Archive for the ACCESS Los Angeles Category

From Sudden Paralysis to Up and Running…

SimbaSimba, a male Chihuahua, came in to ACCESS LA for suddenly not being able to walk. This can be very unnerving for many owners, as there are several reasons for how this may have happened. Luckily, Simba was in the care of Dr. Clarisa Robles in our Neurology Department. After some diagnostics, Dr. Robles concluded that Simba had a condition called atlanto-axial subluxation, or AA Lux for short.

This means the first two bones in Simba’s neck were unstable in relation to each other. This can be very dangerous, as an AA Lux causes compression of the spinal cord, resulting in signs as mild as neck pain to complete paralysis of all limbs.

After speaking with Simba’s owner and discussing all of the options and possible outcomes, it was decided that Simba would go through surgery to correct this scary issue. Along with technicians and assistants to monitor anesthesia and assist with the procedure, Dr. Robles was able to stabilize these two bones with screws and bone cement. After some time for careful recovery, we are pleased to say that Simba is walking well these days and back to creating mischief!

If you suspect your pet has a back, neck, spinal, or brain injury, please contact your veterinarian right away.

Share

No Stone Left Unturned…

Ozzie-IR

Ozzie is a beautiful 12 year old Himalayan cat who was referred to Dr. Erinne Branter at ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital, Los Angeles, after being hospitalized for several days at his primary veterinarian’s office with a right ureteral obstruction. Ureteral obstructions are blockages that prohibit urine to drain from the bladder and can be caused by blood clots, mucus, crystals, strictures, tumors, or in Ozzie’s case, stones. Blockages are no walk in the park for any patient—animal or human— but can be deadly to dogs and cats. Untreated, a blockage can cause death due to complete kidney shut down.

Typically, a stent (tube that links the kidney to the bladder) can be placed to help a patient’s body pass the urine and stones. Ozzie had a stent implanted previously, which worked well for him for some time. Unfortunately, some patients are simply prone to re-obstruction, and in Ozzie’s case this called for a different approach.

Ozzie-fluoro-image
Dr. Branter, the head of our Interventional Radiology Department, consulted with Ozzie’s owners, and it was decided that a subcutaneous ureteral bypass, or SUB, would be placed to help Ozzie pass urine.

(Click on image for larger view.)

The SUB works as a secondary ureter, having one end of a small catheter implanted into the kidney and leading to the port, which rests under the skin, and connects to the end of the catheter which leads to the bladder. The port makes it possible for a veterinarian to flush the catheters to obtain urine samples for testing; while the catheter acts as a filter for the urine, making it possible for the fluid to pass through successfully.

Dr-Branter-Dr-Carey

Dr. Branter performed the SUB placement alongside Dr. Kim Carey, an ACCESS surgeon. With two veterinary technicians to assist and another to monitor the anesthesia, Ozzie was in good hands. The sub was placed successfully and they also were able to extract fat cells to culture stem cells. Ozzie’s stem cells will be used to help his kidney function in the future. It is not uncommon for cats to stop eating while they are under stress from being out of their normal environment, so Ozzie also had an esophageal feeding tube, or e-tube, temporarily placed to help him during his recovery process. After recovering well from anesthesia, Ozzie stayed in our hospital for a few days to be monitored after his surgery. It’s safe to say that Ozzie stole all of our hearts here during his stay, and we are so happy to have been able to help him.

Ozzie’s case is not uncommon, though it may be hard for some owners to recognize the signs of an emergency with their cat. Symptoms of ureteral blockages may include change in appetite and general signs of lethargy, vomiting, or reduced appetite. These are not typical “urinary” signs as seen with bladder or urethral issues, but they should be evaluated by a doctor.

If you think your cat may be blocked, call your primary veterinarian immediately. Additionally, if your cat has elevated kidney values, please have him or her checked with an ultrasound of the kidneys. This is very important as you can significantly improve kidney function by addressing ureteral obstructions.

Ozzie-post-op-from-owner

Shannon Brown
Marketing Coordinator | ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospitals

Share

The Hot Facts About Heat Stroke and Your Dog

ACCESS-Heat-Danger-For-Animals

It’s summertime— the sun is bright and the days are long. You’d like to go for a jog with your best friend and there’s a nice breeze, so you suspect that it is not too hot… Fido should be fine!  What you don’t know is that serious injury could be lurking right outside your door, for you and your pet.

Did you know that when dogs pant it helps cool their bodies much like sweating cools us down? Panting is their main cooling mechanism; without the ability to pant, they overheat.

If you put a muzzle on your dog, or any other device that prevents the mouth from opening wide enough to pant, you could cause your dog to overheat.
Sometimes, even if a dog is able to pant, the body can get so hot that the heat buildup overwhelms the panting mechanism and heat stroke can ensue. Imagine that your dog is a car—if your car isn’t able to run properly, it can overheat and breakdown. Unfortunately, if your dog overheats, he or she could die.

It is important to note that the temperature outside doesn’t matter. It could be 70 degrees with a breeze and your dog could still get heat exhaustion or worse. Dogs particularly susceptible to overheating on walks are brachycephalic breeds (dogs with a short snout) like Bulldogs, Pugs, Brussels, and Griffons; overweight dogs; and thick coated dogs such as Huskies, German Shepherds, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Please, never leave your pet in a car. On a 78 degree day, the temperature in a car, even with windows cracked, can elevate to 120 degrees within minutes.

Signs indicating that your pet is overheating and has potential for heat stroke include: lethargy, vomiting, shallow breaths, seizures, and confusion. If you note any of these signs, you must immediately remove your pet from the heat source, give your pet water to drink, fan your pet,and allow him or her to rest. In severe cases of heat stroke, you may wet the dog’s body with room temperature to slightly cool water. However, please be careful because if the water is too cold, it could shock the system. It is important to see a veterinarian right away if mild or severe signs of heat injury appear.

Summer should be full of time outside and fun with family, friends, and your pooch. Please be safe and play outside on cooler days, as well as earlier or later in the day for short amounts of time on warmer days. Always be sure there is plenty of water for Fido, and if there are any signs of overheating, rest your dog and seek veterinary advice immediately. Also, be sure to report any animals inside of a car to the proper authorities. You could save a voiceless creature’s life.

Share

#LoveWins

ACCESS-Gay-Pride-Logo

Share

Check out our new video!

Ever want to know what it’s like to work at one of our hospitals?

If you are interested in working with us, please send your resume and cover letter to careers@accessvetmed.com

Share

Is peanut butter poisonous for pups?

Peanut-Butter-danger

Peanut butter is a delight for dogs and dog lovers – what better to coat the inside of Kong toys or hide those yucky pills? But dog lovers beware!”
A new peanut butter on the market is actually toxic to dogs. The problem is a sweetener called xylitol, which is used in some Nuts ‘N More products. Xylitol exists naturally in small amounts in some fruits and vegetables. For people, it is thought to have benefits over sugar including fewer calories, less tooth decay and fewer problems for diabetics. It’s a common ingredient in sugar-free gum, candy, toothpaste, and baked goods. Unfortunately, what’s safe for humans isn’t always safe for dogs.

So what happens when a dog eats xylitol?

Xylitol is extremely dangerous for dogs – even in small amounts. In low doses (0.1 grams per kilogram of body weight) it causes insulin release and low blood sugar. If blood sugar drops low enough, your dog can experience seizures or even a coma. In slightly higher doses (0.5 grams per kilogram) xylitol can cause liver failure. The amount of xylitol is proprietary information in most food products, so we often have to assume that a patient who ingested any food containing xylitol received a toxic dose. In this case, we typically recommend hospitalizing the dog with a constant infusion of sugar in an IV line, and we give medications to protect the liver. We monitor sugar and liver values on bloodwork for 2-3 days so that we can be proactive in treating liver disease if it develops. Once present, liver failure is a very difficult-and sometimes deadly – condition.

Needless to say, a few days in the hospital with frequently monitored bloodwork makes for a rough time for dogs and their people. Prevention is the best strategy; so read those labels, dog lovers! And be careful about human foods in general – did you know that grapes, macadamia nuts, and bread dough are also toxic for dogs?

——————————

Thanks to Rebecca McQuitty, DVM for this interesting and valuable information.

Share

Come work with us!

ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital is looking for new team members to join our Client Care Department.

Careers-collage

The department is comprised of four main roles:

1. Client Care Representatives:
The face of ACCESS; a CCR is responsible for the first and last interactions with our clients. They prepare paperwork for patient arrival, care for the client/patient during check in process, maintain patient records, and guide the client through the discharge/check out process including handling financial transactions. They are also responsible for maintaining our lobby space and exam rooms to serve our clients.

2. Doctor’s Assistants/Departmental Liaisons
Guide clients through their pet’s appointment, procedure, or hospitalization. Assist the doctor with patient/appointment in take; organize/track patient diagnostics; coordinate hospitalize patient treatment; prepare patient discharge reports/in-hospital updates; and communicate with clients, pDVMs, and pharmacies as needed regarding appointments, medical concerns, patient updates, referrals, and prescriptions.

3. Charge Coordinators
Responsible for appropriate invoicing of in-house patients, coordinates financial updates during hospitalization, and performs financial transaction auditing

4. Phone Operators (Phone Operator is a sub role of our Client Care Representatives)
Responsible for directing calls to the appropriate person. Our phones are answered 24hrs a day by a live person. Responsibilities may include answering patient emergency calls, making appointments, taking messages, prescription refills, and handling general client inquiries.

We look forward to applicants interested in any of the above roles.

About ACCESS:
ACCESS is a multi-specialty veterinary hospital which includes avian & exotics (zoological companion animal medicine), cardiology, emergency/critical care, internal medicine, interventional radiology/endoscopy, neurology, and surgery departments. We combine advanced medical treatment with cutting-edge technology to provide compassionate comprehensive advanced medical care for our patients — 24hrs, 365 days a year. We strive to care for every patient as if they were our own pet.

Job Specifications:
All interested applicants should show a commitment to Quality in all of that they do, conduct themselves with the utmost Integrity, have Compassion for animals and humans alike, and be able to provide the best Service possible for our clients and patients. These attributes ensure the candidate will be an efficient, effective, professional, and positive team member.

    • Minimum two year experience in a customer service role
    • Experience in a medical setting preferred, veterinary is ideal
    • Must be able to multi-task and think fast
    • Must exhibit a high level of customer service in stressful situations
    • Must be able to read, write, and speak English fluently in a clear and audible voice
    • Must be comfortable working with business related computer software as well as Microsoft Office Programs (Word and Excel)
    • Schedule Flexibility is needed due to the 24 hours, 365 day operation of the hospital

Additional Preferred Job Specifications for Phone Operators

    • Minimum one year experience handling a large volume of telephone calls
    • Experience in a call center
    • Experience discerning incoming caller’s needs and routing appropriately
    • Medical (human or animal) call routing is a plus

Additional Preferred Job Specifications for Doctor’s Assistants/Departmental Liaisons

    • Familiar with standard medical abbreviations
    • Ability to use proper medical terminology when speaking and writing
    • Adept at prioritizing tasks given from multiple sources

Additional Preferred Job Specifications for Charge Coordinators

    • Experience in medical billing/coding
    • Should be methodical and meticulous adhering to procedures/policies
    • Familiarity with medications (human or animal) and dosage calculation is a plus

Physical Requirements

    • May need to stand and walk around the hospital for an extended period of time to facilitate client care
    • Must be able to sit for an extended period of time
    • Must be able to lift objects up to 10-15lbs, such as office materials, patient files, and small animals
    • Excellent hearing and listening skills required
    • Continuous typing is required
    • Must be able to bed, kneel, and reach in order to troubleshoot computer, phone, and multi-functional device problems

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume (careers@accessvetmed.com) detailing experience specifically as it would correlate to the position you are applying for.

Share

Yum…

We’re celebrating #NationalDonutDay with our awesome staff!

ACCESS-donut-day

Share

‘When You Need A Flippin’ Friend’

Share

Big or small, we love them all!

This is a baby hummingbird that is being checked out by Dr. Olivia Petritz at ACCESS LA. Dr. Petritz sees all avian species, but if you find a healthy bird in need of assistance, it is best to call a wildlife rehabilitation center. {quarter placed for scale}

Humming-bird

Share
Page 10 of 14« First...89101112...Last »

Locations

South Bay

2551 W. 190th St., Torrance, CA 90504

Tel: (310) 320-8300 - Fax: (424) 293-7254

Los Angeles

9599 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Tel: (310) 558-6100 - Fax: (310) 558-6199

San Fernando Valley

20051 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Tel: (818) 887-2262 - Fax: (818) 704-0323

Click here for maps (and to find directions)