Veterinary Chiropractic Tool

    What is Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM)?  VOM is a healing technique designed to repair and re-establish a healthy nervous system for animals. It uses a hand held device called an “activator” used by many human chiropractors on their patients. The activator used for VOM restores the body’s functions by reducing “subluxations” as in typical chiropractic care. Subluxations are misalignments of the bones. When this is present there is often a corresponding impingement of the nerves that situated in that area.

    When placed and “fired” over the spinous processes or the animal’s spine and other bones, the activator locates the part of the body that has fallen out of communication. By “firing” the activator, it reestablishes neural communication and therefore inducing healing.  As this process is repeated several times it releases endorphins thereby causing the animals to relax and enjoy the procedure. In addition to passing over the spinous processes the activator is also “fired” all the way down the spine on either side. This “opens up” any blockages in the nerve bundles located on either side of the spine. This allows better communication and function of the internal organs.
    On average, an improvement in the pet’s behavior is noticeable within one week after treatment. Most clients notice within a day or two of treatment that their pet is more energetic, moving better and acting more like themselves.
This can be performed by the following veterinarians at our practices:

   We are offering a free initial chiropractic treatment ($75 value) for your pet until 5/31/17.  

We recommend treating all young healthy animals at least three times (once a week for three weeks) and then yearly.For animals with any muscular skeletal problems we recommend treating for minimally once a week for three weeks. Skip a week then another treatment. Skip two weeks then another treatment. Follow up treatments every 3 to 6 months as needed.

   VOM was developed by Dr. William Inman, DVM in 1982. Dr. Inman is a veterinary neurologist who performed many surgeries on animals with severe spinal disease before developing the VOM technology.






It’s National Pet Poison Prevention Month

March is National Animal Poison Prevention MonthunnamedPrecription for Pet Poison Prevention from Dr. Jeanne Klafin, Seaport Animal Hospital

March is National Animal Poison Prevention Month, and this week is Pet Poison Prevention Week. Many common household items can cause serious illness to your pet cat or dog!
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), over-the-counter medications and human prescription medications are two of the most common toxins ingested by pets. KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHuman foods such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions and garlic can also cause harm to our furry friends. Even gums, candies and sweeteners containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can have serious consequences if ingested by a dog or cat.

Take action this week! pills-1422509Make sure that all human medications are secured in tamper-proof containers, and are stored in a safe place not accessible to pets, such as an eye-level locking cabinet. If your pets commonly rummage through your purse or bag, be sure to prevent them from eating gum or candy that may be lurking there.

pastel-1402050Did you know that most species of lilies can be fatally toxic to cats? Cats that ingest any part of the plant – even just the pollen – can be susceptible to life-threatening kidney failure. Check out ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control website for a complete list of toxic plants and other substances:


FEBRUARY 2016 isPatients will receive 10% off all dental procedures* and products: cleaning, radiographs, extractions, bonding,  Healthy Mouth, toothbrushes, toothpaste & CET chews.

*This does not include any of Dr. Martel’s dentistries, or any pre-operative work ups (exams, labwork, x-rays, echo, etc). This offer applies during the month of February only.


Appointments are limited!

Holiday Happenings!

Holiday Happenings!
at Downtown Veterinary Medical Hospitals
Ho Ho Ho & Happy Holidays!
 We invite you and your pets to join us for Photos with Santa when he makes a visit to each of our hospitals:

Wednesday, December 10th, 6-8PM
Thursday, December 11th, 6-8PM
Monday, December 15th, 5-7PM
Tuesday, December 16th, 5-7PM
Suggested donation of $5 for photos
will benefit a local animal rescue:

Our featured Santas include: 

The very jolly Dr. Charles Berk of Battery Park Veterinary, NYC’s favorite Kentucky-born Vet Tech: Chris Gatterdam, Travis Brorsen of Greatest American Dog Trainers, and our newest Santa to join the DVM Team: Dr. Dan Smith.

Dr. Dan Smith joined the team in August and now holds regular hours at our Tribeca Soho Animal Hospital Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday as well as every other Sunday at our West Village Veterinary Hospital.

The Salty Paw, Paws On Pine, & Downtown Veterinary Medical Hospitals are hosting a Holiday Drive.

Now accepting unopened Pet Food donations, new and gently used leashes, collars, clothing, pet carriers, and beds, cleaning products: all purpose spray, hand soap, and laundry detergent. Items collected will be donated to Social Tees Animal Rescue.

Tis the Season… to be jolly! We value the trust that you place in our veterinarians and staff. In hopes that your holidays are merry and bright, take advantage of 25% off veterinary exams during the month of December for a healthy jumpstart to the new year!

A gift for you:

25% off your pet’s veterinary exam*

for the month of December!

*Discount applies only to the price of an exam (regularly $90). Not applicable on already reduced recheck examination fee. May not be combined with any other offer.

Best wishes to all of our patients and clients this holiday season,

Doctors and Staff of Downtown Veterinary Medical Hospitals

Paw Prints of NYC


Did you know — Downtown Veterinary Medical Hospitals has its very own Newsletter!?

Paw Prints of NYC was created in March of 2014. It is a monthly update of hospital happening with useful information contributed by the doctors at our 4 downtown locations!

Check out our past volumes below:

March Newsletter – Eat Play Love

April Newsletter – Fleas Ticks and Parasites – Oh my

May Newsletter – Fur Ever Friends

June Newsletter – ImPAWsible Allergies

July Newsletter – Summer in the City

August Newsletter – Helping Pets Get Home

September-October Newsletter – Rabies

November Newsletter – The Official Love a Senior Pet Month

September 28th is World Rabies Day

Dr. Robin Udoji of Seaport Animal Hospital educates us on Rabies and Rabies Prevention:

What is World Rabies Day?


Every year on the 28th day of September the world unites in the fight against rabies. The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), the sponsors of World Rabies Day, envisioned it as a day of activism and awareness. It is an opportunity for you to joint the global movement to put an end to suffering from rabies by organizing and taking part in World Rabies Day events. To participate go to

Key facts about rabies. 

  • More than 55,000 people a year, mainly in Africa and Asia, die from rabies. That is 1 person every 10 minutes that loses their life to rabies.
  • 40% of the people who are bitten by a suspect rabid animal are children under the age of 15 years.
  • Children are at greater risk because they are more likely to be bitten multiple times and suffer from severe exposure.
  • Dogs are the source of the vast majority of human rabies death world wide.
  • Bats are the source of most human rabies deaths in the Americas.
  • In the United States, rabies isbrowntabbycat_jpg reported in cats more than any other domestic species.
  • Rabies in humans is 100% preventable with prompt and appropriate medical care.
  • Every year more than 15 million people world wide receive post exposure vaccines to prevent the disease, preventing hundreds of thousands of deaths per year.

What is Rabies?

  • Rabies is a virus that may affect the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including dogs, cats, and humans.
  • bats_lgCarriers: Raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes can be carriers of the virus. In New York City, raccoons, bats, cats and opossums are generally responsible for transmitting rabies.
  • Transmission: Rabies virus is passed through a bite or a scratch from an infected animal. It can also be transmitted if saliva comes into contact with mucus membranes (i.e. lips, eyes) or an open wound.
  • The Path of the Virus through the Body: Rabies travels from the site of the bite to the brain by moving within the nerves. The animal does not appear ill at this time. The incubation period (the time between the bite and the appearance of symptoms) is 2 weeks to 3 months but can be as little as 7 days to more than 1 year. Once in the brain, the virus multiplies causing inflammation of the brain. It then moves to the salivary glands and into the saliva. At this same time, most animal begin to show clinical signs of the disease.
  • Clinical Signs of Rabies: Infected animals initially show extreme behavior changes such as restlessness, apprehension, and aggression. Friendly animals become irritable and normally excitable or wild animals become docile. There may be biting or snapping at any stimulus, attacking other animals, humans or inanimate objects. The animal will constantly lick, bite or chew at the bite site. Later in the disease process, fever and hypersensitivity to touch, sound and light develop. They may eat unusual things and hide in dark places. Paralysis of the jaws develops, leading to the characteristic “foaming at the mouth” symptom. Weakness, staggering, disorientation and seizures can develop. Sudden death can also occur. The infected animal usually dies within 7 days of becoming sick.
  • Diagnosis: There is NO accurate test to diagnose rabies in live animals. The most accurate test to diagnose rabies requires brain tissue; therefor it can be only performed after the death of an animal, whether by natural means or euthanasia. There is NO test available to diagnose rabies in humans before the onset of clinical signs.
  • Treatment: There is NO TREATMENT for rabies once symptoms appear. Since rabies is a serious public threat, animals who are suspected of having the virus are most often euthanized.

Distribution of Rabies

  • Rabies has been found in all 5 boroughs of New York City.
  • In the first half of 2014, 158 cases of rabies have been verified in New York State.
  • Rabies is reported in every state except for Hawaii and every where throughout the world except for Australia and Antarctica.

Reducing the Risk of Contracting Rabies

  • Avoid contact with wild animals. Do not feed or handle them even if they seem friendly.
  • Unfamiliar animals seen as pets should be avoided because they often have contact with wild animals.
  • Never pick up or touch a dead animal. The virus may still be present in the saliva or nerve tissue. Call Animal Control to pickup the body.
  • Vaccinate your dogs and cats for rabies-brindledog it’s the law. In New York City puppies and kittens should get their first rabies vaccine between 3 and 4 month of age. They must receive a booster vaccine 1 year later and then every 1 to 3 years depending on the vaccine used. Even indoor cats and dogs are at risk if they escape outside or if a rabid bat enters your home.
  • Protect your pet: Vaccinating your pet not only protects him but protects him if he bites someone. Cats and dogs that have bitten humans are required to be confined for 10 days to see if rabies develops. If the rabies vaccine is not up to date, a lengthy quarantine in a veterinary hospital or even euthanasia may be mandated.
  • Spay and Neuter your pet. This reduces the number of unwanted stray animals who are often not vaccinated for rabies and are often in contact with wild life. Contact animal control to remove stray animals.
  • Maintain control of your pet. Keep cats and ferrets indoors and dogs under direct supervision and on a leash.

Public Health in New York City

  • What if your pet is bitten by a wild animal or another animal that might have rabies?
    • If the biting animal can be captured by animal control, call 311 to see if it can be tested for rabies.
    • Contact your veterinarian immediately.
    • If your pet is current on its rabies vaccine, it will receive a booster vaccine. You will then have to confine your pet to your home for 45 days.
    • If your pet is unvaccinated, it must enter 6 month quarantine in a veterinary hospital.
    • If your pet is suspected of having rabies, euthanasia may be mandated.
  • What if your pet bites someone?
    • Give your contact information to the person bitten; and then confine and monitor your pet in your home for 10 days (even if your pet is vaccinated.) The New York City Department of Health will contact you.
    • If your pet does not show signs, the person bitten will not need shots to prevent rabies.
  • What should I do if I am exposed to rabies?
    • If you are bitten by a wild or stray animal or you are exposed to a bat, contact your doctor immediately.
    • If the animal tests positive for rabies or can’t be tested, you may need to get shots to prevent rabies.
    • The rabies prevention shot is called Rabies Immune Globulin (RIG) which is injected at the bite site. There is also a series of rabies shots given over a 2 week period.


For more information about rabies visit:

or call 311.

Coughing Canines

We recently wrote to our dog owners regarding the spread of canine influenza within Lower Manhattan. We wanted to follow up by speaking more about respiratory infections in dogs. Dr. Kristin Lester of our Seaport Animal Hospital expands upon this:

white-dog-polaroid.jpg There you are, lying in bed, dreaming of taking little Fifi to the dog park the next day when through the darkness you hear the first muffled sounds of your beloved one starting to cough… Is this merely a nightmare? Or could it be… the dreaded Kennel Cough?!? You’ve heard about this disease, but wonder what it is, how it is transmitted, and what to do about it. The good news is that we are here to help arm you with information and take care of Fifi, so you both can rest peacefully.


Infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as Canine Contagious Cough Complex or “kennel cough,” is caused by a collection of highly contagious respiratory pathogens, not just Bordetella. In fact, multiple infectious organisms may be involved in a single case, including Bordetella bronchiseptica, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus type 2, distemper virus, influenza virus, herpesvirus, mycoplasma canis, respiratory coronavirus, pneumovirus, and canine reovirus. Bordetella bronchiseptica can also infect cats, rabbits and pigs. Rarely, kennel cough can be spread to humans; however there have only been a handful of cases and it is typically only a risk with severely immunocompromised people.  Canine influenza, an uncommon contributor to kennel cough syndrome, typically causes much more severe disease with fever and pneumonia, but can start with the classic signs of coughing.

Kennel cough can occur year-round and the incubation period, time it takes from exposure to onset of symptoms, is 2 to 14 days. Dogs typically only show clinical signs for 1-2 weeks, but infected animals can continue to shed the organism via respiratory secretions for up to 3 months. Young, stressed, crowded or debilitated animals are more susceptible than adults. Furthermore, compromised respiratory health secondary to heavy dust, cigarette smoke, cold temperature and/or poor ventilation can also make animals more prone to infection. Infection is spread via animal-to-animal contact, aerosolized respiratory secretions or inanimate objects that get “blessed” by an infected animal. A single sneeze from Fifi can cover up to 20 feet from her cute pink nose!

Clinical signs in dogs typically include an acute-onset, non-productive, dry, hacking cough, with coughing fits occasionally ending in a terminal retch (that white foamy material that is brought up at the end of a hack). In addition to a cough, cats can develop sneezing and discharge from the nose and eyes.   While typically limited to the upper respiratory tract, kennel cough can occasionally spread to the lower airways resulting in pneumonia. Uncomplicated upper respiratory cases typically do not entail a fever, poor appetite or significant lethargy, so these are important signs for which to watch when monitoring for progression to pneumonia.


If your dog or cat is coughing, it is important to bring them in to be evaluated by your veterinarian. Often times, the diagnosis of kennel cough can be made based on history and physical exam. Depending on exam findings, severity of signs or chronicity, your veterinarian may recommend chest x-rays to screen for complicating pneumonia and/or obtaining respiratory samples for infectious disease confirmatory tests to identify the exact combination of involved infectious agents to help guide therapy and gauge prognosis. The treatment for kennel cough often involves a course of antibiotics +/- other supportive care as needed based on severity and symptoms. Antibiotics will not help if the infectious agents are purely viral, but they will help prevent or treat secondary infection. As stated, it’s often times a combination of multiple infectious agents in a single case of kennel cough!


Vaccination is available for a number of the kennel cough organisms (Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine adenovirus type 2, canine parainfluenza virus, canine distemper, and canine influenza), but not all can be prevented. The canine influenza vaccination is especially recommended for dogs that travel to dog shows, race tracks or other high density areas, or if there is a documented case in the area. It is important to note that vaccination is NOT useful in a dog already incubating kennel cough. If you plan on boarding your dog and more than 6 months have passed since the last Bordetella vaccination, ideally booster that vaccine at least 5 days prior to boarding. As for canine influenza, if your dog has never had that vaccine, the initial vaccine MUST be followed by a booster in 3-4 weeks to provide any protection, and even so, protective immunity does not develop until at least 7-10 days after the SECOND vaccination. Furthermore, it may not fully prevent infection, but often times it can lessen the clinical signs and duration associated with disease. Recovering dogs that contracted kennel cough are typically immune to reinfection for 6-12 months afterward (assuming the same pathogens are involved with the repeat exposure).


If there is an outbreak in your area, but your dog is not yet showing symptoms, there are a couple things that may help keep Fifi healthy. First, ensure that the Bordetella vaccination is up to date (every 6 months), but remember that the vaccination will not help if your dog is already incubating the disease. Avoid contact as much as possible with potential sources of infection and ensure that your dog is otherwise as healthy as possible (not stressed or sick from something else) and ready to fight off the invading pathogen if exposed. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, including but not limited to coughing, lethargy, decreased appetite, fever, etc, please bring Fifi in to be examined sooner rather than later to minimize the risk of serious disease developing.


My sincere wishes for the health and happiness of all your furry family members. Until next we meet, keep well and enjoy the rest of your summer.



Dr. Kristin Lester
Seaport Animal Hospital

Introducing our Online Store!

Downtown Veterinary Hospital is happy to announce our online store! Another source for medications, supplements, preventatives and pet food!

Online StoreDog LaptopDowntown Veterinary Medical Hospital’s Online Pharmacy and Pet Store!


Visit the site:

for home delivery, compounded medications, recurring food orders!Group of cats and dogs sitting in front of white background

Summer Safety Tips for Your Pets!

Summer is a great time to have a pet in the city, but it can also be a dangerous time of the year for your canine or feline friends.  Veterinary emergency rooms see an influx of dogs and cats during this time of the year.  Here are some of the most common illnesses or injuries and how you can prevent them.

1. Heat Stroke: Imagine wearing a fur coat during the hottest day of the summer – that’s how your dog feels when walking around in the middle of the day.  Dogs dissipate heat by panting and through their paw pads, so they can become easily overheated in the summer. Signs of overheating/ heat stroke include lethargy, excessive panting, drooling or weakness/ collapse. If you notice these signs, put a wet towel on your dog and bring him or her to a veterinarian immediately.  You can prevent heat stroke by always having water on hand and walking your dog early or late in the day.  Their paw pads can also burn on hot concrete, so stick to the shade!  Also, NEVER leave your dog in a car – it can get very hot, even if the windows are down.

2. High Rises: It might be tempting to leave your window open for a nice summer breeze, but this can be very dangerous for your dog or cat!  Many animals will put their weight against a screen to explore the outside and can fall.  Most cats will try to land on all fours (depending on the height) but this can lead bad injuries.  To be safe, keep your windows closed or combine a screen with a  secure window guard.

3. Gastrointestinal (GI) Upset:  If you’re taking your pup to a rooftop barbeque or movie in the park, be cautious of what human foods your pet is offered.  Many foods (including grapes, raisins, chocolate, gum, etc) can be toxic to your pet and other typical BBQ foods (ribs, burgers) can cause vomiting, diarrhea or pancreatitis. To keep your pet satisfied, bring a baggie of his or her regular dry food and have friends offer that as a safe but satisfying treat!

4. Wellness Care: Parasites, fleas, ticks and mosquitoes carrying heartworm disease seem to triple during the warm weather months.  Visit your vet at the beginning of the summer to make sure they are covered against all these parasites before traveling to the shore, dog park or kennel.  Also, we always recommend veterinarian approved flea and tick control products and some over the counter versions can be dangerous for your pet.  An animal’s fur is used to block the sun, so if your pup has to be shaved for any reason, be sure to apply a veterinarian approved  sunscreen before taking him or her out into the sun!

Enjoy the summer with your pet and stay safe!

Sarah McCready, DVM