Disaster Preparation for Animals

BW-Paw Hurricane Sandy and other unforeseen circumstances in recent years have taught us that we need to expect the unexpected. Natural disasters and other large scale tragedies have the potential to leave a wake of destruction in their path and potentially separate us from our beloved pets. Unfortunately, events such as these are completely out of our control. However, we can have a plan and be prepared for even the worst circumstances.

One of the most useful items for both you and your pet is a disaster supply kit. These items should be useful whether you are evacuated or sheltered in place. Ideally the kit BW-FirstAidshould be in a waterproof container. The container should have three days to a week’s worth of food, medical records, vaccination history, a current photo of your pet, a leash or harness, a litter pan and litter, and plastic bags. Furthermore, you should include a flip top can or can opener. Try to replace the food in the kit on a regular basis so it doesn’t spoil. If BW-MEdsyour pet is on medication that needs to be refrigerated, be sure to insert a small ice pack into your kit. You can also keep identification tags in the bags with your pet’s name and the name/address of a friend or family member, in case you become separated from your pet.

If your pet doesn’t have a microchip, you may want to consider having one implanted. Microchip implantation can be done by means of a quick injection at the time of spay/neuter or during a routine visit. The chip which contains an encoded BW-injectnumber is inserted through a needle between the shoulder blades. There is no anesthesia needed. After the chip is implanted it is essential to complete the appropriate registration forms. Your veterinarian can assist you with the paperwork to ensure that it’s done correctly. Most shelters and animal rescue organizations have microchip scanners which are used to read the numbers on the chip.  If you are separated from BW-DOGyour animal due to a natural disaster, or because your pet has been evacuated to a holding area, you may have to show proof that you are the owner. Some animals are hard to identify from a photo or don’t have distinguished markings; the microchip number will be invaluable in the identification process.

BW-CATThe buddy system is a useful tool during any disaster.   In the event you are not home when disaster strikes, allowing your neighbor access to your home or apartment may save your pet’s life. This will allow them to remove your pet if necessary or be able to feed them if you will not be home for an extended period of time. You can also offer to do this for your neighbor if the opposite situation occurs.

If BW-boneyou need to evacuate, and your pets are allowed to stay with you, it may be helpful to bring their favorite blanket or toy. You should also contact local hotels or motels to inquire where you can go and if they allow pets. It is important to make a list of these locations and include their phone number. Also, if they do allow pets, make sure there is no number or size restriction. Animal shelters should only be used as a last resort due to limited space. BW-ShelterIt is also noteworthy to mention that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) recommends that you do not wait for a formal evacuation order. If you wait until an evacuation is mandatory, you may not be able to bring your pets with you.

There are some situations in which your pets may not be permitted to stay with you. If you have no choice but to leave a pet at home or BW-Dogblackotherwise unattended, there are some important ways in which to prepare. The bathroom is typically the safest place to keep your pets in the event of a disaster. If you have a large dog you can fill the bathtub with water. For smaller dogs and cats, you can allow the faucet to drip into a small container that will not spill. If BW-Foodyour dog normally wears a chain-link collar it is advisable to switch to leather or nylon. It is also recommended that you leave a two to three day supply of dry food in a sturdy container. Please make sure not to moisten the food.

If you will be leaving your cat alone for a short period, it is recommended that you have a cat carrier which is large enough to fit a shoe-box sized litter box, BW-carriera food dish, and water. Your cat should also be able to sit up and lie down comfortably.   Please make sure that the carrier is not left in the sun and there is sufficient ventilation. This also applies to many of the smaller pocket pets. Make sure to prepare their carriers, food, water, and appropriate bedding.

BW-catwhiteHurricane Katrina, Sandy, and 9/11 taught us some valuable lessons. Although we can’t predict when disaster may strike we can always be prepared. Our pets are part of our families and we have a responsibility to keep them safe.  

Jones  Dr. Julie K. Jones

West Village Veterinary Hospital- Associate Veterinarian

Battery Park Community Emergency Response Team (FEMA trained)

Dental Appointments still available!

JANUARY 2015 is  PET DENTAL MONTH! Patients will receive  10% off all dental procedures*  and products: cleaning, radiographs, extractions, bonding,   Healthy Mouth, toothbrushes, toothpaste  & CET chews.

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

Holiday Hours at Downtown Veterinary Medical Hospitals


Wishing you and yours a holiday season that is both merry and bright. In hopes that our staff might spend some extra time with their families this time of year, please note that our hospital hours over the holidays are slightly altered.  We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Our offices will have the following revised schedule
in observation of the winter holidays:

Tribeca Soho Animal Hospital

  Wednesday, December 24th, 7:30AM – 6:00PM

  Thursday, December 25th – CLOSED

  Friday, December 26th, 7:30 AM – 6:00PM

  Wednesday, December 31st, 7:30AM – 6:00PM

  Thursday, January 1st, 2015 – CLOSED

  Friday, January 2nd, 7:30 AM – 6:00PM

West Village Veterinary Hospital

Thursday, December 25th – CLOSED

Thursday, January 1st, 2015 – CLOSED

All other days – WVVH is open normal hours. 

Battery Park Veterinary Hospital

  Wednesday, December 24th, 8:00AM – 5:00PM

  Thursday, December 25th – CLOSED 

  Friday, December 26th, 8:00 AM – 5:00PM

  Wednesday, December 31st, 8:00AM – 5:00PM

  Thursday, January 1st, 2015 – CLOSED

  Friday, January 2nd, 8:00AM – 5:00PM

Seaport Animal Hospital

  Wednesday, December 24th, 8:00AM – 5:00PM

  Thursday, December 25th – CLOSED 

  Friday, December 26th, 8:00 AM – 5:00PM

  Wednesday, December 31st, 8:00AM – 5:00PM

  Thursday, January 1st, 2015 – CLOSED

  Friday, January 2nd, 8:00AM – 5:00PM

 West Village Veterinary Hospital will also be open normal business hours

Saturday &  Sunday throughout the holiday weekends.


Also please note: January 2015 is

Pet Dental Health month

at all Downtown Veterinary Medical Hospitals!

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

November – the Official Love a Senior Shelter Pet Month


The Official Love a Senior Pet MonthDVM Hospitals

November 2014 

Volume VIII

From the Desk of Doctor Timi Lee 

at Tribeca Soho Animal Hospital

This month is the official Adopt a Senior Pet Month.

It’s an amazing opportunity to bring a much in need and adoring older pet into your loving home.

There are so many great reasons to adopt mature dogs and cats!

They are fully grown so you know how big or small they will stay to better fit into your apartment and building requirements.

Their personalities are already developed, so you will know if they are high strung, quiet and shy, or bold. This will allow better fit with your lifestyle and routine.

Most of these pets are already house-broken, which means you will get to skip the hassle of house training and the possible ruining of furniture.

Mature pets can also settle into your family’s life much faster than a puppy or younger animal, making it easy for everyone involved. Since these pets already have a good immunity, there should be less spread of infectious diseases and therefore fewer trips to the veterinarian.

Senior citizens and senior pets can make a great combination! They both can lead a less active way of life so it can be a win-win situation.

Wouldn’t it be nice to cuddle up with your new mature dog or cat this winter?!?!

The best reason to adopt a senior pet is…. You’re saving a life! What could possibly feel better than that?

Go to your local shelter and adopt a Senior Dog or Cat today!

View extended version of this newsletter in expanded PDF:

November Newsletter – The Official Love a Senior Pet Month

Pets can have allergies too!

Note on Allergies from Dr. Kerry McLaughlin

What are allergies?
Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to substances that normally cause no reaction in the majority of individuals.

Allergies in people vs pets:
In people, the most common signs of allergies are hay fever (sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes). However, in pets, the most common presentation is itchy skin (although we do occasionally see hay fever-like signs, allergic bronchitis, and asthma in our pets).

Three are 3 main categories of allergies in pets. Each of these has a characteristic age of onset, distribution of skin irritation, and treatment.

1) Environmental (Atopy)
2) Food allergy
3) Flea allergy dermatitis

Environmental Allergies (Atopy):
Signs are usually seasonal but can be year-round depending on what your pet is allergic to. The most common age of onset is between 1-3 years of age, although age of onset can range from 6 months to 7 years. The most common pattern of skin irritation is in areas where the hair is sparse and the area stays moist: armpits, groins, ear canals, muzzle, around the eyes, around the anus, and the conjunctiva.lab

Allergy testing is used to identify specific allergens for the making of allergy vaccines. The procedure is very similar to what is done in people. For intradermal (skin) testing, a variety of different allergens are used including air-borne allergens (such as pollen, ragweed, etc), indoor allergens (such as dust mites, mold), and common insects. Patients are usually sedated for this procedure, a small amount of allergen is injected into the skin, and the response to the injection is monitored and graded. The allergens that produce the greatest response allergyare then used in the formulation of an allergy vaccine, which is customized for each patient. The vaccines are usually given 1-2 times weekly in the beginning of treatment and then the frequency of administration is decreased to once every few weeks. Allergy vaccines improve clinical signs for 50-80% of dogs, but response can take anywhere from 3-18 months!

Other treatments for environmental allergies include the use of antihistamines (such as Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin, etc) and medications which suppress the immune system (such as Atopica (cyclosporine)).

Food allergies:
The component of pet food that pets are usually allergic to is the protein source. In dogs the most common proteins implicated are beef, dairy products, and wheat. In cats the most common culprits are beef, dairy products, and fish. The age of onset ranges from 3 months to 13 years (with a mean age of 2-4 years in dogs). As a general rule, think about food allergy in extremely young and older patients with non-seasonal itchiness! Be suspicious of food allergies in patients that have skin disease and are also having gastrointestinal signs such as diarrhea, vomiting, or flatulence.
What most owners find difficult to understand is that most patients will develop an allergy even after they have been eating the particular diet for months to years. The distribution of skin irritation is not incredibly different from seasonal allergies, although some patients will have worse issues in the ear canals and around the anus (“ears and rears”).

Food trials: This should be done with a prescription diet that contains either a novel protein (a protein that your pet has never been exposed to before such as kangaroo, venison, duck, etc) OR a hydrolyzed protein (protein that is broken down into such small particle sizes that it is not recognized by the immune system). It is very important that a prescription diet is used for the food trial, as they are the only diets that are guaranteed to contain ONLY the ingredients listed on the product information. The diet should be fed for a minimum of 8 weeks to determine whether or not it will improve the clinical signs. During this time period the pet can be fed ONLY the prescription diet with no outside treats or flavored medications (such as Heartgard chewables). If there is a positive response to the food trial, then the animal may be able to switch over to a cheaper over the counter diet.

Food allergy myths: (from veterinarypartner.com)

Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD):
At one time this was the most common allergic skin disease in dogs and cats. However, with the advent of newer and improved flea preventative products we are seeing this type of allergy less commonly. The allergic reaction occurs in response to the saliva of the fleas, which is deposited into the wounded skin as the flea feeds.flea_jpg
There is no age, sex or breed predisposition with this type of allergy. The most common presentation is itchiness and a rash over the back end of the body (base of the tail, back of the hind legs, and groin areas).
Very importantly, findings fleas or flea dirt on your pet are not necessary for a diagnosis! An allergic animal can respond to even a single flea bite with a severe reaction. In addition, pets (especially cats) can be very successful in removing them by scratching or ingesting them and making it difficult to find fleas on exam.

Treatment of FAD involves treating the patient with a flea preventative (with a prescription product such as Frontline, Revolution, Vectra, Sentinel), treating any secondary bacterial infections, treating all housemates, and treating the home.

Finally, it is important to realize that some pets may be suffering from one, two, or all three of the forms of allergies discussed above! If your pet is showing any signs of itchy skin such as scratching, excessive licking, paw chewing, or head shaking we recommend you have him or her evaluated by a veterinarian!