Posts Tagged ‘dr. phil watt’

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.


Read Full Post »

VCA SFVS veterinary surgeons Drs. Margo Mehl and Phil Watt recently had the opportunity to perform a vasectomy … on a lion!


surgery day

The patient, Bambek, was rescued from Bolivia and now lives at the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s (PAWS) ARK 2000 sanctuary. Many thanks to Kim G. from PAWS for putting the following story on Bambek together for us. It was our honor to work with PAWS, and we wish Bambek and Camba all the best!



On May 28, 2010, four circus lions, rescued from Bolivia when their government voted to ban the use of exotic animals in traveling shows, Camba, Daktari, Simba and Bambek, arrived at the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s (PAWS) ARK 2000 sanctuary after a very long journey by plane and truck.

Bambek peered quietly out of his crate as the PAWS team checked in on him. Soon, he was positioned next to the doors of his new home at ARK 2000 sanctuary.

He began to roar, calling to the other lions for reassurance. The PAWS team scattered straw about the enclosure and shifted the crates up to den doors so Bambek and the others, who clearly did not like being separated, could be together.

As the sun began to rise, Bambek was released into his separate den area while the crates were removed from the area, and finally, the gates were opened and the three males were reunited.

Camba, the female lioness who has been kept separated until all the animals can be neutered, hugged the common fence, pushing her body into Bambek.

Suddenly, all three males began rolling around in the fragrant alfalfa hay, and then raced around the big enclosure sniffing the pine trees, urinating profusely, and somersaulting over the branches to jump on an unsuspecting companion. Camba chased Bambek and the others up and down the fence line, wearing pine branches and hay on her head.

Sadly, we realized how spacious that den area was compared to the metal boxes that had been their home for most of their lives.

The three males fell asleep on top of each other against the fence next to Camba until PAWS keepers released the lions into the huge sunny hillside habitat with trees, logs and lots of vegetation.

The PAWS tigers, in the adjacent habitat, were stalking their new “neighbors” and roaring over the hillsides.

Bambek and the other lions roared back, and long conversations developed between the two species, almost a big cat welcome wagon.

Bambek and the lions from Bolivia were home and had become the Pride of PAWS.

Bambek chose to sleep out in the habitat that first night, gazing up at the stars, likely for the very first time in his life.

Why did Bambek need a vasectomy?

When the lions arrived from Bolivia, they were reproductively intact. Bambek was very close to his male companions, Daktari and Simba. During the day, they would lie close together in their grassy habitat and at night, they would sleep together in a big pile in a den. After both Daktari and Simba tragically died with cancer, Bambek was left alone in his habitat, which shared a common fence line with his neighbor, Camba the lioness. Bambek began to show an interest in Camba, and the two lions romp along the fence together, and even sleep next to each other, touching through the fence.

In hopes of introducing Bambek to Camba, and to prevent any possibility of pregnancy, vasectomy surgery was performed on Bambek with the assistance of veterinary surgeons Dr. Margo Mehl and Dr. Phil Watt, with their assistant Melissa. (If you neuter a male lion, he’ll lose his mane, which is why the vasectomy route was chosen.)

The surgery went well, and Bambek has fully recovered. We are looking forward to carefully introducing these two in hopes that they will provide companionship for each other.

About Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

PAWS was founded in 1984 and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of captive wildlife. PAWS operates three sanctuaries in Northern California and is home to elephants, tigers, lions, bears and others. Rescue. Protection. Sanctuary. Education. Advocacy. www.PAWSweb.org

Ways to support PAWS/donate > www.pawsweb.org/support_paws_home_page.html

Read Full Post »

Today on the blog, meet Solo.

solo! // photo provided by client

solo! // photo provided by client

Solo, a mini Australian Shepherd, came to VCA SFVS with a congenital defect in one of his paws, which was increasingly causing him pain. Solo and his human companion, Jeremiah, met with veterinary surgeon Dr. Philip Watt for a consultation, and it was quickly resolved that surgical correction was an option and likely a good idea. Read more about the adorable Solo below, written by Jeremiah:

Solo was born on July 14, 2013, with a congenital defect of his front left paw. He was 12 weeks old when he had the surgery to correct his syndactyly.

photo provided by client

photo provided by client

It was a difficult process, keeping the incision clean while also working on housebreaking and getting him some exercise, but we got through it. Three weeks later he was healed, the stitches were removed, and he is better than ever!

nice bandage, solo! // photo provided by client

nice bandage, solo! // photo provided by client

Solo loves everybody. Whenever anyone is willing to stop walking he melts on their feet and coos as they pet him. He loves greek yogurt (see the photo of him cross-eyed over the yogurt spoon!) and walks at the beach. And he seems to have a “thing” for fluffy doodles.

mmm, greek yogurt // photo provided by client

mmm, greek yogurt // photo provided by client

Thank you, Jeremiah, for sharing Solo’s story and these wonderful photos! We are proud to be a part of your veterinary care team.

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 »

Our canine friends sustain many of the same types of injuries human athletes endure: They can strain muscles, sprain tendons, break bones, and dislocate and twist joints.

In this month’s Bay Woof, VCA SFVS surgeon Dr. Phil Watt and Dr. Anna Dunlap (a member of our 2012-13 intern class) write about injuries in the canine athlete – prevention, common injuries and advances in canine sports medicine.

Some breeds are built for athletics (Greyhound, Border Collie), while others are more suited to a sedentary lifestyle (Shih Tzu, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel). Regardless of the breed of dog, pet owners should be aware of the common injuries their canine companions are susceptible to. We should also be aware of how to avoid canine injuries and have some knowledge of treatments that may be beneficial if injuries occur.

Read more > Injuries in the Canine Athlete (Bay Woof)

Read Full Post »

For our patient story today, we are pleased to feature another Muttville pup! Read on to learn more about Timminy. Her guardian’s report wonderfully highlights that fabulous human-pet connection.

VCA SFVS had the pleasure of meeting Timminy (Tim) through Muttville, and helped to get her ready to meet her future adoptive mom. Tim had a fatty tumor on her abdomen that was so large (see below), she could barely walk and couldn’t even lie down comfortably.

Pre-lipoma removal

So our friends from Muttville brought her in to see one our surgeons, Dr. Phil Watt, who fixed her right up. Dr. Watt delicately removed the large lipoma, so that Tim would be ready to be adopted out as soon as she recovered from her surgery. We’re now happy to share this report from Tim’s guardian, Katy.

Before I adopted Tim, I had been looking for a dog to adopt for some time. I met a few other dogs before I met her. They were sweet dogs, but I didn’t feel a connection with them.

When I met Tim, I fell in love with her almost instantly, and I’d like to think that she felt the same way. Tim, her foster mom and I took a short walk to a nearby park where we could all play and get to know each other. I could tell right away what a sweet dog she was and also well-trained – she walked on the leash like a pro and would sit and come on command.

Tim and Katy. Client-provided photo.

Of course, I was impressed by her training, but it was her personality that truly sold me on her. I like the idea that Muttville allows new pet parents to have a trial period, although it became clear within only hours that Tim and I weren’t going to be separated for some time. I took Tim home with me the day I met her and we’ve never looked back.

Adoption Day! Tim at the store, trying out new beds. (It’s a cat bed, but don’t tell her!) Client-provided photo.

Tim has been a dream dog! We have flown to Texas and Los Angeles together, and she is a fantastic traveling companion. She is so well-behaved on planes that on occasion the flight attendant didn’t even realize she was with me!

I really can’t believe that Tim has only been in my life for 6 months. She has had such a wonderful effect on my life! It is so great to come home to her happy little face! She even does a little dance when I get home – she can’t contain her excitement and wants to jump around, but she also can’t wait for her belly rub!

I can’t imagine my life without Tim in it – even when I just have to leave town for a couple days, I can’t wait to get home to her. I even request photo texts from my friends and dog walker who look in on her! I’m so thankful that Muttville took her in, and took care of her surgery! Lucky for me they could see what a great dog she is!

Timminy says helloooo! Client-provided photo.

For more information on Muttville and dogs now available for adoption, visit http://www.muttville.org/mutts/available

Read Full Post »

image from bay woof

VCA SFVS surgeons Dr. Margo Mehl and Dr. Phil Watt answered this month’s “Ask Dr. Dog” in Bay Woof. The topic? Medical care (including surgical advances) for aging pets.

Dear Dr. Dog:

My eight-year-old Pointer Louise has various minor ailments, not too surprising at her time of life. I dread the day when she becomes seriously ill and of course intend to do everything possible to help her when that time comes. I have heard that medical care for senior canines is improving and would like to know more. 

— Stephanie in El Sobrante

“Old age is not a disease.”

This well-known quotation by Maggie Kuhn, an elder rights activist, challenged previous myths about aging and the way society views the elderly. We often relay this sentiment to pet owners in the exam room to help them make treatment decisions for their dogs not solely based on age.

What Is Old for Dogs? 

The classic “one human year equals seven dog years” makes for an easy calculation but is not entirely accurate. Giant dogs, e.g., Great Danes or St. Bernards, tend to have a shorter life expectancy, so, in a sense, they age faster. These dogs are considered “senior” at 6 or 7 years of age, whereas smallerbreed dogs, such as Chihuahuas, may not be considered elderly until they are at least 10 years. Evaluating the entire dog population, the average dog life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.

Read the full article: Advances in the Treatment of Older Dogs (Bay Woof)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: