How a Balloon Fixed This Pit’s Heart.


Cranberry-sittingCranberry was diagnosed with severe pulmonary stenosis when she was just a few months old, meaning flow of blood from the right ventricle of the heart to the pulmonary artery was obstructed, causing pressure and stress on the heart.

Depending on the severity of the obstruction, it can cause issues like a murmur, an arrhythmia, or even congestive heart failure. Upon diagnosis, Cranberry’s regular veterinarian referred her over to Dr. Steve Cole, the head of Cardiology at ACCESS San Fernando Valley.

Cranberry was part of the rescue group Angel City Pits, who after meeting with Dr. Cole, decided they wanted to pursue a procedure that would correct the issue. Dr. Cole teamed up with Dr. Yonathan Buks, one of the surgeons at ACCESS, to perform a balloon valvuloplasty in our interventional radiology suite. Using fluoroscopy, they were able to see a live x-ray of Cranberry’s heart. They made a small incision to insert a catheter that was used to guide the balloon (see below) the exact point needed to repair Cranberry’s heart. The balloon was successfully inflated at the point of the obstruction to open the path and allow blood to flow properly.

Cranberry made a full recovery and will now live a full, healthy life. She’s now considered a “foster fail” as her original foster mom decided to adopt her and officially make her a part of the family! We are so happy we were able to help Cranberry and thrilled that she has found a loving forever home.

If you would like to support Angel City Pits, please visit



Dr. Petritz’s Lecture was a Hit and Included a Special Guest!


Dr. Olivia Petritz gave a hit lecture on the common diseases of backyard poultry twice in April, once in our Los Angeles and once in Woodland Hills. In addition to preparing a very interesting lecture, Dr. Petritz was also able to set up a microscope under which our guests were able to look at different species of chicken lice! The biggest surprise came from her lecture in Woodland Hills though, where Dr. Martin Dinnes was one of our attendees.

Dr. Dinnes has an incredibly impressive veterinary career that spans over 50 years, including creating innovative medical protocols for zoological animals. He invented and developed the Telinject system for remotely injecting reptiles, mammals, and birds, making for a quick and safe method to deliver medication to exotic animals. Dr. Dinnes was also one of the eight veterinarians chosen by the American Veterinary Medical Association to form the American College of Zoological Medicine.

We were so very honored to have such a prestigious veterinarian in our audience that night, not to mention the very reason zoo and exotic medicine exists! We would like to thank Dr. Dinnes for all of his contributions to veterinary medicine and for attending our continuing education lecture.

If you would like to attend a lecture at our hospital, please contact Jillian Kassel at for more information.



Dr. Olivia Petritz with Dr. Martin Dinnes


Rockin’ and Rollin’ with our Client Care Rock Stars…


We celebrated the tremendous efforts of our receptionists, doctor’s assistants, charge coordinators, and phone operators last week with a whole rockin’ variety of activities and treats!

All of our Rock Stars received their “band shirts” at the beginning of the week and were able to wear them for each shift while they wrote encouraging messages on our gratitude wall, ate ice cream, enjoyed Olive Garden, played basketball and NBA Jam, and rested while watching movies and eating popcorn.

We love our Client Care team and are so thankful for each and every member and their contributions to our hospitals, patients, and clients.

(Click on the below images for a larger view…)


Puppies, puppies, and BAERs, oh my!

We recently saw a litter of six snuggly Dogo Argentino puppies for BAER testing with Dr. Jeremy O’Neill.

BAER stands for Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response and is a hearing test that works by using acupuncture size needles and veterinary ear buds to detect the electrical activity in the cochlea and auditory pathways in the brain.

The testing only took a few minutes for each pup, who were held and comforted by our gentle staff members the entire time. Just before their test, the puppies all needed a quick bath as they had gotten messy before they arrived, making for one very eventful day in the neurology department!

If you have any questions about your pet’s hearing or overall health, be sure to contact your primary veterinarian.



Dr. Buks is Boarded!

After having completed veterinary school, an internship, and a residency in surgery, Dr. Yonathan Buks has worked diligently to further his education…  

Now, after years of hard work and long, late hours, he has successfully completed an intensive written examination, along with a required publication accepted by peer-reviewed journals, and  is a board-certified surgeon – in other words, a surgical specialist.

We are delighted to be able to celebrate his accomplishments – which also allows ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospitals to provide six day board-certified surgical coverage in the San Fernando Valley.

Outside the operating room, Dr. Buks, who is fluent in English and Hebrew, enjoys downhill skiing, cycling, cooking, and spending time with his wife and two kids, as well as the household cat named Betty.




It’s what’s up front that counts…

ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital’s Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley Client Care Management teams attended an all-day seminar this past weekend and learned all about team management as well as how to better serve our incredible pet parents and veterinary community!

The seminar was held in Long Beach and presented by Veterinary Management Consultation. We’re excited to see our teams put their newfound knowledge to use!






Meet Trisha…


Meet Trisha DuBois – Hospital Manager, ACCESS – San Fernando Valley – who joined ACCESS in May 2015.

Before entering the veterinary world, Trisha was a licensed insurance agent and then went on to train for management. She is upbeat, bubbly, passionate, and very organized and we just had to learn a little bit about her!

Why did Trisha get into Veterinary Medicine?
“I stumbled across it, it happened completely by accident!” says Trisha

Where is she from?
Trisha is a California native—born in Oxnard and currently residing in Ventura County.

What brought her to ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital?
Trisha worked in a multi-specialty animal hospital for several years prior to joining us. She was interested in the access to opportunities and growth within our company.

What is Trisha’s favorite type of food?
“Mexican! I would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I could.”

What is her favorite treatment or procedure?
Trisha really enjoys observing surgical procedures when she can. The delicate intricacies of each procedure and each patient are truly fascinating to her.

What does Trisha like to do when she’s not at work?
Outside of the hospital, Trisha enjoys spending time with her husband, three kids and her rescue dog, Kassie; and of course-hanging by the pool!

What does she consider her greatest achievement?
Raising her three lovely children and being able to watch them turn into caring, intelligent, and productive human beings.

Trisha’s positivity can be seen and felt from the very second she walks in the door—she always makes it a point to check in with everyone throughout the day and say hello to the pets who come into the hospital.

We are so happy to have been fortunate enough to have Trisha join our team and hope that everyone has the chance to interact with her


Tails from the road… San Fernando Valley!

After a week of heavy rain, the clouds parted and the sun came out while I checked-in on primary veterinarians in Northridge.

The ACE crew loves going on walks after the rain and were happy to pose in front of street art not too far from a primary veterinarian’s office.

What will they come upon next?

Jillian Kassel
Director of Community Relations | ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospitals