48-18 Vernon Blvd. Long Island City, NY 11101

Phone: (718) 383-VETS   Fax: (718) 255-6514

Open 7 Days a Week   Mon-Fri: 8-7   Sat: 8-2   Sun: 9-3

Our Blog

Welcome!

Dr. Manning and the staff of Long Island Veterinary Center are pleased to announce their hospital blog. This fun and fact-filled blog is updated regularly and includes up-to-date information about your pet’s health care. Also included in the blog are fun, pet-related news stories that we want to share with you and photos and information about our hospital and staff members.

We invite you to check our blog often.

Thank you for visiting.

Dr. Keith Manning and the staff at Long Island Veterinary Center

Meet Bretagne, The Last Surviving 9/11 Rescue Dog

In the aftermath of 9/11, hundreds of service dogs aided in search and recovery efforts at Ground Zero. Today, just one remains. Bretagne, a golden retriever, recently celebrated her 16th birthday with a trip to New York where she dined on gourmet cheeseburger, explored the city in a vintage taxi, and took the time to pay her respects at Ground Zero.

Bretagne and her owner, Denise Corliss, came from Texas in the wake of the disaster. It was the first deployment for both Corliss and the then-two year old dog. As a search dog, Bretagne was responsible for searching through areas of rubble. If no one was found, the rubble would be removed. According to Corliss Bretagne regularly spent 12 hours per day searching alongside other rescuers and their canines.

After 9/11, Bretagne and Corliss worked together during Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ivan. She retired as a search dog in 2009 and now serves as a therapy dog at elementary schools in Texas.

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Corliss said that Bretagne also helped in another way. At one point, Bretagne spotted an exhausted and expressionless firefighter and ran to his side, ignoring Corliss’s calls to return. “It was like she was flipping me the paw,” she said. “She went right to that firefighter and laid down next to him and her head on his lap.”

See a photo of Bretagne.

Canine Influenza Update – June 2015 – Already in NY

The Canine Influenza outbreak that started in Chicago has now spread to 13 states. The strain of the virus, H3N2, originated in Asia in 2007 and has sickened over 1000 dogs in the Chicago area alone. Eight dogs have died from either the virus itself or secondary infections. Alabama, California, Georgia, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Jersey, Iowa and Indiana have all reported instances of Canine Influenza.

Canine Influenza’s symptoms are similar to the flu that humans get, and include cough, runny nose, and fever. However, the disease cannot be spread to humans. Because the virus is highly contagious between dogs, pet owners in affected areas should avoid dog parks. Vaccinations are also available for dogs in high-risk areas.

Since New York has already reported cases of Canine Influenza, having your dog vaccinated may help prevent the disease. If you have questions or would like to set up a vaccination appointment, please call Long Island City Veterinary Center today.

Ice Water Is Not Dangerous For Your Dog

Concerned pet owners may have come across a Facebook post warning against giving dogs ice water. The post claims that giving dogs ice water can cause bloat, which can lead to a life-threatening condition called gastric dilation and volvulus, or GDV. It’s often accompanied by a seemingly true story of a well-meaning pet owner trying to keep their dog cool on a hot day only to find they must rush their pet to the veterinary emergency hospital.

Dog Drinking Water

It sounds scary, but it’s absolutely false. Veterinarians across the country have been addressing this myth for years, but the misinformation continues to spread thanks to social media. In an article addressing the myth, Dr. Patty Khuly says that “frigid gastric ‘cramping’ is a falsehood akin to those that inform you that your hair will grow back coarser if you shave it (myth), or that you shouldn’t go swimming for 30 minutes after eating lest you drown in a fit of cramps (myth).”

Bloat can be caused when your dog drinks too much too quickly, but the temperature of the water has nothing to do with this. In fact, putting ice cubes in your dog’s water can sometimes slow your dog’s water consumption, keeping the risk of bloat at bay.

If you have a large dog and are worried about bloat, we recommend feeding a few small meals per day instead of one large meal and avoiding exercise for an hour or so after eating. But if your pup is thirsty on a hot day, there’s nothing dangerous about helping them cool off with ice water.

If you have any questions about about the special care your pet needs during the hot weather, please call our hospital. We’re always here to help.

Summertime in the City: Tips For Pets Living Around NYC

You know to prepare yourself for the dangers associated with increased temperatures. As the dog days of summer approach, however, our trusted companions also need special attention to keep them safe and healthy.

Summer Pet Care TipsHot Weather Safety for Dogs

Here are some important tips for keeping your dog cool this summer:

  • Keep your dog indoors, in air conditioning, on very hot days.
  • Do not leave your dog in a car — even on milder days. A Stanford University study found that even on a 72 degree day, a car’s internal temperature can rise to 116 degrees within one hour.
  • When planning an outing with your dog, pay attention to the heat index, which also factors in humidity. The thermometer may say 85 degrees, but it may feel like 101 degrees outside.
  • Keep fresh, cool water available at all times.
  • On very hot days, exercise dogs early in the morning or late in the evening. If this is not possible, exercise in an air conditioned or cool environment.
  • On hot days, keep your dog’s contact with asphalt to a minimum. When the temperature is high, asphalt can get very hot. This can cause your dog’s body to heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.
  • If your dog has a light coat or exposed skin, take precautions against sunburn.

Dogs can acclimate to warm temperatures and have no trouble spending time outside. However, dogs that are used to cool climates or air conditioning should not be outside for extended periods of time on hot days. Gradually acclimating your dog is the key.

Hot Weather Safety for Cats

While cats in NYC generally stay indoors, they too can be at risk due to hotter weather. When pet parents open their windows and perhaps allow their beloved companions to sun themselves on fire escapes, balconies and terraces, there is a serious risk of High Rise Syndrome. High Rise Syndrome refers to injuries that result from falls from high places – and veterinarians see a significant increase in these cases in the summer.

To prevent your cat from suffering a potentially fatal fall-related injury, make sure there are secure screens or — better yet — bars on any open windows in your apartment. Do not let your cat venture out onto a fire escape or unsecured balcony or terrace. Unlike the bark of trees, the surfaces in these areas offer no place for a cat to cling to with their claws, increasing the chance they will lose their footing and fall.

Cats generally handle warmer temperatures better than dogs, but you should also keep watch for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Keep plenty of fresh, cool water available throughout your apartment. If you don’t have air conditioning, consider wrapping your cat in a cool, damp towel or placing a plastic bag full of ice under their bed on extremely hot days.

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke in Pets: What You Need to Know

Summer brings an increased danger of heat exhaustion and heat stroke for dogs and cats.

Dogs mainly cool themselves by panting, or breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. However, in the hotter days of summer there are times when panting won’t be enough to handle the heat building up inside their bodies. Depending on your dog, heat-related problems can occur even during a walk around the block or while swimming.

Signs that your pet is overheating include excessive panting and salivation, difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, glazed eyes and mild weakness. More severe symptoms include confusion, bright red or purple gums and tongue, seizures, vomiting and collapse.

If your pet’s body temperature rises to 107 degrees, he or she becomes very warm to the touch and is at serious risk of heat stroke. With heat stroke, damage to the body can be irreversible. Organs begin to shut down, and veterinary care is immediately needed. Pets with flat faces that can’t pant as effectively, like Pugs, Boxers, Bull Dogs and Persian cats, and pets that are old, obese or have health problems are the most susceptible to heat stroke.

What to Do if You Think Your Pet Has Heat Stroke

If you think your pet is experiencing heat stroke, please call Long Island City Veterinary Center immediately. Quickly get your dog out of the sun and cool him or her down with a cool (NOT cold) water bath. Provide a fan, especially if you wet your dog down, and encourage him or her to drink water.

To cool your cat down, apply towels soaked in cool water to your cat’s skin. Immersion in a cool water bath for 30 minutes may also help lower your cat’s temperature. While on the way to our veterinary office, place ice packs around your cat’s head and body.

Remember, heat stroke can be fatal if left untreated.

Heat Stroke Prevention for Your Pet

You can significantly reduce or eliminate your pet’s risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke by:

  • Keeping him indoors on hot days and exercising before 9 am and after 7pm.
  • Making sure clean, cool water is available at all times — including during any outings.
  • Keeping your pet well-groomed but not trimming fur excessively. Fur can keep your pet comfortable by trapping cool air next to the skin, reducing the amount of heat transferred from the hot outside air to the body. Instead, make sure matted or tangled hair is clipped, as these conditions can trap heat.
  • Maintaining your pet’s health weight, as overweight pets are also at an increased risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Summer on Long Island City can be a carefree, fun time you and your pet, so long as you both play it safe and keep cool. Please call Long Island City Veterinary Center (718) 383-VETS if you have any questions or concerns about your pet this summer.

What Do My Pet’s Blood Tests Mean ?

Many technologies that help humans live longer and better lives are also available for your pet. Blood testing, an important medical technology, is performed regularly by your veterinarian because it provides valuable information for determining the overall health of your companion.

The staff at Long Island City Veterinary Center is pleased to provide you with information regarding blood testing. Please do not hesitate to call the hospital if you have specific questions about your pet’s blood test results.


COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT

A complete blood count (also called CBC) actually consists of several tests that evaluate the number and type of blood cells in the circulation. Cells that are evaluated consist of white blood cells (WBC), red blood cells (RBC), and platelets.


Veterinary Laboratory Technician Counting Blood Cells

Laboratory Technician Counting Blood Cells


White blood cells are important in helping the body fight infection. Red blood cells are fundamental for carrying oxygen to the body’s tissues. Abnormal numbers of these cells can indicate anemia, infection, leukemia, stress, and inflammation.

Platelets are involved in the blood clotting process and if low (in number) can indicate a bleeding disorder.

The hematocrit (HCT) provides information pertaining to the relative number of red blood cells (RBC) in circulation. This test is used to diagnose anemia and dehydration.


BLOOD CHEMISTRY

These tests survey many of the organ systems of the body in order and often indicate if they are working properly.

Albumin (ALB) – Low levels indicates chronic liver or kidney disease, intestinal disease, or intestinal parasites (especially hookworms).

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) – Elevated with liver disease or injury.

Alkaline Phosphatase (ALKP) – Elevated levels can indicate liver disease or Cushing’s disease.

Amylase (AMYL) – Elevated blood levels can indicate pancreatic and / or kidney disease.

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) – Reflects kidney and liver disease as well as dehydration.

Cholesterol (CHOL) – Elevated levels are seen in many disorders. Some include liver and kidney disease and hypothyroidism.

Creatinine (CREA) – Elevated levels can be due to kidney disease or urinary tract obstruction.

Blood Glucose (GLU) – High levels can indicate diabetes. Low levels can indicate liver disease, infection or certain tumors.

Total Bilirubin (TBIL) – Levels of Bilirubin are useful in diagnosing anemia and bile duct problems.

Total Protein (TP) – This can detect many conditions. Some include liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal diseases as well as dehydration.


BLOOD ELECTROLYTES

Calcium (Ca) – Increased levels are seen with certain tumors and kidney and parathyroid gland disease.

Phosphorus (PHOS) – Elevated levels can indicate kidney disease.

Sodium, Potassium, Chloride – all should be within normal levels. Vomiting, dehydration, and diarrhea can affect their levels.

Why and How Does my Cat Purr ?

There is almost nothing more comforting than when a cat jumps on our lap and begins to purr. Ever since the Egyptians started worshiping the cat, philosophers, scientists and cat lovers worldwide have wondered why cats purr. When we hear and feel this purring, we assume that everything is just fine with the cat. But why do cats purr? And what produces this sound?

Purring is still somewhat of a mystery; however, most experts agree that it’s due to the vibration of the vocal cords when the animal inhales and exhales.

It appears as though purring is not just limited to domestic cats. Some wild cats, such as pumas and mountain lions, are able to purr. In general, most large cats that cannot roar are able to purr. The calls of the leopard vary and include a series of harsh coughs, throaty growls, and deep, purring sounds.

It turns out that cats have special wiring traveling from the brain to the muscles in the vocal cords. Nerve signals that pass through this wiring system cause vibrations of the vocal cords. While the nerves cause the vocal cords to vibrate, the air forced through them by the diaphragm causes the musical hum. Since breathing has both inspiratory and expiratory phases, cats purr continuously.

It is commonly believed that cats purr when content. However, cats also purr when they are severely injured, frightened or giving birth. According to some veterinarians, the original function of the purr was to enable a kitten to communicate with his mother that things are going well. A kitten is able to purr by the second day of life, and although he can’t meow and nurse at the same time, he can purr and nurse.

Cat Purring

As the cat matures, the meaning of the purr changes. Some cats purr to indicate contentment or pleasure, but badly frightened cats and severely ill cats also purr. It is not uncommon for cats to purr when they are close to death. This final purring may indicate a state of anxiety or possibly euphoria. These states have also been elucidated in terminally ill people.

Since the purr has lasted through hundreds of generations of cats, there must be a survival mechanism behind its continued existence. Researchers believe that self-healing is the survival mechanism behind the purr. There is extensive documentation that suggests that low frequencies, at low intensity, are therapeutic. These frequencies can aid bone growth, fracture healing, pain relief, tendon and muscle strength and repair, joint mobility, the reduction of swelling, and the relief of dyspnea, or breathlessness. Purring may be linked to the strengthening and repairing of bones, relief of pain, and wound healing.

Animal behaviorists believe that when cats purr under stressful circumstances, they are reassuring or comforting themselves, much as humans may sing to themselves or hum when they are nervous. Frightened cats may purr to communicate submissiveness or non-aggressive intentions. A feral cat may purr to signal that he is not planning to attack and other cats need not feel threatened. Older cats may purr when they play or approach other cats, signaling that they are friendly and want to come closer.

If you have questions about your cat’s behavior or health, please don’t hesitate to call Long Island City Veterinary Center. Our goal is to help you and your pet in sickness and in good health.

Most Popular Dog Breeds in 2014

Dogs occupy a larger place than ever in our society in recent years. They’re not just pets – they’re real members of our families. People have come to cherish a wide variety of these four-legged friends. Depending on your personality, physical environment and time commitment, one of the breeds listed below would most likely make a great pet.

If you would like to discuss the ideal dog for you or your family, please stop by Long Island City Veterinary Center and speak to one of our staff members. We’re always here to help.

According to the American Kennel Club, the 10 breeds below topped the ranks in 2014.

1. Labrador Retriever – Labrador Retrievers, or simply Labradors or Labs, are frequently described as devoted, obedient, outgoing, gentle, agile and intelligent. Great with children and eager to please, it’s no surprise these dogs came out on top for the 24th consecutive year.

2. German Shepherd Dog – German Shepherds are working dogs, originally bred for herding sheep. They are known for being strong, intelligent, obedient, loyal and easy to train. While they are a common choice for law enforcement and the military, they also make great family pets.

3. Golden Retriever – Golden Retrievers are the loyal, strong and sometimes overly enthusiastic good buddies of the dog world. These energetic, affectionate canines shower their families with endless nuzzles, kisses and tail wags, and make very emotionally rewarding pets.

4. Bulldog – This breed is gentle, kid-friendly, affectionate, and stubborn. Bulldogs are not the energetic equals of Golden Retrievers or Labs. Instead, they favor brief walks and long periods of rest – most preferably with their heads on a beloved human’s lap – between meals.

5. Beagle – Beagles are members of the hound group and possess a great sense of smell and tracking instinct. Happy, outgoing, loving but also inquisitive and determined, these small and hardy dogs make great family pets.

6. Yorkshire Terrier – Yorkshire Terriers are the most popular toy breed in the US. Attention seeking, intelligent and independent, with a propensity for yapping, they are great for apartment dwellers and families with older children.

7. Poodle – Poodles have an unmistakably distinct appearance that makes them stand out from other dogs. They’re elegant, active and very intelligent. There are three types of poodles, Standard, Miniature and Toy, and all are considered to be affectionate family pets.

8. Boxer – Boxers are medium-sized dogs that are happy, loyal, brave, high-spirited, playful, intelligent and energetic. This breed is an excellent watchdog, is a great family pet and benefits greatly from dominant owner and training starting at a young age.

9. French Bulldog – French Bulldogs have a distinct look, too – but they’re a little more funny looking than other dogs. They’re adorable, too, and it’s no mystery why these affectionate small dogs, with their easy-going and playful natures, have won people’s hearts. French Bulldogs enjoy lavishing love on their human companions and generally get along well with everyone, including children.

10. Rottweiler – Often used as search and rescue dogs, guide dogs for the blind, and guard dogs or police dogs, Rottweilers also make great companion pets. Known for being exceptionally intelligent and strong, they are also devoted, good-natured, obedient and fearless. Properly bred and socialized Rottweilers are playful, gentle, and loving to their families.

When deciding to welcome a canine companion into your home, it’s important to consider where you live, your family, your existing pets and your lifestyle. Choosing a pet with the temperament, energy level and size that complement each of these factors is a vital part of making sure your life together is a long and happy one!

Canine Influenza Outbreak in Chicago Infects Over 1,000 Dogs

Five dogs have died and over one thousand dogs have been sickened by a severe Canine Influenza outbreak in the Chicago area. The illness is highly contagious between dogs, and symptoms include loud coughs, fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Canine Influenza can lead to pneumonia, which can be fatal in dogs.

If you and your dog spend time in the Chicago area, we recommend keeping your dog away from other dogs. For the best protection, have your dog vaccinated against Canine Influenza. The virus is found everywhere and can infect your dog at any time.

Please contact Long Island City Veterinary Center for more information and to schedule a vaccination.

The Cat’s Out of the Bag: Ten Toys Under $25 That Your Cat Will Love

Da Bird Feather Teaser

Play and exercise are an important part of pet health. For cats, toys are a great way to stimulate play, combat obesity, discourage unwanted behavior, and provide an outlet for unused energy and predatory instincts. Below are ten highly rated toys that at under $25—most under $10—will help keep your cat happy and healthy and won’t break the bank.

  1. Da Bird Feather Teaser, online from $7.49. This teaser simulates the motion of a bird at your control. A flick of the wrist and the brightly colored feathers dance and spin enticing your cat to play. Encourages instinctual behaviors and exercise to keep your cat healthy and alert.
  2. Mylar Crinkle Ball Cat Toys, online from $1.49, an inexpensive, sure-fire hit that your cat will love to bat and bobble around the house.
  3. Yeowww! Catnip Banana, online price from $4.13. These popular stuffed bananas are made in the USA and filled with organically grown catnip.
  4. Fat Cat Kitty Hoots Big Mama’s Scratchy Box, online from $8.37. An effective, economical way to satisfy your cat’s desire to scratch and save your furniture. Comes with a supply of “Zoom Around the Room Organic Catnip.” The box is 100 percent recyclable. May need to be replaced every 1-2 months, depending on usage.
  5. PetSafe SlimCat, online from $4.69. PetSafe Slimcat is an interactive feeding ball that works by distributing your cat’s food into smaller meals that can be fed at regular intervals. Slimcat can also satiate your cat’s craving to hunt which results in a more peaceful pet.
  6. Petlinks System Dream Curl Curvy Two-Surface Scratcher

  7. Petlinks System Dream Curl Curvy Two-Surface Scratcher online from $20.99. Your cat will love the shapely contours of the Dream Curl and its enticing variety of scratching surfaces and angles. Made from Earth-friendly sisal and contains organic catnip. The scratcher core is made from recycled material.
  8. Tipsy Nip Ball, online from $5. This organic catnip infused non-toxic wooden ball is sure to be a hit with your cat. When not in use, store in the accompanying bottle of catnip to keep the ball catnipalicious.
  9. Cat Amazing Interactive Puzzle for Cats

  10. Cat Amazing Interactive Puzzle for Cats, from $14.95. This interactive puzzle game has three levels of difficulty to stimulate and challenge cats, and those who complete the puzzle are rewarded with a treat. It is the perfect test of your cat’s skill and ingenuity and is an instant hit wherever people and cats are gathered. Made from 30 percent recycled cardboard and is 100 percent recyclable, and printed with certified metal-free inks.
  11. The Cat Dancer, available online from $1.79. The Cat Dancer is the original interactive cat toy. Spring steel wire and rolled cardboard create an irresistible lure for cats and great fun for cat lovers. According to their website, The Cat Dancer has been “home-tested by over 8 million cats.”
  12. Teddy for Kitty, $5.95, available online through EcoChoices Natural Living Store, is a teddy bear made from rugged corduroy and a colorful patch and filled with organically grown catnip. Made in the USA.

Don’t forget: Homemade cat toys can be just as entertaining as those that are store-bought. Cats love batting around a crumpled ball of paper, hiding in a large paper bag or cardboard box, or attacking an object, such as a feather, bell, or stocking stuffed with catnip, attached to a string or pole. Best of all, you probably have most or all of these items in your home already.

Blind Man and Guide Dog Survive Subway Train Collision

Blind Man and Guide Dog Survive Subway Train Collision

A blind man and his guide dog escaped serious injury after the man fainted on a New York City subway platform and fell onto the tracks. The operator of the train was able to slow the train and reduce the impact on the man and his dog while bystanders called for help. The man, Cecil Williams, said that the presence of his guide dog, Orlando, saved his life. “He tried to hold me up,” Williams said, adding that the dog barked frantically and tried to stop Williams from falling, but was unable to do so when Williams fainted.

Williams originally would have had to surrender the dog to a shelter when the dog turned 11 on January 5th, as his insurance will not cover the cost of a non-working dog. However, after an outpouring of support from New Yorkers, Williams will now be able to keep Orlando. “He’s my best buddy,” Williams said. “He takes me everywhere I need to go. He’s a very gentle gentleman.”

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