Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Patient Stories’ 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.

roar!

roar!

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.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Today’s patient story features the amazing … Gus!

bird-watching!

bird-watching!

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.

Read Full Post »

Today’s patient story features CheChe, a little guy with big courage and a huge heart. CheChe has IMHA, short for immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. Below, his human companion Tricia shares his story.

From Tricia:

CheChe came into our life over nine years ago. He’s a smart little buddy who enjoys eating, first and foremost. He’s fiercely loyal to his family and feels strongly about order and will give you a loud bark to remind you if you’re breaking one of his house rules.

don't break any of cheche's house rules!

don’t break any of cheche’s house rules!

Over three years ago, CheChe was diagnosed with IMHA, a difficult-to-treat blood disease. Miraculously our little guy survived a difficult round of blood transfusions, numerous drug combinations and many nights in the hospital.

Sadly CheChe was hit with another hemolytic episode in the summer of 2014. Our regular vet told us that this time we should see a specialist and was very concerned that CheChe could not beat the odds, not this time.

Luckily we met Dr. Winnie Ybarra at VCA SFVS. Dr. Ybarra immediately changed Chech’s drug treatment and we started the long process.

Dr. Ybarra’s instincts, experience and ability to communicate the various options clearly to us no doubt saved CheChe’s life. We learned how to check his heart rate from home and became pros at detecting a possible turn of events. She was sensitive to CheChe’s 6-pound size, managing drugs amounts to fit his tiny frame.

cheche with hiro, his loyal partner in crime

cheche with hiro, his loyal partner in crime

Today Chech is still on drugs and may continue for the rest of his life, but he’s strong and happy, eating as fiercely as ever and showing no signs of drug reactions.

IMHA is a difficult disease, but VCA SFVS has given us the best shot possible.

cheche2

cutest reindeer

Many thanks to Tricia for sharing these photos and CheChe’s story with us. Dr. Ybarra and the staff here are honored to be on sweet CheChe’s care team!

Related resource:

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.

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

Today on the blog, we’re excited to feature … Charley! We met this sweet Chihuahua mix under some scary circumstances: He had just been hit by a car. Charley made fast friends with a few of our veterinarians. Dr. Allegra Roth was his receiving emergency services doctor, Dr. Laura West managed his case when he was transferred to internal medicine for further observation, and Dr. Margo Mehl removed a tooth that was damaged during the accident.

The wonderful news is that Charley was a very lucky little dog and was able to return home after three days. Below, his human companion Rachel shares a little more about Charley and his story. Many thanks to Charley and Rachel – we were so honored to be on this Miracle Mutt’s veterinary care team!

From Rachel:

I arrived at Peninsula Humane Society in early October 2011 very excited: I was finally about to adopt a dog of my own. My family loves dogs, always maintaining a pack of 2 or 3 while I was growing up. I had been living in San Francisco for a few years and was finally in the ideal situation for a small rescue dog. I strolled around the shelter looking at lots of wonderful dogs of all sizes, but there was one in particular that caught my eye: a small, tan Chihuahua mix puppy who looked to me like a little fox.

like a little fox!

like a little fox!

It took all of five seconds to decide he was “The One.” I loved his beautiful auburn coat, pretty doe eyes and one of the cutest little noses I’ve ever seen. I especially was struck by his little feet and tail that look as though they were tip dipped in white paint. It was love at first sight for Charley and me, like something out of a movie. He put his cute little nose on the glass up to my hand. I knew we were friends for life.

charley and rachel

charley and rachel

Charley the dog, affectionately known as “Cheese,” is a friend to all. His favorite activities include fetching socks, catching/eating flies, and running with his Sunny Day Dog Walks pack at McLaren Park. He is the ultimate snuggle buddy. When he hasn’t seen you in a while, he will greet you by dancing on his back two legs, high-fiving you with both paws. Most of all, he is a sweet little guy with a big heart and a curious spirit.

Last October, that curious spirit got the better of him. He chased a bird from the grass in Dolores Park on to 20th Street and got hit by a car. As a dog mom, that was my worst nightmare come true. Luckily the driver of the car was able to rush us to VCA. I cannot say enough about the excellent care we received from the team at VCA. Everyone was so kind, knowledgeable, and empathetic. They were extremely patient with all of my questions.

I feel so fortunate that they were there for Charley and me. It’s truly a miracle that he was home within three days and back running with the pack within a month, considering the severity of his injuries.

back in action!

back in action!

Over the years my family and I have given Charley several nicknames: Charlie Tuna, Carlitos, Cheesey, El Queso … but the one that’s going to stick for years to come is Miracle Mutt. And thanks to the stellar veterinarians and staff at VCA, he is just that.

curious charley stays updated on current events

curious charley stays updated on current events

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.

Read Full Post »

Today’s patient story features … Busby! A patient of internal medicine specialist Dr. Craig Maretzki and cardiologist Dr. Justin Williams, Busby was diagnosed in 2014 with congestive heart disease, which is being managed by his human mom, Jaye, and his veterinarians.

Busby age 3

It is our honor to be on Busby the Wonder Dog’s care team! Many thanks to Jaye for putting together this sweet piece on Busby.

From Jaye:

What did YOUR mom always say: MAKE YOUR BED! And how about a dog who does just that!! Every day, Busby Berkeley goes into the bathroom and re-shapes a rug into a comfortable bed or finds a towel and curls right up into it, and makes himself a cozy, little sleeper:

Busby 2

Busby Berkeley, the Wonder Dog, who also trained as a Therapy dog, as well as a Service dog, at Marin Humane Society.

And who is Busby, anyway? 22 pounds of love and sweetness, a 14-year-old Havanese from The Netherlands, who came at 8 weeks, 3 days old to the USA to spend his life with me, his mom, Jaye, where he gives his smiles to everyone.

busby at 10-12 weeks!

busby at 10-12 weeks!

AKA The Big Baby Busby, he is champagne with a bit of black in his beard and the tips of his ears, and a bit reddish, with great very-human brown eyes, and a big brain in his little head.

And he knows how to get his way!

Busby came to VCA SFVS, in 2013, with a heart murmur. He was later again referred by his veterinarian and friend, Dr. A.J. Kallet of VCA Madera Pet Hospital in Corte Madera, in 2014, with a diagnosis of congestive heart disease. So sick and thin he was, with weight loss, a persistent cough, terribly ill, and it seemed hardly a chance to survive.

Busby was in the hospital for four days, until it was determined he was ready to go home, where his mom would manage his disease with his veterinarians.

jaye and busby

jaye and busby

Now under the incredible care of Dr. Craig Maretzki, internist, and Dr. Justin Williams, cardiologist, technicians and the support staff, Busby is a renewed boy, thriving, running (okay, only a little bit), and definitely eating. He wants attention, can still show a stubborn streak (where is MY food) and how about a big kiss for me. Then there is Busby’s pal Robin, technician, who carries Busby on her chest so he can rest his head on her shoulder, as he gets well.

Busby age 7

The Big Baby Busby, happy again.

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.

Read Full Post »

Today’s patient story features the beautiful Sugar! We met this sweet girl when she was 2; Dr. Margo Mehl had to perform a “ballectomy” after Sugar swallowed a little tennis ball (that someone else threw). More recently, Dr. Elyse Hammer treated Sugar for a foxtail and fleas in her ears and bilateral ear hematomas.

Below, Sugar’s human companion John shares a little more on this 90-lb. Alaskan Malamute. Many thanks to John for putting together such a wonderfully written story. We are proud to be a part of Sugar’s veterinary care team.

From John:

Going places with Sugar is like traveling with a movie star. When we take walks in San Francisco or Berkeley, we seldom go a block before someone stops to tell Sugar that she’s beautiful, and asks for her vital statistics (breed, weight, age, where we got her, about her personality and how much she sheds). Then they pet her, take photos and/or a video. One of Sugar’s admirers summed up Sugar’s personality this way: “She’s sweet, playful, beautiful and strong when she needs to be.”

john and sugar

john and sugar

Here are some answers to those frequently asked questions.

Sugar is a 90-lb., 7½-year-old Alaskan Malamute. Malamutes were named after the native Inuit tribe called Mahlemuts and worked in sled dog teams to pull heavy animal carcasses across the snow to feed tribe members. As such, the Malamutes had to help protect the carcasses from predators. In light of her breeding, Sugar’s personality traits are understandable: She is strong in body and spirit, and loves walking even in the most horrible weather. Sugar is very affectionate with people, protective of her “teams” of people, and a loyal member of her pack of dogs at Point Isabel, where I take her for one to two hours every morning.

Sugar had a hard start: She was underfed from birth to 5 months and then got severe kennel pneumonia after being confiscated from her owner. She was rescued by MUSH (Malamutes Unsettled Seeking Homes) and fortunately fostered by wonderful people.

My wife found Sugar online and thought she was the dog for us because she wanted a dog that was gentle, calm, furry and quiet and that didn’t drool. I wanted a large dog that liked to take lots of walks. Also, she knew that Sugar’s name would appeal to me as I love sugary foods, principally chocolate. We adopted Sugar from her foster parents. A few months later, Sugar’s foster parents adopted her sister, Luna. Sugar and Luna have been getting together at Point Isabel every other week for the last six and a half years.

sugar and luna

sugar and luna

When we got her at age 8 months, Sugar had severe separation anxiety. One time, my wife and I left Sugar in our fenced backyard while we went out to dinner. When we got home, Sugar happily greeted us when we opened the front door. Sugar had broken down the locked bottom part of the solid core backyard Dutch door, and entered our home. Now when we go out we leave Sugar inside our house.

We have another pet, Pontiac Jack, who began life as a feral tabby cat. Sugar and Pontiac Jack are close friends, and they take walks together for about half an hour every night. They periodically stop to rub noses, and Sugar barks protectively if another dog is in the vicinity.

sugar and pontiac jack

sugar and pontiac jack

Sugar is a certified Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Pet and participates in the Paws to Read program. She and I go to San Leandro, Oakland and Berkeley libraries once a week so children can read to her. One first-grader summarized the purpose of the program perfectly: “When I read in front of the class, I’m all scared, but when I read to Sugar, I love her.”

sugar4

beautiful sugar!

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: