We at Coral Veterinary Clinic are both happy and proud to celebrate a momentous milestone in the career of our Hospital Manager, Kimm Pontiff. Kimm has been a full-time employee at Coral Veterinary Clinic for 30 years this September, which is a remarkable achievement in any profession, and is a tribute to both her and Coral Vet.
Kimm actually started volunteering at Coral Vet Clinic when she was a student at Cypress Lake High School in 1977. She started working part-time in the kennel in October 1978 while attending Edison Community College. She left in August of 1979 to enroll in the Veterinary Technician program at St. Petersburg Junior College.
Kimm moved back to Fort Myers in September 1982 as a Certified Veterinary Technician and started working full-time at Coral Veterinary Clinic 30 years ago. She worked as a surgery and anesthesia technician, treatment technician, exam room technician and Sanibel technician. We had a much smaller staff back then, so she filled in as receptionist and kennel technician when needed. In April of 1993, Dr.’s Paul and Phyllis Douglass wisely promoted Kimm to Hospital Manager.
Kimm’s contributions to Coral Veterinary Clinic and our community over the years are many and far-reaching. In 1999, Kimm was voted Florida’s Veterinary Technician of the Year by the Florida Veterinary Medical Association. Along with Charlotte Schwartz, Kimm started the Dog Obedience Program at Coral Veterinary Clinic, which continues to this day. Kimm started the first Pet Therapy Program at the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida with her Pomeranian Sammy, a former rescue dog who was awarded Pet Hero of the Year in 2010 by the FVMA. Many dogs from Coral Vet have followed in Sammy’s paw steps, continuing that wonderful program that has brought countless smiles to the faces of sick and suffering children. Kimm started the Pet Bereavement Program with Dr. Laura Braun that offers therapy sessions to grieving pet owners every month.
Kimm’s newest passion is volunteering for the French Bulldog Rescue, and she currently owns 2 Frenchies, Nauti and Loki, one Doberman Pincher named Dakota, and 2 African Grey Parrots named Maggie and Gregory. She is also a Foster mom to a Frenchie named Ziggy (who by the way is looking for her forever home). Kimm shares this menagerie with Joe, her husband of 28 years. Their son Nick, a former Coral Vet employee, who attends the University of Central Florida, and their nephew, Kody, attends Edison State College, and is currently working part-time at Coral Vet. When Kimm has any spare time after taking care of her family and the clinic, she enjoys antique collecting and horseback riding.
Kimm deserves our honor, respect and gratitude for her achievements. Her loyalty, leadership, judgment and love of animals and people make her an outstanding Hospital Manager, and have helped Coral Veterinary Clinic achieve the success and good reputation we have enjoyed over the years. Thank you, Kimm, for the great 30 years, and here’s to the next 30!!
Coral Veterinary Clinic is proud to announce the opening of our new dental suite. It is a separate, state of the art, dentistry dedicated room, with all the equipment needed to provide your pet with the ultimate in professional veterinary dental care. We utilize digital dental radiographs to diagnose unseen dental problems and local nerve blocks in addition to general anesthesia to increase your pets’ comfort if they have to undergo tooth extraction or other oral surgeries.
Local nerve blocks are exactly what our dentists give us with their Novocaine injections for root canals and other painful procedures. For our animal patients, local nerve blocks allow us to use a lower level of general anesthesia, which is safer for the pets' vital organs, plus providing a level of pain relief for several hours after the procedure.
To help celebrate our Pet Dental Month in October, we are giving free local nerve blocks for any extraction or other painful procedure along with free full mouth digital dental radiographs for all dental cleanings and procedures. We will continue to offer a 20% discount on all dental procedures for the month of October. In addition, for the rest of 2012, we will offer the 20% discount on any dentals booked within two weeks of a veterinary exam at Coral Vet.
Help us celebrate the opening of our new dental suite by giving your pet the benefit of healthy, clean teeth!
Written By: Dr. Laura Braun
Over the counter pain medications are among the ten most common toxicities reported to the animal poison control center. Dogs and cats frequently ingest these medications by getting into their owner’s purse, cabinets, or finding a dropped pill on the floor. Often times, a well-meaning owner may recognize that their pet is painful and give them one of these drugs before speaking with their veterinarian for advice. Whenever a pet ingests these medications, serious health problems can occur. Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen sodium), and aspirin are the drugs that frequently cause problems for our pets.
Aspirin can cause gastric bleeding, clotting disorders, liver necrosis, and even seizures at high doses. There are some medical conditions in dogs and cats that aspirin may be prescribed for, but it is only safe under the direction of a veterinarian so that appropriate dosages may be calculated and risks minimized. Aleve can be extremely toxic to dogs and cats. If a medium-sized dog ingests even one pill it can develop acute kidney failure that often times is fatal.
Smaller doses will cause gastrointestinal bleeding. Advil causes stomach ulcers, vomiting, and kidney failure in dogs and cats. One extra-strength Advil is enough to cause kidney failure in a small dog or gastrointestinal bleeding in a large dog. For cats, Tylenol is one of the most toxic drugs we commonly have in our medicine cabinets. It causes liver failure and anemia at very low doses. Just one-half of a tablet can be fatal to most cats. For dogs, Tylenol is less toxic and typically they have to ingest a few tablets to cause serious problems, but it is still not considered a safe pain reliever.
Treatment for any of these toxicities requires blood tests to assess the damage, and usually IV fluids and several medications to protect the gastrointestinal tract. If liver or kidney damage is suspected, the treatment can become more expensive and lengthy, usually requiring a hospital stay of several days.
Not only do these medications have the potential to harm your pets, but they can also make my job a lot more difficult! If you suspect that your pet is painful for any reason, please make an appointment for a veterinary exam before starting any over the counter medications. Using an over the counter pain medication may prevent your veterinarian from being able to immediately begin a more appropriate pain medication for your pet. Some painful conditions are best treated with a steroid, rather than a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) like most over the counter pain medications are classified. There is a washout period that must be observed after the over the counter pain medication is discontinued before the steroid can be started. There is also a washout period that is needed when switching from an over the counter NSAID to one of the NSAIDs that have been specifically formulated for dogs. These commonly used medications that were designed for people really are not well-suited to treat our pets. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435) if you believe your pet may have ingested one of these drugs.
Anyone who has lost a beloved pet knows just how heartbreaking it can be. It is even more difficult when you feel as though you have no one to talk to that truly understands your loss. Well-intentioned family and friends may simply suggest that you get another dog or cat, and that is not always appropriate for everyone to do so quickly. What seems to help most people after such a tragic loss is being able to talk openly with like-minded people.
Coral Vet Clinic has been hosting a pet loss support group for over one year. The group meets once a month and is a gathering that offers people a comfortable environment to talk about the feelings they are having, share great memories, and discuss how they want to memorialize their pet. We have also opened the group to include owners that are coping with pets that have terminal conditions and are in the hospice stage of care. You will see some familiar faces from the clinic that regularly attend to offer support and even discuss their own pets from time to time. We are honored to have a licensed psychotherapist and animal lover, Dr. Ileana Sisson, leading our group and are fortunate to be sponsored by Pet Angel Memorial Center.
The meetings take place the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:30 PM in Cat Nap Inn (our cat boarding facility adjacent to the Fort Myers clinic). You do not have to be a client of our clinic to attend, so please share this information with any family and friends that you think would benefit from such a group. If you would like more information about the pet loss support group or would like to RSVP for our next meeting, please call the clinic at (239) 481-4746 and ask to speak with Kimm Pontiff.
Has your feathered friend seen the Vet?
Birds hide illness quite well. Often, owners don’t even realize that a bird is sick until it’s almost too late. By the time a bird shows symptoms, it may have been sick for a long time. Owners should be aware of any subtle change in the bird’s behavior. Slight decreases in appetite or activity may signal an illness requiring medical care. It is always best to catch problems early, and as with most pets, birds benefit from an annual physical examination by your veterinarian.Call for an appointment with Dr. Nichols or Dr. Andazola today!
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Coral Veterinary Clinic
2013 - 2018
FORT MYERS: 9540 Cypress Lake Drive . Fort Myers, FL 33919 | Telephone: 239.481.4746
SANIBEL: 1530 Periwinkle Way . Sanibel, FL 33957 | Telelphone: 239.472.VETS (8387)
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