Friday, January 29, 2016

January Team Member of the Month-Alexis!!!

It takes every department in this practice, working together, to make our hospital a success. However, it is arguable that the Front Office Staff has the yeoman's job of serving our clients and our staff from start to finish for every client, every day. There is certainly few dull moments up there.

However, our January Team Member of the Month makes these tasks move seamlessly. Coming up on 9 years with our family, Alexis has seen us through the good and the not so good days.

She is known for her quiet disposition and vocal pup but most importantly for her commitment to getting things done.

If ever you need something, you can bet on Alexis to come through for you. She simply does her job without muss or fuss and brings a quality of calmness to everyone.

This month we would like to thank her for all she does to keep our ducks in a row and our staff and client happy. She is truly a star team player!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

VCA HAH Welcomes Veterinary Cardiologist!!!!

Dewey H Carpenter Jr. DVM, DACVIM – Cardiology

VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital would like to welcome Dewey Carpenter, DVM, ACVIM (Cardiology) to our practice.

Dr. Carpenter grew up in Greenville S.C and served 6 years in the U.S. Navy. Following his honorable discharge from the Navy he completed a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Chemistry at Charleston Southern University in 1996. He then received his DVM from Mississippi State University in 2000, completed an Internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Auburn University in 2001 and finished  a residency in Comparative Cardiology at the University of Minnesota in 2004. He became boarded in cardiology through the ACVIM in 2005 and began private practice in Cary, North Carolina. In 2012 he moved to Florida and practiced as the sole Cardiologist at a local hospital.

Dr.  Carpenter’s joins our team to pursue his effort of expanding the availability of specialized cardiology to all of Florida. His mission is to offer excellent and compassionate care to all his patients.

Dr. Carpenter has been married for 26 years, has three children, as well as three cats, and a dog. He currently lives in Coral Springs, Florida. In his off time, he enjoys family activities, coaching his daughter’s rec soccer team as well as training in Northern Seven Star Praying Mantis Kung Fu.

Board Certified: The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Cardiology: 2005

Residency: University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine: 2001-2004

Internship: Auburn University: 2000-2001

DVM: from Mississippi State University: 2000

January Patient of the Month- Harley!!!

This month’s patient of the month highlights a story about the caring spirit of our animal-loving community, basic preventative medicine and most of all the core loving and resilient spirit of most animals.     

Harley, a 50lb, 5 year old, black & white mutt was a yard dog.  He spent his free time “enjoying” the sights and sounds of our S. Florida wildlife but lacked the personal interaction that we know nourishes. Harley’s neighbor watched over him dog as best she could but she had a distinctly different vision of quality of life for him. 

When Harley’s owner abandoned him in the yard, this Good Samaritan made the decision to bring Harley in to the VCA HAH for a checkup.  Following a conversation with her good friend Kevin, who offered to pay for Harley’s care, the plan was made to have Harley neutered and vaccinated. Then they would find him a fur-ever home-with a comfy couch!!  

As anyone could image, Harley was wary of humans. His primary doctor, Dr. Brown took his physical exam very slowly to ensure he was as comfortable as possible and administered his first set of vaccinations. During routine bloodwork, it was discovered that Harley had heartworms. With no evidence or expectation of a history of any preventatives, this was no surprise. Radiographs confirmed the diagnosis and showed moderate change in his lungs from the heartworm infection. Treatment was the best next step.

Treatment for heartworm disease takes about 9 months. Throughout which, several courses of steroids and antibiotics are administered to fight the worms and any inflammation or immune responses associated with them. Treatment can also include the administration of three injections of medication to kill the parasites. This portion of the treatment requires strict monitoring as the medication actually attacks the parasites within the heart. With heartworm disease, any running, jumping, rough play, or overexcitement may exacerbate the condition which could then lead to further complications and potentially death. Therefore, Harley was boarded while he began treatment.

Within the first 2 days of his stay with us, his attitude toward humans changed dramatically. He began to linger a little when our staff would feed him. He would wander a little longer during his walks. He would rest his head in our laps of as we performed his daily treatments.

Every day, our Boarding Coordinator communicated with his owner as well as Kevin, the man funding Harley’s care. With each story of his recovery, Kevin grew more attached to Harley and decided to adopt him himself. The only caveat, that he got along with his dog at home. 

After Harley’s first treatment he was ready to go home for some R&R. What could be a better place then Kevin’s home in Key West to get it? Harley made his first introduction to Samson, Kevin’s other dog, and they instantly hit it off. Things were looking up. Kevin then took Harley to see a Veterinary Cardiologist to oversee the remaining treatments.

Now, weeks later, Harley is living once again with a great big yard to play in. However, this time it is optional when he comes and goes. Samson, Harley and Kevin are all really our January Patients of the Month as it was their group efforts that make this a true success story.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Top Ten Emergencies In Cats

Cats often become reclusive and hide when they are not feeling well which makes knowing when they need to be seen by your veterinarian a challenge. They have unique signs and symptoms of emergency conditions that often go unrecognized by their owners. Some injuries are obvious, such as a cat with an open wound, while others have more subtle signs that can be equally deadly if left untreated. Knowing what signs to look for is crucial in determining when to seek emergency care for your cat. Below is a list of some of the most common cat emergencies and their signs.

Urethral Obstruction
This is a condition in which a cat, usually male, is unable to urinate due to a blockage in the urethra (the tube leading from the urinary bladder to the outside environment).
Cats will show a sudden onset of restless behavior which includes frequent trips in and out of the litter box. They will often attempt to urinate in unusual places such as in a bath tub or on a plastic bag. You may notice a very small stream of urine that contains blood. More often than not, despite a cat’s straining, there may be no urine or even just a drop produced. In later stages of the obstruction, cats may cry loudly, vomit, and become lethargic.

You should consider these signs a serious emergency and seek veterinary care immediately. There are reports of cats developing kidney failure and dying within 12 hours after the onset of signs. Expect your cat to be hospitalized at least 36 hours for treatment of this condition which may include a urinary catheter, intravenous fluids, and pain management. Female cats are less likely to become obstructed due to their wider urinary tract.

Toxicities (Poisoning)
The combination of their curious nature and unique metabolism (the way their body breaks down chemicals) makes cats very vulnerable to toxins. Owners are often not aware that their home contains multiple products that are poisonous to their feline companions. The most common cat toxins include antifreeze, Tylenol, and rat or mouse poison.

The signs your cat displays depends on what type of poison they have encountered. Antifreeze will often cause wobbliness or a drunken appearance first, then progresses to vomiting/weakness as the kidneys fail. Tylenol may cause an unusual swelling of the head and changes the cats blood color from red to chocolate brown. Rat or mouse poison interferes with blood clotting so you may see weakness from internal blood loss or visible blood in urine or stool.

Breathing Problems
Many times cats hide the signs of breathing problems by simply decreasing their activity. By the time an owner notices changes in the cat’s breathing, it may be very late in the progression of the cat’s lung disease. There are several causes of breathing changes but the most common are feline asthma, heart or lung disease.

Foreign Object Ingestion
As you know cats love to play with strings or string-like objects (such as dental floss, holiday tinsel, or ribbon), however, you may not know the serious danger that strings can pose to your cat. When a string is ingested, one end may become lodged or “fixed” in place, often under the cat’s tongue, while the remaining string passes farther into the intestine. With each intestinal contraction, the string see-saws back and forth actually cutting into the intestine and damaging the blood supply.

Signs that your cat has eaten a foreign object may include vomiting, lack of appetite, diarrhea, and weakness. Occasionally owners will actually see part of a string coming from the mouth or anal area. You should never pull on any part of the string that is visible from your pet.
Most times emergency surgery is necessary to remove the foreign object and any damaged sections of intestine.

Bite Wounds
Cats are notorious for both inflicting and suffering bite wounds during encounters with other cats. Because the tips of their canine, or “fang”, teeth are so small and pointed, bites are often not noticed until infection sets in several days after the injury.

Cats may develop a fever and become lethargic 48 to 72 hours after experiencing a penetrating bite wound. They may be tender or painful at the site. If the wound becomes infected or abscessed, swelling and foul-smelling drainage may develop.

You should seek emergency care for bite wounds so that your veterinarian may thoroughly clean the area and prescribe appropriate antibiotics for your pet. Occasionally the wounds will develop large pockets called abscesses under the skin that require surgical placement of a drain to help with healing.

Hit by car
Cats that spend time outdoors are at a much greater risk for ending up in the emergency room. Being hit by a car is one of the most common reasons for your pet to suffer traumatic injuries such as broken bones, lung injuries and head trauma. You should always seek emergency care if your cat has been hit by a vehicle even if he or she appears normal as many injuries can develop or worsen over the next few hours.

Increased Thirst and Urination
Sudden changes in your cat’s thirst and urine volume are important clues to underlying disease. The two most common causes of these signs are kidney disease and diabetes mellitus.
Your veterinarian will need to check blood and urine samples to determine the cause of your cat’s signs. Having your pet seen on an emergency basis for these signs is important as the sooner your pet receives treatment, the better their chances for recovery. Many times exposure to certain toxins, such as antifreeze or lilies, will show similar signs and delaying veterinary care can be fatal.

Sudden inability to use the hind legs
Cats with some forms of heart disease are at risk for developing blood clots. Many times these clots can lodge in a large blood vessel called the aorta where they can prevent normal blood flow to the hind legs. If your cat experiences such a blood clotting episode (often called a saddle thrombus or thromboembolic episode), you will likely see a sudden loss of the use of their hind legs, painful crying, and breathing changes.

On arrival at the emergency room, your pet will receive pain management and oxygen support. Tests will be done to evaluate the cat’s heart and determine if there is any heart failure (fluid accumulation in the lungs). Sadly, such an episode is often the first clue for an owner that their cat has severe heart disease. In most cases, with time and support, the blood clot can resolve, but the cat’s heart disease will require life-long treatment.

Upper Respiratory Infections
Cats and kittens can experience a variety of upper respiratory diseases caused by a combination of bacteria or viruses. Upper respiratory infections, or URIs, often cause sneezing, runny noses, runny eyes, lack of appetite, and fever. In severe cases, they can cause ulcers in the mouth, tongue, and eyes. More often than not, severe cases are seen in cats that have recently been in multiple-cat environments such as shelters. Small or poor-doing kittens are also easily infected and may develop more severe complications such as low blood sugar.

Sudden Blindness
A sudden loss of vision is most likely to occur in an older cat. The most common causes are increased blood pressure (hypertension) that may be due to changes in thyroid function (hyperthyroidism) or kidney disease. There are some cats that appear to have hypertension with no other underlying disease.

Sudden blindness should be treated as an emergency and your veterinarian will measure your cat’s blood pressure, check blood tests, and start medications to try to lower the pressure and restore vision.
Anytime you notice a change in your cat’s eyes, whether they lose vision or not, you should consider this an emergency have your pet seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Want to join our team???

Want to join our team?

VCA HAH is currently looking for experienced full time Veterinary Technicians as well as a part time Pharmacy Technician. 

The skills that you will be utilizing as a Veterinary Technician include, but are not limited to: venipuncture, catheter placement, radiology, anesthesia monitoring, physical examinations and patient assessment, surgical preparation and assisting, dentistry, laboratory work, pharmacy, patient recovery, and compassionate care for our hospitalized patients.
The skills that you will be utilizing as a Pharmacy Technician include, but are not limited to:computer and internet skills, communication skills, attention to detail and a commitment to accuracy. 

We offer competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefits package, including medical/dental/vision coverage and paid vacation (for F/T employees only), 401(k), uniform allowance, generous personal pet care discounts, and more.

For over 67 years, we have offered high quality veterinary care in Hollywood. We have grown from a small family run practice to one that host over 21 veterinarian and over 100 technical and support staff. Our family values are still intact within these walls and our family dynamic is evident in the care of our clients, patients and co-workers. 

Our practice offeres the best Wellness and Emergency Care possible as well as a developing Specialty Care practice which includes, Dermatology, Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Emergency & Critical Care and Surgery. 

For more information about our practice, visit To apply, email your resume to


Tuesday, January 12, 2016



 VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital is pleased to announce that the success of our pet food drive for Broward Meals on Wheels for Pets (BMOW) was an overwhelming success. The South Florida community graciously donated over 3000 pounds of canned and dry food to our front doors. With the collections at our partnering collections sites at Pets Supplies Plusin Sheridan Plaza, Weston Animal Hospital and The Bed Post in Ft. Lauderdale the total number collected was 3600. With our hospital food match and the food match from Pet Supplies Plus, the 2016 total donation to Broward Meals on Wheels was over 5,500 pounds.

"We are proud to partner with Broward Meals on Wheels for Companion Animals to continue our commitment to support our animal community.
-Dr. James Herrington, DVM
VCA HAH Medical Director

Broward Meals on Wheels for Pets 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 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 our client’s furry family members.", said Bobbi Arnold, Co- Chair of Broward Meals on Wheels for pets.

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. Founded in 1947, HAH features 21 veterinarians and more than 100 highly trained technical and support staff members. For more information, please visit or call 954.920.3556.
Monday we presented volunteers from Broward Meals on Wheels with with food donation equaling over 5500 pounds of cat and dog food for homebound seniors needing assistance to take care of their in-home pets. Group shot photographed from left to right-(top row) Harriet Bonin, BMOW for Pets Volunteer, Marlene Gray- Director of Program Services at Broward Meals on Wheels, Nancy French- Hospital Manager at VCA Hollywood, Petrisha Carter-Regional Coordinator at Broward Meals on Wheels, Mark Adler- Executive Director at Broward Meals on Wheels, (bottom row- Bobbi Arnold- Volunteer at Broward Meals on Wheels, Linda Ream- Communications Coordinator at VCA Hollywood, Laura Molinari- Volunteer at Broward Meals on Wheels and Charlie- our quality control pup!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

February is National Pet Dental Health Month!

VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital is offering 20% off a dental cleaning & FREE dental products! Schedule your pet's next wellness exam before March 31st! 

Here are some reasons why dental care is so important for your pet: 

1. A pet with healthy teeth equals a pet with better breath!

2. Dental disease can actually lead to problems with your pet’s organs, such as the heart.

3. Retained baby teeth can cause problems in pets too! Did you know that full grown dogs have 42 teeth and full grown cats have 30 teeth? Before their adult teeth grow in, though, their baby teeth have to fall out. Sometimes, not all of the baby teeth want to come out. This can lead to problems like gum irritation and tartar buildup.

4. Caring for your pet’s teeth can prevent other health problems, saving you tons of money over the long term!

5. You need regular dental care and you brush your teeth everyday – why wouldn’t your pets? Your veterinarian and these handy videos can help you learn to brush your dog's teeth and your cat's teeth.

6. Did you know that 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of 3 years have some sort of periodontal disease? It can be caused by the buildup of plaque, so it’s important to go in for regular dental checkups and cleanings. 

7. Pets that don’t get dental care can painfully lose their teeth – this can be terribly painful and cause serious health problems.

8. Your dog and cat are very good at hiding pain – you might never know that your pet has a serious dental problem until it’s very advanced. This is yet another reason it’s important to take your pet in for regular dental checkups.

9. Teeth wear out! Your pets are tough on their teeth. 

10. Periodontal disease affects up to 80% of all adult pets. It is 2.4 times more expensive to treat dental disease than to prevent it. 

Call us at 954-920-3556 and ask us how you can SAVE on incredible dental care and products. 


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Photos with Santa= Huge Success for Community and BMOW Food Drive!!!!

Now in its fourth year, our VCA HAH Pet Photos with Santa is an established stop on St. Nick's pre-holiday route. Each year, we invite our clients -and frankly anyone with a pet- to join us for this FREE event to pose their furry baby with the big bearded one! 

This year we were joined by the local rescue group Boxer Friends, who helped entertain the masses as over 100 people ( an increase of 50% from last year) all came to captured the memory of their dog, cat and ferret! with Santa himself. 
As always, this event falls on the final day of our Annual Broward Meals on Wheels for Pets Food Drive. Through the generosity of our pet parents we collected over $200 which goes directly to BMOW to purchase food for the pets of home-bound seniors in our county.

***A special thanks to our local media  for sharing the event and helping us make this a HUGE success.***
Enjoy the beautiful photos and some of the hilarious outtakes both with our pets and our staff on our FB page: