Bay Street Animal Hospital

718-420-9100 | 999 Bay Street | Staten Island, NY 10305
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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.

Jackie Comes Home in Time for Christmas

Jackie is a sweet seven-year-old Boston Terrier. In late October while on a walk, Jackie and her owner were attacked and severely bitten by a much larger dog.

Jackie’s owner had to go to a human hospital for treatment of her injuries. Jackie was brought to Bay Street Animal Hospital where here she was examined by veterinarian Dr. Malgorzata Banaszek-Lepkowski.

Dr. Banaszek-Lepkowski thoroughly examined Jackie and found that the bite wounds were severe and deep. Radiographs showed that Jackie had a ruptured bladder and needed surgery with extended intensive care and wound management to follow the surgery. 

Jackie underwent treatment for 42 days at Bay Street Animal Hospital. The Bay Street team provided her with the love and care necessary for her healing. Jackie became a fixture here and part of the Bay Street family.

To complete the post-surgery healing process, Dr. Banaszek-Lepkowski and our dedicated technicians worked diligently and administered wound hydrotherapy twice daily, along with wet-to-dry bandages, antibiotics, and pain medications. 

Jackie had to have a second surgery to close the wound after it had healed properly. She was a trooper through it all and kept her sweet disposition right to the end of treatment.

Today, we are so happy to see Jackie return to us after her initial discharge. She is having her sutures removed just in time for Christmas. She came in prancing and jumping all through the waiting room lobby, saying hello to anyone she could. 

It was a sad, unfortunate, and painful situation for Jackie and her owner to go through — but one with a very happy Christmas-story ending.

Holiday Hazards for Pets

The holiday season is the most joyous time of year. It’s a time when we gather with family, including our beloved pets, to celebrate, eat, drink, and be merry — and safe. We must be especially vigilant during the holidays about the special hazards and risks that this time of year poses for our pets.

  1. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine. Like caffeine, it’s tasty, but is severely poisonous to cats and dogs.

  2. Mince Pies and Christmas Puddings. All grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas are toxic. Absolutely no mince pies for your pooch, not even a nibble.

  3. Tinsel looks like a lot of fun to play with for our pets. But tinsel can cause dangerous blockages in an animal’s stomach.

  4. Macadamia nuts are often found in Christmas snacks. These nuts cause severe illness in dogs.

  5. Garlic, chives and onion, which are found in festive foods such as gravy, stuffing, and sausages, are poisonous to dogs.

  6. Snow Globes. Imported versions can contain antifreeze. As little as one tablespoon can be fatal for a cat.

  7. Candles may create a cozy atmosphere, but candle flames can burn paws and the curious noses of our furry friends. There’s also risk of them falling over when brushed against.

  8. Fairy Lights. Cats are curious and will try to chew on anything, including fairy lights – which can burn and even electrocute them.

  9. Alcohol can cause severe liver and brain damage in animals. As little as a tablespoon can lead to severe problems for your cat or dog.

  10. Other hazards.
  • Salt dough ornaments – the mix of flour and salt with water can cause a fatal salt toxicosis.
  • Christmas foliage like poinsettia, mistletoe and ivy– all of which are mildly toxic to both cats and dogs.
  • Wrapping paper – eating a large amount of paper could cause an obstruction in your pet’s stomach.
  • Lilies are extremely dangerous for cats. Eating just two or three leaves, or even drinking water from a vase containing them can be potentially fatal.
  • Don’t forget the warning about the dangers of walking your dogs in the snow without booties and having their sensitive paws subject to salt.
If your pet has eaten anything potentially harmful, you should call the Bay Street Animal Hospital team immediately at 718-420-9100. We’re here for you and your pet 24/7.

Dog (and Cat) Days of Summer Bash at BSAH

On Wednesday, August 15, the staff at Bay Street Animal Hospital joined long-time clients, friends, and a lot of their pets at an almost-end-of-summer block party celebration.

It had rained for days. But that evening the weather cooperated brilliantly. On a perfect summer night from 6 – 10pm, the crowd enjoyed ice cream, hot dogs, pizza, and each other’s company, and had a chance to tour our newly-renovated facility.

Photo montage showing people and doctors having fun at the annual hot dog and pizza party at Bay Street Animal Hospital
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Backyard Dog Run Added at Bay Street Animal Hospital

A recent article in the New York Times documented the fact that Staten Island contains the largest population of large dogs of New York City’s five boroughs (dogs over 50 pounds as a percentage of total dogs owned per borough).

Run with the Big Dogs (and the Small Dogs). This April, BSAH added a cutting-edge outdoor dog run to our backyard. Dogs whose loving owners book them for a stay at BSHA’s Luxury Pet Hotel receive many VIP guest amenities, including the opportunity to exercise in the run — rain or shine. The 1,100-square foot dog run, open to dogs of all sizes, is completely protected from the weather by overhead cover.
360° Panorama – Dog’s Eye View

It’s All About the Sanitation (and the French Drains).
Bay Street’s dog run represents the latest developments in sanitation. The only thing not cutting edge about our dog run is our grass — there is none. A top layer of protection is provided by a proprietary maintenance-free 100% permeable artificial turf and backing that allow all liquids and solids to be washed away and completely drained at 250 inches per hour without back-up. Below ground level, a system of French drains — perforated pipes — redirects water washed from the surface away from the area of the dog run.

Detailed graph describing the French Draoins in the Dog Run at Bay Street Animal Hospital
Other Dog (and Cat) Amenities. While you and your family go on vacation, boarding your beloved pet at BSAH provides the perfect opportunity for your pet’s annual check-up and grooming needs. Besides our Destination Hotel for dogs, we also provide boarding for cats at our Kitty Korner. Our Pet Hotel page lists the many benefits and perks, including a complimentary bath for pets who stay more than three days and a 10% discount on our boarding guests’ grooming needs.

And Furthermore. Behind BSAH’s outdoor dog run there is a separate staff residence, where a member of our staff is on call 24/7. That makes us the only hotel in the world where the staff gets to live with the dogs.
Video – Drone’s Eye View
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And Still Growing…

Bay Street Animal Hospital proudly announces the addition of Dr. Thomas Parker to our senior veterinary staff. Dr. Parker has over 30 years of experience in treating animals of various sizes in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Parker was born and raised in Brooklyn. He received a Bachelor of Science (Biology) from St. Francis College, Brooklyn. He completed his graduate work at Gregorio Araneta University, Manila, Philippines, where he received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.

From 2001 – 2017, Dr. Parker was owner/partner of the Park Slope Veterinary Care facility. He is known for his calm, caring nature and his ability to communicate with pet owners and co-workers.

His exceptional skills include radiology and ultra sound diagnostics, emergency medicine, nutritional medicine, and teaching. His extensive background in the U.S and internationally includes working with farm and marine animals. Dr. Parker is also a certified SCUBA diver.

Pee Is Free during the Week of April 9 – 15.


During the week of April 9 – 15, Bay Street Animal Hospital is providing FREE urine analysis for your very important pet (usually costing $50).

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 the week of April 9 – 15 before midnight (Sunday before 6:00pm).

Call  718-420-9100  for more information.