Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™ Blog

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 13:03 - Carol

The new transformer is working great and we've moved our Sunday hours back to opening up at 9am. 

While we were waiting through rain delay after rain delay for the new transformer (which is not a complaint because we need and appreciate the rain!), we had to use the interim generator. Thus, we had delayed opening up until 10am on Sundays to let our neighbors sleep in.  

With the new transformer in place, we're now back to opening up at 9am on Sundays.
 

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 08:44 - Carol

The March 2019 data ranks San Francisco as second highest percentage increase heartworm infection in the US. Even if you don't treat your cat or dog for heartworm every month, as recommended, please try to this year, and be sure you don't miss the next few months. 

Heartworm is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Unfortunately, our wet spring has resulted in a dramatic increase of the mosquito population which then has led directly to an increase in the documented cases of heartworm infection.

Heartworm disease in dogs is serious and can be fatal. From the time a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito to the time a positive test confirming infection can be achieved is 6 to 7 months. During this time, damage to the infected individual begins. The adult worms that develop reside in the heart and in the pulmonary artery leaving the heart on the way to the lungs. The presence of these adult worms in these locations is responsible for the clinical signs that include coughing, lethargy, excercise intolerance and weight loss. This can progress to heart failure in some of its worst forms.

Cats respond differently to the few adult worms that develop and present essentially with asthma which can be severe. Unlike dogs, cats cannot be treated for heartworm infection, which makes a good case for prevention.

Even indoor pets are at risk. Studies have shown the percentage of heartworm infected mosquitoes is higher in the indoor population versus the outdoor population of mosquitoes. Heartworm infected mosquitoes understandably seek out the less challenging environment of the indoors.

Heartworm disease in dogs is treatable, but has many difficulties. The treatment occurs over several months, requires multiple drugs that can be costly, and some come with their own risks. The primary drug used to kill the adult worms is an arsenical derivative. Most dog owners, as well as veterinarians, would prefer not to find themselves in a situation where such a drug is necessary. Needless to say, prevention is far easier, more affordable and comes with essentially no risk to your pet.

Obtaining heartworm prevention is easy. It does require that dogs be tested for heartworm and, if negative, we start them on a preventative. Heartworm testing can be arranged simply by calling the hospital and making an appointment for a heartworm test. Or, we'd be happy to arrange for a veterinary technician to come to you.

If ever there was a case of ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ this is it. With heartworm infection on the rise locally, we encourage the use of preventatives for the health of your pet.

 

 

 

Sat, 04/27/2019 - 14:31 - Carol

Terrific news today -- the new transformer is installed and working beautifully. This is huge news because it let us remove the generator we'd been using in the interim. 

That transformer upgrade was about a year in the making. We tried to push it along because we didn't like the generator noise, and our neighbors didn't like the generator noise, and we didn't have any other choice. We want to thank our neighbors for being as patient as they possible could. Watching the transformer go up made clear why so many agencies were involved, and why avoiding rain (or even a robust mist) was such an important factor. 

Several times before, crews were planned or assembled only to be thwarted by the rain. A different winter and the transformer would have been up months ago, but rain is far better than drought. Besides, it's up now!  

Along the way we met the guy who had installed the original transformer, which was eons ago in technology time, but not that long ago, really. At one point, the new transformer was going to get installed overnight. Instead, it happened during the day. We appreciate our neighboring businesses' endurance of a daytime outage. The installation involved taking over one lane of El Camino Real to stage two cherry pickers working in coordination with each other -- a high-voltage dance truly amazing to behold.

We want to thank all of the people from PG&E, CalTrans and the County who made this happen, with safety a first consideration and everything else falling in line behind. They have a thankless job of confronting impatient types like us, and coordinating numerous regulations and considerations, interrupted by emergencies and really no glory.  We appreciate their hard work and look forward to using this new transformer for decades to come.

 

 

 

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 13:58 - Carol

We had hoped that our next construction update would report a new transformer, completing the overall transformation, and an Open House date to celebrate. Alas, the new transformer install was delayed.

The backstory: The original electrical transformer is a dinosaur. Initially it was thought to suffice, particularly with our energy-efficient new systems. However, new considerations came up as the work moved forward, and it was determined that a new electrical transformer would be required after all. The County, PG&E and CalTrans are all involved, besides ourselves, our engineers and construction team.

Then, epic wild fires and winter storms made transformer work unsafe, and required transformers for recovery. Added to the local building boom, there have been unprecedented delays. We finally had an installation set in Feb. when the latest big storms hit, making work impossible on our date. We think we have a new date later in March, when the "storm door" hopefully closes, and crews are first available.

The transformer work happens overnight to minimize the impact on other businesses. Once the transformer is installed we can also return to our normal business hours. And we can throw a party!! The new transformer represents the completed transformation of the facility. We really can't wait.

There is some other good news to report. CalTrans and the county inspected and approved our underground work and allowed us to repave the portion of the road in front of the hospital. That work has been completed, so we continue to make good progress. In the meantime, we are enjoying working in the new hospital, and look forward to scheduling our open house to show you.

 

 

 

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 11:27 - Carol

The indoor parking garage is now open to anyone with an appointment. If you only have a quick pickup, and there's space in the garage, feel free to use it. You're the "exception that proves the general rule." 

It's usually easier for quick pickups to park curbside, if there's space curbside, which is easy for loading stuff, but less optimal for loading and unloading animals. This is why we labeled the garage for Appointment Parking. The debate between calling it "Hospital Parking" and "Appointment Parking" centered around emphasizing that people with animals to unload, please park in here! 

It's truly okay for anyone to park in the garage, if there's room. We have faith in our lovely and sensitive community members who we know will strike the right balance. Our clients understand that animals are always top priority. 

Speaking of, please be mindful of animal safety. Most important: secure your animal before opening the car door. Specifically, this means you should secure your animal with a leash or a carrier before you open any car door -- even the driver's door. We have cardboard cat carriers available for around $7, and leashes are available for free in the garage. You can come by and get one beforehand. In a pinch, or an emergency, for cats the pillow case trick can work just fine, if you can manage to tie a knot with the open end. Most cats do seem to prefer a carrier.

Second most important message is: please feel free to call for assistance. If you want a little help, please call us at (650) 325-5671 and then be a wee bit patient while we finish what we're doing and come straight out to help you. Do not hesitate for a minute to call us and we'll be happy to assist you.

There are four bike racks located along the wall for bicycles. They have an eye hook for your lock. We think bikes are great! For cars, there is sufficient room, but not much extra room. Average size cars seem to have an easy time maneuvering in and out of the garage. Extra large cars also seem to maneuver just fine, but it just takes a few extra moves. Please be aware that pedestrians and bicyclists may be using the sidewalk, and go super slow when exiting. 

Welcome aboard!

 

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 16:55 - Carol

If you feed your dog Hill's Prescription Diet or Hill's Science Diet canned food, hold off (for now) and call us for a lot number cross-check, or food alternative. We've been made aware of a voluntary recall caused by an ingredient supplier overshooting the mark on Vitamin D – and too much Vitamin D can be a real problem.

The recall only affects canned food for dogs. None of the cat foods, dry foods or treats are affected by the recall, and are fine to feed your pet. It is also possible that the canned food for dogs that you are currently using may be unaffected as well. However, we'd rather spend time checking SKUs and lots and dates, than take ANY chances. 

Is this out of an abundance of caution? You bet. As of this posting, we have seen zero cases that we believe are affected by this. In addition, we have already reached out to every client who purchased Hill's canned food for dogs from us, directly. 

Most pets can tolerate short-term exposure to elevated Vitamin D without any ill effects. On the other hand, too much vitamin D can upset a dog's calcium balance. Symptoms can include vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss; if consumed at very high levels Vitamin D overdose can lead to renal dysfunction, kidney failure and heart failure. If your dog has exhibited anything like these symptoms, please contact us at once. When caught early, simply stopping the food leads to full recovery, but more advanced symptoms may require additional interventions. 

Our confidence in Hill's is not yet shaken. They have such a long history of great nutrition research and high quality food. Plus, they are being quite transparent about this issue, and are taking steps to ensure it doesn't happen again. The preventative steps involve the supplier doing an additional check before sending the ingredient involved, as well as Hill's implementing additional testing steps upon receipt. Test, then trust but verify. 

Here's what the company is saying, "We care deeply about all pets and are committed to providing pet parents with safe and high quality products.  Hill’s has identified and isolated the error and, to prevent this from happening again, we have required our supplier to implement additional quality testing prior to their release of ingredients.  In addition to our existing safety processes, we are adding our own further testing of incoming ingredients."

If you did not purchase from us, call us anyway with a can in hand to determine if your batch is included in the recall. Alternatively, you can check against the list that Hill's has posted, which is available on their website.

While we are relieved that none of our patients seem to have been affected, our hearts go out to those who have. 

 

 

 

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 10:37 - Carol

We have a couple of significant updates for you. First off, procedures and surgeries are now being conducted on-site. 

During the transition, we made use of a specialty surgery center in San Mateo for most surgical procedures. To keep things convenient for our clients, pets were dropped off and picked up at the animal hospital, and our staff transported them to and from the specialty center. Until now.

We are pleased to take the large step forward of now performing all procedures and surgeries at our new state-of-the-technology animal hospital. Now, lab work, X-rays, surgeries, dental – everything's under one roof in Redwood City.

The second update is to let you know that we've got a new fax number. The new fax number is: (650) 549-8844

Please make a note of it. If anyone else you work with needs to be updated, please do so. 

We've had no luck coming up with an easy word-based way to remember it. The closest was (650) liz-vvig, which is fun to say, but light on meaning. That's okay. It's just the fax.

But while we've got you on the line, might we express our sincere gratitude for your patience during the transition. We will post another update in a few days. Until then, we continue to work on the punch list. 

 

 

 

 

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 10:15 - Carol

Quick status report as we dive into the New Year, plus a couple heads-ups. We hope your holidays were lovely, full of family and friends. As clients travel, it is our honor to take care of their pets, particularly those with specific medical issues. Over this season, our boarders enjoyed the new hospital, complete with new hospital smells. 

 

With the holidays behind us, the contractors are hard at work on the punch list of final items to complete. Most punch list items can happen in and around our operations with minimal or no impact. That said, during the month of January, on weekdays we are closing at 6pm and keeping our weekend hours to Saturday only. Our team members will be on-site with boarders on Sunday, but we won't be open to the public on Sunday, throughout January.

 

The last status update explained that a street project in the works since January -- as in last-January, or January 2018 -- finally fell into place. The project was supposed to take a few days, and mostly did, except one unforeseen delay to the road portion, and one of the agencies will need to return. 

 

Meanwhile, we took the opportunity to address a few sidewalk issues. For example, a cut-out for a former driveway harkened back to the 1940s. It was narrow and had a steep incline. In this day of smart phones, it could have been a tripping hazard. So, we leveled it out. 

 

These upgrades should make the public parking a bit easier, particularly along El Camino Real. There's also public parking along Buckingham. For now, if possible, please use public parking. While the garage parking is available, the safety signage is in production. We're keeping available garage parking to those who have special needs. If you, or your animal, has a special need, use the garage, but with caution, driving slowly as you enter and exit it across the pedestrian sidewalk. 

 

Wherever you park, remember to secure your pet FIRST before opening your car door. If you need a leash or a cat carrier, we have them available to take home, so your pet can arrive safely to the hospital.

 

That's quite a lot of progress, with more to come, and we will keep you posted. We very much appreciate all of your patience during this transition. 

Thank you!!

Thu, 12/20/2018 - 09:07 - Carol

We have a modest status update of some progress to report. While there are still steps to take before we are ready to welcome everyone and invite you to our open house, beginning today our reception staff is answering calls in real time, and we will conduct most scheduled appointments on site at 2707 El Camino Real in Redwood City.

For the time being, surgical and anesthetic procedures will still be conducted at the specialty surgical center in San Mateo, and our evening hours are still slightly limited. All of our X-ray machines and lab equipment are up and running, and have been calibrated by the experts. So, we can take care of most needs in the Redwood City location.

By way of a headsup, a street project in the works since January, requiring cooperation between ourselves, the County Public Works and even CalTrans, finally had the pieces fall into place now (of course). It's a yin-and-yang situation. On one hand, the location of the torn up section of sidewalk could be better; but on the other hand we really need this project done. If you encounter it over the next few days, a traffic management representative will be happy to escort you across to our front door. The project should be completed over the next few days. This will enable us to perform some sidewalk upgrades, which is a bonus.

This progress represents a few non-trivial steps forward. We appreciate your continued patience during the transition, and will keep you posted as the news develops. 

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 10:40 - Carol

Over the weekend, we began the transition to the new location. At this point we are all moved out, but still moving in. Scheduled appointments for this week were contacted in advance, and they are being conducted as house calls. 

Which brings up phone calls: we had some hickups with the phone system transition, have been deeply concerned about it, and are doing everything in our power to troubleshoot and resolve the problem. We have the technical talent on site now. A voicemail system can currently accept messages and is being monitored during business hours.

Nonetheless, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. 

Most people contact us to: schedule an appointment or to get a prescription refilled. If possible, please use the RxRefill and Request Appointment webforms on the midpen.com website if you have either of these needs. If you need an urgent appointment, on the "Request Appointment" form, choose "Special Reason" then "other" and describe your urgent need. These forms are being monitored every hour, during business hours. Our phone message system is also being checked regularly, though the webforms are preferred and may be more expedient for you.

From a service perspective we're going mobile. At this point, we are conducting veterinary technician appointments by housecall (at no additional cost), and offering complimentary pet taxi for procedures. Our procedures are still being performed in a specialty surgical center in San Mateo, as they have been the last several months. 

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience during this unique time. Once we are ready to welcome visitors, we will invite you to an open house. Meanwhile, you can contact us via webform or leave a voicemail, and we will do our best to accommodate what you need.

Thank you for your patience.