exciting and fun; still, awareness of potential problems is of paramount importance. It is a good idea to keep track of your dog's breeding date so as to know when to expect what.

After about 35 days of pregnancy, the mother's caloric requirements will begin to increase. In general, she should require about twice as much food as usual, whereas when she begins nursing she will need three times as much food. The best nutritional plan is to buy a dog food approved for growth (i.e., puppy food) and feed according to the package; such diets are balanced and require no supplementation, plus they typically have the extra calories needed by the pregnant or nursing mother. Exercise of a pregnant bitch need not be restricted until after the first 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy. Do not supplement calcium as this can cause metabolic imbalances; also, excess vitamins may be harmful to the puppies.

Sometime around the 45th day, your dog should be examined by a veterinarian. At this time, the skeletons of the unborn pups will have mineralized and are thus visible on a radiograph. Your dog's abdomen should be x-rayed so that you know how many pups to expect. Ultrasound may be used to confirm pregnancy much earlier (after 25 days, the embryonic heart may be seen beating) but it is more difficult to count the number of pups using this method. A general pregnancy blood test can be performed around day 35 just to confirm whether or not she is pregnant but neither this nor ultrasound will tell you how many puppies to expect; only radiographs can do that.

A comfortable area should be set aside for whelping and raising the puppies. The bitch should feel at home here and should be able to come and go as she likes while the puppies must remain confined.

It is important that the mother dog be isolated from all other dogs for 3 weeks prior to labor through 3 weeks after delivery to prevent herpes infection. Herpes is spread by sniffing and licking between two dogs. Adult dogs rarely have any symptoms but the newborn or unborn puppies generally die.

A dog's gestation period is considered to be 63 days though this is not written in stone and a normal range might be 58 to 68 days.

Impending Labor

When your dog's due date is approaching, you should begin monitoring her rectal temperature. When her temperature drops below 100°F (normal canine temperature is 101-102°F), labor may be expected within 24 hours.       It is a good practice to know how to take your pregnant dog's temperature as her due date approaches.

The First Stage of Labor

During this stage, uterine contractions begin. The bitch will appear restless and may pace, dig, shiver, pant, or even vomit. This is all normal and all an owner can do is see that she has water available should she want it. This stage of labor is long, lasting 6 to 12 hours and culminates with full dilation of the cervix in preparation to expel a puppy.

The Second and Third Stages of Labor

In the video below, a Dalmatian gives birth.      The second stage is the hard labor stage in which the puppy is expelled. The third stage refers to the expulsion of the placenta and afterbirth. Each pup may not be followed by afterbirth; the mother may pass two pups and then two placentas. This is normal.

Puppies are born covered in membranes that must be cleaned away or the pup will suffocate. The mother will bite and lick the membranes away. Allow her a minute or two after birth to do this; if she does not do it, then you must clean the pup for her. Simply remove the slippery covering and rub the puppy with a clean towel. The umbilical cord may be tied in a knot about one inch from the pup and cut with scissors on the far side of the knot. Be careful not to pull on the umbilical cord as this can injure the puppy. The mother may want to eat the placenta but this is probably not a good idea as vomiting it up later is common; it is best to clean away the placenta yourself.

Expect one pup every 45 to 60 minutes with 10 to 30 minutes of hard straining. It is normal for bitches to take a rest partway through delivery, and she may not strain at all for up to 4 hours between pups. If she is seen straining hard for over one hour or if she takes longer than a 4 hour break, a veterinarian should be consulted.

Expect some puppies (probably half of them) to be born tail first. This is not abnormal for dogs.

CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN IF:   30-60 minutes of strong contractions occur with no puppy being produced.

 More than 4 hours pass between pups and you know there are more inside.

 She fails to go into labor within 24 hours of her temperature drop.

 She is obviously in extreme pain.

 Greater than 70 days of gestation have passed.

It is normal for the bitch to spike a fever in the 24 to 48 hours following birth. This fever should not be accompanied by clinical signs of illness.

Normal vaginal discharge after parturition should be odorless and may be green, dark red-brown or bloody and may persist in small amounts for up to 8 weeks.

Problems to Watch for...

Metritis (Inflammation of the Uterus)
Signs of this condition are as follows:   fever  foul-smelling vaginal discharge  listlessness  loss of appetite  no interest in the puppies  decreased milk production

If these signs are noted, usually in the first day or two postpartum, a veterinarian should be consulted. Your dog may have retained a placenta or have suffered some trauma during delivery. Animals who require assistance with delivery are often predisposed to metritis. She will likely need to be spayed.


             This condition results when the bitch has trouble supporting the calcium demand of lactation. Calcium supplementation predisposes a bitch to this condition. Usually affected animals are small dogs. They demonstrate:   nervousness and restlessness  no interest in the pups  stiff, painful gait

This progresses to:   muscle spasms  inability to stand  fever  seizures

This condition generally occurs in the first three weeks of lactation and a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.

Mastitis (Inflammation of the Breasts)
Normal nursing glands are soft and enlarged. Diseased glands are red, hard, and painful. In general, the bitch does not act sick; the disease is confined to the mammary tissue. The bitch may be sore and discourage the pups from nursing; however, it is important to keep the pups nursing the affected glands. This is not harmful to the puppies and it helps flush out the infected material. Hot packing may be helpful.

Most dogs are excellent mothers and problems are few. The basic rule is to seek veterinary care if she seems to feel sick or if she ceases to care for her young. Puppies nurse until they are about 6 weeks old and then may be fully separated from their mother. A good age for adoption to a new home is 8 weeks or later.

Source: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=678

Related links:


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December Patients of the Month!!!!

Through the year we have chosen one patient each month and told their story of medical triumph. Each of these patients have had a challenging medical condition that merited some extra attention and a family willing to go the extra mile to help them heal. However, every day we see many patients and families that do the very same thing, sometimes on a smaller scale, sometimes under more or less trying circumstance. We can not tell everyone’s story but we do know that there are many more stories to tell.

This month we would like to recognize all the four legged (sometimes three legged) family members that we see each and every day that, with the care and the support of their exceptional owners overcome accidents and illness.

To the families that extend care to their aging pets, making life exceptional to the very end, to the ones that offer a nurturing home to the newbie’s of the world and everyone in between, thank you for allowing us to care for your pets and be a part of your story.

Friday, December 20, 2013

HAH Broward Meals on Wheels Food Drive 2013 RESULTS!!!! - $4000 lbs

This year, Hollywood Animal Hospital's Meals on Wheels Food Drive for Pets was an even larger success then anticipated. While last year we were amazed by the generosity of the community, this year we were completely flabbergasted. Whether is be the 'season of giving' or simply the generosity of this county we collected twice as much food this year then last. With the match from the HAH, just over 4000 lbs of food was delivered to Broward Meals on Wheels for Pets this week.

Members of our community gave and gave. People shared this food drive through social media outlets as well as word of mouth campaigns and boy did that word get around! Multiple individuals even organized their own private food drives at home and work; dropping off food to our lobby in astounding amounts.

"The quantity of food used monthly by Broward Meals on Wheels for Pets is around 800 lbs alone for the southern portion of Broward County. This food collection will go a long way to help feed these furry family members of the seniors in need here in Broward.", said Bobbi Arnold, Co- Chair of Broward Meals on Wheels for pets.

The final day of the drive was given another shot of adrenaline when folks that stopped by for the Free Santa Photos in the Annex gave generously to the cause. With the collection of even more food that day, we were able to pass along $170 collected for the purchase of more food.

"We feel so pleased to be associated with the Broward Meals on Wheels for Pets organization. The community support we've seen is indicative of the kind of community we live and work in and we could not be happier to give back with them."

Thank  you to all who donated, shared and supported this food drive.

Happy Holidays to all!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Holly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe! Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:
O Christmas Tree Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
Tinsel-less Town 
Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
No Feasting for the Furries 
By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
Toy Joy 
Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Choose gifts that are safe. 
  • Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible. 
  • Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer—and tons of play sessions together.
Forget the Mistletoe & Holly 
Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
Leave the Leftovers 
Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.
That Holiday Glow 
Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
Wired Up 
Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth.
House Rules 
If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
Put the Meds Away 
Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
Careful with Cocktails 
If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
A Room of Their Own 
Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
New Year's Noise 
As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pet Food Drive Ends This Saturday

The LAST DAY for the Pet Food Drive for Broward Meals on Wheels is THIS SATURDAY! Food for both cats and dogs can be dropped off Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. through 7 p.m. at 2864 Hollywood Blvd.