Lone Mountain Animal Hospital Externship Program: Marguerite

Introducing Marguerite, the newest extern at Lone Mountain Animal Hospital!

Marguerite is from the Jackson, Mississippi area and is currently a fourth-year student at Mississippi State University. For as long as she could remember, Marguerite knew she wanted to become a veterinarian. She received her Bachelor’s from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. After graduating from Southern Mississippi, Marguerite worked at a small veterinary clinic before graduating with a Master’s degree from Mississippi College. 

During her time at Mississippi State, Marguerite volunteered with a student-run, rescue organization as part of the Homeward Bound Group.

“It’s an affiliate of Mississippi State, and there’s two different sectors, a dog and a cat portion, and I was part of the cat group,” she said. “I was responsible for the medical records, the shot records, everything like that. We were responsible for making sure all of the kittens were able to get fosters and get them medical care and turn them out for adoption. That was a really rewarding experience.”

Marguerite heard about the externship program at Lone Mountain during an expo Mississippi State was hosting in the summer of 2019. One of her classmates who was helping with the expo spoke to Marguerite about the program. She was also drawn to Lone Mountain as a way to gain more experience with exotics. Her interests in animal medicine include ophthalmology and surgery. Marguerite said she’s also interested in business entrepreneurship and hopes to open her own private practice one day.

“I’m excited to get hands-on experience with exotics and learn as much as I can from the different doctors,” she said. “I’ve only been exposed to smaller practices, with one or two doctors, and this is a much bigger practice. So, I’m looking forward to different skills I can learn and all the different things they’re willing to teach me, that way I bring it back there and show other people all the different things we have available to us in this industry.”

In her spare time, Marguerite likes to exercise, take her dogs for walks with her husband, and sit out by the lake near their house to enjoy the fresh air. In addition to her two dogs, Marguerite also owns three cats and five snakes. 

Welcome aboard, Marguerite!

What to know about Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV)

Veterinarian Taylor Parker of Lone Mountain Animal Hospital in Northwest Las Vegas discusses Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV), its symptoms, and the importance of getting pet rabbits vaccinated against this disease.

What is Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV)?

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) is a highly contagious and deadly disease in both domesticated and wild rabbits. It can be caused by two different, related viruses, RHDV1 and RHDV2. Currently, there is an outbreak of the RHDV2 virus in the Southwest United States. Of rabbits that are exposed to the virus, almost all of them die.

The disease is believed to have originated in Europe, but appeared in North America earlier this year. According to the House Rabbit Society, several cases of RHDV have been reported in the U.S. since April 2020. States that have reported the virus include Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Since April 2020, there are reports of wild and domesticated rabbits that have died of RHDV in the Las Vegas and Boulder City areas. 

What are the symptoms of RHDV?

Courtesy: Sandy Millar/Unsplash.com

Some symptoms of the disease may include loss of appetite, lethargy, bleeding from the nose or mouth, fever, difficulty breathing, or sudden death. Rabbits who are exposed to RHDV have been known to die within 24 hours of exposure. It’s also possible for rabbits to die without showing any symptoms of RHDV, which is why it’s so important to vaccinate rabbits against this disease.

How does the disease spread?

While humans cannot catch RHDV and the disease does not affect other animals, it can quickly spread among rabbits via inhalation, ingestion, or via absorption through scrapes and wounds. It can also be transmitted by direct contact with an infected rabbit, or by contact with an object, person, clothing, or equipment that has encountered an infected rabbit, or contaminated environment. Rabbits are also able to catch the virus through the consumption of contaminated water or food. Insects can spread the virus over long distances.

How often should my rabbit be vaccinated?

After your rabbit is given its first vaccine against RHDV, a booster shot is administered every year. The State Veterinarian of Nevada requires all domesticated rabbits to be microchipped after getting vaccinated, as a way to prove that the rabbit is protected against RHDV. It is recommended that rabbit owners wait about a week for the vaccine to work. Because of how contagious the disease is, vaccines for RHDV are in high demand. Currently, only two labs in the world manufacture the vaccine, but the United States is taking steps to manufacture it domestically.

Is my rabbit eligible for the vaccine?

Any healthy rabbit is eligible for the RHDV vaccine. However, if your rabbit is having trouble walking, showing a loss of appetite, or experiencing any other symptoms, you should delay giving your rabbit the RHDV vaccine to rule out any health issues or diseases. 

Lone Mountain Animal Hospital Externship Program: Mallory

Meet Mallory, the newest extern to join the team at Lone Mountain Animal Hospital!

She was born in Sugar Land, Texas, but grew up in Delaware. According to Mallory, she knew she wanted to become a veterinarian around the time she was 6 or 7-years-old. Originally, she wanted to be a cupcake maker, but her mother told her, “‘You can’t just make cupcakes.'”

“So, then I decided I want to work with animals,” Mallory said. “Because we lived in Texas, I was constantly bringing in things from the outside to try and care for, even though my mother was not happy about it.”

Currently, Mallory is a third-year student at Colorado State University [CSU] and will graduate with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2022. She obtained her Bachelors degree in Pre-Veterinary Medicine from the University of Delaware, and her Master’s in Microbiology from CSU. During her time at Colorado State, Mallory has volunteered as a case coordinator for hospice care and guided pet owners when their pets enter the final stages of life.

“I think that’s really a defining moment for a lot of families and their relationships with their pets,” she said. “I like to make it as peaceful, and not a traumatic experience, which it can be sometimes, so I’m really enjoying that right now.”

Mallory has additional experience in caring for exotics and worked as a veterinary assistant in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Nearly every area of animal medicine holds some interest for Mallory, but she listed her top interests as exotics, emergency medicine, critical care, ophthalmology, and preventative care. Mallory learned about the externship program at Lone Mountain from one of her classmates and is most excited to get hands-on experience outside the classroom.

In her spare time, Mallory enjoys hiking with her Coonhound-German Shepard mixed dog Shenzi and cooking. She also adopted a cat named Addy during the quarantine.

“I figured if we’re all stuck inside, I should get another animal!” she said.

Welcome to the team, Mallory!

Pet Safety During July 4th

With Independence Day right around the corner, it’s important to remember to keep our furry friends safe and calm as the fireworks go off.

More pets are reported missing on July 4th and 5th than any other time of the year, so it’s important to know what tips and tricks to use to keep our pets feeling safe and sound:

Beware the Foxtail

Walking your dog is a daily task that is both beneficial to you and your dog, and you both get exercise and quality time together.

Nevada is home to various deserts, parks, and mountains to explore, however, the Silver State is also home to Hordeum Lubatum, also known as the foxtail. Read our infographic on this pesky plant, and how to best protect your pet.

Lone Mountain Animal Hospital COVID-19 Update

Last update 4/29/20

A pug has tested positive for COVID 19 and is thought to be the first dog in United States to have tested positive.[7]

Like the dog cases in Hong Kong it is though that the Pug was infected by his owners, three of whom were also positive, and the positive result was considered “mild.”. It is also worth noting that another dog and a cat in same household tested negative.

Two domestic cats have tested positive for COVID 19 in New York.[6] 

These are the first cases of COVID 19 in cats in the United States.

Both cats showed mild respiratory symptoms and are expected to recover. The owner of one of the cats tested had previously tested positive for COVID 19, while it is suspected that the other cat’s owner was asymptomatic.

Previously a cat in Belgium and a cat in Hong Kong tested positive and two dogs tested a weak positive also in Hong Kong.

Recently, a Tiger tested positive for COVID 19 at the Bronx Zoo in New York. It is believed that the Tiger caught the virus from a keeper at the zoo, who was also COVID 19 positive but not showing symptoms.

This latest development for pets and COVID 19 does not really change the CDC’s guidelines, although they have provided additional clarification.[1]

“Until we learn more about this new coronavirus, you should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would with people. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet,”

In addition, the CDC recommends:

“Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals, do not gather in groups, and stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings. Do not go to dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather. To help maintain social distancing, do not let other people pet your dog when you are out for a walk.”

There are well over a million people have been tested for positive for COVID 19 and very few domestic pets.

An animal health lab, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., which has developed a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in pets, released a statement on March 13th that out of thousands of samples from cats and dogs with upper respiratory symptoms none tested positive for COVID-19.[2]

Likewise, Trupanion, a pet insurance company with 500,000 members has seen no uptick in claims for respiratory diseases in pets.[5]

The CDC does NOT recommend testing pets for COVID 19.

The advice from the CDC is that there is no evidence that pets can spread COVID 19 to humans. “At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. A small number of pets have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after contact with people with COVID-19.”

The doctors and staff, like everyone else, are watching the situation closely. However, our advice and recommendations based on information from the CDC’s website, along with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website.[3]

At Lone Mountain, we have made a number of changes to respond to this crisis.

We have temporarily changed our hours to 7AM – 6PM, Monday through Friday, Saturdays 7AM – 5PM, and on Sundays 8AM – 4PM.

We are not allowing clients into the building.

We have instituted curbside-service.

We will collect your pet from you in the parking lot next to your car (please remember your social distance), and we will communicate with you by phone. Payment by credit card will be made over the phone. Please just call us on 702-645-3116, and we will advise you as to each step of the process when you arrive. Our lobby doors will be locked.

Please keep your phone handy and answer blocked calls and text messages during your appointment – that is how we will be communicating with you.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 we ask that you try to have another member of your household bring your pet in.

We have temporarily be suspended our grooming services until further notice.

We are accepting boarders and day boarders on a case-by-case basis.

Thank you for your understanding, and support, during this difficult time. We are making these changes to try and keep both our clients and our staff safe, while still being able to look after pets.

Obviously, this is a very difficult time for everyone.

We take our responsibilities to the pet community in Las Vegas, and the surrounding area, very seriously indeed, just as seriously as we take our responsibilities to our doctors and staff.

The State of Nevada considers veterinarians an essential service…

As per NRS 414.060; NRS 414.070; Declaration of Emergency, Directive 003, March 20, 2020 section 1(a), “Essential Licensed Business” includes essential healthcare operations such as veterinary services.

… so do we.

All of our staff have their temperature checked before starting their shift, and self-check throughout the day.

We have an almost constant cleaning regiment in place throughout the hospital.

Our staff wear masks at all times, both inside and outside of the building.

We have a delivery service for food, medications, and pets.

We also have an online store through our website.

For the moment we are providing routine services, including dentals as part of our dental special. However, if you would prefer not to come in at this time, we will be continuing the dental special to later in the year.

Lone Mountain Animal Hospital has updated our own internal protocols, including cleaning and staff interactions, and we would ask clients to understand if handshakes and hugs are no longer the norm for the time being.

This is obviously a rapidly evolving situation and so things are changing day to day, but our intention is to be there for you and your pet.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#COVID-19-and-Animals

[2] https://www.idexx.com/en/about-idexx/news/no-covid-19-cases-pets/

[3] https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19/

[5]https://trupanion.com/blog/2020/03/a-fact-first-look-at-covid-19-and-pet-health/

[6]https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/news/sa_by_date/sa-2020/sars-cov-2-animals/

[7]https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/25503/20200428/winston-pug-first-coronavirus-positive-dog-according-research-duke-university.htm

Social Distancing in the Veterinary Hospital

Veterinary services are essential to pet health, overseeing zoonotic health, and ensuring a healthy supply of food. At Lone Mountain Animal Hospital, we are open for business, but with updated protocols to comply with social distancing and to protect both our staff and clients.

We ask that all clients follow these guidelines as they are mandatory, not elective in ensuring public safety and in order for Lone Mountain to be open to provide veterinary services.

  • At LMAH, we are following COVID-19 social distancing guidelines by minimizing close contact between people and maintaining a 3-foot distance.
  • Only one family member is permitted in the exam room. Please have other family members wait in the car. No children are permitted in the hospital.
  • Only one client is permitted in the lobby at a time. We are currently utilizing our “dog” lobby entrance only. A staff member will receive you at the door to take your name and cell phone number.
  • If the lobby is occupied, we will ask you to wait in your vehicle. Once the lobby is clear we will call you to enter the building.
  • When leaving the building please do not return to the lobby, use the exit door located at the left side of the reception desk.
  • If waiting on tests, we ask you to wait in your car. If more time is needed you can go home and we will call when your pet is ready.
  • If your pet has a medical emergency, please alert our staff and you will be escorted into our “cat” entrance.

Please feel free to speak with our team members about any of your individualized needs at 702-645-3116. Thank you for your patronage and assistance during this time.

A Message Regarding COVID-19

A Message from LMAH Regarding COVID-19

We are currently open for business at Lone Mountain Animal Hospital. We recognize this is a difficult, stressful time for all. We value your trust in us as your family veterinarian and want to assure you we are doing our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 for the safety of both customers and our staff. In the veterinary field, we are accustomed to dealing with infectious diseases and are well-versed in the good sense of cleanliness and disinfection steps that are necessary.

At LMAH we have increased the frequency throughout the day of disinfecting common touch surfaces in our hospital and lobbies. Our staff is self-screening and reporting any fever or suspected symptoms to avoid contact with others. We are requesting that any clients with suspect symptoms or possible exposure to a COVID-19 infected person not enter the building.

People with suspect infection are asked to delay their pets veterinary visit until after they recover and those with more urgent veterinary needs should call to make arrangements. In the interest of complying with social distancing, we ask that you not bring additional family members or children along on your pet’s visit. We appreciate your assistance as we strive to keep our staff healthy so that we may continue to provide veterinary care.

How LMAH can help with social distancing in the veterinary office?

ONLINE PHARMACY

LMAH has an on-line pharmacy that is directly linked to your pet’s medical record and doesn’t require outside party communication. Your pet’s foods, medications, and health supplies can be ordered from our website and shipped directly to you. To use the online store, ensure your current email is on file with us, and you can place your on-line pharmacy request at www.lmah.net.  Look for the “Shop Now” tab at the upper right-hand side of the page.

PAY AHEAD

For those picking up pets from boarding, medical or surgical visits, we offer advance credit card payment by phone prior to your arrival.

CURB-SIDE PICKUP

In addition, curbside service is available for some visits- just call ahead to arrange with our staff if you wish to avoid coming into the hospital.

Please feel free to speak with our team members about any of your individualized needs at 702-645-3116. Thank you for your patronage and assistance during this time.

Sincerely,

Debbie White, DVM

Lone Mountain Animal Hospital Externship Program: Kristina

Meet Kristina, the newest extern at Lone Mountain Animal Hospital!

Kristina is a fourth-year student at the University of Illinois and will graduate in May this year! Originally from Riverside, California, she attended schools throughout Texas before graduating from Texas A & M University for her Bachelor’s and Graduate degrees. Kristina said ever since she was in kindergarten she’s wanted to be a veterinarian.

“That’s the typical answer,” Kristina said. “But, I kind of solidified the actual [Doctor of Veterinary Medicine] idea when I got to my undergrad.”

Kristina describes her volunteer experience as being “all over the place.” She got her start with rescues, animal shelters, and fosters when she was in middle school and she also volunteered with equine programs for special needs. Since then, Kristina said she’s also volunteered with dog shows, autism awareness places, and bottle baby fostering.

“I’ve probably fostered more than 200 bottle babies in the past five or six years,” she said. “So, that’s my claim to fame in college — everyone knows me as ‘The Bottle Baby Lady!'”

Since finishing her Graduate studies, Kristina said she’s interested in epidemiology and public health. She’s also interested in exotics and zoo medicine, but most of her experience thus far has been in domestic animals. She learned of the externship program at Lone Mountain Animal Hospital from her friend, Dr. Emilee Larkin! After discussing the program with Larkin, Kristina decided to apply and is looking forward to seeing the different aspects of private practice in a different part of the country. She’s also excited to learn more about the niches of exotic animal medicine.

In her spare time, Kristina enjoys continuing her volunteer work with animals and fostering. Kristina has adopted some of the animals she’s fostered. She currently has four cats, a dog, and two African dwarf frogs.

Welcome aboard, Kristina!

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