September Tails From the Field

September 9, 2021

We are guided by our mission of giving pets and their families more happy moments together.

It’s at the heart of what we do.

Tails from the Field is a glimpse into that very heart—our family of hospitals. Despite continued challenging and uncertain times, the talented and dedicated veterinary teams in each of our hospitals continue to make a profound difference for pets and people in each of the communities we love and serve. Because in times like these, we focus on what’s important—the cherished relationships we have with our pet owners and referring veterinary partners to care for the pets we cherish most! 

Here are just some of those heartwarming stories of care from our family to yours.


Upstate Vet: Clearing the way for an unusual patient

Upstate Vet had a large, plush visitor in late June—a 3-week-old alpaca, aptly named Summer Breeze, with red, swollen eyes. Although Upstate Vet typically sees small animals, their team welcomed the surprising guest. Board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Diana Pate examined the young alpaca, also known as a cria, and diagnosed conjunctivitis, or “pinkeye.”

Conjunctivitis is easily spread by flies, so is commonly seen in outdoor animals during the summer months. Animals with conjunctivitis often present with red, swollen eyes and yellow discharge, and may be uncomfortable. Fortunately, the condition is easily treated with sterile eye cleansing and prescription eye ointment. Summer Breeze is seeing clearly since her visit, and the Upstate Vet team enjoyed spending time with the fluffy cria.

MissionVet: Helping a canine athlete return to competition

Annie, a 2-year-old Australian Shepherd, loves competing in agility events, and won 11 ribbons at her first competition. When Annie developed a limp, however, her owners became concerned that her competition days were over. Annie was diagnosed with medial patellar luxation (MPL), and her corrective surgery was scheduled with MissionVet’s Dr. Tige Witsberger. 

MPL is a condition where the patella (i.e., kneecap) is displaced inward when a dog runs and jumps—crucial for agility events. By deepening the abnormally shallow patellar groove, and possibly realigning the patellar tendon, veterinary surgeons can typically correct the condition, and patients can return to normal function. Annie is taking it easy while she recovers from her MPL surgery, but her family hopes she can compete again soon! Click here to check out the sweet patient with her favorite surgery technician, Esther. 

Animal Eye Center of New Jersey: Granting blind pets a bright future

Pets can develop many of the same eye conditions as people, including cataracts, which cause the normally transparent lens to become opaque. People with severe cataracts compare the vision changes to looking through a glass block window—light enters the eye, but no clear image is formed. Fortunately, surgery that removes the damaged lens material, and replaces the lens with an implant, can restore vision in affected pets.

Princess, an 8-year-old miniature pinscher mix, was recently presented to Animal Eye Center of New Jersey with severe cataracts that had caused complete vision loss. After surgery, Princess’s pupils are back to their normal sparkling black color, instead of the cloudy gray characteristic of cataracts. Check out Princess’s incredible before and after photos—the look of joy on her face says it all!

Avets: Saving lives with quick action

Titan, a 2-year-old pit bull, was recently rushed to the Avets emergency room with extensive road rash and a dislocated rear leg after being hit by a car. The Avets emergency team sprung to action, first addressing Titan’s most serious complications of shock and pain. After the ER team stabilized Titan and addressed his skin concerns, one of Avets’ board-certified surgeons addressed his hind leg. Titan’s leg was dislocated and there was a fracture to the same knee. Amputation was the best option for Titan’s condition. 

 Titan bounced back from the surgery quickly and was slowly weaned off pain medications. After four days of hospitalization—and lots of love from the Avets team—Titan returned home, where his family reports he is recovering well! You can see this handsome boy rocking life as a “tripawd” here.

CVRC: Providing a pain-free path 

Stella was brought to Charleston Veterinary Referral Center (CVRC) after being diagnosed with immune-mediated polyarthritis (IMPA) earlier this year. IMPA causes the immune system to inappropriately release white blood cells and inflammatory chemicals into the joint fluid, causing sore, swollen joints, fever, and lethargy. 

Dr. Sharon Clare, a CVRC internal medicine specialist, is treating Stella with medications to suppress her overactive immune response. The CVRC team looks forward to spending time with the sweet dog as she attends follow-up visits for monitoring over the next several months. See Stella thanking Dr. Clare for helping her feel better here.

GCVS: Celebrating a victory over cancer

Albie may be 10 years old, but she is young at heart—and winning her battle against cancer. Albie was diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma, a form of bladder cancer, in July 2019. With the help of her dedicated owner and the Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists (GCVS) oncology team, she celebrated her one-year chemotherapy protocol anniversary in May, and is still fighting strong. 

Albie’s devoted mom brings her every two to three weeks for treatments at GCVS, where the oncology team adores her sweet face and lovable personality. Check out Albie celebrating her victory over cancer here