News from Our Florida Veterinary Hospital

Don’t wait, prepare for pets, Hurricane Irma now

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As Hurricane Irma barrels toward Florida, doctors of Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists are encouraging pet owners to ensure they have a household emergency plan, which includes their pets.

“Proper planning by pet owners could help save the lives of many animals if this hurricane should hit Florida coastlines,” said Dr. Ira Zaslow, a board-certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care and medical director of Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists. “When planning for an emergency like a hurricane, people need to make sure their pets are included.

The Louisiana SPCA estimates that over 250,000 pets were separated from their owners and approximately 15,000 animals were rescued after Hurricane Katrina. The total number of animals who died is unknown, though it is estimated to be in the tens of thousands. 

When hurricanes hit, pet owners often find out the hard way that shelters may not be pet friendly.  Owners should be fully prepared if an evacuation is ordered by the state of Florida. Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists recommends for pet owners to find the closest pet-friendly evacuation shelter and to make sure they have the required documentation. If a shelter is pet-friendly, pet owners are usually required to provide their pets medical records, including vaccination documentation. 

If the hurricane does make landfall, some veterinarians may be forced to evacuate, as well. That’s why it is important for pet owners to ensure they have at least a two-week supply of food and water for their pets and any medications their pets are prescribed. If pet owners decide to ride out the storm and take shelter in their homes, they should contact their family veterinarian to ensure they have a sufficient plan to include the safety of their pets.

Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists will remain open throughout the storm. LVS is not a shelter, but LVS will be open to see and treat emergency cases.

Here are some additional tips recommended by Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists doctors:

CREATE AN EMERGENCY KIT FOR YOUR PET BEFORE A HURRICANE

  • Keep documentation of your pet’s vaccination history in the emergency kit.
  • Have a current photograph of your pet in the kit.
  • Keep a checklist in the kit of items to pull together when a storm is imminent, including these:
    • Collar: Make sure your pet’s collar has an identification tag with your contact information.
    • Leash: Use a leash if you evacuate or bring your pet to a shelter because pets can become easily disoriented if they slip away from you. This is because the scents that pets use to determine where they are and how to get home are often washed or blown away during storms.
    • Carrier: Have a properly sized pet carrier for each animal handy. Carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.
    • Medications: Have a list of medications and care instructions to bring with you.
    • Other: Make a list of other items to add at the last minute such as food, bowls, water and cleaning supplies.
  • Have an evacuation strategy: Have a list including addresses and phone numbers of specialized pet shelters, animal control shelters and friends and relatives out of harm’s way who are potential refuges for your pet during a disaster. Familiarize yourself with the location of each so if you need to evacuate, you can plan your route accordingly.

DURING A HURRICANE

  • Gather together in one place all items on your pet’s emergency checklist. A laundry basket is easy to carry and a good size for this purpose.
  • Animals brought to a pet shelter may be required to have any or all of the following:
    • Leash and collar with  identification tag
    • Rabies tag
    • Identification on all belongings
    • Suitable carrier or cage
    • Ample supply of food, water and food bowls
    • Necessary medications and specific, written care instructions
    • Newspapers, trash bags and other supplies for clean-up
  • Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first-served basis.  Call ahead and determine availability.
  • Bring pets indoors well in advance of a storm. Reassure and calm them throughout.
  • Monitor your pets’ behavior, because animals can become defensive or aggressive due to the stress of the situation.

AFTER A HURRICANE

  • Walk pets on leashes until they become re-oriented to the area. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost.  Also, downed power lines, debris, snakes and other critters brought in with high water can all pose a threat for animals after a disaster.
  • If your pet is lost during a disaster, contact your local animal control office to find out where lost animals are being housed. Bring along the picture of your pet and information about the microchip.

About Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists
Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists is a 24-hour veterinary emergency, critical care, referral hospital and imaging center serving Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties. Their services include: emergency, critical care, internal medicine, neurosurgery, neurology, ultrasound, CT-scan, digital radiography, bereavement counseling, as well as, soft tissue, orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. LVS can be reached at 954.641.1100 and is located at 3217 NW 10th Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309.

For media-related inquiries, please contact our PR Firm at 813.279.8335 or by email at news@judgepr.com

Veterinary hospital adds new lifesaving equipment

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, a specialty and emergency hospital for pets in South Florida, has enhanced their specialty care capabilities, with the addition of new technology.

In July, LVS purchased a top-of-the-line Toshiba Aquilion 16-slice CT scanner and a Haemonetics Cell Saver 5+ autologous blood recovery system. With the new blood cell washer system, surgeons and critical care specialists at LVS can capture, clean and reuse blood lost during a patient’s surgery or traumatic injury, reducing the need for blood transfusions via donated blood.

The new CT scanner gives specialists at LVS the ability to render 3-D reconstruction of the images scanned, in order to make advanced treatment plans, while also dramatically decreasing the time needed to scan patients.    

With the addition of the new lifesaving technology, doctors at LVS hope to better serve the patients they treat and save the lives of more pets in the Fort Lauderdale and Miami communities.

“We’re constantly searching for new ways to improve our hospital’s treatment capabilities and provide the best care for the pets that are brought through our doors,” said Dr. Ira Zaslow, a board-certified veterinary emergency and critical care specialist, and founder of LVS. “We are already seeing the benefits of this new technology with several of our patients. Saving just one more life of a cat, dog or other animal makes this investment entirely worthwhile.”

In addition to the equipment improvements added last month, LVS officially opened a new physical therapy and rehabilitation facility within their hospital in the fall of 2016. LVS’s physical therapy and rehabilitation treatments are focused on restoring a pet’s mobility and quality of life after a traumatic illness or injury. The hospital is home to an underwater treadmill, gait analyzing treadmill and an array of other rehabilitation tools, specifically designed for pets.

“We continue to do our best to innovate the level of veterinary medicine available to the pets we care for. We not only try to care for pets during an illness or injury, but also during the recovery process. This has been a winning combination for helping pets and their owners cope with the stress that often comes with an emergency,” said Zaslow.

For more information about Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, visit www.lauderdalevets.com.
About Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists
Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists is a 24-hour veterinary emergency, critical care, specialty hospital and imaging center serving Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties. Their services include: emergency, critical care, internal medicine, neurosurgery, neurology, ultrasound, CT-scan, digital radiography, bereavement counseling, physical therapy, rehabilitation, as well as, soft tissue, orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. LVS can be reached at 954.641.1100 and is located at 3217 NW 10th Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309.

-30-

Abandoned puppy recovering from life-threatening injuries after dog attack

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Murphy, a 3-month-old mixed breed puppy, is recovering inside the intensive care unit at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, after being attacked by another dog.

On July 10, a man claiming to be Murphy’s owner rushed into VCA Imperial Point Animal Hospital with the critically injured puppy in his arms. According to those involved with the rescue, the man hurriedly explained that his puppy had been attacked by another one of his dogs, turned over the badly injured puppy and ran out, leaving little personal information.

An X-ray revealed Murphy had suffered numerous puncture wounds to his thorax and chest, a broken left front leg, broken ribs causing a deformed chest, a collapsed left lung, as well as significant lacerations to his front left leg. After numerous unanswered calls to the suspected owner by the hospital staff, Amy Roman, the founder of local animal rescue 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida, happened to be in the hospital and jumped into action.

“I just happened to be at Imperial Point Animal Hospital when Murphy came in. He was screaming from the pain and was not going to survive unless he made it to a specialty emergency veterinary hospital. I couldn’t watch him die, so I rushed him to Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists,” said Amy Roman, founder of 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida.

Upon arrival to LVS, Murphy was treated for his external wounds, administered blood, multiple medications for pain and infection, and provided oxygen to facilitate his troubled breathing. After receiving stabilizing care in LVS, critical care doctors realized surgery was his best chance for survival.

On July 17, Murphy underwent open chest surgery to repair the extensive internal damage caused by the attack. Dr. Jennifer Bibevski, DVM, DACVS performed the procedure, mending the puppy’s broken ribs, creating a chest splint to fix his deformed chest wall and draining fluid surrounding his lungs, while Dr. Lynell Tocci used LVS’s new high-frequency ventilator to re-inflate Murphy’s collapsed left lung.

“Upon arrival, our critical care team did everything possible to stabilize Murphy’s condition. The trauma to his chest was extensive, and we knew the only way to save him was to perform this challenging surgery,” said Bibevski, a board-certified veterinary surgeon at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists. “Fortunately, Murphy has responded well to the surgery and with additional care, we are hopeful that he will make a full recovery. His left lungs are working appropriately and he has regained a happy attitude since surgery.”

“We have already received a massive outpouring of support about Murphy and we want to thank our supporters and the doctors at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists. The lifesaving care Murphy received does have significant costs, and we ask that the community help us through donations, if possible,” said Roman.

The 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the [mission] of dogs across South Florida. For more information about this charity, please visit http://100plusabandoneddogsofevergladesflorida.org.

About Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists
Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists is a 24-hour veterinary emergency, critical care, referral hospital and imaging center serving Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties. Their services include: emergency, critical care, internal medicine, neurosurgery, neurology, ultrasound, CT-scan, digital radiography, bereavement counseling, physical therapy, rehabilitation, as well as, soft tissue, orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. LVS can be reached at 954.641.1100 and is located at 3217 NW 10th Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309.

-30-

LVS team members tee up to help at risk youth

Left to right: Dr. Lynel Tocci, Robert Bello, Megan Bello, Carolyn Zaslow, Bob Arcaro, Dr. Kristen Cometto.

On Monday, team members from Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists traded in their stethoscopes for golf clubs to compete in the inaugural Conscious Kids Charity Golf Tournament, at Fort

Lauderdale Country Club. Team LVS was represented by Carolyn Zaslow (co-owner of LVS), Megan Bello (LVS Nurse Coordinator), Dr. Lynel Tocci (LVS Criticalist), Dr. Kristen Cometto (friend and DVM at Heroes Veterinary Hospital), Robert Bello and Bob Arcaro.

Team LVS, ready to tee off for the Miami Bridge Foster Home!

Team LVS’ all-star lineup came out swinging, driving fairways, draining putts and mostly avoiding water hazards! Most importantly, proceeds from the tournament benefited the Miami Bridge Emergency Shelters for At-Risk Youth. The organization has helped thousands across the Miami-Dade community by providing a safe space and counseling kids in crisis.

In addition to playing in the tournament, LVS also participated as VIP sponsor for the event.

For more information about the Miami Bridge Foster Home or the event organizer, the La Luchi Foundation, please visit their linked websites!

Veterinarians caution Florida dog owners of increasing canine influenza threat

Last month marks first time the H3N2 canine influenza virus or canine flu has been officially identified in Florida. However, the virus has infected thousands of pets in Eastern and Midwestern states since 2015. Canine flu can spread rapidly between pets, commonly causing fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge and life-threatening respiratory infections.  

The virus strain is not believed to be transferable to humans, however, it has also been reported in felines. Similar to other forms of influenza, canine flu is spread via aerosolized respiratory secretions, like coughing, sneezing and barking, and also via surface contamination.

“The recent outbreak of canine influenza should be a cause for concern for pet owners throughout Florida, especially those who frequently visit high-risk areas with their pet,” said Dr. Ira Zaslow, a board-certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care medicine and medical director of Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists. “I encourage pet owners to contact their primary care veterinarian to discuss having their dog vaccinated. Dogs who receive vaccinations are not immune to the virus, but should recover more quickly and with less complications if they do contract canine flu.”

High-risk areas include, dog parks, pet-friendly stores, animal boarding facilities, grooming salons, animal shelters, dog shows and similar locations. 

There is currently no available H3N2 vaccine for felines. The best way to prevent cats from the pathogen is limiting their exposure to high-risk settings and infected dogs.

“Most importantly, if you believe your pet is suffering from canine flu, call your primary care veterinarian immediately. Calling, rather than visiting can help limit the spread of the virus,” said Zaslow.

For more information about Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, visit http://www.lauderdalevets.com or call 954.641.1100.

About Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists
Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists is a 24-hour veterinary emergency, critical care, referral hospital and imaging center serving Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties. Their services include: emergency, critical care, internal medicine, neurosurgery, neurology, ultrasound, CT-scan, digital radiography, bereavement counseling, physical therapy, rehabilitation, as well as, soft tissue, orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. LVS can be reached at 954.641.1100 and is located at 3217 NW 10th Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309.

For media-related interview requests or inquiries, please contact our Miami PR Firm at news@judgepr.com or by telephone at 305.742.0783.

-30-

VIDEO Update: Frank, the puppy with tetanus fully recovers after treatment, rehab

Frank, a four-month-old German shorthaired pointer puppy, is fully recovered after a two-week hospitalization in the intensive care unit at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, due to a rare infection called tetanus toxemia. NBC 6 WTVJ has the story below: 

VIDEO Update: Maggie gets her prosthetic leg

CBS 4 WFOR Covered Maggie’s recovery in the video below: 

UPDATE: Navy Seal’s service dog walks again thanks to new prosthetic

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Maggie, an eight year old Labrador retriever that was hit and dragged by a truck on Nov. 22, is walking again with the help of a new prosthetic and care from doctors at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, a specialty and emergency hospital for pets in Fort Lauderdale.

Maggie walks with her new Tarsus prosthetic at LVS

Maggie, a former service dog, has spent months recovering since the accident, which resulted in the loss of her left hind leg and nearly ended her life. During her road to recovery Maggie required multiple surgical procedures, intensive wound care and daily rounds of pain and antibiotic medications.

With her wounds completely healed Maggie was recently fitted with a custom Tarsus prosthetic from Orthopets and is beginning to resume a normal life with her owner, retired Navy Seal, John Brophy.

“We are so pleased with the strides Maggie has made through this long recovery process,” said Dr. Jennifer Bibevski, a board-certified veterinary surgeon at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists. “With more time, care and regular checkups we are optimistic that she will resume a very normal and happy life.”

The balance of Maggie’s treatment was paid for by The Pet’s Tree of Hope fund, which was created by LVS last year and helps pay for lifesaving treatment for pets when their owners cannot afford the entire cost.

To view a copy of the original news release about Maggie or view photos from her treatment, please visit http://www.lauderdalevets.com/navy-seals-service-dog-recovers-in-icu-thanks-to-neighbors-doctors-charity.

For more information about Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists or to help support The Pet’s Tree of Hope, visit www.lauderdalevets.com or contact Kim at 954-641-1100 or kspalt@lauderdalevets.com.

About Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists

Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists is a 24-hour veterinary emergency, critical care, referral hospital and imaging center serving Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties. Their services include: emergency, critical care, internal medicine, neurosurgery, neurology, ultrasound, CT-scan, digital radiography, bereavement counseling, physical therapy, rehabilitation, as well as, soft tissue, orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. LVS can be reached at 954.641.1100 and is located at 3217 NW 10th Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309.

For media-related interview requests or inquiries, please contact our Miami PR Firm at news@judgepr.com or by telephone at 305.742.0783.

-30-

A FAREWELL TO A COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND

We at LVS want to wish Dr. Cook the very best in his new endeavors.  Jim has been a constant staple in the growth of LVS during its formative years.  We will miss both his humor and medical and surgical expertise in the field of neurology which was ever so present.  Good luck and thank you Dr. Cook.

 

Puppy recovering from rare life threatening tetanus

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Frank, a four-month-old German shorthaired pointer puppy, is recovering at home after a two-week hospitalization in the intensive care unit at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, due to a rare infection called tetanus toxemia.

Frank’s owner, Alan Bowman, first noticed something wrong with his beloved pet earlier this month when Frank’s appetite suddenly disappeared and he began displaying signs of stiffness with his head. After a visit to his primary care veterinarian, Frank was referred to LVS on Apr. 5.  

“Upon arrival, the patient was displaying symptoms of severe muscle tension throughout his head and limbs,” said Dr. Lynel J. Tocci, a board-certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care. “Canines typically have a high resistance to clostridium tetani bacteria, which emits toxins that cause tetanus, making it extremely rare. The disease can cause long-term muscular issues and even death if not properly treated.”

To treat Frank’s worsening infection, doctors from LVS administered a special equine anti-toxin, daily doses of muscle relaxants and provided him with around-the-clock nursing care to treat his symptoms.

“Frank would have died if his general practitioner hadn’t suspected the disease and recommended immediate emergency care,” said Tocci. “This just goes to show how important it is for pet owners to schedule regular checkups with their primary care veterinarian and notify them if they believe their pet has any sign of illness.”

As part of the recovery process Frank will undergo an additional three weeks of physical therapy sessions and is on a special diet. Fortunately, Frank will be able to receive his rehab treatment at LVS’s state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility for pets.  

“Frank is feeling much better and I am so thankful to have him home,” said Bowman. “Everybody at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists is knowledgeable and very kind. It is amazing resource if you have a sick dog or sick animal.”

About Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists
Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists is a 24-hour veterinary emergency, critical care, referral hospital and imaging center serving Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties. Their services include: emergency, critical care, internal medicine, neurosurgery, neurology, ultrasound, CT-scan, digital radiography, bereavement counseling, physical therapy, rehabilitation, as well as, soft tissue, orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. LVS can be reached at 954.641.1100 and is located at 3217 NW 10th Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309.

For media-related interview requests or inquiries, please contact our Miami PR Firm at news@judgepr.com or by telephone at 305.742.0783.

-30-