It is hard to believe that as of August 29th, 2020, East-West Animal Hospital has in operation for 10 years. Time does fly. In that time there has been a lot of changes not only at East-West, but the veterinary field and the world as a whole.
So, what are some of the changes that have developed here at East-West? It may be shorter to say what has not changed. COVID has prompted many changes by accelerating the implementation of virtual visits and curbside care. COVID has also changed how we are celebrating our 10-year anniversary. Our original plan was to have a BIG BASH, in early September, around the “hospital’s birthday”. So instead we are doing something every month throughout the year until September 2021.
So, to kick things off, I want to present some of the changes that have occurred at East-West Animal Hospital over the past decade.
Technology has changed tremendously in 10 years. While we have always had digital X-rays for looking inside the body, chest, abdomen- as well as dental X-rays. The technology has improved tremendously!!! The difference between the image quality in the equipment we had when to opened compared to our recent upgrades are as different as night and day.
Our in-house chemistry lab machines have improved. We can offer more diagnostics in office. Including urinalysis results within 10 minutes. No more waiting overnight to see if you pet has a bladder infection. Especially if it is on a Friday, the wait is 3 days. No one wants to experience bladder discomfort over the weekend. We still send urine samples to the lab, as there are more values, we can get than on the in-office machine. We will still send recheck samples out to get those additional values.
We have added cold laser therapy and a stance analysis. “What are those?” you may ask. Cold laser is a device that uses laser light to help aid in improving circulation and decreasing inflammation which accelerates wound healing and decrease pain. It can be used to speed up healing after surgery or injury, decrease pain for arthritis, and help infected abscesses and wounds heal quicker. The model we have can be used for acupuncture for those patients who do not tolerate needles.
The stance analysis is a force plate, a device where a patient stands on a mat (similar to our scale), and measures how much weight/force is being applied to each limb. This is our newest device that I am most excited about. This allows us to confirm what leg/limb is the affected and helps us to monitor therapy. Not all pets show pain the same way, especially when in the vets’ office. Similar to when you go to the dentist with a toothache. This also helps us to determine what treatments are working and what needs to be changed to improve the comfort of our pets. This device also can help us narrow down what limb/leg/area of the skeletal system that needs to radiograph (X-rayed). We don’t want our patients glowing in the dark because we had to X-ray the whole body. While this is used mainly for our canine patients, we have been fortunate enough to be able to get useful information from a couple of our feline friends, which is super exciting.
I have completed 2 years of a 4-year master’s program in Chinese medicine. While my studies have been on hold in part due to COVID, I hope to pick up my studies again soon.
We are in the process of becoming Fear Free Certified Hospital. “What is Fear Free?” You may ask. Fear Free is an initiative that strives to take the fear of vet visits away from our furry friends. Currently 50% of our staff is Fear Free Certified. East-West Animal Hospital was recently recognized as one of the hospitals out of 600 hospitals world-wide that has 50% or more Fear Free certified staff. We have always strived to keep odors at bay, adverse noise to a minimum, and surfaces to where it makes our furry companions less scared to come see us and providing treats!!!! But this training goes more in depth into teaching those in the vet community how to recognize stress in pets earlier, and how to work with the pet parents to decrease fear and anxiety. This movement is expanding to other areas of the pet care such as grooming, training, and boarding. I am so ecstatic to be a part of this movement.
And if that wasn’t exciting enough, East-West Animal Hospital has added a new doctor to the East-West Animal Hospital Family, Dr Kimberly Couch. EWAH has been looking for an associate for 5 years. Many of our clients have ask “When are you going to get another doctor to help Dr Register? You are working her to death!!!”. Our goal was never to hire the first person to come along. We wanted someone who shared in EWAH’s philosophies regarding care of our patients and their families. We have found that with Dr Couch.
So please join us in Welcoming Dr Couch, helping us celebrate our 10 year anniversary, pushing through COVID, and embracing the forward thinking changes that await us in the future to help keep our furry companions living happy, healthy, long lives.
Linda Register, DVM, CVA, CVFT
East West Animal Hospital
1524 LAND O LAKES BLVD
Lutz, Florida 33549
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