Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Cancer Can't Keep A Good Dog Down Calander and Walk

One of our patients is featured in the calander for November 2010. This calander is a beautiful testiment to dogs and their owners.

Check out a heartfelt effort and link at


Go Hudson, Murphy, and Luke!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Precautions

The last thing any pet owner wants to do on Christmas or New Years is rush their pet to the animal emergency room! But, the truth is that many pets are injured or poisoned during these holidays. How can you make sure your holiday doesn’t end in disaster?

1) During the holidays, most animal related ER visits are due to eating something inappropriate. Some foods cause upset stomachs, some are poisonous, and some can cause life-threatening obstructions.

2) We know that 60% of us will share our holiday meal with our pets, but you should follow a few basic guidelines.

3) A small amount of white turkey is an acceptable treat but definitely avoid the turkey skin and the turkey bones! The skin is often fatty and can cause pets to develop pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pet’s pancreas.

4) Poultry bones, especially cooked, have potential to both break off and cause a perforation of the digestive tract or, if large amounts are consumed, could cause an obstruction.

5) Other foods to avoid include: grapes and raisins, excessively salty foods, foods flavored with onion or garlic powder, desserts and sweets containing Xylitol, and chocolates.

6) All leftovers should be secured behind a pet-proof door.

7) Remember, keep your trash can secure. Many items used in the meal preparation and then thrown away can be dangerous. A turkey string, foil wrappers, etc may smell like food and be eaten by a curious pet.

8) Decorative plants are also a source of danger. Mistletoe and holly can cause vomiting and lilies are often deadly to cats. Poinsettias, despite their reputation, are not deadly and often cause little more than mild stomach upset.

9) Some holiday decorations are also dangerous. Ribbons and tinsel are especially attractive and hazardous to cats. Keep an eye on electrical cords to insure puppies and kittens don’t chew on them.

10) During family gatherings, it might be best to keep pets confined if they are overly anxious. Also, monitor people going in and out of the front door. Pets might take advantage and try to escape.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Project Samana by Heidi Greene, CVT

Named for the rural town in which it is based, Project Samana is an animal welfare program that takes place on the Samana peninsula on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic. Thanks to our very own Dr. Robert Labdon, who founded Project Samana in 1992, twice a year, a team of veterinarians, technicians and students spend a week in this region operating both small and large animal clinics.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the November 2009 Project Samana Team. It was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had!

One would think that with only basic donated supplies and the lack of electricity and running water, the atmosphere would be one of chaos, tension and frustration. But, in fact, it was just the opposite. It was amazing to me that this team of 19, most of whom I had never met before, was able to come together and, within hours, work so well, it was though we had doing so for years.

Our first morning, we were greeted by our first 20 or so owners with their dogs on wire leashes and their cats in shopping bags and other creative carrying devices. We quickly set up our stations with our respective supplies and got right to work spaying and neutering four, and sometimes five, animals at time. With an injection of antibiotics and some pain medication, the animals were free to go home as soon as they were able to walk.

All of the surgical instruments were quickly scrubbed and disinfected between patients by a very generous local man who has volunteered at these clinics for years. We kept up this pace until we ran out of daylight. (Although, one afternoon, we finished up our last patients by flashlight!) On average, we performed between 25 and 35 surgeries a day, with a final total of more than 140 animals.

When I first found out that I would be going to Samana, I was nervous about being outside of my "comfort zone". I had never worked anywhere but in a hospital setting. The idea of being anywhere else seemed so overwhelming! But no sooner than when I began to shave or first patients surgical site, I realized that it didn't matter where I was. It didn't matter how hot, filthy or exhausted I was. What mattered was that I, and everyone else who has ever been a part of Project Samana, was able to help these animals and their owners when they needed us. Now I can't wait for the opportunity to go back!

2009 Project Samana Team