Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™ Blog

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 15:26 - Carol

Unless you’re familiar with construction, you may now know that framing out walls doesn't begin with the wood -- it begins with paper plans. Which is why, if you recall, right after demolition, we set up a working office space. 

It's not good enough to read the plans. Our carpentry foreman had to really study them, because any mistakes made at this stage of the game would have ramifications down the line and could prove extremely costly. Electrical and plumbing, wiring and HVAC, even toilet placement, all depend on the framing. It had to be right. 

Lucky for us, our carpentry foreman is really organized, unbelievably efficient and proved to be a champion. He’s remarkably professional. With sufficient studying, walking the space and clearing up any questions with the architect, our heroic carpentry foreman marked it out, and he and his team got to framing out the walls.

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 09:50 - Carol

Sometimes construction sites look more chaotic than they really are. On delivery days, in come piles of wall sheathing and studs. 

All of the wood gets placed indoors, if possible, out of the elements, and up off of the floor to prevent moisture damage. Some pieces get delivered and stacked by size. Others get pre-cut and organized by size to make it quicker to grab what you need and keep moving. 


Undoubtedly the pieces are measured twice, and cut once.

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 18:22 - Carol

We interrupt this stream of construction dispatches to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving weekend plus offer a way to help those animals affected in Butte County by the fires. 

Typically, we jump in to help with a Stand By You project, which involves a direct action with industry colleagues we already know and trust. We also sign up to send veterinary staff and supplies. This fire happened too far away to be called into service. But the need is great, reliable help is on the way, and you can get involved!

The SF SPCA has an anonymous donor who is putting up a million dollar matching fund (hello!) for animals affected by the Butte County fires. The Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™ Stand By You fund will send the first $2000, which the SF SPCA fund may match and turn into $4000!  Won't you join us by contributing as well?  To do so, visit: https://www.sfspca.org.

Or you can go directly to the donation page at: https://www.sfspca.org/give-917.

Any funds raised in excess of what's needed by the Camp Fire effort, or don't get matched, will go directly into the SF SPCA Disaster Fund, a prudent move which enables an immediate response to the next disaster. As we give Thanks for all that we have this weekend, have a double portion of pumpkin pie, while you help to the animals affected by the fire. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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. 

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?




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.

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

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!

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!

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