Welcome Dr. Linda Pesek
Joining the Hope Vet team on May 7, Dr. Linda Pesek brings with her many years of experience of avian and exotics medicine. She offers exam services, laboratory services and husbandry on Mondays, with additional surgery services on Wednesdays. Dr. Pesek's professional experience includes being an Exotics and Avian staff veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center, teaching avian and exotics medicine at LaGuardia College, and columns in multiple publications.
April is Senior Pet Month at Hope Vet - 50% Off Senior Profiles!
At Hope we believe that prevention of disease and maintaining an optimal level of health and wellbeing is the key to living a long and happy life. April 2011 marked our first senior focused pet month. This April, we are happy to announce that we are again partnering with our laboratory, Idexx, to offer 50% off Senior Profiles (blood work and urinalysis) for all dogs and cats over the age of 8, through the end of April.
Why seniors? Simply put, they are the family members who visit the doctor the least often� until something serious happens. After the first few years of vaccines, spays, neuters and microchips, pets tend to not be taken for annual exams, meaning that underlying diseases often do not get diagnosed until they have reached an advanced stage. National statistics illustrate the problem: According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) only about 14% of senior cats and dogs receive regular yearly or twice yearly exams from veterinarians.
What is a Senior?
The term �senior� can be confusing and varies according to species and breed within that species. As nutritional care and general attention to health has improved we are beginning to see much older pets. Most problems begin to develop in middle age, which is generally considered to be about age 8-10. As medical breakthroughs emerge, options for treatment and prevention of these diseases improve. The key is catching them at an early stage. Much like middle aged and senior humans, pets benefit from visiting their doctors for the following reasons: � Screening for common medical issues such a thyroid disease, diabetes, kidney disease, Cushings disease (dogs), cardiovascular disorders, dental disease, and weight management � Disease onset can be treated as early as possible to minimize symptoms and maximize longevity and quality of life � Exams provide a baseline to establish norms for future testing in years to come � We can outline principles in assessing and managing pain � We can review recent advances in nutrition and lifestyle strategies that will promote longevity and enhance quality of life.
What Happens During an Exam?The elements of a comprehensive senior exam includes the following: � Physical condition: weight, changes in body condition or conformation � Evaluation of skin, coat, claw and nail beds, assessment of lumps or bumps � Presence of lymph node enlargement � Presence of thyroid nodule (cats) � Hydration status � Abdominal palpation, especially the size and shape of the kidneys and liver � Vital signs: temperature, pulse, respirations and pain assessment � Cardiopulmonary evaluation: heart rate and rhythm, pulse rate and quality � Evaluation of central nervous system, nerve reflexes, vision and hearing � Orthopedic exam for mobility, gait, range of motion, weakness, pain, muscle mass
Blood Work and Urinalysis
Although we all get our blood and urine tested when we go for our own annual exams, many people don�t know what is being measured. The following is a very simple overview of these tests. Blood work consists of two types of test, a Chemistry and a CBC (complete blood count), plus a thyroid test for senior pets.
Chemistries Measure: � Kidney and liver function � Electrolytes � Blood sugar (or the presence of diabetes) � A variety of additional factors that can be useful �puzzle pieces� in diagnosing diseases.
CBCs Measure: � White blood cell count, which shows infection or inflammation � Red blood cell count, which shows anemia � Morphology of cells, which means the type of red and white blood cells. Knowing this sheds light on the type of disease process present.
Thyroid Test This is an additional blood test that measures the thyroid gland, which tends to run high in cats (hyperthyroidism) and low in dogs (hypothyroidism).
Urinalysis Urinalysis gives us a bountiful amount of information, including: � Kidney function (a different indicator than blood work) � Diabetes � Urinary tract infections � The presence or absence of urinary crystals � The ph of the urine, which is important to know if crystals are present so that we know how to treat it.
Alternative Therapies for Conditions of Old Age
As a practice committed to complementary medicine, we are happy to be able to offer an increasing array of alternative therapies for common conditions of older age, including supplements and physical therapies.
Neutraceuticals, Chinese Herbs and Essential Oils
The importance of natural medicines should not be underestimated. At Hope we use a myriad of supplements, herbs and essential oils tailored to your pet�s needs. The range of health issues that can be treated include heart and kidney disease, arthritis, immune support, upper respiratory infections and urinary diseases. These medicines play an important role in your pet�s health by detoxifying the body, boosting your pet�s immunity, and providing essential nutrients needed to treat disease processes.
Acupuncture, Hydrotherapy, and Massage Therapy
Acupuncture has been used to great effect to treat many of the diseases of older age, including arthritis and GI disorders, as well as improving the quality of life in terminally ill patients. Massage therapy, acupressure and hydrotherapy are all effective modalities for many issues but especially for supporting joint and muscular conditions. Please see the Hope Vet website to read more about all of these therapies available to your senior pet.
Please give us a call at 718.852.4219 to schedule your senior pet's comprehensive exam and 50% Off Senior Profile through the end of April.
New Vaccine Protocol: Clarification
Following the release of our March newsletter, many of you have been asking for details about the new vaccination recommendations. The feline FVRCP and the canine distemper parvo vaccines have both been shown to be effective for seven years after the adult booster. For those wishing to take a more cautious approach, however, we will be alerting you to your pet�s vaccine status every five years. At that time we can decide together whether or not a vaccine is warranted in your pet�s specific case. In the case of rabies, leptospirosis, lyme and feline leukemia vaccines, we will continue to follow previous recommendations. We hope that this helps to clarify our recommendations, but please give us a call if you have further questions: 718.852.4219. We're always happy to help.
Hope Vet Staff Updates
are pleased to announce that Dr. Jessica Faigle has returned to us from maternity leave. She will be working a slightly reduced schedule: Thursdays, Fridays and alternate Saturdays. She is looking forward to catching up with many of you!
Dr. Erica Morgan, who many of you have met during the last three months when she has been covering for Dr. Faigle�s maternity leave, has joined us on a permanent basis. Dr. Morgan practices acupuncture, allowing us to now offer acupuncture services every day except Tuesdays.
Calling all Animal-Loving Chocoholics!
Rescue Chocolate, founded and operated right here in Brooklyn, donates all of its profits to animal rescue. We are happy to offer their delicious vegan chocolate bars in a variety of flavors. And for a limited time just for Easter, we now have Rescue Chocolate's vegan cream-filled eggs and adorable chocolate bunnies! Stop by the front desk at Hope Vet to select your sweet treats�some for yourself, and some to give as gifts. The best gift of all: rescue animals will benefit from your purchase.
Infinite Hope Adoption Corner: Help Us Spread the News
Become an Infinite Hope Facebook fan to stay updated about our success stories, upcoming events, and who is available for adoption. Be sure to let your friends, family and colleagues know about Infinite Hope too! If interested in adopting any of these amazing animals, please email email@example.com.
Happy spring, from your friends at Hope Vet and Infinte Hope!
Dog's Life magazine interviews Juliet Sternberg
Juliet was interviewed by Dog's Life magazine for their hospice care issue. Click here to read the full interview.
NEW ADDITION TO OUR TEAM
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Konstantine Barsky has joined the Hope Vet team. We have known and respected Dr. Barsky for many years. He has finally settled down in New York, his home town, and we are delighted that he is joining us full time. Dr. Barsky is a graduate of Ross and Cornell Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. He shares a strong commitment to the values of animal welfare and holistic medicine that we hold at our core.
HOUSE CALLS ON BIKES
Hope Vet started out as a house call practice, with our vets riding bicycles to clients' homes. Dr. Barsky is enthusiastically returning us to our roots! He is now offering routine house calls via bicycle, initially on Wednesdays, within a 5 mile radius from our clinic. Please call if you would like further details, or would like to schedule an appointment. Help support green veterinary medicine!
STEM CELL THERAPY
Hope Vet now has the ability to offer regenerative, or stem cell medicine. Stem cells are multipotent, which means they can differentiate into other tissue such as tendon, bone and cartilage. Currently, stem cells are utilized to aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis, ligament injuries and immune medicated arthritis. The stem cells are surgically harvested from the animal�s own adipose (fat) tissue, sent to the Vet-Stem laboratory where they are concentrated and sent back to the veterinarian for injection into the affected site. In clinical studies, over 80% of owners report improvement of varying degrees. For more information, please contact us or visit vet-stem.com.
HOPE VET GETS SOCIAL - SOCIAL MEDIA, THAT IS!
Hope Vet is now available on Facebook and Twitter. Please follow our new Facebook and Twitter pages, so we can keep you informed about health issues, new treatment options and important regional health alerts such as infectious disease outbreaks. We promise to keep it relevant, and not to overwhelm your inboxes! We do value your feedback, and invite you to post on our Wall, and to explore the videos and other resources we'll be making available on our Facebook page. First up: instructional videos on how to brush your pet's teeth! Facebook: hopeveterinaryclinic Twitter: @hopevet
Veterinary Pet Insurance
We have noticed over the last year a significant increase in client questions about pet health insurance, fueled perhaps by the ongoing health insurance debate for us humans. According to AAHA, only about 3% of pet owners in the USA currently have insurance, although there has been a significant increase in coverage over the past 5 years. Our general opinion about Pet Insurance is that it is very much an individual decision as to whether or not it makes sense for your particular animals and circumstances, with some notable pros and cons.
Like any insurance, one can argue that it is only financially worth obtaining if you receive as much in return from it as you pay in monthly fees. A few years ago Consumer Reports published a report which concluded that, rather than purchase pet insurance, the majority of pet owners would be better off opening a savings account designated for their pet into which they deposited a regular sum every month. For dedicated people, this can work well, especially if the pet owner opens the account when the pet is young and before diseases of older age, and their resulting increased costs, tend to occur.
For the rest of us less organized people, the benefits of obtaining pet insurance are as follows:
The main downsides to insurance as we see them are as follows:
Some questions to ask potential insurance companies:
In conclusion, we can’t make a blanket statement that obtaining health insurance is a good thing. Although we believe that it is probably a worthwhile investment, especially for at-risk breeds, individual animals and personal circumstances must always determine decisions about your pets.
Resource list of Pet Insurance Companies commonly subscribed to by Hope Vet clients:
ASPCA www.aspcapetinsurance.com 888-592-7387
Pet Toxins and Where to Seek Help
During the holidays we received many calls from clients worried that their pets had swallowed everything from chocolate covered malt balls, to dates, to an entire plate of sugar cookies. Especially during busy holiday times, none of us (ok, few of us!) are able to be as vigilant as usual when keeping potentially harmful things out of the mouths of our ever-eager pets.
While there is reason to be very worried about ingestion of some substances, others will probably just result in messy clean up the next morning. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of being aware of toxic substances, including food, plants, household cleaners and medications that can injure or kill your pet.
Amongst the most common household items that poison pets are as follows:
Chemicals & Medications
The ASPCA poison control center has an excellent website that provides
We are happy to answer questions and concerns on the phone and help you to assess whether or not you need to seek emergency treatment. Please call the front desk for help assessing how to handle your emergency. Please do not leave a voicemail for your doctor or a technician as we cannot guarantee that your call will be returned before your pet needs treatment. If the clinic is closed please call your closest emergency clinic.
As well as being aware of toxins and calling for help, you should also
keep on hand the telephone number to the ASPCA poison control center.
Available 24 hours a day, their staff maintains a comprehensive database
of current ingredients of commercial products and medications.
The ASPCA Poison Control telephone number: 888-426-4435
Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy 2010
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Information and Services
Nutrition for Cats and Dogs
Dental Care for Cats and Dogs
Flea and Tick Management
Palliative Care and End of Life Support Group
Canine Heartworm Disease and Prevention
Hope Veterinary Clinic, 390 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 MAP (718) 852-4219