Monday, August 31, 2015

Computed Tomography (CT scanning)

VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital utilizes an advanced computed tomography (CT) scanner system with enhanced features for greater patient comfort and safety, quicker exam times, and improved image quality for faster, more effective diagnosis and treatment. This is particularly important when determining the extent of injuries in trauma cases, where every second counts.

While CT uses X-ray technology, it is distinguished from other imaging tools like traditional X-ray and MRI by its ability to display a combination of soft tissue (like muscles, tissue, organs and fat), bones and blood vessels all in a single image. Clinicians perform CT scans to diagnose kidney, lung, liver, spine, blood diseases, cancer, tumors and cysts, as well as blood clots, hemorrhages and infections.

During a CT exam, a patient lies on a table and is slowly moved into the large donut-shaped opening of the scanner. Once inside, a series of X-ray beams create hundreds of cross-sectional pictures that represent slices of the patient's body. Seconds later, the system's computer assembles the slices into three-dimensional images that are interpreted by a clinician.

Multi-detector CT has dramatically improved clinicians' ability to accurately diagnose disease at an early stage. Offering superior imaging capabilities, it is a powerful diagnostic tool that uses rotating X-rays to penetrate body tissues, generating multiple slice images, which can detect more than traditional radiography.
CT can also be used to guide a biopsy of an abnormality within the body less invasively than with surgery. Veterinary patients need to be anesthetized for CT scans, so that they will hold still long enough for the examination. Every patient that presents for a CT scan will receive a thorough physical exam, and will have a review of recent bloodwork and other testing done prior to anesthesia to ensure they are good candidates for anesthesia. Also, every patient anesthetized at VCA HAH is closely monitored while under anesthesia by a veterinarian and a certified veterinary technician. VCA HAH has a dual slice CT scanner, capable of helical scanning, a technology which allows more rapid scanning of the patient than non-helical CT machines. Surgical suites and the ICU (with board certified surgeons, internal medicine specialists, neurologists, emergency and critical care, and other specialists) are close by.
Computed tomography (CT) is a diagnostic tool that uses x-rays to obtain cross-sectional images of the body. CT is commonly used to image:
• Lungs and other thoracic (chest) structures
• Orthopedic conditions such as elbow dysplasia, complex fractures, tumors or infections, etc.
• Skull, nasal cavity and sinuses, middle or inner ear disease.
• Can be used to diagnose vascular liver shunts and other abdominal diseases such as adrenal tumors or liver tumors, assisting a surgeon to plan a difficult surgery to remove or treat these abnormalities.

Friday, August 28, 2015

August Team Member of the Month- Anna!!!!!!

She is awesome!!!
With the latest Team Member of the Month nominations, it appears we are having a lovefest with our Emergency Night staff!!!

  It is no real surprise either because this group works tirelessly while the rest of us literally rest.  Their expertise and passion for patient care manages our our most critical patients all along being ready to handle any kind of emergency. The accolades for this team member in particular could be no more deserved!!!

For 20 years our Team Member of the Month, Anna, has been a part of this crew. She has lent her expertise to the technician team and now plays a more supportive role behind the scenes.

While many of our day staff have never met her. Some do not even know her position exists. However, her productivity in the wee hours of night make each of our days caring for pets more informed, more efficient and simply better!

This unseen star is certainly super and while she may like the low profile, her role is irreplaceable. We are very please to recognize, Anna  as our August Team Member of the Month!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August Patient of the Month- Carli!!!!!!!!!!!

We all have circumstances outside our control that can affect our lives and the lives of our pets. We see very often families that need to travel unexpectedly, have an illness in their family or are experiencing a transition and their pets becomes a regular guest at our hospital. Often, these frequent flyers find a special place in the hearts of our staff. 

While we see many many animals every day, these regulars become a sort of office pet. I companion we get through the day with. One of these regulars in particular, fits this bill perfectly and comes with a very sweet ending. 

Carli, a 14+year old Jack Russel was our HAH guest. She was on eye medications several times a day. She enjoyed her trips to walk and explore the yard. But mostly she spent her days simply relaxing in her kennel. Each time we passed, with a face like her’s, who could resist stopping by for a visit.

One person in particular could not! Maybe it was the way Carli looked so much like her own dog at home or maybe it was simply meant to be but after an extended stay with us, Candice, our Boarding Coordinator was hooked and unofficially ‘adopted’ Carli as her 'work pup'.

Every day, Candice would pick Carli up and visit with her. As the days progressed these visits moved toward Candice’s office until she essentially moved. While this is rather unusual in our practice, between the hours of 8-5 Carli was an office pet. No one seemed to mind, least of all her owner. Due to her own circumstances, Carli’s mom could not have her at home. While her family came to visit; knowing she was so well cared for was a great peace of mind to them.  Soon everyone just expected Carli and Candice to be together. 

Today, Carli does not visit the office too often. As fate would have it, Candice was allowed to bring Carli home. Now her days are filled with her extended family unit which includes two small children, a three legged mutt, a 15 year old Chihuahua, a Police Dog and of course-Dad! 

 This family of 8 makes a wonderful team and we could not be happier to share this happily ever after story. #LG


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

VCA HAH Services-At-A-Glance

When referring to VCA HAH, please call our hospital’s main line at 954.920.3556. Our staff will connect you directly to the appropriate person to discuss the case and determine which of our services are in alignment with your diagnostic plan.  

You can also refer online through our Patient Referral Form. Please complete the appropriate medical sections to better facilitate communication regarding your client’s care.

Advanced Dental Procedures

Advanced Ultrasound Diagnostics
Canine Rehabilitation Therapy
James Herrington, DVM, DABVP, CCRP
Malia Shelton LVT, CCRT
Services include-but not limited to: Manual manipulation, Laser Therapy, Therapeutic ultrasound, Land & Underwater Treadmill and TENS and NEMS therapy.

Dewey Carpenter, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

CT Scan/ Radiology
Victoria McEwan, DVM,DACVR
Antech Imaging Service
Services include: Image capture, interpretation and consultation of CT and digital radiography Images.


Ear Cropping

Emergency & Critical Care
General, Reconstructive Surgery and
Advanced Soft Tissue Surgery


Orthopedic Surgery

Reproductive Medicine
Stem Cell Therapy

Transfusion Medicine

Blood Bank

We stock a complete supply of blood products to readily provide pRBC and Plasma to hospitalized patients. Our highly trained staff is available 24/7/365 to perform transfusion therapy in support of your treatment plan. 

There is Nothing Routine About Our Care!”

2015 Broward Meals on Wheels Food Drive for Pets!!

 November 14th through December 19th

2014 donations
VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital (HAH) is proud to once again join Broward Meals on Wheels (BMOW) for Companion Animals to collect food for pets of homebound seniors throughout Broward County.  Each year the success of this food drive provides a consistent resource of food to keep this organization fulfilling their commitment to our pet community.

With the support of many local groups, individuals and organizations last year alone we collected  nearly 5000lbs. for BMOW.

November 14th- December 19th, donations of canned and dry food for cats & dogs will be accepted at our practice and area business. A a portion of the donation will again be matched by the VCAHAH*.

“Even with the growth of out practice our commitment to community has not changed. Our partnership with Broward Meals on Wheels for Pets is a great source of pride for all of us at VCAHAH. We thrive on being a part of such a supportive community. We could not be happier  to participate in giving back."
-Linda Ream, Communications Coordinator- VCAHAH

BMOW delivers pet food once a month to homebound seniors who need assistance taking care of their in-home pets.  Pet food is provided through the generosity of community donations. The need for donations of cat food is in particular demand among BMOW clients.
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. These food collections go a long way to help feed the furry family  members of the seniors in need here in Broward.”
-Bobbi Arnold, Co- Chair of Broward Meals on Wheels for pets.

For additional information on BMOW, please visit

November 14th- December 19, 2015
7:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday
Hollywood Animal Hospital
(Drop off sites in both the main hospital and annex building)
2864 Hollywood Boulevard, one block east of I-95
Hollywood, Florida 33020

Just stop by with a donation of canned, dry or dehydrated food for cats or dogs.

VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital has earned a solid reputation for offering the very best in veterinary medicine as well as the latest technological advances and therapies. We believe that giving back to the people that supports us is paramount. Founded in 1947, our commitment is to our community.
For more information, please visit or call 954.920.3556.

Broward Meals on Wheels for Companion Animals started when volunteers began to notice clients sharing their meals with their pets. Senior on a restricted budget can have a difficult time meeting their own needs and often the needs of their companion animals can be neglected. With only the support of volunteers and donation this organization provides delivery of food for these loyal pets once a month to clients of BMOW. For more information visit or call VCAHAH.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Time to Clean Your Pet's Ears?

Veterinarians see a lot of patients with ear infections. In fact, it's the second most common reason for a client visit, according to pet health insurer, VPI Pet Insurance. With ear problems prompting so many trips to the vet, should ear cleaning be a necessary part of grooming your pet?

Generally, cleaning a dog's ears on a routine basis is not necessary, according to Leonard Jonas, DVM, MS, DACVIM, a veterinarian with Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital in Wheat Ridge, Colo. That's because animals have a naturally occurring self-cleansing process.
"I've had pets my whole life," Jonas said. "I don't remember ever routinely cleaning out their ears."
However, that doesn't mean pet owners should never take notice of their dog's ears. Certain breeds, lifestyles and physical characteristics will make a dog more prone to what Jonas calls "abnormal situations," in which the pet's normal homeostasis is disrupted. This is when something, either systemically or locally in the ear, interferes with the normal surface barrier defense system and the normal cleaning process that keeps bacteria and yeast under control.
There are signs to watch for if your pet is having an issue with its ears. These, according to Jonas, include:
  • Shaking its head
  • Flapping its ears
  • Rubbing at its ears, either with a paw or by rubbing against furniture or carpet
  • Self-massaging the ear to ease itch, pain or irritation
  • Debris and/or redness inside the ear
  • Sores inside the ear
  • Odor in the ear due to abnormal oils and bacteria
"If you [the pet owner] look in the ear, you can see sometimes a lot of debris," said Jonas, explaining what an ear with an infection or problem may look like. "Then [you] see redness on the ear flaps (inside) or sores developing. And then there's also odor that occurs when you have an abnormal ear."

Breeds to watch
There are certain breeds of dogs—such as Shar Peis, bulldogs and poodles—that have narrow ear canals and have a higher chance of incurring ear issues. Poodles, especially, have more hair in the canals, Jonas explained. "The hair itself is not a problem, but if they've got something abnormal with their whole defense system, all that extra hair in there makes it difficult."
Cocker spaniels are notorious for ear problems, Jonas added.

When to clean your pet's ears
According to Jonas, it's best to consult your veterinarian before going forward with an ear-cleaning regimen. Unlike cleaning the teeth, cleaning the ears does not need be done regularly. If a pet owner suspects that something may be wrong with the ear, it's advised to visit the veterinarian and establish whether the dog's ear needs to be cleaned by the owner either routinely or for an instructed period of time.
Cleaning the dog's ears without first seeing a veterinarian is not a good idea, Jonas said, "because you don't know what's going on inside. You don't know if there has been a ruptured ear drum; you don't know if there's a stick or a stone or something stuck down inside the ear that needs to be fished out by a veterinarian."
A veterinarian can diagnose the problem and make the proper recommendations, which may be cleaning and/or medication.
Typically, there are two situations for which a dog's ears would need to be cleaned regularly. The first is when a veterinarian instructs for it to be done, and the second is when the dog is frequently in water. "Water in their ears disrupts the normal defense barrier system in that ear, and can make them prone to getting infections and irritation and inflammation," Jonas said.

If there needs to be ear cleaning
A veterinarian should show the owner how to properly clean the dog's ears because "there are a lot of different techniques, and it depends on what the problem is," Jonas advised.
There are a couple of precautions to always remember, according to Jonas. First, never use a Q-tip, because it tends to push the wax and debris further into the ear. Second, be sure a groomer does not pluck the hair out of the dog's ears, unless that hair is contributing to an ear problem; Jonas believes that doing so may cause irritation.
One thing pet owners should also consider is that if the dog has an ear infection, it could be very painful for them. Forcing the dog to get its ears cleaned or putting medication in them can be a dangerous situation for the owner and the dog.
"If your pet doesn't want you to do it, don't, because it hurts," Jonas said. "You're just going to create a problem, and you need to look to alternatives."

Originally published by Healthy Pet.