Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Dr. Jay Gottlieb, Dr. Gil Caren, and the staff of Island Trees Veterinary Hospital  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.

– The Island Trees Veterinary Hospital Team

Christmas Season Pet Hazards

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Holiday season adornments are attractive to all creatures. The ornaments, foods, gifts, wrappings, ribbons, lights and plants are all curiosities for pets. Pets investigate new items by sniffing, tossing, chasing, and finally by tasting. A few precautions are necessary to avoid the holiday crowds at the veterinary hospital.

Holiday Tree

The most common problems this time of year are stomach or intestinal disturbances caused by pets eating the holiday feast or other novelties. Scraps from the table can cause gastrointestinal upset and even predispose pets to life-threatening pancreatitis. Bones can get stuck in the mouth or perforate the intestines and should be avoided. Chocolate is poisonous to cats, dogs, and birds. Plastic wrap and aluminum foil (coated with good-tasting juices) are enticing but can cause intestinal damage (and even blockage) if eaten by the pet.

Other sweet treats, like gum and hard candies, can also make your pet ill. Sugar-free candies and gum are made with xylitol, a sugar substitute that can cause a drop in blood sugar, depression, loss of coordination and seizures in your pet. Xylitol is also linked to liver failure in dogs. Be sure to keep all candies, chocolate and other sweets out of your pet’s reach. If you believe your pet may have ingested chocolate or candy, call your veterinarian immediately.

Chocolate and other sweets can make pets sick

Chocolate with Wrappers

Be sure to properly dispose of leftovers and wrappers. Feed pets their usual diet. Treats formulated similarly to the pet’s regular diet are generally healthy and safe. Also keep in mind (while cooking) that pets may not know about hot stoves or to stay out from underfoot. Keep pets away from the stove so they don’t get burned or get hot foods spilled on them.

Several decorative plants are poisonous. Mistletoe and holly can cause stomach upset with vomiting and diarrhea. The berries of these plants are attractive, easily swallowed, and potentially fatal if consumed. Poinsettias, like the leaves of most any plant, can also cause stomach upset. Use artificial mistletoe and holly; keep other plants out of your pet’s reach.


Mistletoe and Holly

Make sure Christmas trees are secured so that pets cannot pull them over. Omit preservatives from the tree-stand water and cover the water so pets don’t drink it. Don’t spray snow on the tree unless it is labeled for pet consumption. Angel hair is spun glass and is irritating to both the inside and outside of your pet. Even glass ornaments and ornament hooks have been chewed and swallowed. These objects can cause problems from stomach upset to damaged intestines. Low-hanging ornaments are a real temptation, as are tinsel and electric lights. Decorative lights and electrical wiring can cause shock or burns when chewed, soremember to unplug holiday lights when pets are unattended.

Holidays have lots of activity going on. Be sure doors are not left open as guests come and go. Indoor pets inadvertently left outside could be injured by frostbite, cars, or other animals. Ice-melting chemicals and salt on sidewalks and roads can severely burn foot pads and should be washed off right away. Also, watch that guests don’t leave interesting objects, such as chocolate, ribbons, stocking stuffers, or other illicit treats, within your pet’s reach.

Holidays can also be as stressful for your pet as they are for you. Large gatherings of unfamiliar people may cause your dog or cat unnecessary stress and worry. If your pet does not interact well with strangers, keeping him or her in a separate room during the festivities may help keep your pet relaxed and worry-free.

Don’t leave food items under the tree with an unsupervised pet; the wrapping, ribbon and enclosed gift are probably not compatible with your pet’s digestive system. Ask Santa to put gifts out of your pet’s reach so your pet won’t beat you to them on Christmas morning.

When choosing a gift for your pet, consider the pet as an individual. Cats enjoy lightweight toys they can bat around, catnip toys, scratching posts, and kitty perches. Dogs like balls, chew toys, and things they can carry around. However, beware of toys with parts, such as bells, buttons, string, yarn, or squeaky parts, that can be detached and swallowed. Watch how your pet handles a new toy until you are sure it is safe. Some dogs treat a stuffed toy like a friend and carry it around and sleep with it. Others will tear them up and eat the stuffing and get into trouble. Also, if there is more than one pet in the household, consider all the pets before buying for any one of them. A one-inch diameter toy for a cat is fine, but a puppy in the household may swallow it and possibly require surgery to remove it.


If your pet does get sick, call Island Trees Veterinary Hospital and consult with Drs. Jay Gottlieb, Gil Caren or Brad Gottlieb before giving any medications. Many of the over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen – Tylenol(r) and Excedrin(r) and ibuprofin – Advil(r), Motrin(r), are toxic for animals even though they are safe for us. Don’t wait to see if your pet gets better. If your pet is acting sick, call Island Trees Veterinary Hospital immediately.

If you have questions or need information about your pet and the holidays, please call the hospital. Island Trees Veterinary Hospital is located at 451 New South Rd., Hicksville, NY. We provide complete veterinary services for pets in Nassau County.

Most Popular Dog Breed: Labrador Retriever

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Once again the American Kennel Club has released its list of the most popular dog breeds, and the winner won’t be a surprise to anyone who spends time at the dog park. Labrador Retrievers, known for their friendly, outgoing and athletic temperament, topped the list. Close behind the top dogs are German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers.

Labrador puppies

Here’s the full list:

1) Labrador Retriever
2) German Shepherd
3) Golden Retriever
4) Beagle
5) Bulldog
6) Yorkshire Terrier
7) Boxer
8) Poodle
9) Rottweiler
10) Daschund

New App Tracks Lost Pets with Neighbor’s Phones

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

A new company has built an app it says will change the way lost pets are located. The app, called Pawscout, uses a special tag that communicates with any cellphone using its mobile app in a 250-foot range. When “lost mode” is activated by the pet owner, the tag will send an alert to anyone with the app in the area. The app uses mesh networking to alert you to your pet’s location.

Because of the way the device and app communicate with nearby phones, the app’s success will depend on whether or not it is adopted by pet owners. The company plans to partner with the ASPCA to help spread the word.

Veterinarians Must Report Animal Abuse in Many States

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

In many states, veterinarians are now required by law to report cases of animal abuse to authorities. Massachusetts has become the 15th state in the United States to impose this mandate. According to the law, failure to report cases of animal abuse to authorities could result in disciplinary action from the Massachusetts Board of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, vice president of animal welfare for the animal Rescue League of Boston, says that these laws have become more common because of an increased focus on animal abuse from law enforcement. “We are seeing an increasing number of local police departments taking the investigation of suspected animal cruelty more seriously because of the growing understanding of the co-occurrence of other crimes,” she said.

Here’s a full list of states where veterinarians are required to report animal abuse:

• Arizona
• California
• Colorado
• Illinois
• Kansas
• Massachusetts
• Maine
• Minnesota
• Missouri
• Nebraska
• North Dakota
• Oklahoma
• Oregon
• Wisconsin
• West Virginia

Study Suggests Some Pet Foods Have Misleading Packaging

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

A new study published in the Food Control journal found that many brands of pet food do not contain the types of meat they claim to on the packaging. Researches from Chapman University in Orange, Calif. tested 52 pet-food products and found that 20 were mislabeled and 16 contained meat not indicated on the packaging.

The study found that pork was the most common meat found in the food but not the packaging. “Although regulations exist for pet foods, increase in international trade and globalization of the food supply have amplified the potential for food fraud to occur,” wrote Rosalle Helberg, the co-author of the study. It was not clear to researchers whether or not the mislabeling was intentional, or at which points in production it occurred.

The veterinarians and staff at Island Trees Veterinary Hospital offer nutrition counseling and food recommendations for your pet. Our recommendations include information on food brands, proper serving size and other feeding strategies to maintain optimal body weight and nutritional health. We also help you wade through the claims made by pet food producers so you can make the most informed choice.

At Island Trees Veterinary Hospital, we offer nutritional counseling for every life stage and have a variety of diets and methods specific for your pet.

Call us today or stop by the hospital to discuss your pet’s nutritional needs with one of our knowledgeable staff members.

More Apartments Charging Extra Rent For Pets

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

It’s not always easy finding pet-friendly apartments, and the Associated Press says it’s getting harder as many apartment managers are now charging tenants extra rent. While extra security deposits for pets have been commonplace in many apartment complexes, the AP says that monthly rental payments anywhere from $10 to $50 are becoming increasingly common.

According to Apartments.com, 78% of renters surveyed paid a pet deposit this year. Of those, 29% also paid additional pet rent. Some apartment managers use the extra rent to pay for expenses related to the animals, but some simply charge more because they can. In an interview with the AP, apartment manager Stacy Leighty said she added the fee after her financial adviser recommended it.

Dog Rescued After Falling Off 200-Foot Cliff

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Michelle Simmons thought her dog had passed away after Gracie, a Labradoodle, fell off a cliff during a hiking trip. But during a memorial service for the dog held on the cliff, a hiker heard a familiar sound – a barking dog, coming from the bottom of the cliff.

The hikers called the Oregon Humane Society, who assembled a 10 person volunteer rescue team. After hiking to the cliff, a member was lowered down and found Gracie, scratched and bruised, but otherwise in good health.

Drs. Jay Gottlieb, Gil Caren and Brad Gottlieb, veterinarians at Island Trees Veterinary Hospital, emphasize keeping your dog on a leash at all times. “Your dog’s leash can save your pet’s life.”

Oregon Supreme Court Rules That Animals Can Be Treated As Victims

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled the animals can be treated as victims in legal cases, effectively affording animals the same protections humans have in abuse cases. The ruling stems from a 2009 court case in which the defendant was convicted of starving 20 horses and goats on his property. The defendant argued that because the law defines animals as property, he should not have been charged with separate counts of neglect for each animal. The judge disagreed, arguing that each animal was a separate victim.

The ruling is expected to result in longer sentences for those convicted of animal abuse. According to Lora Dunn, staff attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Portland, the ruling may also change how law enforcement responds to animal abuse calls, as it may eliminate the need for law enforcement to obtain a warrant in certain circumstances to investigate claims of neglect or abuse. “To acknowledge that animals are victims of crime, that’s really common sense to us,” said Dunn.

Tips To Help Dogs Cope With “Back-To-School Blues”

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

In an interview with the Associated Press, Dr. Nick Dodman, specialist and professor of animal behavior at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, recommended the following tips to help ease the transition between summer and the school year:

– Make departure time happy using toys and treats
– Create a place in the house where the dog feels safe
– Try starting the routine before school begins
– Do not indulge with baby talk or sympathy
– See a veterinarian if the dog’s disposition doesn’t improve

With a little advanced planning and a few tweaks to you and your dog’s morning routine, you can keep your dog relaxed and content while his favorite playmate is gone for the day. Before you know it, your dog’s “back-to-school blues” will be a thing of the past.

Goldfish Has Life Threatening Tumor Removed

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

A veterinarian in Australia performed micro-surgery on a goldfish, removing a tumor that might have ended the fish’s life. The goldfish, George, was unable to eat or swim with the tumor, and the veterinarian gave the owner the option to remove the tumor or put George to sleep. She chose to have the tumor removed.

The procedure involved putting the fish under general anesthetic. To accomplish this, George was placed in a water bucket heavily laced with the drug until he fell asleep. He was then placed in a second bucket laced with enough anesthetic to keep him asleep during the surgery. With the procedure complete, he was placed in a third bucket with oxygenized water.

George has fully recovered from the surgery. According to his veterinarian, he could live for another 20 years.

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