CVS Newsletter, November 2010

In This Issue

Holiday Accommodations
Holiday Safety - Avoid Common Toxic Ingestions
Adopt a Cat!
Hospital Highlight Story

Dear SFSPCA Veterinary Hospital Client:

Welcome to the first issue of the CVS (Community Veterinary Services) Newsletter from the San Francisco SPCA! We are grateful for your support and for the opportunity to provide care to your beloved companions.

We've created this newsletter as a convenient way to stay in touch and keep you up-to-date with news about our Hospital, and to offer you pet health tips and information about other goings-on in our organization. If you do not wish to receive this information in the future, please click the Unsubscribe link above.

As the Holiday Season quickly approaches, remember that we offer appointments for exams and health certificates for travel. If you opt not to subject your pet to the strained family dynamics and stale fruitcake (or perhaps just the stress of traveling) that you must endure, we also offer boarding services. Be sure to contact us soon at 415.554.3030, as our appointments book up quickly this time of year!

The Holiday Season is also a great opportunity to volunteer for one of our organization's most beloved traditions – Holiday Windows at Macy's, a 24-year old holiday tradition, where many of our adoptable animals are showcased in the beautifully-designed and festive Macy's department store windows in San Francisco's Union Square. SF SPCA volunteer greeters are the public face of the organization and are the key to the success of this partnership with Macy's. Last year at this event, over 300 animals found new homes and we raised more than $50,000. You can help us do even better this year! Please contact SF SPCA Volunteer services at 415.554.3008 or for more information.

As we approach the two-year anniversary of the opening of our state-of-the-art Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center, we continue to strive to provide the highest level of medical care for your furry family members and client service care for you. Please let us know how we are doing by completing a client satisfaction survey here:, or by emailing us at


The SF SPCA Community Veterinary Services Team

Holiday Accommodations

Our boarding services are unique in that we have a full veterinary team on-hand and staff that is able to take care of any medical needs your pet has, including administering oral medications, insulin injections,and subcutaneous fluids.

We offer special reduced rates for bath and/or nail trim service exclusive to boarding animals so Fluffy or Rover can have his or her own "spa" treatment during their stays with us.

Please come and visit! We encourage you to visit our facility before making boarding arrangements for your animal companion. To schedule a pre-boarding visit, obtain an estimate of boarding costs for your pet or for any other questions, please call us at 415.554.3030 or visit us at

Please note that to qualify for boarding, animals must be examined at our hospital within 6 months of boarding date.

Holiday Safety – Avoid Common Toxic Ingestions

Two things that we humans love most about the holidays – eating and gift-giving - are also two of the activities most commonly associated with holiday-time pet emergency room visits.

The following items can cause severe health problems – or even death.

  • Common foods such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, avocados, onions, garlic, and chives
  • Certain plants, such as holly, mistletoe, lilies, and poinsettias
  • Ribbon, string, and other gift-wrapping accessories
  • Small toys that can be swallowed or torn apart
  • Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol (Best to ring in the New Year with Spot by clinking champagne glasses of tap water!)

If you are concerned that your pet has ingested a toxic item or swallowed a foreign object, please contact us immediately at 415.554.3030, or come in directly to our emergency services.

We are open 7 days a week, from 8am – 6pm. Please note our amended Holiday schedule:

  • Thursday, November 25 (Thanksgiving) – CLOSED
  • Friday, November 26 – Open/regular schedule
  • Friday, December 24 – Open for emergencies only
  • Saturday, December 25 (Christmas) – CLOSED
  •  Friday, December 31 – Open/regular schedule
  • Saturday, January 1 (New Year's Day) – CLOSED

Adopt a Cat!

Do you have room in your house and your heart for a (another) feline? Our shelter is teeming with all kinds of cats in need of a loving home – kittens, cats, and cougars galore! We continue to offer a number of outrageous deals/adoption fees for cats, as well as the standard offer of a free post-adoption exam and 50% off other charges at our Hospital, which is good for up to two weeks after adopting! Stop by Maddie's Adoption Center at 250 Florida Street to check out some of our amazing adoptable animals in person, or peruse them online at

Hospital Highlight Story

You may have heard us say that at our Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center, we have a "full-service" veterinary hospital for both dogs and cats -- and wondered what exactly that means. Well, you might bring Fluffy or Fido in for an annual check-up. Or for some vaccination updates. Maybe an ear cleaning, or (super fun!) an anal gland expression. We also offer urgent care services for those more stressful times – chronic vomiting, foxtails in the nose, broken bones or nasty cuts. We're like a human ER -- we never know what's going to walk through the door.

In July, Artemis*, a 10-year old extra-petite Chihuahua, came in to our Hospital on emergency, from SFVS (San Francisco Veterinary Specialists). Among other symptoms, she was lethargic and vomiting. SFVS diagnosed her with pyometra, an infection of the uterus.

LUCKILY, pyometra is very treatable, with a spay procedure or OVH (ovariohysterectomy.) This is just one of MANY reasons we recommend having your pets spayed or neutered – pyometra is entirely preventable if your pet is spayed.

Artemis's doctor at SFVS knew that an emergency spay procedure was needed to treat Artemis. Artemis's owners were concerned and wanted to treat her, but couldn't afford to pay for this costly procedure and associated costs up front. SFVS recommended that Artemis's owners take her to us, as we offer various financing options for emergency services.

While the actual cost of high quality medical care at SF SPCA is comparable to SFVS (i.e.: often quite/astoundingly/painfully expensive), our payment programs make quality medical care accessible to more San Francisco owners and pets in critical situations. In fact, we are the only veterinary hospital in San Francisco that offers such options! Another great reason to choose a non-profit veterinary hospital like ours.

Artemis was transferred to our Hospital and examined by Dr. Simms. Her owners spoke with one of our financial officers, who helped work out a payment arrangement, so that her owners could pay for the estimated $2,000-$3,000+ treatment (gulp!) in installments. Dr. Goh then performed emergency surgery that same night to remove her infected uterus.

Over the next few days after her surgery, Artemis remained in a critical state and was monitored closely by our nursing staff, receiving medications to combat infections and pain and IV fluids to keep her hydrated. She was hypothermic, had abnormally low blood pressure and her heart was beating very slowly. She was not looking good.

But after four days of treatment and recovering, she was making enough of a recovery that the doctors approved her to go home, under strict nursing care – monitoring her closely, keeping her warm, comfortable and in a quiet spot. Ten days later, she came back for a check up of her surgery site, and was doing noticeably better – eating and drinking, and looked to be on the mend!

A month later, Artemis was back in for a "regular" routine-care appointment for vaccines; completely recovered, healthy and spayed.

Although we are here to act quickly and decisively and accommodate unforeseeable emergency situations, this is how we like to see your pets: healthy, neutered/spayed and not needing much more than a vaccine (or maybe a treat) when you come in to visit us.

*Not her real name; this is a pseudonym used to protect the identity of elderly Chihuahuas.

See What Else We've Got Going On!

Remember that the SF SPCA has many other departments, programs and ways to stay involved throughout the year. Check our website for volunteer opportunities, training classes and special events. Want more safety tips, fun facts and updates on events and specials?  Become a fan on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Check out our blog, Litter Did You Know.
Tune in to YouTube.

Share your stories with us and the SF SPCA community!

We are a nonprofit organization which depends on the support of our community to continue the programs that save lives and find homes for animals. Click here to donate – any amount helps.

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