Animal lovers, especially pet owners, understand all too well that having four legged friends around the house can be a blessing. Though when it comes to pet health and emergency situations, animal parents, just want good care for their fur babies no matter the cost. That’s why Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital of Wichita (VESHW) created Paw It Forward, a non-profit charitable fund, for the purpose of providing financial assistance to in-hospital patients. Established in 2015, the Paw It Forward Foundation has granted over $50,000 toward veterinary care for pets in crisis.

Which is why pet owners, like Brandi, and her 7-month-old husky were so grateful when they came to VESHW last month after an accident at home.

Jax, a friendly blue eyed husky, came to the VESHW emergency hospital in pain and in need of immediate care. Jax’s “mom” knew right away that her pup had suffered a serious injury to his front leg. Jax got caught in a bed frame while running around the house with the other family dog.

“He [Jax] was scared and crying,” said Brandi. “I had to talk to him and calm him down so I could pull his leg out without damaging or hurting him further. It was so scary and sad for all of us. I immediately called the emergency veterinary hospital and took him in.”

Jax was x-rayed that night and confirmed that he suffered a fracture of his left radius/ulna. Doctors at VESHW said that Jax would need surgery under general anesthesia to secure the fracture using a locking plate and that he would have to wear a cast for 4-6 weeks while the bones set in place and healed. Brandi knew what she had to do no matter the monetary cost.

“They [staff and doctors at VESHW] were caring, understanding and patient,” said Brandi. “The surgeon was especially amazing. She explained the procedure and what could happen without the procedure. She was very considerate and recognized my fears and reassured me that Jax’s outcome would be positive.”

And positive it was. Jax is not only in full recovery, taking it slow and following postoperative care, but because of Paw It Forward his emergency and medical bills were made affordable. While Jax is taking it easy his “mom” is grateful for the care he received and the help that she received in making sure he would be able to walk and play again.

“Being a single mom, raising 3 kids and 2 fur babies I was really stressing on how I would be able to pay for the surgery that had to be done,” said Brandi. “I couldn’t just walk away from Jax and not get him the appropriate care he needed. I am so thankful for the Paw It Forward Foundation for stepping in and helping me with Jax’s care.”

Hospital Director, Brock Lofgreen, DVM, believes that nobody should lose their best friend because of financial hardship.

100 percent of every dollar donated to the Paw It Forward Foundation is used to treat sick or injured animals. Paw It Forward donated funds are available to patients being treated at VESHW and are used solely toward funding for Good Samaritan cases, assistance for pet owners in demonstrated financial crisis and/or funding for pets harmed or displaced due to local disasters.

The Paw It Forward Foundation relies solely on donations to help those in need. If you would like to make a donation you can by visiting the hospital website, www.vetwichita.com. Or you can help in other ways; consider corporate sponsorship, volunteering for an event, or setting up a memorial fund. You can also spread the joy by hosting a birthday fundraiser. To find out more about all of these ways you can help, please reach out to us at info@vetwichita.com or visit our Facebook Page @vetwichita.

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Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital of Wichita offers a range of exceptional continuing education (CE) programs to help our technicians and veterinarians expand their knowledge, hone their skills and continuously improve the quality of care they offer their patients. 

Our most recent presenter, a regular consultant of ours from Sterling, Virginia, is highly regarded in the veterinary industry. Julie Antonellis, LVT, VTS (ECC) has nearly two decades of experience in emergency and critical care. She provides detailed assessments and training for veterinary practices looking to elevate the level of nursing care they are providing their patients.

Julie presented to our hospital technician staff and current students of WATC pursuing a veterinary technician license. She gave an in-depth lecture on capnography and pre and post-operative care of critically ill patients.

Capnography is the monitoring of the concentration or partial pressure of carbon dioxide. CO2 is a crucial compound to monitor during anesthesia and patients on a ventilator. This training session provided an intensive refresh in addition to learning better methods of patient care and quality medicine. Our hospital prides itself on taking a progressive approach to medicine. We are dedicated to providing the best possible care to your pets, that’s our promise to you.

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We’re thrilled to announce our resumption of surgery services lead by Dr. Holly Smith, DVM.

Dr. Smith graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1995 and has been with VESHW three years. Her areas of focus will include orthopedic and soft tissue surgery as well as post-surgical rehabilitation. Dr. Smith is a member of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, carrying the designation of Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner, CVPP. She is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist, CCRT.  She is certified in Veterinary Medical Acupuncture, cVMA, and is also a DOC instructor at the Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians course. Dr. Smith integrates the modalities of traditional medicine and pharmacology, acupuncture, massage, laser, rehabilitation, and surgery-both soft tissue and orthopedic, as indicated with a caring touch, to aid each individual patient along the journey of achieving the best level of comfort and mobility possible.
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“The one thing that makes or breaks surgery is the aftercare. We specialize in that." 

We have highly trained staff on duty 24 hours/day so and this allows us to provide the very best patient care post-operatively. Our pain management protocols ensure that our patients are as comfortable as possible while our rehabilitation works hard to get our patients back on their feet.

 

We promote strong leadership by empowering our team members and encouraging them to reach their fullest potential. Our shift leaders work hard and they were surprised with a fun retreat along with continued leadership training exercises. 

The shift leaders had no idea what the day would bring, their only clue was a cryptic riddle… which lead them first to Pinot’s Pallet! We broke the ice with a pet painting and most everyone took creative liberties from the initial direction. Not surprising, since those creative minds are part of what put these individuals in leadership positions. 

Our next stop via Spot’s party bus transportation was AVI sea bar inside the historic Broadview hotel. The Ghost Tours of Kansas kicked off lunch with a spooky tale of the spirit of Clarence, who is believed to still haunt the hotel after a murder/suicide back in 1929. Eek!

During lunch our hospital Director, Dr. Lofgreen reinforced our hospital mission with the team. “Our mission is to provide the highest level of specialty and 24-hour emergency care with compassionate treatment tailored to the client and their pet. We partner with area practitioners to deliver advanced veterinary diagnostics and services that are not otherwise available in our community.”

Next, our Director of Business Development, Lisa Hall, went through workbook exercises from John Maxwell’s The Law of the Lid. Basically, this law states that how well you lead determines how effective you are. The lower your ability to lead, the lower the lid on your potential. The higher your ability to lead, the higher the lid on your potential. By focusing on our employee’s, we increase our organization’s effectiveness and continue to strive toward excellence in every aspect of our veterinary practice. 

With training complete, we ended our team building extravaganza with rolled ice-cream from Wichita’s new 8degree’s below creamery. We thank our shift leaders and our entire staff for living our mission statement and demonstrating its core values 24 hours, every day. 

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At Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital of Wichita we’re always striving for excellence in the quality our patient care. We’re honored to announce eight of our Registered Veterinary Technicians have completed advanced training and are now certified in CPR Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support from the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care through Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

The Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation, or RECOVER, is a collaborative effort of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. They discovered that less than 6 percent of dogs and cats who suffered cardiac arrest in hospital return to their owners. This shocking statistic led the arrival of the first evidence-based recommendations to resuscitate dogs and cats in cardiac arrest.

Our technicians completed 8.5 hours of RACE C.E. Credits in a series of 5 modules to:
1. Review the fundamental aspects of cardiopulmonary structure and function to help  understand the basic mechanisms they employ to do chest compressions and ventilation in patients experiencing cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA).
2. Learn how to diagnose CPA rapidly in any unresponsive patient using a standardized airway-breathing assessment.
3. Choose the best approach to chest compressions in a dog or cat based on the patient's size and chest conformation.
4. Learn how to ventilate a patient during CPR using either the mouth-to-snout technique or continuous ventilation in an intubated patient.
5. Explore techniques for improving communication and team dynamics when treating an emergent case such as a patient in CPA.

According to the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, when CPR is done according to established guidelines, survival to discharge can be as high as 50% in some populations of dogs and cats in CPA with acute, reversible disease. This course was a giant step to preparing our team to maximize outcomes in patients with CPA.

Our highly trained technicians are now trained to:
• Rapidly recognize patients with cardiopulmonary arrest
• Properly administer high-quality chest compressions using the most up-to-date approaches in dogs and cats
• Provide mouth-to-snout or intubated ventilation according to current evidence-based guidelines
• Utilize effective communication and team skills that will improve our ability to manage emergent and critically ill patients
• Choose the most useful monitoring devices for patients in cardiopulmonary arrest
• Read and interpret the data from the various monitoring devices
• Rapidly diagnose the arrest ECG rhythm to help choose the best ALS therapies for the patient
• Administer the most effective drugs and other adjunctive therapies for patients with cardiopulmonary arrest
• Perform life-saving procedures such as venous cutdowns, intraosseous catheter placement, use of defibrillator, and open chest CPR

We’re proud of the accomplishments of our team!  Take a look at some hands-on training.

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• Perform 100-120 chest compressions per minute of one-third to one-half of the chest width, with the animal lying on its side.
• Ventilate intubated dogs and cats at a rate of 10 breaths per minute, or at a compression to ventilation ratio of 30 to 2 for mouth-to-snout ventilation.
• Perform CPR in 2-minute cycles, switching the “compressor” each cycle.
• Administer vasopressors every 3–5 minutes during CPR.
• Using the defibrillator at 2-4 joules/kg for advanced life support.

Other guidelines pertain to how clinicians should be trained, how to perform CPR on dogs of different breeds and sizes, what drugs to give when and what follow-up care to provide.

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Our certified team (from left, top row first):  Chris Decker, Courtney Keazer, Lauren Greene, Tori Wilson, Cheryl Thornton (hospital Director: Brock Lofgreen, DVM), Josie Englert, Amanda Johnson, Sophie Snow.