Tufts Foster Hospital Named New England’s Only Level 1Trauma Center for Small Animals

This entry is article 1 of 8 in the June 2013 issue

The last thing pet owners want to picture is their family pet suffering. What if your pet needs an ultrasound at 3 a.m. or an anesthesiologist immediately? You might not know where to turn—until now.

Recognizing the need for an animal-equivalent of a human trauma center, the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care has developed the nation’s first network of veterinary trauma centers. Nine veterinary hospitals made the list, including Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals: the only hospital in New England with such a distinction.

As a Level One Veterinary Trauma Center, high-level specialists and equipment are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. If you discover your dog collapsed or your cat is hit by a car, highly-skilled veterinarians and board-certified specialists at Tufts Foster Hospital are ready and waiting. Continue reading

Tick Talk: What can I do to protect my pet – and my family from ticks?

This entry is article 2 of 8 in the June 2013 issue

Tick season is upon us. Dr. Michael Stone, an internist at Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals, answers a client’s questions about how to manage the nasty critters.

Q: What can I do to protect my pets—and my family—from ticks?


Most pet owners are concerned about the presence of ticks on their animals and themselves. as my 8-year-old daughter says, “They’re gross!” unfortunately tick control is more difficult than flea control. even with the use of anti-tick products, you’ll still find an occasional tick on your pet’s coat. Adult ticks can be found throughout the coat, but most commonly migrate to the ears, around the neck or between the toes.

Ticks do not jump onto hosts or drop out of trees. They climb onto weeds, grasses or bushes and wait for passing hosts to brush against the vegetation. They lie in wait, with their forelegs extended, and when a plant is touched, the ticks grab hold. Limiting exposure to tall vegetation may lessen the opportunity for ticks to hitch a ride on you or your pet.

There are several safe and effective ways to control canine ticks, including a collar and products applied monthly to the skin. For cats, controlling ticks is especially difficult because many canine products are toxic for cats. Use extreme caution if you have a cat and a dog at home. We have seen several ill cats at the hospital that had been around dogs. Whether a cat has to lick the product or simply rub against the dog is unknown. Consult your veterinarian about which anti-tick product will work best for your pet, and be sure to follow the label directions carefully.

Now, how about removing ticks? although several tick detachment devices are available, I recommend grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible and slowly pulling straight out. Avoid twisting or crushing the tick. Leaving mouth parts of the tick in the host may result in mild redness or crustiness but is usually of little concern. Applying fingernail polish, alcohol or petroleum jelly is ineffective. Direct heat, such as cigarettes or lighters, should never be used to remove a tick.

This story originally appeared in the Tufts Veterinary Magazine.

Car heat dangers: Knowing the facts can save your pet’s life

This entry is article 3 of 8 in the June 2013 issue

Car Het Dangers

On a welcome spring day, with the temperature no more than 70 degrees, a dog owner heads out on errands with his dog. The first stop the home supply store, no dogs allowed. He leaves his dog in the car. There is a line and a 20 minute wait. The likely temperature inside the car when he returns: 99 degrees. Another 20 minutes and the dog could suffer potentially lethal heatstroke if his core body temperature reaches 108 degrees.

Clinical Studies: Know the Facts!

This entry is article 4 of 8 in the June 2013 issue

Tufts veterinary specialists not only treat some of the region’s most challenging medical issues, but also work hard to push the boundaries of medical discovery pursuing new medicines, innovative surgical techniques and treatment methods to ensure future advancements in veterinary medicine and ultimately a better quality of life for the animals and human beings.

Engaging in clinical studies is a pivotal part of advancing veterinary care and influencing discoveries that may positively influence human health. Access to clinical trials is equally as important to the animals who seek our care. Clients who choose to voluntarily participate in a clinical study may greatly benefit from a cutting-edge treatment or therapy for a disease that has few other options or a diagnostic tool that does less harm to your animal than what is currently available. Often times, clinical studies are fully or partially-funded by grants.  If you are interested in learning more about ongoing clinical study opportunities at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals, please opt-in to our Clinical Studies Bulletin, a regular communication announcing new clinical trial opportunities.  Sign up here:  http://news.vet.tufts.edu/clinical-trials-know-the-facts/


Our client’s “point of view”

This entry is article 5 of 8 in the June 2013 issue
Blue received wonderful, compassionate care.  He was very ill when he arrived at the hospital, yet was able to come home feeling much better 4 days later. He had an unusual array of symptoms and the staff patiently explained diagnostic procedures and choices along the way. Dr. Rentko helped ensure that everything went smoothly and even visited Blue while he was an inpatient. Dr. Sharp called to update me regularly and was always very clear, kind, and professional. Although it was scary having a sick family member, I was grateful for the care and compassion Blue received from everyone at Tufts. Thank you.

Katie Dolan, Rhode Island

ER was great when we brought our dog in late on a Friday. I was very upset and anxious and the staff was terrific in helping me calm down and explaining what they were going to do to stop his seizures. All doctors/students we spoke with were fabulous, they were great with William and we were very grateful to receive such outstanding service. We will continue to bring him in for his blood work. Thank you!

Stephanie Monahan, Auburn, MA

Beating the odds: Honey’s inspirational story of survival

This entry is article 6 of 8 in the June 2013 issue

Honey-Pick 013 b

When one of Cindy Tingle’s three beloved English setters, Honey, looked droopy-eyed, was attempting to vomit unsuccessfully, and had a misshapen belly, Cindy immediately thought of what had likely killed Emma, her old Gordon setter—bloat.  A life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care.  The condition commonly referred to as “twisted stomach” can cause a rapid onset of clinical signs and in many cases death may result.

Cindy acted fast!  She brought Honey to her local veterinary practice for emergency care.  Honey was evaluated and one questionable area near Honey’s esophagus was identified by Ms. Tingle’s family veterinarian.

“As Honey’s condition worsened, she was scheduled to undergo exploratory surgery.  The veterinary practice called in specialist from out of state to assist in the procedure.  But, the specialist insisted on an ultrasound first, Cindy added.  “The ultrasound technician was lined up, but cancelled at the last minute due to a family emergency.  I asked frantically at that point, what are our options?  We needed to save Honey who was getting more sickly by the day.  We were told we could transfer her to another hospital.  I said, OK, well, who can be ready for us at this point? The vet gave us two options and one of them was Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals in Grafton, Mass.”

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Meet the Emergency & Critical Care Team at Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals

This entry is article 7 of 8 in the June 2013 issue

At the Emergency Service and Intensive Care Unit at Foster Hospital for Small Animals, we provide compassionate care for critically ill dogs and cats 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on a walk-in basis. Overseen by faculty members who are board certified by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, the Foster Hospital’s state-of-the-art facility and specialized equipment allows us to provide a level of care not available in most veterinary hospitals. We serve central Massachusetts as a primary emergency hospital, and New England and beyond for referral of critically ill or injured pets.

Our Emergency Service and Intensive Care Unit is home to the largest veterinary emergency and critical-care training program in the country. Our staff recognizes that having to use the emergency service is stressful, and will work to keep you informed and to help you understand what is happening. Our team approach allows each patient to benefit from the collective experience of the entire healthcare team, not just the primary care doctor.
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