Bay Street Animal Hospital

718-420-9100 | 999 Bay Street | Staten Island, NY 10305
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The Dog’s on Us

Since its founding in 2002 in Rosebank, Bay Street Animal Hospital has been an integral part of the Staten Island community. Over the years, BSAH has grown into the largest independently owned animal hospital on Staten Island. The full-service facility provides state-of-the-art medical, surgical, emergency, and intensive care, as well as professional grooming and a luxury pet hotel. To celebrate its special long-term relationship with its neighbors, Bay Street Animal Hospital will be holding its annual block party on Sunday, June 23, from 2–7pm.

The block party is open to anyone who wants to join the celebration, including family members of all ages, and furry friends. The party will be hard to miss. It will be taking place over the entire block on Lynhurst Avenue between Bay Street and Edgewater Street, which is adjacent to BSAH’s main entrance and parking lot at 999 Bay Street.

Complimentary food service includes hot dogs, pizza, ice cream, fresh fruit, and soft drinks. Participants will be able to tour BSAH’s state-of-the-art animal hospital and meet the entire staff, including senior veterinarians. Entertainment will be provided, and there will be special discounts and savings offered on veterinary care and pet accessories.

According to Dr. Robert B. Cohen and Dr. Theresa Ann Cavallaro, co-founders of BSAH in 2002, the hospital’s long-term success is based on what makes BSAH special.

Dr. Cavallaro is quick to add that what really makes Bay Street Animal Hospital special is its people. “It’s all about the people.  A compassionate team of six full-time veterinarians with a combined work experience of over 120 years and a seasoned support staff and technicians of 35 allow us to provide the best medical care and services at the highest technical level. Yet the emphasis here has always been on the long-term personal bonds we form with our neighbors and clients and their beloved pets. That is what we will be celebrating at the block party this June 23rd.”

Windows Up Could Save Your Pup

By Jessica Lozano

This spring marks the five-year anniversary of an accident that happened to my dog. The accident has changed forever the way I drive with him in my car. I hope my cautionary tale will help keep other dogs safe from a seemingly innocuous habit.

Mason always hated the car.

My dog Mason is a Jack Russell Terrier, a breed notorious for being energetic. He gets especially worked up when he’s being driven in my car: pacing, whining, and generally being distracting.

I found that having the window open and letting him stick his head out seemed to quiet his anxiety in the car and it became his norm. At the time of his accident, I had owned Mason for three years, and every time we drove, he was “bat dog,” ears flapping in the wind.

On this particular afternoon, we were on our way home from running a few small errands. Mason was in the back seat of my small coupe, stretching to get his head out the window between my headrest. I mention this detail to paint the picture that what happened next was not because he was hanging halfway out the backseat window.

The accident

As I slowed to approach a stop light, I heard an unmistakable yelp. Turning to see how Mason could have hurt himself in the back seat, I found it empty. I was immediately panic stricken and caught sight of him in the side-view mirror disappearing behind my car.

I threw the car into park, hopped out, and managed to catch him before he continued running down the street. Back in the car, we sped off to Bay Street Animal Hospital to have him examined.

When we arrived, Dr. Malgorzata Banaszek-Lepkowski immediately examined him and found several injuries. He had road rash in several places, a deep wound on his foot, and most importantly, his tail was dislocated.

What people may not realize is that the tail is an extension of the spine and is home to several vertebrae and is packed with nerve endings. With his tail dislocated and nerves damaged, he no longer had any anal tone, meaning he did not have control over his anal sphincter.

The prognosis was guarded, and Dr. Banaszek-Lepkowski warned me that he may need to be in diapers for the rest of his life.

A slow and steady recovery

After a few nights in the hospital that included a course of steroids, pain medications, and intravenous fluid support, Mason was discharged.

At home he continued to have strict cage rest and over the next few weeks he slowly recovered sensation in his hind end and is diaper free. Unfortunately, there was no way for him to recover use of his tail, and it hangs limply at all times. Amputation was discussed but we opted not to put him through a difficult procedure, as it was causing him no distress.

Since that day I always keep Mason buckled to a collar seat belt or in his travel crate in the back seat. I hope his story will encourage fellow dog owners to be cautious when letting their pets peek out the car windows. I am thankful that I was lucky his injuries were not more severe, as he could have easily been struck by another car or more seriously injured had my car been moving at a higher rate of speed.

VIPee Week

The Pee Is Free!

During VIPee Week — Monday through Friday, May 13 through 17 — Bay Street Animal Hospital is providing free urinalysis for your very important pet.

No exam necessary. Just drop off your pet’s urine in a clean container and get the results back while you wait. If you cannot collect the urine, come in to BSAH and we will collect the urine specimen without any additional fee.

No appointment necessary. You can drop off a specimen or bring in your pet for urine collection any day during VIPee Week during the hours of 10am – 10pm.

Urinalysis allows us to test the physical and chemical properties of urine. The tests we perform are used primarily to assess the health of your pet’s kidneys and urinary system. But the tests may also indicate problems in other organ systems, and are important for diagnosing metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

Urinalysis is a valuable assessment tool for both healthy and sick animals and should be included in a comprehensive evaluation of your pet’s health.

When you bring in your pet’s specimen during VIPee week, we will be able to check for urinary tract infection, blood loss, bladder stones, possible liver and kidney disease, prostate problems, cancer, diabetes, and other serious diseases.

Call 718-420-9100 for more information.

How to Save a Baby Wild Animal

At Bay Street Animal Hospital, our staff loves animals of all shapes and sizes.

A part of that love and appreciation for all creatures is knowing when to leave wildlife to its own devices. As we move along into spring and summer, the temperatures begin to rise, and so does the likelihood of stumbling upon a seemingly abandoned baby animal. It can be tough to resist the urge to assist these helpless creatures. But in many instances, you could be doing more harm than good by intervening.

Birds of a feather…

Baby birds are often mistaken for being injured when found on the ground. The truth is that if the bird has feathers, it has likely been sent out of the nest by their mother to learn to fly. Birds at this age are called fledglings and will not stay in the nest even if you return them.

If the bird you find does not have feathers, it is called a nestling. If you’re able to locate the nest, you can return a newly hatched baby to its nest where its mother can care for it. There is no truth to the old wives’ tale that a mother bird will abandon its young if it’s been touched by a human. So do the right thing: Go ahead and put the nestling back where it belongs.

Small mammals need their mothers too!

If instead, you’ve stumbled upon a small mammal, such as a squirrel, raccoon, or opossum, the best way to assist is to create a safe space by the nearest tree to where the baby was found. A small cardboard box lined with towels or blankets will keep the animal warm while it waits for its mother to return.

Spring is Kitten Season

The most frequent intervention we see is with kittens. Few can resist the cries of a tiny kittens, and immediately look to rescue them. What most people don’t realize is that a majority of times the mother will return and be searching for her little ones, who she fears may be lost. In order to forage for food or find a safe space, mother cats must leave their kittens for periods of time. But this does not mean the kittens have been abandoned. It is important to give ample time and observe from a significant distance to see if the kittens have been truly left on their own. The mother will not approach if humans are hovering too closely.

By allowing baby animals to flourish on their own, we contribute to keeping the ecosystem balanced. As cute as many wild animals are, we must remember that they are just that — wild — and it is not our place to take them in as pets.

If an animal you find is injured — has visible wounds or appears to have broken bones, for example, or it has been an extremely long length of time with no sign of a mother returning — please reach out to us at 718-420-9100 day or night so we may direct you to the proper resources. We are here for you and our wild friends 24/7.

If your pet could talk, we wouldn’t need diagnostic tests.

To ensure your pet’s health and well-being, Bay Street Animal Hospital recommends a routine annual physical exam, vaccinations, and fecal analysis for younger and older pets alike. The fecal analysis may reveal the presence of parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, and giardia.

During the month of April, we are offering a saving of 50% on additional diagnostic testing when you bring in your pet for an annual physical exam.

The discounted tests that are being offered are the Complete Blood Count test (CBC), a 27-test blood chemistry profile, and urinalysis. Our state-of-the-art facility performs the tests in house. Most results are available within 20 – 30 minutes.

The tests let us know what your pet can’t tell us about, including anemia; dehydration; certain forms of cancer; health of your pet’s vital organs; diabetes; kidney and bladder stones; urinary tract and other infections; and an initial screening for leptospirosis, the potentially deadly bacterial disease, which may attack both pets and humans.

We can’t tell how your pet feels unless we know what’s going on inside. Early detection of health issues through diagnostic testing allows for early treatment and a healthier, happier pet in your home. Call us today at 718-420-9100 to make an appointment for your pet’s physical exam.

Big Surgery for Tiny Trouper

At her recent re-check appointment, 10-year-old Chihuahua, Brook, and her mom, Thaycha, were all smiles. There was a lot to be happy about. Brook had a scary post-surgery complication, which, had it not been for the expert team at Bay Street Animal Hospital, could have ended very differently.

Brook was first brought in to the hospital because her appetite had decreased, and her owners noticed that her stomach seemed bloated. After several diagnostic tests, including bloodwork and radiographs, it was discovered that Brook had a condition called pyometra.

What Is Pyometra?

Pyometra is the name for an infection of the uterus that may develop when a female dog or cat has not been spayed. Pyometra is a serious and life-threatening condition that must be treated quickly and aggressively.

Brook’s surgery was scheduled for the same day as her diagnosis and took place in Bay Street Animal Hospital’s state-of-the-art surgical facility. With pyometra, surgery is generally the recommended and safest option, even though the surgery may be complicated and require careful monitoring and a period of hospitalization.

The Surgery

Brook’s surgery was completed successfully. But during her post-surgical monitoring, the diligent technicians noticed Brook had developed a complication and was having bleeding from her incision. The entire staff at Bay Street, including senior veterinarians, leapt into action, performing blood typing and a blood transfusion to stabilize Brook. She remained in the hospital under intensive care, as her owners visited daily to check on her condition.

The Road to Recovery

After nearly two weeks in the hospital with daily diagnostics, intravenous medications, and a heaping dose of TLC, Brook was ready to return home. Her owners report that she is eating, active, and gaining weight — all signs of a pet on the mend. This adorable, spunky little fighter stole the hearts of the entire hospital staff, and we are delighted to hear she’s doing so well and will continue to improve in the coming days. 

What You Don’t Know May Kill Them

March is Pet Poison Awareness Month. Bay Street Animal Hospital would like to bring attention to the harmful substances that can wreak havoc for your furry friends. Poisons can come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from foods and chemicals to house plants.

Some of these dangers may be obvious, such as anti-freeze. But even harmless human snacks, like grapes, can be toxic to animals. How many of the ten most common pet poisons, compiled by Pet Poison Helpline, are you aware of, and what should you do if your pet comes into contact with these items?

Dogs: 1. chocolate; 2. rodent poisons; 3. anti-inflammatory medications (such as Aleve); 4. xylitol (sugar substitute found in sugarless gum and other foods); 5. grapes and raisins; 6. antidepressants; 7. acetaminophen (such as Tylenol); 8. vitamin d; 9. stimulant medications; 10. fertilizer.

Cats: 1. lilies; 2. canine flea/tick products; 3. household cleaners; 4. antidepressants; 5. essential oils; 6. anti-inflammatory medications; 7. rodent poisons; 8. stimulant medications; 9. onions and garlic; 10. vitamin d

But what happens when my pet has ingested something toxic?

It is crucial to act quickly in a possible poison situation. Some owners may opt to wait and monitor their animal for any signs of illness. But many pet poisons do not cause outward symptoms right away. By the time your pet becomes visibly ill, it may be too late.

Step one: Remain calm and remove the toxin from the area if there’s any remaining. It’s important to minimize the amount they actually consume. Step 2: Gather any packaging, so that you know exactly what it is your pet has gotten into. In many cases, the active ingredients and quantity can cause the treatment plan to vary greatly. For example, a chocolate toxicity can range in severity depending on what type of chocolate and how many ounces were ingested. Step 3: Call your veterinarian or one of the pet poison helplines.­

In Case of Emergency, you can call Bay Street Animal Hospital 24/7 at 718-420-9100.

At Bay Street Animal Hospital, we can be reached at any time, day or night, to handle any pet emergency. We can provide life-saving care for toxic substances that your furry baby thought looked appetizing.

Remember, while March may be dedicated to bringing awareness to the dangers of poisonous substances, it’s important to be diligent all year round and know what substances your pet can and can’t eat. It’s our job as owners and caregivers to be ever vigilant and to keep our pets safe from dangerous toxins, no matter what form they take. A complete listing of substances and household items that are poisonous to dogs and cats may be found at www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poisons

Cosmos, Cats, and Other Reflections

On Wednesday evening, January 16, guests at Thomas Wm. Hamilton’s book signing and informal talk at Bay Street Animal Hospital were treated to refreshments and a fascinating, diverse presentation by one of the most interesting people on the planet — and possibly many other planets, depending on the number of worlds with intelligent life that NASA finds.

The conversation that flowed around the book signing represented a reflection of the author’s own rich background and multifaceted life experiences.

Mr. Hamilton, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday (we did not forget a cake at the book signing), is a prolific writer, scientist, educator, and cat rescuer. His written work includes books and articles on astronomy, an alternate-history/time-travel science fiction novel, and two anthologies of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and satire.

A complete listing of Mr. Hamilton’s written work may be found here. His official Website is www.thomaswmhamilton.com.

The author worked for three years on Project Apollo (the NASA program to land people on the moon) determining orbital characteristics, fuel usage, and radar accuracy requirements. An asteroid is named after him.

He taught astronomy for 34 years at Wagner College, the College of Staten Island, and St. John’s University, while running planetariums and training generations of students to enter the planetarium field.

A long-time resident of Staten Island, Mr. Hamilton has helped save and nurture hundreds of feral cats in our area. He is a certified and trained Trap, Neuter, and Return specialist, and helps provide daily care for a community of over 90 (and still growing) rescued cats.

A significant development that grew out of Wednesday’s book signing was the idea to form an umbrella organization to coordinate the work of all of the cat rescue groups in the various neighborhoods of Staten Island.

A Story about Leptospirosis—a Deadly Threat to Pets and Humans

By Heather Delice (Coordinator, Bay Street Animal Hospital)

This is the story of my dog Portland and how we found he had Leptospirosis, a deadly bacterial disease caused by the Leptospira bacteria, which is found in contaminated water and soil.

Portland is our 9½-year-old Labrador Retriever, who up until the fall, was in good health. We live in the Westerleigh neighborhood of Staten Island. On nice days, I like to walk Portland and our other dog Pretzel, an 8½-year-old Cockerpoo, in Clove Lakes Park. But for the most part, we stay in the neighborhood. I’m careful to keep my dogs away from puddles or stagnant water and feces. Working in an animal hospital, you learn this early on: Bacteria and parasites are commonly found in puddles, so it is best to steer clear!

In October, Portland started to lose interest in his food, which was odd for him. He will pretty much eat anything and everything — especially fruits and vegetables. Otherwise, he was acting normally. I thought his loss of appetite was due to his getting older and possibly being bored with his food. I tried other brands. He would get excited about each new brand for a day or two. Then he stopped eating altogether. He was sleeping more and acting sluggishly.

I became increasingly worried and brought him in to Bay Street Animal Hospital for blood tests. The initial testing showed elevated kidney levels of urea and creatine, which means his kidneys were not working properly. He was started on intravenous fluids immediately and hospitalized for about a week for observation. It seemed that he might have early kidney disease. I was devastated.

After a week on fluids, his kidney levels actually went down a little, which was promising; however, a few days later, his levels shot back up. A number of other tests were run, including a SNAP 4DX Plus Test (checks for tick-borne and other parasitic diseases); urinalysis (assesses health of kidneys and urinary system); and the SNAP Lepto Test (checks for the presence of the Leptospira bacteria). The Lepto test came back positive! Now we had an explanation of what was making Portland so sick. Now we had hope.

Until very recently, Lepto is not something that we had seen often in veterinary medicine, and Portland had not been showing the common symptoms, except for his decreased appetite. Armed with the new knowledge of the underlying cause of Portland’s illness, a new treatment plan was started. We were hopeful he would recover. Letpo is contagious to other pets and people as well. We tested our other dog, and luckily, he had not contracted Leptospirosis.

It has been three months since the onset of Portland’s illness. He is doing really well. We have his kidney levels routinely checked, and they do show some damage. We are giving Portland kidney supplements, and he is on a special kidney diet. But he is back to his old healthy self again.

After reading up about Leptospirosis to help understand the disease, certain things come to mind. Lepto is most commonly transmitted by the infected urine of other animals, which can be found in contaminated water and soil. This made me think of how much rain we had in August and September and how our yard flooded a few times.

I also remembered a small cut Portland had gotten on the bottom of his paw during one of our walks. At the time I didn’t think anything of it and soaked it in Epsom salt daily until it healed. But maybe that is how he was exposed — the open wound coming into contact with contaminated water.

The reason I wanted to share our story is to create awareness of an uncommon, rarely talked about deadly cross-species disease for pets and humans, which may be on the rise. In the past six months, we have treated at least three other cases of Leptospirosis at BSAH. 

Unfortunately, our pets cannot tell us when something is wrong. If I hadn’t brought Portland in for testing when I did, he most likely would not have survived. It is important to look for odd behavior and other signs and symptoms that something is off with your pet it in order to help get treatment when needed. In the case of my dog Portland, the treatment was life saving.

More information on Leptospirosis may be found at https://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/index.html

February Is National Pet Dental Health Month

And the three top reasons to help us celebrate

  1. End bad breath (tartar build-up) and give your nose a break!
  2. That odor you smell may indicate a serious health risk to your pet — damage to your pet’s teeth, gums, and bronchitis. Senior pets (age 7+) are especially vulnerable.
  3. To celebrate, Bay Street Animal Hospital is offering a 20% savings on your pet’s dental exam, pre-dental blood tests, and dental cleaning procedure with dental x-rays, if necessary. And we’ve extended the offer an entire month through March 31!*

The veterinary team at Bay Street Animal Hospital provides exceptional dental care, which starts with a thorough oral exam. A professional cleaning and polishing may be recommended.

This procedure is done under anesthesia and a blood test is necessary to ensure your pet has no underlying health issues. X-rays may be performed to help the veterinarian locate problems below the gums, such as infections, abscesses, or periodontal disease.

While recovering from the anesthesia, your pet will rest comfortably and be monitored until fully awake. The amount of recovery time varies for each pet.

In most cases, pets go home the day of the procedure and should be offered small amounts of food and water that night to start off. It is perfectly normal for some pets not to want to eat until the following day.

Call us today at 718-420-9100 to make an appointment.

*Dentistry patients must be current on their vaccinations, which will be updated at the pre-dental exam, if necessary. Some patients may require extractions or other services, such as x-rays at additional cost. Although all additional dental procedures will be discounted, basic prices quoted are subject to the actual procedures that are completed under anesthesia. Discount is being offered on dental appointments scheduled before March 31, 2019 and may not be combined with other discounts.