Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

We met the adventurous Arnie when he needed surgery … after he’d jumped out his 4th floor window onto Geary on a Tuesday night! Arnie is quite the trooper, and we are happy to report that he is recovering nicely after this very scary experience.

arnie before his big night

arnie before his big night

Arnie’s human companion, Tiffany, shares a little more about Arnie and his high-flying adventure:

I adopted Arnie from the SPCA here in SF in May 2014. I knew he was the kitty for me when I walked into his cage and he came up to me and bit me.

Arnie loves to run pell-mell through the apartment, knocking things over as he does so. He’s a real hell-raiser. He also really enjoys eating houseplants. He protects me from the pigeons outside by keeping a very close eye on them. I suspect he thinks he will one day catch one. He has a LOT of kitten in him still, so he’s into everything. … He’s a very good boy though, very sweet when he wants to be. I call him my little Puddin’ Pie.



He doesn’t care for people food, at all, except for tuna of course. And sometimes spinach. He’s a weirdo. He LOVES playing in the bathtub after I take a shower. Takes toys in there and rolls around and has a general grand time of it.

He styles himself as quite the gangster, and is very tough and scary 🙂

More about that fateful night and the aftermath:

While I was in the kitchen, he pushed the screen out of the window (a custom screen I made, mind you) and jumped out the 4th floor window.

I ran onto Geary in my pjs, with no shoes on, screaming his name. Luckily some bystanders had seen him hide under a parked car and directed me to him.

I immediately took him to the emergency vet … The next day they had me transfer him to VCA, as he had badly broken both bones in his front leg, in several places. They said it was a complicated case.

Luckily, he only dislocated his jaw and they had been able to re-align it overnight. Dr. Watt was able to operate on him that day, thankfully. He now has “hardware” as they call it … pins/plates in his arm. Poor little guy is a real trooper.

the bear can wear the cone

the bear can wear the cone

The first night I brought him home was pretty rough — I really didn’t get to sleep, but he quickly got better and was able to get around on his own and eat and drink on his own.

sleeping it off

sleeping it off

He’s much better now and rarin’ to go! He wants OUT of the front room where I have been keeping him so he can’t jump up on things. He also wants to keep an eagle eye on those pigeons 🙂

i see you, pigeons

i see you, pigeons

Advice for other pet parents:

Screens do not keep motivated cats in. Lesson learned. My next step is to reinforce them with chicken wire and attach them to the wall with screws and hooks so that they cannot be moved by anyone but me. Also, I now have pet insurance.

Highly recommend VCA and Dr. Watt and Naomi. They have really provided excellent care and have been available for all my anxious questions.

Many thanks to Tiffany for sharing Arnie’s story and photos with us! We wish Arnie all the best and hope he is satisfied to just enjoy the view from now on.


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Today’s patient story features the amazing … Gus!



This affectionate kitty came to SFVS with an obstructed, fluid-filled space in his brain, which resulted in fluid backing up and compressing his brain tissue. This caused Gus to have seizures and undergo a behavioral change.

SFVS veterinary neurologist Dr. Lisa Klopp used our onsite MRI to diagnose this condition. She then treated Gus by making a burr hole into his brain and letting the fluid drip out to equilibrate pressure.

We are so happy to report that Gus is now doing well!

Shannon, his human companion, shares a little more about this special guy:

Gus (or Gussie or even Guster if you prefer) is just a good-natured fellow. Never one to hiss and always one to cuddle, he is a vital part of our family.

ready for work

lookin’ sharp, gus!

Gus loves to chase his feather toy and will carry the pole up and down the stairs meowing at a rather high volume until we put down what we are doing and play. He also loves to watch the birds out the window and loves to partake in each and every tuna-flavored meal.

cuddles, please.

cuddles, please.

At only 2.5 years old, he has had all the pampering and love a kitty deserves, but unfortunately also a rough medical journey. With the care and skill of Dr. Lisa Klopp, we are lucky to be able to spend more precious years with Gus. We are so thankful for her and the rest of the VCA team that have taken such good care of Gus.

Thanks to Shannon for sharing these photos and background on Gus. We are very grateful for our clients and patients! Have fun with that feather toy, Gus.

Would you like your dog or cat to be featured in our Patient Stories series? Please email us for information. We look forward to hearing from you.

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For #Caturday, we have a very special patient story featuring Oscar the Cat! Late last year, this fearless 17 year old escaped from his home and was gone for nearly two weeks. Thankfully, Oscar eventually returned, and his human companion, Billy, brought him to our hospital. Under the care of Drs. Emily Wong and Erika Beck, Oscar received fluids, a blood transfusion and antibiotics.

oscar and billy

oscar and billy

Here, Billy shares a little more about Oscar:

I adopted Oscar as a rescue kitty. Despite his size, he is a type A kitty. Any other kitty I had at the same time always was/is aware where Oscar is. In addition to being a tough old man, he is fearless. I have seen him challenge dogs. My brother had a 110-pound dog. Oscar was on the back steps looking down at Frosty, who was jumping up and down, growling, etc. Oscar started moving back and forth, getting ready to pounce and scratch the nose. I yanked him away, reminding him that he was 16 and if he missed, well …

At age 17, Oscar escaped back in November/December at the height of the rains. After 13 days, I opened the back door and there he was – a huddled black ball. Somehow he managed to make it back home. Probably to die.

I brought him to VCA SFVS and the doctors saved him. A beautiful thing because he did not have much more time. Thank you, VCA SFVS. Oscar has bounced back and is his old self. He is ready for another 17 years!!!

Many thanks to Billy and Oscar for sharing this story and photo. Drs. Wong and Beck and all of us here wish Oscar all the best. We are so happy he is home and back to his old self again!

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Staff Spotlight: Brisa Aceves

Our staff spotlight series allows our clients and friends to learn a little more about the people at VCA SFVS. This week we feature Brisa Aceves, a registered veterinary technician at our hospital.

Name: Brisa Aceves

Your position and department: RVT, internal medicine/emergency services lead / treatment tech

When did you join VCA SFVS? February 2005

Favorite part of your job? My favorite part is probably working with the hospitalized patients. We see a lot of patients with multiple diseases or complicated diseases that can cause them to stay in hospital for weeks at a time. It’s a good feeling when we’re able to get them “back on their feet” and home with their owners.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m from Santa Rosa originally and moved to SF in summer of 2001. I started work at SFVS as an assistant in 2005, working my way up to tech then taking my RVT exam in 2010. My mother is also an RVT so I’ve been around and had animals all my life.

What does your work day entail? It depends … my work week is split between being a “floor lead” two days and treatment technician the other two. When I’m on as lead, I help manage/organize the floor for breaks, procedures and needs of the IM and ES departments, making sure there’s appropriate coverage and techs assigned to patients and that there’s someone available to help the doctors. When I’m on as a treatment tech, I take care of the hospitalized patients.

Your work-related super power? Handling fractious cats. I’ve been called a “cat whisperer.”


brisa with her kitties, vincent and fredman / photo credit: lisa martin


Any animal companions of your own? I have two big male tuxedo cats. One’s a long hair, the other short-haired. They are 8-year-old brothers and they are amazing.

What do you enjoy doing outside work? I spend most of my time outside of work shooting traditional film photography or working on art projects focused around photography. I also enjoy going to museums and going to the movies.

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Today on the blog, we feature Sneezy, one of Dr. Alan Stewart’s patients. Sneezy recently celebrated his 20th birthday, no small feat for a kitty! Below, his human companion Lisa shares some really wonderful photos of this special cat, along with a little more about him.



Many thanks to Lisa for putting all this together. It’s been our honor to be on Sneezy’s care team.

From Lisa:

Sneezy came to us (Simon and me) when he was 17 years old. He was born in Austin, Texas, and spent some of his early years with Phil, his original owner, in Austin, Los Angeles, and a few cities in the SF Bay Area.

Sneezy is a very cheerful and affectionate cat; he loves to be with people either to play or eat. He especially enjoys massages and shoulder-rides to get a glimpse of everything.

He loves to eat every kind of morning pastry from French croissants to Chinese pineapple buns (see photo below) or egg custard tarts. His palate for human delicacies is pretty internationally trained as well (just don’t let the vets know): rotisserie chicken, duck pâté, cheese, corn soup, porridge and broth.

our little secret

our little secret

His favorite pastime is to nap under the sun either on the back porch or anywhere inside the house where the sun hits. But he certainly has claimed ownership of all the chairs in the living room and our bed (whenever he can successfully sneak into the master bedroom).

Sneezy is a sweet darling and everyone thinks he’s still a baby kitty with his youthful appearance. We have just celebrated his 20th birthday with a triple-layer ice-cream cake.

happy birthday, handsome!

happy birthday, handsome!

We love him a lot and wish to celebrate many more birthdays with him, our sweet Zyzy (his nickname).

this looks like a job for superzz!

this looks like a job for super zyzy!

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Our staff spotlight series allows our clients and friends to learn a little more about the people at VCA SFVS, from the veterinarians to the administration staff to the techs to the client service reps. This week we feature Naomi, a veterinary technician at our hospital.

Name: Naomi Rodriguez

Departments: Emergency, Internal Medicine

When did you join VCA SFVS? September 2013

Favorite part of your job? Meeting and making friends with pets

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born and raised in Japan, and moved to the United States when I was 18 years old. I attended vet tech school in Fresno. I have worked in general practice, emergency hospital. I decided to become a vet tech when I discovered the career existed.

Do you have any animal companions of your own? I have three cats: Tama (from dumpster), Kiki (from sky) and Chibita (from air conditioning duct).



What do you do when you’re away from the hospital? Outside work I enjoy gardening, traveling, hiking, and volunteering with VET SOS.

Currently reading? Wonders of Life by Brian Cox

Favorite TV shows? NCIS, Wonders of the Universe, Fast N Loud, Man vs Food

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Phyllo, a 10-year-old brown tabby, arrived at VCA SFVS on March 18. His temporary caregiver had brought him in on emergency, to have Phyllo thoroughly checked out. The caregiver was close friends with Phyllo’s guardian, and she had just found Phyllo’s person deceased, as well as Phyllo’s brother, Dash.

Phyllo survived the few days on his own. He did have some dehydration and hunger, and VCA SFVS internal medicine specialist Dr. Alan Stewart found numerous bladder stones, one quite large, that would need to be surgically removed.

The temporary caregiver had covered all veterinary costs up until then, at which point we took over (the caregiver continued to make medical decisions for Phyllo).

Phyllo with Dr. Hammer

Phyllo with Dr. Hammer, one of our emergency veterinarians

Dr. Alice Bugman performed a cystotomy, from which Phyllo has recovered quite well. (Phyllo also did very well being pestered all day long by our staff, who love him and wanted to spend as much time as possible with him.)

Phyllo with Dr. Bugman

Phyllo with Dr. Bugman

Now for the really great news: Phyllo has found a new home! Ted, Phyllo’s new person, learned about the situation from the temporary caregiver. Ted began making preparations to welcome the kitty into his home, and he introduced Phyllo to his new digs last week.

Phyllo with Ted!

Phyllo with Ted!

Phyllo in his new home

Phyllo enjoying his new home

Ted reports that, after a few hours of hiding, Phyllo settled right in and now runs the joint!

Phyllo is an amazing cat, and we feel so lucky to have been part of helping him begin a new life. His temporary caregiver and her family provided wonderful support and advocacy for Phyllo during this time, and we applaud their dedication to him, as well as to the memory of his guardian and cat brother. Without them, Phyllo could have slipped through the cracks … but together, Phyllo is beginning a great new adventure.

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