Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™ Blog

Next Step - Set up an office!

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 09:35 - Carol

After making a Big Mess the next step is to set up an office! No office would be complete without a kitchen, bottled water, fridge and lots of conference tables.

To be fair the point of making a Big Mess is cleaning up what was demolished. The office area was created while clean up took place. 

Over time, the office area, and particularly the kitchen area, got cleaner and cleaner, and more functional. One thing it never got was fancy. 

The Beauty in a Good Mess

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 12:19 - Carol

The irony of creating something of any real beauty is it all starts by creating a big mess first. 

Some construction projects really celebrate demolition day. Our big mess is large enough where it took more than one day. Since we're combining three buildings into one, we can be excused from limiting our mess-making to one day. We got messy inside and outside. 

 

 

 

It really does all start by creating a big mess first.  How'd we do?

 


 

 

Moving on Up

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 17:50 - Carol

We are building a new hospital. It's not far, but it's far better. Plus indoor parking.

We're extremely excited about the bigger, state-of-the-art animal hospital we are building. We designed it ourselves and made sure it has everything we want. The design is logical and beautiful. There's plenty of bandwidth throughout, upgraded equipment and more space. 

New hospital. New equipment. Same great Veterinarians, RVTs and staff. Same helpful concierge services. Indoor parking. Pretty good, right?

An ideal facility has been the topic of discussion for years. We finally had the opportunity to pursue it when developers approached us with a strong offer that would allow us to finally build the Animal Hospital we've always wanted. 

As with most things involving construction, our timeline is estimated. For now, many procedures requiring anesthesia are being conducted a specialty surgical center in San Mateo. For your convenience, clients can drop procedure patients off here at Merrill St. and we will transport them to and from the interim surgical center in San Mateo. Everything else will stay at Merrill Street until the new building is ready. We will keep you posted on the progress of construction meanwhile. Right now construction is progressing very well.

We are extremely excited about the hospital we're building. We're combining three buildings into one really nice sized facility. Currently, we use 6000 square feet and the new building will be 10,000 square feet, including the indoor parking. It's got the latest technology, wiring throughout, better energy efficiency, beautiful and logical design, reclaimed Bay Area redwood (did we mention indoor parking for appointments?), and even a little coffee cafe area. We can't wait to throw a party and show you.

Urban Search and Rescue Dogs for Hurricane Lane

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 21:01 - Carol

You heard about the Search and Rescue team, but did you hear about the dogs?  

Last night Betty Yu reported a terrific story on KPIX covering our local FEMA Urban Search and Rescue CA Task Force 3 from Menlo Park, who packed up 40,000 pounds of equipment and flew out last night to Oahu, ahead of Hurricane Lane. Forty thousand pounds! As Betty explained, that's enough equipment and gear to spend up to two weeks doing search and rescue.

When it comes to the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) dogs, we're proud to be part of this effort. In particular, we're proud of the role Dr. Janet Lowery played to get the search and rescue dogs for Task Force 3 and Task Force 8 cleared and ready for take-off. 

A lot goes into travel for USAR dogs, and even more when it comes to Hawaii. These dogs receive exceptional ongoing care, regular exams, complete vaccinations, and lots of extra record keeping. After all, they have to be ready to leave on a moment's notice. 

When the word came down, Dr. Lowery snapped into action to conduct the additional required examinations before the dogs can go, issuing the Health Certificate and sending them along with a very well stocked medical supplies box. Upon their return, Dr. Lowery will examine them again. A veterinary debriefing, if you will.

As an island, Hawaii has some additional restrictions to protect the local animal (and human) populations. It took a true team effort to clear the regulatory hurdles, between multiple agencies, in very little time, to make sure that the dogs didn't get separated from their handler and end up in quarantine upon arrival. Luckily, all hurdles were cleared. Extra credit should go to the CA Task Force 3 Leader, Chief Crivello, from Menlo Park Fire, and to Hawaiian Director of Public Health, State Veterinarian Quarantine Officials, and Airport personnel on the ground who all worked with us to make it happen while the team was in flight.

We are also very pleased to report that everyone arrived safe and sound, and no dog had to be separated from their handler! The dogs are in Hawaii and ready for work! We hope there's little work to be done. As the hurricane draws near, please keep our local FEMA Task Force in your thoughts. Of course, we all send our aloha to the pets and people who live in Hawaii.  Stay safe!


PS. In case you missed it, here is the story filed by Betty Yu: https://cbsloc.al/2MLOiJK

Thank you for voting: Best of 2018!

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 13:10 - Carol

We want to issue a hearty "Thank You" to everyone who voted in the Palo Alto Weekly Best Of survey. We are honored to be chosen the Best Veterinarian of 2018. 

Palo Alto Weekly went with a Superhero theme to explain the Best of 2018 recognizes Palo Alto's "local retailers, service providers and restaurants who have used their incredible STRENGTH and extraordinary powers to go above and beyond the status quo and SHATTER the notion of 'business as usual.'"

The Palo Alto Weekly said Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™ is "a known leader in modern medical technology and leading-edge care" and continued to explain we offer "emergency services, internal medicine, surgery, reproduction consultation, as well as concierge services ranging from house calls and medication delivery to taxi cab transport." 

It also recognized our work facilitating adoption of homeless cats. While we do our best, we recognize that all of our clients – the animal guardians themselves – are on the front line of great animal care and true Superheros. 

If this is you, take a bow and accept our profound gratitude for being great care-takers, and for casting your vote. We are all honored. Thank you!

Update on Canine Influenza Vaccination

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 09:37 - Carol

A quick update on Canine Influenza, and reminder to anyone considering boarding a dog over the summer months to plan ahead five weeks or more. 

When Canine Influenza broke out locally, we reached out and began conducting vaccine clinics. We started with two clinics, and kept adding more to keep up with demand. In all, we conducted 19 vaccine clinics! People let us know that they appreciated the fast, efficient experience. It was gratifying to hear. Plus, many of those with regular appointments had their dogs vaccinated. Overall, the response to Canine Influenza immunization was tremendous. It seems to have helped. 

Currently, we're not seeing any new active cases. Overall, the Canine Influenza outbreak itself seems to have dropped off. This doesn't mean that the "flu season" is over because with Canine Influenza there isn't a "flu season" as such. 

Therefore, if you are planning to board your dog this summer, or have your dog socialize with other dogs for any reason, you will want to plan ahead. While we don’t absolutely require the canine influenza vaccine to board at our facility, we do strongly encourage it. If it’s been a year or more since your dog was fully vaccinated for canine influenza, or if you have received a reminder from us, then it is time to do it again. 

The first vaccination is followed by two to three weeks of waiting, then the second vaccination. While no vaccine is 100%, it takes two weeks after the second vaccine before the dog is considered to have protection. In total, it's a five (5) week process for immune protection to occur. Dogs in close proximity to other dogs still need the canine influenza vaccine no matter what time of year. 

As for the recent outbreak, we want to thank all of our clients who responded so quickly.  You did your part for community immunity. Thank you!

Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) Clinic Details and Updates

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 11:28 - Carol

Whether you're new to Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™ or a current client, the Canine Influenza outbreak in the Bay Area needs to be on every dog owner's radar. We saw our first case two weeks ago, and by week's end had already seen several more cases.

We are strongly recommending the Canine Influenza vaccination for dogs who have frequent dog-to-dog contact. Our CIV vaccination protects against both the current strain H3N2, as well as H3N8. The mechanism for getting your dog vaccinated is different for new clients versus current clients who are up to date with their dog's yearly wellness exam. Clients with dogs who are current on their annual exams can make an appointment for one of our special vaccine clinics.

During a clinic appointment, Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs) screen and make sure the dog is healthy enough to have the vaccine administered. Our current clients should have received an email from Dr. Lowery, which is included below. Due to robust demand, we have added several additional clinics to the ones referenced in her letter. If your dog had an exam with one of our doctors within the last year, feel free to call to make a clinic appointment. If you want to bring them in sooner, we can certainly accommodate you with a regular appointment.

For new clients, we sometimes run a special that provides a free initial exam; and now is an appropriate and worthwhile time to do so. All you need to do is make a new patient appointment, tell them you want the Canine Influenza vaccine, and we'll waive the first exam fee. It is a complete wellness exam, which takes a half hour, but you can start the Canine Influenza series at the same time. Simply fill out the “request appointment” form from our website or give us a call.

Feel free to share this blog post with any family member or friend who owns a dog. Just have them make a “new pet exam” appointment, and mention this special offer.

To explain more about Canine Influenza, here is the letter sent out to our current, dog-owning clients:

To our dog owner clients,

You may have heard about a recent outbreak of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) in the Bay Area. We have now had two confirmed cases at Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™ this week. We want to share the facts with you, so you can make informed decisions about vaccination and watch for symptoms.

First, we want to assure you that CIV is not caught from humans, nor transmitted to humans. You can't get the flu from your dog, and vice versa. It's easy to get confused because we are also in the middle of a human influenza outbreak, but these flu viruses are not transmittable between species. 

The issue is that for Canine Influenza Virus H3N2 dogs are highly contagious before they show symptoms, and this is a nasty strain for which very few unvaccinated dogs have immunity.

This particular strain of CIV is the same H3N2 strain, which affected the greater Chicago area in 2015 and is now confirmed in 40 states. Dog's peak shedding of the virus typically occurs before they are clinically ill. Virtually all exposed dogs become infected, of which 80% show symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Common symptoms include malaise, lethargy, inappetence, coughing, sneezing, discharge from the nose and/or eyes, and fever. While most cases are mild, those with the more severe form have a high fever and accompanying pneumonia that requires hospitalization. 

If your dog has frequent dog-to-dog contact, we strongly encourage you to have your dog vaccinated. Examples include dogs who board, attend day care, go to groomers or dog parks, and dogs who compete in shows or athletic events. Dogs who have less dog-to-dog contact can also be vaccinated if owners prefer they have some immunity against the virus.

The vaccine is given twice (2-to-4 weeks apart), and then boosted annually.  The earliest age approved for the vaccine is 7 weeks old. A dog is only considered to have immunity two weeks after the second vaccine. The vaccine does not prevent them from acquiring the virus, rather it makes any illness milder and shorter, plus they shed virus for a few days, not weeks.

Clinical signs of many of the Canine Upper Respiratory Disease Complex illnesses are similar, despite the causative agent.  However, the clinical illness produced by Influenza is often worse than what we typically see with common Kennel Cough attributed to the bacterial Bordetella br./Parainfluenza infection.

If your dog develops a cough, please call for an appointment for us to assess their status. We may try to evaluate your dog outside of our hospital, for the initial assessment. If your dog falls into the high-risk group, or you want your dog to be vaccinated for the Canine Influenza virus, please call to schedule a vaccination, or to join our by-appointment-CIV-vaccination-clinic event on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 between 10am and 4pm, and again on February 6 from 10am to 4pm. Check our blog for details and updates at http://www.midpen.com/blog/. 

Janet Lowery, DVM
Medical Director
 

New Year, New Veterinarian

Sun, 01/21/2018 - 12:18 - naomi

Happy New Year! As we start the new year, we'd like to introduce you to our new veterinarian, Dr. Lindsay Forgette. We are thrilled to have her on board!

Dr. Forgette is a general practitioner, like all our doctors, which makes her ideal for handling any case that walks through the door. She's available afternoons and evenings. She enjoys general medicine, dentistry and surgery, but also has a particular fondness for behavioral issues and palliative care. 

Dr. Forgette was born and raised in New England. She received her Master's and DVM from Tufts University. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut. Between these two distinguished institutions, she took a year "off" by working full time with laboratory animals at Yale University. 

Her first experience of 'the West' was moving to New Mexico, where her partner landed a dream job. Dr. Forgette worked at the Santa Fe Animal Emergency Clinic. That same dream job brought them to Silicon Valley. Along the way, she experienced hot and cold weather without the oppressive humidity. Now, she admits to being completely in love with the West and the West Coast, its weather and its beauty. 

She also loves painting and quilting, and refers to her visual hobbies as "color therapy." In the rest of her spare time, Dr. Forgette can be found rock climbing at Planet Granite, Pinnacles National Park and Castle Rock. 

She and her partner share their home with Archer, a delightful little poodle puppy and rescue dog. Dr. Forgette met Archer when he was recovering from being hit by a car at five months old. Archer is all better now and loves to run alongside Dr. Forgette. 

When you get a chance, please welcome Dr. Lindsay Forgette. We are extremely happy to have her on board.

New Year's Update on "Stand By You"

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 14:21 - Carol

As we close out 2017, we can't help but to reflect on this year's largest event for us -- the North Bay fires. We want to express a heartfelt "Thank you" to those who contributed to the Stand By You project! We appreciate your joining with us to support the animal victims of the North Bay fires. We thought you'd appreciate a summary. 

When the fire broke out, our initial response was threefold: we immediately addressed the online mechanism for the project, made sure our professionals are registered with the California Veterinary Medical Association's disaster outreach program called "California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps" (CAVMRC), and asked our distributor for special discounted pricing for the project. All this was completed in 24hrs.

Next, we reached out to industry colleagues to identify our own direct contacts on the ground. At the outset, we gathered supplies focused on food and crates, with medical supplies. Evacuation centers often won't take people who have pets unless those animals have a crate. It makes sense, but with the fast pace of the fires, many people literally grabbed their pets and ran for their lives. We had one false start driving up to an evacuation center in Marin before finding out they had been inundated. The next day we learned our colleagues at Muttville were deployed by the CAVMRC, so we loaded up their Muttville van with medical supplies and pet food for their trip.

Next, our own RVT, Suzanne Tzifas, was deployed. She drove up to the fire-affected area with a good $2000 in medical supplies alone (saline, bandages, burn-related supplies and injury-related supplies), plus the rest of a van loaded with food (both dog and cat, low stress formula, of course) and some crates just in case. In addition, we had a truck already packed up, staged and ready to roll. Consequently, we were able to respond to a Sonoma Humane Society on Highway-12 in Santa Rosa delivering that truckload within hours of their call for help. 

You may have seen the article about our efforts in the Almanac. The response to this disaster is consistent with the path which disaster response usually takes. It shifts from 'urgent' mode to a 'pace yourself' mode. We are pacing ourselves and other partners are joining in as well.

Lynn from The Pet Place contacted us with a generous donation collected from The Pet Place's community of customers. The contribution combined with some of our recent contributions toward responding to a request from the Petaluma Animal Shelter (operated by the Petaluma Animal Services Foundation), and resulted in a run of supplies just last week.

It will be a long road for many animals. We're in it for the long haul, and will continue througout 2018.

As we look toward 2018, and say good-bye to 2017, we reflect on the year and the way we joined togehter to step up for our neightbors. I'm proud of what we did together.  We appreciate you, your business, and your partnering with us on the Stand By You project. We continue to stretch our collective resources and THANK YOU very, very much. 

Sincerely,

Carol Schumacher
President, Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™

PS Here are some photos from Stand By You! Enjoy!

Stand By You - Pet Food Drive

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 16:44 - M. Penny

Our hearts go out to the evacuees from the Napa, Sonoma and Santa Rosa fires, who grabbed their pets and ran for their lives, literally. 

We can't sit by and just be thankful it wasn't our earthquake or disaster. As such, Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital is organizing a pet food drive, and literally driving pet food (along with crates and medical supplies) up to the fire-affected area. In addition, we are organizing a team of Vets and RVTs to go up to provide care.

This is an assistance effort with a very direct impact. If you want to contribute, we'll match your donation (up to $10,000). Every penny YOU donate will go toward pet food (provided at a generous discount from our distributor), crates and medical supplies.

Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital is picking up the costs for gas, and costs related to our staff. This is happening now. So, if you want to learn more or donate, please visit: www.midpen.com/standbyyou/.

Thank you!