Posted

June 10, 2020

Just as we thought it couldn’t get more challenging, the last few weeks have. We want to share our hopes for safety and sanity as the US navigates this challenging world together. As we pray that communities find new ways to respect each other and work together, please know that Newtown Vet has been hard at work taking care of our clients and their pets and preparing for the future.

We have a new Associate Vet!

In the middle of the pandemic, we are happy to welcome a new doctor to the Newtown Vet family. Dr. Melanie Tramontina (pictured above) is a 2020 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

She grew up in Harleysville and has wanted to be a veterinarian for as long as she can remember! In addition to expanding her knowledge and skills with companion animals, Dr. Tramontina has a special interest in shelter medicine from her vet school experience with the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society. She is also interested in internal medicine, ruminants (goats, sheep, etc.) and soft tissue surgery and will be training under Dr. Ireland to perfect her skills.
Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Tramontina enjoys running, hiking, doing yoga and spending time with her family and rescue critters: three cats (Dewey, Mono and Midori) and her pup (Dottie).

We welcome her and hope that many of you will get to meet her in the coming months as we work towards our new normal with all of you.

Stem Cell Banking

We are pleased to bring you a new opportunity to help your pet (dogs only for now) in the future. We have partnered with Gallant, a leader in animal stem cell banking to bring this non-invasive opportunity to you. Stem cells are typically collected during a spay or neuter and banked for the future. Through our partnership with Gallant we are able to offer our clients this service at a 35% discount from the standard pricing and the stem cells are ready for you if needed in the future.

Stem cells can form building blocks to help a body heal itself in a variety of ways in conjunction with traditional medicine. Stem cells have already been used in dogs to successfully treat ailments such as arthritis, allergies, eye issues and even ligament tears. Contact us for more information on this new opportunity for your pup!

Bucks County is now in the “Yellow”

While this move is significant for many businesses that have been closed during the pandemic, as an essential business Newtown Vet has never stopped working to care for your pets with severe restrictions on how we operate and what cases we can see.

Moving to Yellow loosens some of the restrictions for us but is still very restrictive. What we know today:

  • We are still not allowed to perform elective surgeries or exams unless there is a medical necessity
  • All clients must still wear masks and stay in their cars. We have added rocker chairs in the shade and water for anyone interested.
  • We will maintain our split schedule to protect our staff and you by limiting potential exposure
  • We ask for your patience as we deliver food & medicine to your car and use the K9 corrals to safely admit patients while maintaining social distancing
    We are taking small steps to provide additional services for you. We have waiting lists for wellness exams, nail trims and elective surgeries (as defined by PA) and will begin to see the most overdue cases in the upcoming weeks. Our medical observation (boarding) service is supporting essential workers currently and will be expanded as the state allows. We will also start reaching out to clients who received reminders since March for follow up.

We ask for your patience and support as we navigate the next phase while balancing patient need with client & staff safety.

Posted

July 3, 2020

As we hope you and your pets are keeping healthy during this unprecedented time, we must all remember that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. Bucks County has entered the “green” phase of reopening but we must continue to follow the protocols we have set in place at the hospital, both for your safety and the safety of our staff. Unfortunately, “green” is not a return to life as we knew it and probably won’t be for a long time. On a positive note, we are now able to begin resuming some routine care and elective procedures. This is great news but we need to insure that we can continue to expand our services for your pets SAFELY.

From the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, our singular focus has been on keeping our clients and staff as safe as possible while providing pet care within the guidelines established by PA and the AVMA. Unfortunately this meant increasing distance from each other. We closed the hospital to human visitors and maintained our normal hours of operation by splitting our staff into two teams to minimize potential risk and exposure for all.

This hasn’t been easy and is a disruption for all. If you’ve had a sick pet in the past 3 months, you have already experienced our busy phone lines, delayed call backs and difficulty scheduling appointments but you have also witnessed our staff’s willingness to go above and beyond to care for your pet, communicate with you and keep you and your family safe.

As we add back routine appointments and services, our first priority must be to our sick and injured patients but we are working hard to facilitate the back log of routine care. We simply ask for your continued patience and support.

Curbside service is the new normal and there are a few things you can do to help:

  • Please reschedule when you can’t keep an appointment. On a recent day we had 3 No Shows and a long list of patients who could have filled those appointments.
  • Bring a fully charged cellphone so the doctor can contact you during the exam. If you don’t have a cellphone please tell us when the appointment is scheduled.
  • Schedule routine appointments well in advance. We are currently booking annual wellness appointments three weeks out.
  • Allow additional time for medication and food refills to allow for delivery delays whenever possible.
  • All clients are REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS. You will not be served if you don’t have a face covering and will need to make a new appointment.
  • The doctors and staff of Newtown Vet are doing their very best to accommodate everyone, but we really do need your help, understanding and patience.

We are in this together and will get through it, together.

April 22, 2020

The CDC posted an article today about two pet cats in New York that tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first time that pets have tested positive in the US and there is still much to understand about these cases and the pandemic.

It is important to know that they have NOT changed the safety recommendations for our pets. At this time there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the COVID-19 virus in the US.

For the complete CDC article, click on the link below:

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s0422-covid-19-cats-NYC.html

Our commitment to you is to share as much information about the pandemic and the safety of your family as possible. If we become aware of further updates we will share them.

April 19, 2020

In compliance with Governor Wolf’s new directive about masks for everyone, we are asking for your support when visiting Newtown Vet. Everyone interacting with staff (admitting a patient, dropping off for an urgent visit or picking up medication/food) must have face covering. We realize this is one more thing we are all dealing with but it helps to keep everyone a little safer and it is the right thing to do.

Our staff is also stepping up our use of masks and gloves while limiting use of medical grade PPE. You will see all staff wearing gloves and masks outside, but we are also wearing them inside the hospital. We have already implemented the following that is now part of this new directive:

  • Newtown Vet has been closed to all non-essential visitors since March 23rd
  • Curbside concierge for delivery of food & medications directly to your car
  • All Newtown Vet staff takes their temperature when arriving for work as a precaution – Gov Wolf mandated this for positive COVID-19 cases only
  • Staggered start/end times
  • Room for breaks/meals that enables social distancing – our break room has been reconfigured to better enable social distancing

We will continue to reach out if there are changes to our operating hours or hospital protocols. Please know that we are working hard to provide medical care while conserving PPE and taking the best care of our patients.

We are here if you need us!

April 8, 2020

We hope this message finds you social distancing and safe & healthy at home. We continue to operate at regular hours, with a reduced staff, to see sick patients, refill medications & food and help you navigate this challenging time. Our boarding facility remains closed. We are here for you, so please contact us if the need arises.

  • To extend social distancing for clients & pets visiting the hospital, we have added a new K9 Corral for all dogs coming in. Your admitting tech will give you more details but it’s a way to admit your dog without touching a tech and vice versa. All cats must be in a carrier before being admitted.
  • We’ve received a few questions about the Tiger who recently tested positive for corona virus at the Bronx Zoo as well as about any risk from our own pets. Public health officials believe this tiger became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding virus. This investigation is ongoing.
    • Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations continue to agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that, under natural conditions, pets can spread COVID-19 to people. Pets can have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These viruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
    • The CDC has not received any reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the US. To date, there is no evidence that pets can spread the virus to people.
      • It is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
      • At this time, the testing of animals for COVID-19 is NOT recommended.
      • The best practice is to wipe down leads, carriers and gear with a household cleaner when used in a public setting.

For more information, please check the CDC or AVMA websites.

Sources:

https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html

  • We are still receiving shipments from most of our vendors (some mildly delayed) and are happy to fill your pet’s prescriptions for you for pick up. We are accepting payment via phone and once you have arrived, our Curb Side Concierge service will gladly bring what you need to your car. For home delivery without the need for a written prescription or a trip to Newtown Vet, please visit our competitively priced online pharmacy at: http://newtownvethospital.vetsourceweb.com/site/view/HomeDelivery.pml

Lastly, a special thank you to all of the clients who have sent care packages our way over the last few weeks. These days can be long and we appreciate the kindness!

Happy Easter and Passover,

Stay safe & we hope to see all of you soon!

March 21, 2020

To our valued clients: 

This is a challenging time for all of us! The good news is that veterinary services are deemed “essential” which will allow us to remain open as long as we have healthy staff available. Veterinarians are the only profession who take an oath to serve and protect the well being of both pets and humans. We have implemented new protocols and will continue to modify them in order to minimize the risk to all humans involved while doing our best to take care of the patients we all love so dearly. To date, we have no members of the Newtown Vet team or their families who have symptoms of or confirmed Corona virus. We hope to keep it that way for as long as possible.  

At this time we will maintain our normal hours of operation but everything about how we operate has been changed to help protect you, your human family, our staff and their families. Following the social distancing guidelines while caring for house pets is challenging but we are taking actions to observe all state and federal guidelines and regulations as closely as possible. To that end we have divided our staff to limit the number of people in the building on any given day and to limit cross contamination if/when someone is exposed.  

The most important things for you to know:

  • There is no evidence that pets can contract Corona virus but we assume they could potentially carry the virus on their fur, collar or leash so you should limit your pet’s exposure the same as you are limiting your own
  • All staff members have their temperature taken prior to starting their shift and throughout the day. No one will work with a fever
  • We will do everything in our power to care for your sick or injured pet

Important changes to our process/protocols:

  • Based on state orders all elective surgeries will be postponed at least 1 month (this includes puppy/kitten spay and neuter, grade 1 dental/oral health assessment, lumps and bumps unless considered malignant) 
  • Also based on state order, well visits and vaccines will be postponed at least 1 month (Rabies vaccines should be kept current and puppy/kitten vaccine series already initiated and time sensitive. Others can wait.
  • Sick visits will continue to be seen spread out through our normal hours but they will be seen by the doctor available at the time.
  • All appointments will be confirmed with a time, including surgery pick ups. Until we are able to return to a normal schedule we can not guarantee that your pet will be seen by a specific doctor. 
  • No clients, vendors, delivery people will be allowed inside the hospital
  • All clients will remain in their vehicles and if outside their vehicle they must observe social distancing recommendations. Please call us when you arrive.
  • All dogs must be on a secure leash and all cats must be in a carrier (no exceptions) so that staff can meet you at your vehicle to bring just your pet into the hospital. 
  • Medical history will be taken over the phone
  • Your pet will be examined by the doctor and the doctor will call you on the phone to discuss their findings and recommendations.
  • Your pet will be returned to you and your invoice processed (please bring credit card or debit card)
  • We are looking into possible telemedicine formats that might assist us in caring for your pets from a distance if needed. 

We are accepting refills for medications and food for pick up but many of the deliveries are taking an extra day or two.  As usual, we will call you when your order arrives.  This may be a good time to look at our online pharmacy.  The prescription process is electronic (no paper prescription to pick up) and the supplies are shipped directly to your home. 

The Newtown Veterinary Hospital has been serving the people of Newtown and the surrounding communities since the 1930’s and we will continue to do so to the best of our ability while keeping all of our staff employed and doing everything in our power to keep them and our clients safe. We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and patronage during these difficult times. 

 Sincerely,

The Doctors and Staff

Posted

Hello from Newtown Vet!

As medical director, I wanted to alert the Newtown Vet family to a new toxicity that is on the rise in dogs and cats due to the increased availability of sago palm plants from some large retailers.

Read more »

Posted

Dear clients,

As you may already know, Hill’s Pet Nutrition has issued a voluntary recall/withdrawal of select canned canine diets due to elevated Vitamin D levels caused by a supplier error.
No dry dog foods, cat foods (both canned and dry), or treats were affected.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition has reported that “while vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, ingestion of elevated levels can lead to potential health issues depending on the level of vitamin D and the length of exposure, and dogs may exhibit symptoms such as:

– vomiting & excessive drooling

– loss of appetite

– increased thirst & urination”

Hill’s has noted that in most cases symptoms resolved after the discontinuation of feeding the affected diets. You may view their full statement at the links listed below or on our website.

Today, February 7th, 2019, Newtown Vet Hospital was notified that a limited amount of affected canned canine diets was distributed through our hospital. Below is the list of affected diets with associated SKU numbers. If you have any of the affected diets purchased through Newtown Vet, please discontinue feeding your pet and bring any opened or unopened cans to Newtown Vet for disposal and replacement.

Type of DietBatch(s)
Z/D Ultra Canine 12/13oz cans
102020T042
Meta+Mob Veg & Tuna Stew 12×12.5oz cans102020T051
C/D Mul Chicken & Veg Stew 12×12.5oz cans102020T101
I/D Chicken & Veg Stew 12×12.5oz cans102020T101
I/D Canine 12/13oz cans102020T112
I/D Chicken & Veg Stew 24×5.5oz cans102020T113
Z/D Ultra Canine 24/5.5 oz cans102020T173
I/D Low Fat Stew 12×12.5oz cans102020T191
I/D Low Fat Stew 12×12.5oz cans112020T041
Z/D Ultra Canine 12/13oz cans112020T222
Z/D Ultra Canine 24/5.5 oz cans112020T223
I/D Chicken & Veg Stew 24×5.5oz cans112020T233
K/D Canine 12/13oz cans102020T102-102020T112
I/D Canine 12/13oz cans102020T182-102020T192
I/D Chicken & Veg Stew 12×12.5oz cans102020T191-102020T201
I/D Chicken & Veg Stew 12×12.5oz cans112020T041-112020T051
I/D Canine 12/13oz cans112020T222-112020T232
W/D Canine 12/13oz cans102020T242-102020T252
I/D Canine 12/13oz cans112020T082-112020T092
W/D Canine 12/13oz cans112020T092-112020T102

To read Hill’s complete statement on the recall, including how to check which batch your product is from, please click HERE.

If you have any questions regarding this recall, vitamin D toxicity symptoms, or reporting any other issues with Hill’s diets, please contact Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. at 1-800-445-5777 Monday-Friday during the hours of 9am-5pm (CST) or at contactus@hillspet.com. For further information please see the HillsPet.com website or call Newtown Vet.

As always, the Newtown Vet Hospital doctors and staff are here to help answer any questions or concerns. We appreciate your patience at this time and will continue to update our clients via email and social media outlets with new information.

Sincerely,

The Doctors and Staff
Newtown Vet Hospital

Posted

As the holidays approach, we tend to get wrapped up in the festivities and forget that our homes can contain huge risks for our pets if we aren’t careful. Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine shared a helpful article outlining some of the main hazards pet owners should look out for during the end-of-year rush. We’ve sampled the highlights for you, but we strongly recommend reading their article, too! You can find it in entirety here.

 

Holiday Lights

Pets have been known to love chewing on decorative lights. Both indoor and outdoor lights should be carefully examined to ensure safety for your household pets. Electrical shock may occur from defective cords as well as from pets chewing on cords. Check cords for any signs of bite marks, loose or frayed wires, proximity to the tree’s water supply or evidence of short circuits. Use grounded “3-prong” extension cords and strictly follow manufacturer guidelines for light usage.

Electrical shock can cause burns, difficulty breathing, abnormal heart rhythm, loss of consciousness, and death. Call a veterinarian immediately if your pet has been injured by electrical shock. Treatment will be most effective if begun soon after the shock.

 

Drinking Things They Shouldn’t Drink

Even though they have their own water bowl, there is something enticing about a novel source of water, whether it’s the toilet bowl or the Christmas tree stand. If you add chemicals to the water meant to keep your tree fresh longer, be sure to read the label to make sure it is safe for pets. Potpourri makes your house smell festive but may be another attraction for pets to drink. Make sure that potpourri pots are covered or otherwise inaccessible to pets.

Antifreeze is also found in most houses during the winter season. Even a small spill on the floor of your garage could be lapped up by your pet and cause serious damage. Be careful with where your antifreeze is kept and be sure to thoroughly clean up any messes immediately.

 

Eating Things They Shouldn’t Eat

Well-intentioned family and friends may share holiday foods with pets causing the pet to develop a stomach upset or worse, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) which can be caused by eating fatty foods. To control excessive food intake by your pets and meet your guests’ desires to feed the pets, dole out the treats your pets would normally receive and let your guests “treat” the pets. If you want to get festive, mix some of your pet’s regular food with water to make a “dough” and roll out and cut into festive shapes, then bake until crunchy.

What would the holidays be without boxes of chocolate and warm cocoa in front of the fire? However, chocolate can be toxic or even fatal to dogs and cats. Chocolate may be mistakenly given to pets as treats and may be irresistible to the curious canine. Chocolate poisoning occurs most frequently in dogs but other species are also susceptible.

Poinsettias have received bad publicity in the past whereas in fact, poinsettias are not very toxic to pets. They do contain a milky sap that can irritate the mouth but if signs develop they are usually mild. Mistletoe can be very toxic to animals and you should seek veterinary consultation immediately if your pet has potentially ingested any part of the plant. Mistletoe can cause vomiting, severe diarrhea, difficult breathing, shock and death within hours of ingestion. There are many species of Holly, all of whom should be avoided by pets – the berries and leaves can be a problem although signs of poisonings are generally mild, and include vomiting, belly pain, and diarrhea.

 

Tinsel, Ribbons, and Other Pretty Things

It isn’t always just food and plants that pets ingest! There is something about those shiny strands of Christmas tree decor, which drives kitties wild. Although the sight of your cat pawing at the tree may be cute, the ingestion of tinsel can be deadly. Eating tinsel or other string-like items such as ribbon (often called linear foreign bodies) can cause serious damage to the intestine. One end can get stuck while the rest is pulled into the intestine as it contracts, and with each contraction the intestine is damaged by the foreign material. Signs of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, belly pain and sometimes fever.

Eating other holiday decorations can cause signs ranging from mild depression to severe vomiting or diarrhea, depending upon whether or not the foreign matter can be passed in the stool or gets stuck along the way. Surgery is required to remove foreign matter that does not pass out on its own.

In the event your pet does ingest something it shouldn’t have, experience an injury, or simply begin to show signs that something isn’t right, don’t wait. Contacting the staff at Newtown Veterinary Hospital immediately can be the difference between a night in the hospital for your pet or a night at home on the couch. Keep them safe this year, and keep everyone happy in the process!

From our family to yours, we wish you very safe and happy holiday season!

 

 

Posted

Although every single one of Newtown Vet’s patients is special to us, occasionally, we’re lucky enough to care for a pet that’s making an impact in the world beyond his immediate family. Harry Minsky, a lifelong patient at Newtown Vet, was one of those pets. In September of this year, Harry ended his battle with cancer and crossed over the rainbow bridge. Although Harry may no longer be with us, the memory of a life well lived and his lengthy trail of accomplishments endures, and Harry will always be remembered by the hundreds of people whose lives he touched. Read more »