In April 2012, Blue, our beloved Australian Shepherd, had his first seizure. For the next few days, he compulsively walked into corners and acted as though he was deaf and blind. He didn’t bark or wag his tail. An MRI confirmed that Blue had a 3cm tumor invading the ventricles of his brain. One veterinary oncologist said it was the biggest brain tumor she’d seen. The prognosis wasn’t good. The tumor was inoperable and experts at UF said Blue wasn’t a good candidate for stereotactic radiation. He was given a month to live, maybe a few with chemotherapy, which we started. Then, upon the advice of some friends, we went to see Dr. Todd, who said, “Let’s see what we can do for the boy.” He began acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapies. Blue’s seizures have stopped and, with Dr. Todd’s help, he successfully overcame a MRSA infection -- not a small feat considering that his medicines make him immunosuppressed. Now, a year later, Blue, 10, is a healthy and happy Frisbee-chasing machine with the energy of a five-year-old dog. No one can say for sure why he is thriving, but I believe it to be a progressive protocol that combines the best of Eastern and Western medicines – all topped off with Dr. Todd’s very caring attitude and refusal to give up on our boy.
“Dezi” was somewhat of a myth around Port Richey. She had been seen running the streets for over three years by the time Jill Smith of All Dog Rescue of Florida heard about her. This adventurous, petite dachshund could find her way in and out of trouble with great ease and was good at it too! After a few years on the streets, a less then savory group of individuals took her in, but it was not an ideal situation for the pint-sized traveler. Eventually, a neighbor noticed the trouble she was in, and after some bargaining, convinced the group to let her go. Though her new home would provide her with much needed veterinary care, it lacked real puppy love and was short lived. A few years after her second rescue, “Dezi” was abandoned again. That is when All Dog Rescue stepped in and REALLY saved her. Though she had been to the veterinarian with her previous owner and tested negative for heartworm disease in 2008, she was never placed on heartworm prevention. In November of 2012, “Dezi” was brought to the Animal Hospital of Dunedin, where she had a full medical work-up, including a heartworm test. This time she tested positive for the disease. Treatment was started immediately to save the little trooper and after months of treatment, she has made a full recovery. The next step in her medical make-over was to take care of “Dezi’s” severe dental disease. In February, “Dezi” underwent oral surgery with a whopping 12 extractions! Now with a pretty smile and an even stronger heart, “Dezi” is looking forward to her new furever family, who will be picking her up from All Dog Rescue of Florida on March 4th! Good Luck “Dezi”!
Rocki had a rough beginning, moved from a kill shelter to another that would allow him to stay until adopted. Lucky for him that didn’t take long and at about 4 months old he was in a home with his new family. Unfortunately for him that rough beginning was too much for his underdeveloped immune system. Rocki became very ill with an upper respiratory infection. He was lethargic, stopped eating, wouldn’t drink, and had a snotty nose, discharge from his eyes, terrible sneezing, and fleas. His new family, who was very concerned about how sick their new kitten was, brought him in to Dr. Morris for treatment. In addition to the outward signs the owner could see, Dr. Morris also discovered that he was dehydrated, anemic, had intestinal parasites (coccidia), ulcers in his mouth and even bloody nasal discharge as well. Based upon his clinical signs it was suspected that Calicivirus is most likely the cause of what was making Rocki so sick. Calicivirus is a virus that causes a severe upper respiratory infection and is highly contagious to other cats. Proper isolation techniques (separating cats, hand washing, disinfecting towels, bowls, litter boxes and cages) are required both at home and in the hospital to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. Aggressive treatment was started right away. Rocki spent 6 days in the hospital on I.V. fluids and antibiotics, eye medications, nose drops, anti-viral medications, nebulization treatments, deworming, force feeding a high calorie liquid diet and flea treatment. It was a rough week for the little guy (only 3.2 lbs.) and he was doing better but not 100%. Dr. Morris decided it was time to get him back home with his family and continue treatment with oral medications. After returning home he began to eat on his own, gain weight and play like a normal kitten. Over the next 2 weeks Rocki came back to the office for checkups and was improving each time and had even gained 1 lb. since his first visit. Dr. Morris and all the staff from kennel to the technicians that cared for him are so thrilled to have such a successful outcome. This was an extremely emotional and financially challenging time for the Gahles family and we are honored to have had the opportunity to take care of them and Rocki.
Please remember that Calicivirus is one that cats and kittens should be vaccinated for and that when in a shelter or cattery (especially as kittens) the risk of exposure and infection is much greater. Don’t hesitate to call the office to check on the status of your cats vaccines or if you have any questions about our vaccine protocol for cats and kittens.
Rocki before and after treatment..
Today, Christine and Phantom are celebrating their 11th birthday along with their brother, Tank who is owned by Margaret Engel. It is a miracle that Christine and Phantom are still with us today...Phantom contracted encephalitis in May, 2011 and Christine was diagnosed with meningoencephalomyelitis in April, 2010 and given 12-18 months life expectancy. We are in month 27 today thanks to Dr. Todd and his wonderful care of her and all of four-footed family. Thanks, Dr. Todd for helping allow these two special shelties to be able to remain in our lives enriching it as each day goes by.
Thank You Janice Thomas for letting us celebrate with your family!
Foxy Gets a Home!
Through very unusual and sad turn of events little “Foxy” was relinquished to our custody within days after being purchased. She stayed here with us for a few days being treated for a urinary tract infection and making friends with all of the staff members. In that short time we realized just where she needed to be. Our clients Pete and Elena Ketchum had lost their little fox terrier Josey to a long battle with a MRSA infection last November. Their other dog “Riley” was now alone. Long story short “Foxy” the Corgi pup was a perfect fit. “Riley” has a new buddy, “Foxy” has her forever home and the Ketchum family is complete. We feel so very privileged to share both the grief and joy that comes along with owning a pet. These are the times when we truly understand our role in this community and the responsibility we have to provide care and compassion for each family that chooses the Animal Hospital of Dunedin for their pet’s needs.
Clutch…and his sister Shelby
Separation anxiety and bad skin
Nikki wanted to share her kids story. ...how well he has been improving with his aniexty attacks and how well he is behaving in the care of your staff daily with mental and phyiscal therapy. Especially getting his thunder shirt, he has even improved at home and doesnt tear up the house anymore. Even without him being so stressful all the time his skin allergies are even improving.
My dog Clutch. We got him from a bad breeder at 6weeks old and ever since we got him he has had nothing but skin and allergies problems. Dr. Manfredi and I and Rick have tried every option out there for him to feel better and not break out so much in staph infections. With Dr. Manfredi's help and switching food he has finally calmed down on the skin problems. We also believe that due to his separation anxiety and ADHD issues his rash breakouts were much worse. We would come home to our entire house destroyed, I mean it literally looked like a hurricane hit. We got the thunder vest and he has done a complete 180 change with it. His anxiety levels have changed dramatically and now he spends days in day care at the Animal Hospital of Dunedin. I can personally tell he is happier even his manners have improved. He just wants someone around all the time and before we started taking him there every day he would hurt himself in his cage. He is my child and I would do anything for him.
Story on Shelby.... Shelby is my Miami Street Pit Bull. She was found rooming the streets in Miami. Miami has a band on Pit Bulls and I saw her online and I drop everything I had going on and ran down to Miami on a limb and took her off death row. She is my angel and because of her I now have a different outlook on Pit Bulls. When I took her home, she didn’t even know how to play with a toy; all she wanted to do was fight and hated men at first. All she wanted was a warm soft place to stay and now she doesn’t ever leave my side. Clutch and she are best buds. But she loves her alone time while Clutch is at day care.
In the fall of 2010, my Australian Sheppard named Jack was diagnosed with heartworm by the Animal Hospital of Dunedin. There is a series of three shots that can be given for heartworm and is given over a period of two months. At the time of the diagnosis, there was a shortage of serum for the second and third shot. We had to wait a month to start the treatment for the Hospital to get this serum.
The first shot was given to him and even though he was able to leave at the end to go home, I elected to have him stay overnight. The next morning he was more than ready to come home.
The next month, he received a shot early one morning and kept for observation and given another shot the next morning. Except for having to shave an area on his back next to his muscle where they did the injection he seemed to be okay. I did not notice any limping or favoring of the area where they injected the serum. I did, however, notice when the hair started growing out it itched, which is to be expected.
I was told to watch for coughing, rapid breathing and shortness of breath. Fortunately Jack did not have any of those symptoms and it has been approximately four months and except for when something gets caught in his throat does he cough. I have kept him away from strenuous activity and leash walked only (no dog parks), but have not necessarily limited the length of his walks.
As of this writing I have not had another X-ray done to see if the series of shots have worked. Obviously, I hope they have and the heartworm is under control. The experience for me was tense but the treatment he has received was good and I cannot see that it has had any long term effect on him as he does not balk having to go to the Animal Hospital, which can only tell me that he was treated with kindness and respect.
We wanted to brag on our friend "Dakota" (GCH. Lokavi's Perfect Game, owned by Ron & Lynette Mauder). He has been invited to the 2011 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Invitational Show, which will be held on December 17 & 18th, in Orlando. Congratulations to this handsome young man and his family!
I learned so much over the many years Dr. Hafner and his associates cared for my dogs. I always said I wanted to work in the veterinary field and pursued the opportunity recently, when I moved to Vermont. We had several pets who received their care at AHofD, but our special one was "Rocky." HIs heart defect could have taken him away within his first few days of life, but Dr. Hafner helped to diagnose the problem and provided supportive care. His "Eisenmonger Syndrome" is so rare, a vet might see one case in their entire career, and "Rocky" was the one! Knowing the long-range effects of the disease, Dr. Hafner followed his blood counts and eventually needed to remove some of his blood, because Rocky's became too thick. Sick and injured animals treated at AHofD and others in the Tampa area were able to benefit from his need to donate blood. Over his 4 1/2 year life, he donated GALLONS! When his time came to cross the "rainbow bridge" all the doctors and staff tearfully bid him farewell. We continue to be grateful for the care and compassion shown by AHofD and for the blessing we were given to spend time with this wonderful dog! He touched many lives in his short life! We are...Forever thankful!!
Dr. Hafner is awesome! He helped my puppy, Cody, who is a beagle, so much. Dr. Hafner and the whole staff went above and beyond to help Cody and make him better. Thank you so much!
-Beckie B., Dunedin
Hi! I’m Morgan the Maltese and I’m 15 years old. My problems started about 3 years ago when I was first diagnosed with cancer. Then this past May I suffered what my vet called a mini-stroke. I was so sick I didn’t even know my Mom and it took me 12 weeks to recover. I slowly got better and was doing okay when I had, what my Mom calls, an “episode” on 9/23/08. Yep, it was so bad I remember the exact day. My Mom rushed me to the Emergency Vet and, after x-rays; he said I had 3 compressed discs just below my neck. The next day Mom took me to my regular vet, who agreed, and put me on more pain meds. I was in bad shape, lots of pain, and couldn’t walk for a while. I was running out of treatment options and felt terrible. At my age surgery was out of the question. My mom had a couple friends tell her that we should see Dr Todd, to explore if Chinese Medicine could help me. On 10/16/08 I had my consultation with Dr Todd and started acupuncture treatment the following week. Wow, the experience was really different and I wasn’t sure about the needles but I must say, now that I have been treated a few times, I really love it. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but my pain is a whole lot better and I can actually walk really well for most of the day now. Two weeks ago I actually fell asleep during the treatment. Imagine that! Mom has had to stop me from trying to jump up on the couch because I just want to get back to normal life and I don’t know when to slow down. Just look at my “before” and “after” pictures, and you can see the expression in my eyes has changed. Mom is thrilled that my quality of my life is so much better and we have more time together. I am just glad to make her happy again. Thank you Dr Todd, and your team, for the nurturing and caring environment and quality treatment options! If you would like to read more about my story you can read all my daily journals from that time period by just looking me up on www.doggyspace.com/profile/14264. I think Dr. Todd is the greatest and he can stick needles in me anytime.
Morgan Before Acupuncture
In January of this year, we brought our little Yorkie to Dr. Todd to inquire about acupuncture and herbs due to her CRF. We had been told in late Dec. that we "maybe" had two weeks with Abby because she was so ill. Dr. Todd started acupuncture and herbs along with his daily compassionate treatment and suggestions on Abby and the rest is history. We have had major ups and downs with Abby because of a disease that we know we won't win, however, almost one year later, she is still with us because of the compassion, experience and knowledge of Dr. Todd. He is truly amazing in all ways. Along with him also comes a group of amazing and caring staff members. Never do we go into his office that the girls don't make over our little Abby and hence the reason she is so comfortable going there. It breaks our heart every day that our baby has to suffer through this terrible disease but we are so very thankful that we have Dr. Todd taking care of not only Abby and her ups and downs but also our emotions. Thank you Dr. Todd and your staff. You are truly guardian angels here on Earth.
-Donna M., Palm Harbor
Hi, my name is Kati F. I had never been to your establishment until yesterday when I had an emergency with my new cat. I came in the door with the kitten and your staff took the kitten right away. She was having a seizure and tremors that would not stop. Dr. Matthews looked over the cat and told me my options of helping her. He was very knowledgeable and caring. After some penicilin and diazepam, my cat is finally back to normal. She had tremors that whole afternoon, but by the night time she was doing better and this morning she was kissing my face to wake me up. My cat had stopped breathing once yesterday and with Dr. Matthews help he saved this little kitten that I had found on the Pinellas Trail 2 weeks ago. I will now be bringing my Dogue De Bordeaux and my dachshund to your establishment when they are in need of something. The ladies at the front desk are wonderful as well. They never treated me like I needed an appointment or wasted time asking questions. They immediately took the kitten and were so sweet. They also called me later and told me they had two toys that my 3 year old left in the office.
Background: Born Jan. 2004 lived in an abusive home was rescued in June 2005 in Dec. 2005 was hit by an SUV and broke his pelvis in 3 places. Because of pain related to the injuries and subsequent surgeries he began licking his left rear leg to the point of creating a Lick Granuloma (an open sore that is caused by chronic licking). “Biggie” was adopted into his forever home with Nancy Browning in Jan. 2007. When Nancy adopted him the wound was 3-4” open, raw, red and sore. After 8 months of traditional veterinary treatment consisting of cortisone injections into the affected area, bandages, and laser therapy he was limping and still licking the area. Nancy kept covering the wound for the next 5 months but as soon as she uncovered it he was licking in a flash and right back to where she started. Making his situation even worse in Jan. 2008 he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his right rear leg that was removed and he went through radiation treatments (19 in all) throughout Feb 2008. Nancy decided to look for some alternative solution/treatment and took “Biggie” for an Acupuncture Consult with Dr. Todd in May 2008. WOW, after only 3 months the Lick Granuloma diminished and he no longer tries to go after that area. Now “Biggie” gets to see Dr. Todd once a month to keep him in tip top shape. He gets his herbs everyday and Nancy gives him a massage once a month. We are so happy for Nancy and “Biggie” and wanted to share his story. Here is what Nancy has to say
Today, “Biggie” is a happy guy who doesn't pay any attention to the Lick Granuloma area. Since seeing Dr. Todd, the sore has diminished to almost nothing and is the best it's ever been in the 20 plus months I've had him - it's amazing. What this tells me is the phantom pain he was feeling in his left hip (no doubt because of the surgery) radiating to his left rear leg is no longer there. He loves to have his left hip massaged as Dr. Todd instructed me to do and I'm just elated with the therapy he's been receiving. I realize this will probably continue for the rest of “Biggie's” life but it's such a small price to pay for a dog that had an awful start in life.
“Biggie” is very loving and attentive to people. However, because of the initial abuse he does have triggers. It took 8 months before he trusted me. I believe because of the successful treatment by Dr. Todd, his disposition with people has definitely improved because the pain is not as acute.
I wanted to express my appreciation for the many times you helped "Vivian". Your dedicated care made a difference in the quality of her life. Her years far exceeded expectations due to your expertise and compassion. This allowed me to enjoy her so much longer. Thank you for caring.
Thank you Dr. Matthews. We appreciate what you have done for "Coco Puffs" and I know she appreciates it too. She was at least "2 gallons lighter!"
... The feelings shared by you and your staff, are a sign of caring for the animals that you nurse back to good health. As I started with "Lieb's" first visit in the beginning, I was convinced that liebling would receive good care, which she did. ... So, I am sending my gratitude to you Dr. Todd, along with your staff. ...Thank you for all your care for "Lieb".
Thank you all so much for your care and concern, for the beautiful plaque and the card! You provide a very noble service to so many! Your efforts are much appreciated.
-A.S. from Dunedin
Thank you for supporting the 2007 Dunedin High School Grad Night Party! Over 200 graduates attended this year making it the largest in the eighteen year history of this event. Without our donors, this important night would not be possible. Again, thank you for caring for the youth of our community!
The 2007 Grad Party Committee.
-Nancy R. Guinn, Chair
Dear Dr. Todd,
You are always so cheerful, no wonder everyone likes you. Handling the animal is a talent. I do thank you for all you did for my previous pet and now know that my new dog is in good hands with you. I appreciate all you have done.
-M.S. of Dunedin
Thank you so much for the generous donation to Japanese Chin Rescue. This is a huge help to our rescue.
E.D. and "children" of Safety Harbor
My doggie is so much better, thanks to all - she's happy again!!
N.S. of Tarpon Springs
Thank you so much for all the ways you are an outstanding vet and kind soul. The way that you treat me and my pet is above and beyond great compassion. We are forever grateful for you and your kind ways.
C.L. of Largo
Dear Dr. Todd,
I just wanted to thank you so very much for the care you gave over the years. Your kindness and compassionate ways turned a very timid girl into what she was. Without you, I know that she would not have had near as many good years as she did. Again thank you for all you have done.
A.W. of Oldsmar
Dear Pat (Hafner),
I wanted to let you know that we appreciate the time you took with us on Sunday. You have a great compassion for your patients and their owners. There are not many doctors out there like you who would take their time to explain with great detail to help us understand. I hope my son turns out like you! Thanks for taking care of my precious (hope she didn't leave any scars!), and I appreciate all that you have done for us. Please let Dr. Tucker know how much it meant to me that she took the time to talk with me when I was so upset. She seems to be a great asset to your team.
Dr. Hafner and staff,
My family wishes to thank you all for all your kindness and special touches when our toy poodle passed away at age 14 yrs. You know when you have a special place when there is so much compassion that is shown to your family. Thank you for all your tender loving care!
B.B. of Dunedin