Milwaukee Vet Clinic Blog

Summer plans

We do have exciting news, which some of you know or have guessed. Dr. Loomis is pregnant! We’re so excited! She is due at the end of June and it’s going to be a girl.

This does mean some changes in the scheduling for the summer. We still have Dr. Regner and Dr. Page here to see appointments. Dr. Loomis' last day, as long as the baby allows, will be June 17th. She will be out for 8-10 weeks depending on how everything is going. We will be seeing much fewer exotics and no exotic surgeries. If you need anything during that time related to exotics we do recommend Harwood Veterinary Clinic, Blue Pearl Glendale (exotic department), and Brook-Falls Vet -they are all great clinics.

We also won’t be able to do any dental procedures until Dr. Loomis' return. If your pet needs a dental cleaning appointment please schedule it asap so that we can get this done prior to her maternity leave. The first things Dr. Loomis will be doing once back will mainly be dental cleanings to catch up, but better to plan ahead. Both doctors can still see your pet for any dental-related issues and make plans from there depending on the urgency of the situation. Dr. Page will still be doing surgeries (spays, neuters, mass removals etc).

We will also be pausing Saturday appointments during the summer starting mid-May. We’ve done this in the past, and it is a little for our own sanity and also due to scheduling issues. We hope to restart them after Labor Day.

In other news, our long-term tech Lindsey left us for "Up North". She and her husband got a great opportunity and will be pursuing that. Sam, our long-term CSR is also leaving in April. She’s always been an artist and unfortunately for us her own private business is taking off and she will need to dedicate more time to her true passion. We wish them both the best, they will always remain part of the family and we will continue to see them and their pets.

We have made some new hires and we will look to add even more in the near term - you will see them in training over the next few weeks. So say hello to them as we welcome them to the team!

We thank all of you as always for your understanding - Dr. Shana Loomis-Bulgar and Matei Bulgar

Teach your cat to get into a cat carrier

This is one of our biggest struggles. A cat visiting the vet has always been a dreaded moment for many cat owners.

Here is a quick and useful resource on how to try and get past this point.

Our 2 year anniversary, a year of COVID and more

Let us start by celebrating being open 2 years!! We opened our doors on March 27th 2019! (Yes, we are a bit late with this announcement...)

Now back to the reality of the past year. And it has been a year… For so many of you, as well as for ourselves, this past year has brought dramatic change to our lives from small to large. What has been clear is that this is most likely a year that will define our world for this generation and possibly longer. When we look back at this past year, we need to realize that with the bad, there was also plenty we have to be thankful for. Thankful that we have such wonderful clients. Thankful that our clinic has not only survived but that we found ways to thrive under extreme pressure. Thankful that we have been able to stay open throughout all this. But we also have to realize that this is by no means all due to our own efforts and we have to again be thankful for a certain amount of good fortune.

Humbled. We have been humbled by the amount of clients that have appreciated our services and took the time to give us a 5-star review on Google. You have no idea how much that means to us, and much more so in this time when we didn’t get to see you face to face. While good for business, it is really good for our souls to know what we do is appreciated. While we are feeling humbled, we also know we can do better. Know that we will always strive to build on what we have and we will always make sure we do not think too highly of ourselves to accept we always need to learn from our mistakes and improve.

We look forward to providing more services to our clients, as well as introduce a new model to our business. As things begin to open up, we hope that we can provide a variety of options. Right now we will maintain curbside appointments, but we do see this change in the not so distant future. And when that time will come, it will be limited.

Our vision is that clients will have an option. We do see the pandemic will most likely still have a few ups and downs, and that we will probably have some level of preventive measures in place for the long term - years at this point. We will continue to offer curbside to anyone that wishes, but we will also create a small incentive to continue to do curbside. It is by far the safest way to do our job, but it turns out most pets are actually doing unexpectedly well once they walk through our doors leaving you outside wondering what is going on with them. When the time comes, and we are not quite sure when that will be, for those that do wish to come in, we will request that (1) everyone continue to wear a mask. (2) There will also be a minimal cleaning charge added. Rooms will need a different level of cleaning between clients, which will require more time and supplies to be able to maintain a safe environment for all. (3) We will also ask that each pet or pets have only one of their humans come in. Our exam rooms are small and there is no way to keep social distance in there. (The exception, as it has been our policy so far, will be end of life care.) (4) Another change will be that your pet will be brought to our treatment area for any procedures. This will limit the time we spend in the exam room, and the number of people that would need to come in and out of the exam. Again, once we move to this stage, we will only be able to have a limited number of "in-person" appointments.

As for more services – we are reaching a good level of demand for the services provided by Dr Jennifer Lorenz and we look forward to continuing to have her at our clinic on a regular basis. Dr Lorenz is our acupuncture, laser therapy, and spinal manipulation specialist. We have also been working with Dr. Bates for Internal Medicine consults. We also started the process of being able to do some orthopedic surgeries in September of last year. It was disheartening to find out that parts we needed to be able to perform such surgeries were not available for more than 6 months. We are happy to announce that we have finally solved those issues and we have an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Bergh, that would be able to come to our clinic to perform these procedures at a substantial savings compared to the specialty hospitals.

As we move into the second half of 2021, we will start searching for a second doctor so that we can expand our hours a little, and at the same time continue to be able to provide a good level of service to all our clients. For now we are still able to announce that Dr Maggie Hodge will be working here one day a week starting next week. Thursdays will be her day here! Dr Maggie has owned her very successful practice until recently, and is now looking to get away from the business of it and just do what she loves - provide top quality care for all your pets.

There is a good chance we will no longer accept new clients as we are reaching capacity. We have to be mindful of our existing clients and we need to make sure we can provide good and timely services for all of you. This is a good time to remind everyone that we have a referral program. We will always accept new clients that are referred to us by an existing client. And there is a bonus – a $10 account credit to the person doing the referring! (Note that a new client appointment would still be about 1-2 weeks out, so be mindful if you are referring us to someone who may need more immediate attention.)

We do also kindly request that you make appointments as far out in advance as possible. Appointments get booked up a week or two in advance so we do ask for your understanding, especially if your request is for a routine annual exam or vaccinations.

We will make further announcements on social media as to when we expect to accept a limited number of clients in the clinic shortly. And of course, in any decision we make we will have to also look at the guidance provided by the Milwaukee and Wisconsin Health Departments as well as the CDC. We are also holding our fingers crossed that we might actually have an event or two later this summer or fall because we would just love to see all of you and your fur babies outside of our clinic!

*** UPDATE ***

Drop-offs are going well and we truly appreciate all your support through this process!

As of tomorrow, March 20th, we will no longer be making any appointments for routine or non-emergency (elective) surgeries. If you are already scheduled, there will be no change. The AVMA has recommended us suspending elective procedures to minimize our use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). While we are fortunate to have a good supply, we are considering donating our extra to human hospitals to help those on the front lines.

What are elective surgeries? Elective surgeries cover a lot and this is not a hard rule, but in general this would refer to any surgery which the pet could live just fine without. Please call us and we can determine on a case by case basis if this surgery is necessary right now or if we can hold off for a few weeks. We also don't know when we can replenish our stock of masks, surgical gloves, etc and we want to make sure we have enough for our patients. (Everything is being rationed out by our distributors and many items are on back order.)

Also as of March 20th, we will no longer be offering Nail Trims, Routine Ear Cleaning, or other minor grooming services. If your pet is having a medical issue with one of these issues (ie. an ingrown nail or an ear infection), we will be able to see your pet for a medical issue, but we are trying to minimize un-needed traffic at this time. We are all trying to stay healthy to help you and your pet.

We are continuing to offer wellness at this time (annual checkups/bloodwork/vaccines). We find it important that animals stay healthy and protected as well, and this is what we do. We will keep you updated as we continue to get updates from the AVMA, WVMA, CDC, State, and Local authorities.

*IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ* Switch to Drop Off Service only

Effective Monday, March 16th at 8 am, only hospital personnel will be allowed inside Milwaukee Vet Clinic. We will be moving to a curbside drop off service. We have made this decision due to an abundance of caution for the COVID-19 disease. We are a small business and we need to keep the staff (only 4 of us) healthy. Lindsey, Sam, Matei and myself, Dr. Loomis are the only staff we have working here. If we get sick we will need to close down our small business for 2 weeks and that could be devastating for us. Understand we would rather sit with you and your pet in a room but at this time we must be smart and proactive. We love our clients, we love our clinic, and want to be here to serve your needs through these tough times.

-How will this work?

You can either drive up next to our door, park in one of our dedicated spots, or if there’s a space in the front park there. If you are walking to our clinic, walk up but don’t come in. Give us a call and one of us will go over any history, concerns, symptoms, or questions you have regarding your dog/cat (just as if you were in the clinic). We will then come out to your car (or persons) and bring your dog/cat into the building to have their exam, vaccinations treatments/diagnostics done. We will call you right back and go over findings and recommendations. This should be all done within the time frame of your normally scheduled appointment. Don’t want to wait in your car or outside our clinic? Then drop off and we can arrange a pickup time later- you will still need to be available to talk to the doctor shortly after drop off, but we will chill with your pet for the day.

Payment can all be made over the phone with Sam or Matei. We are doing our absolute best to continue providing service but in order to do this we need to keep our team healthy and we ALL need to limit close contact with others.

-What if I need a refill or food or supplies?

Give us a call and prepay for your medication or whatever you need! Let us know when you are there to pick up and we will run it out to you or your car. Even better, use our online pharmacy - link below.

-I hear telemedicine is a thing?

It is and we’re ready for that option as well. Established clients can use telemedicine (over the phone, Facebook messenger, Skype, WhatsApp). For a 35 dollar charge (over the phone) we can discuss what’s going on with your pet, and medications can be prescribed for the issue and can be pre-paid over the phone and then picked up. If a video conference is needed, we would provide the details over the phone. If an exam is determined to be needed then the 55 dollar exam charge will be discounted by the 35 dollar telemedicine charge. This will allow individuals at high risk to be able to remain in their home as much as possible.

Again stay safe, healthy, and smart. We will keep you updated as protocols change and hopefully we will be back to normalcy soon!

Milwaukee Vet Clinic

Coronavirus Update

To our Milwaukee Vet Clinic Community:

We value the health and wellness of our community. With the recent emergence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to take a moment to share with you what we are doing to keep our team and patients healthy.
MVC is following all recommendations made by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the Coronavirus and is monitoring closely for any updates.

Clinic Standards and Safety

Keeping our clinic clean and sanitized is very important to us. We have a strict set of guidelines our staff and Doctor follow every day to ensure that our clients and patients health is never put at risk.
Our staff always sanitize their hands between every patient and treatment. Our staff disinfects every surface regularly and in the response to the Coronavirus, we have increased cleaning protocols related to high-touch surfaces like door handles, keyboards, counters, chairs, etc. Hand sanitizer is always available in every area of our hospital, and right at the front reception desk.

Doing Our Part to Stay Healthy

We are encouraging our team to stay home and see a doctor when they are not feeling well. We want to make absolutely sure we are taking the best care possible of our team. We ask that you give a call to reschedule your treatment when or if you are feeling sick with flu or coronavirus like symptoms. Be aware that if you are exhibiting symptoms, we may kindly ask to reschedule your treatment in person. Keeping the MVC community healthy and safe is our #1 priority. We appreciate your support.
We appreciate your business, as always, and will be here to assist you in any way we can to help you manage your pet's medical needs during this time. Do not hesitate to reach out to our medical team with any questions you may have at any time.

Future Contingency Plans

Currently we are under normal operations. As many of you, we are also worried about what the future may bring. To try to stay ahead of this evolving situation, we have a number of things we are considering and we will review daily.
- Minimize interaction between clients and ourselves through telemedicine
- Minimize interaction between clients in our hospital by adjusting our scheduling of appointments
- Encourage prepayment of medications or using our online pharmacy to promote social distancing
- Rescheduling wellness appointments to a later date
We will continue to update you through emails and social media.

In health,
Milwaukee Vet Clinic

Featured Product: Holiday Gift Boxes

Just in time for the holidays! A gift box of goodies for your pup or kitty. They are hand picked from us to you, all in one box. The dog box is great to give to your pup, grand pups, other pup parents, or even as hostess gifts. Box contents will vary slightly from dog to dog, but will include a breed specific Doggie Doo Clip, a delicious bag of Leashess Lab Dog Treats, a fetching rope frisbee from Lost and Hound, Milwaukee Vet Clinic Dog Wipes to keep your pup clean, and a plush holiday toy. Locally made, with local products! The cat box includes yummy hairball treats, premium catnip, and a bunch of toys to keep your kitty happy for the holiday season! Please see the link to our store on the left.

Featured Pets: We need your help!

We would love to feature your story and your pet! We love your furry family as if it was our own, and would be so happy to hear from you and share your story with the rest of the Milwaukee Vet Clinic family.

We are searching for a story to feature each month! What is your furry friend’s morning routine? Do they hate walking in the snow/rain? Is there a dog park or a dog walk you’ve recently enjoyed that you would like to share with everyone? What little quirk makes you laugh? Is there some training you and your furry baby are working on? Tricks? We’d like to hear it all. And of course pictures!

We are currently a 3 cat and 2 dog household. Holly and Otto are our 2 canine babies. Eddy, Carter and Ashes are the three felines. Even though we do wonder about Eddy, who we consider our cat-dog. He came into Holly’s care at 2 weeks old, so he has been most comfortable sleeping and playing with the dogs versus the other cats. They each have their own distinct personalities, some play together, some don’t, some like to hide while others run at the sound of the car pulling into the driveway. For some unknown reason, the dogs can’t help but get upset at the mailman or UPS guy every single time. Who taught them this? Is this an ancient dog tradition being genetically passed on? No idea. But we love them all!

Holly has traveled across the country a few times! Here she is in Dead Horse State Park in Utah. Her biggest road trip was a 14,000 mile, 3 1/2 month adventure that took her from New York City, down to Florida, then across to New Mexico, up to Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, then further west to Seattle and Vancouver, BC, then back down the coast all the way down to San Diego, with many adventures in between, then finally headed home through Arizona, and Utah again… and then amazingly made it from Utah to NYC in 2 days. Dad can be a crazy driver.

Grain-Free Diet in Dogs

So many questions have come up recently around what is best to feed our canine buddies. While many things are still being studied, there are certain things we are clear on at this point.

The FDA recently came out with a report that Grain-Free foods are linked to a certain type of heart disease.  Veterinary Cardiologists and Nutritionists started to notice a trend in young otherwise healthy dogs having Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) or an enlarged heart.  This disease can be genetically linked or nutritionally linked to Taurine. Taurine is an amino acid that animals get through diet. Cats are very
sensitive to taurine deficiencies and will develop this heart disease when not fed commercial cat food or supplementing their diet.

When the cardiologists started noticing this disease, they began testing taurine levels and many were low.  They also noticed that most of these dogs were on a grain-free diet. Once switched to a different diet and supplemented with Taurine many started on a long road to recovery.  Even more interesting, some dogs with normal Taurine levels started to improve as well when switched to a new diet and in some cases, Taurine levels would skyrocket.

The nutritionists started to study what was going on.  While we still don’t know all the mechanisms of taurine intake, the one we have found is grain-free diets made with peas and legumes which are binding up the Taurine making it unavailable for dogs leading them to be more predisposed to DCM. There are also other diets that are linked to this disease that are grain-free without peas and legumes and some boutique diets that even have grain in them.

We are still learning about this process and how we can improve overall nutrition. In the meantime, we are limited to what we can recommend for your pet. Currently, there are only a few recommended diets that meet the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Guidelines.  These are Purina ProPlan, Hill’s Science Diet, and Royal Canin. These diets have undergone additional testing to ensure this food is safe. At our house we feed Purina Proplan and it is 8 paws approved!

Brew City Bully Club: Non-Profit Highlight of the Month

What follows is the story of Bubbles, which Brew City Bully Club rescued and fostered for nearly a year.

Bubbles’ story is one of triumph, strength, and resilience. To know this dog is to love her. She worms her way into your heart like many dogs do, but in her own special way. Her story doesn’t start out glamorous. She wasn’t special back then nor was she loved in the slightest. The police found her living with multiple dogs with open wounds, crates filled with feces and urine, a bloody leash nearby with blood splatter on the walls. Thankfully this precious soul was rescued, and her abuser is now a class 3 felon with a 45-month prison sentence. Chapter closed.

While it’s easy for us to dwell on her horrid past, she has never wasted a moment thinking about it. It hasn’t broken her smile or spirit – she has kept moving forward in the most bubbly way possible, with a wiggle butt that doesn’t stop and an infectious smile. Bubbles had some medical issues along with anxiety issues when she came to them, but even after all she’d been through and all she was going through, this dog NEVER stopping smiling, not even once. Brew City helped her through everything she needed them for, and she stayed with them for almost a year until she finally found what she had been looking for all along, her perfect forever family. We can all learn a lesson from this truly special dog. No matter what life throws your way, don’t ever let anything or anyone take away what makes you special.

We have all probably heard a negative story about a pit bull. We are here to tell a different story. We love our pitties and we think they are misrepresented by the stories out there. We welcome them into our clinic and hope that more and more people will welcome them in their lives. Like any other dog, they are all individuals and should not be assumed to be anything else but that.

This month we are proud to highlight the work that Brew City Bully Club does, day in and day out, to provide education and awareness surrounding dogs perceived as pit bulls and also offer support to owners through vaccines clinics as well as their spay and neuter program, among other things.

Formed in 2008, the Brew City Bully Club is a leader in southeast Wisconsin in the advocacy and support of pit bull-type dogs and their families. They fulfill their mission through the three pillars of Advocacy, Owner Support, and Rescue. They provide high-quality programs aimed at alleviating the suffering of Milwaukee-area pit bull-type dogs, encouraging and facilitating responsible, loving dog ownership, and raising awareness for the positive potential of pit bulls as cherished pets in our communities.

Through it’s 10+ years in existence Brew City Bully Club has been  able to do a lot of great things:
- 303 Advocacy & Education Outings
- 1,074  Local Owners Supported
- 236  Dogs Microchipped
- 640  Rabies & Distemper Shots
- 576  Low cost Spays & Neuters
- 111  Pit Bull type dogs Rescued

The Pups for Life program is the name of the Spay & Neuter program and vaccine clinics and this year specifically they were able to help 23 dogs get spayed / neutered and helped a total of 124 dogs through the vaccine clinics.

Please consider supporting this wonderful organization.