We want to extend a big Thank You to everyone who came to our annual Holiday Event on December 9, 2017! The snowfall this year certainly added to the festive nature of the event, and Reindeer Jingles seemed to enjoy it!
In case you missed it this year, here are some of the highlights of the afternoon:
Yukon Cornelius introduced Jingles to the steady flow of visitors, and he worked Reindeer magic with the special antlers he brought along to the delight of both children and adults! Elf Belle assisted with greeting visitors and offering Reindeer facts and answering questions.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus were on hand to greet visitors inside the hospital this year where hot chocolate and cookies were served. Santa took the opportunity to pass out treats to the children’s’ delight! Even the visiting dogs had fun with Santa!
Dallas the goat made his annual appearance all dressed for the occasion! Dallas was a hit with the children as usual, but he was also a hit with our visiting dogs and our guest rabbit!
Yes, one special guest brought her pet rabbit to the event, and Mrs. Claus took advantage of some cuddle time with not only Larry the rabbit but with dogs in attendance! The rabbit made the rounds with mom in its very own backpack carrier.
The adoptable puppies were a big hit again! Animal Alliance volunteers mingled with the guests and helped the puppies socialize and play.
Bumble the Abominable Snowman made the rounds and offered additional photo opportunities!
Again, we sincerely thank everyone who came out in the snow to share some holiday cheer and family fun with us! Your participation makes the holidays even more special for us, and we look forward to next year!
The Belle Mead Animal Hospital Team
The third annual Howl-O-Ween dog parade and costume contest took place October 28, 2017 at the Ann Van Middlesworth Park dog park. Hosted by the Hillsborough Parks and Recreation Department, it was another fun event for all, both human and canines!
Belle Mead Animal Hospital participated once again as a vendor, handing out goodies for pets and people, and offering information about our services. We were glad to donate one of the prizes for a lucky raffle participant.
Parade participants gathered at the park Pavilion area at 8:30 a.m. to check in the with their costumed dogs, many in matching costumes themselves! Each were given a raffle ticket for the prize draw.
The dog parade kicked off at 9 a.m. with Mayor Carl Suraci giving an opening welcome address to a record number in attendance. The participants proceeded up the path to the dog park while the judges made their picks.
Once at the park, most dogs were let loose to run and play, and did they have a good time!
The Mayor made announcements of the raffle winners. One lucky client of BMAH won our gift basket. Congratulations Olly Woodmansee! Another lucky winner won a gift basket from The Grooming Rig, and others won the gift certificate raffle prizes provided by Dog Days Daycare Center.
Costume contest category winners included our patient KayDee with owner Carrie as Most Creative! Snickers won Funniest Costume; Winnie won Scariest costume; Beckham won Best Owner/Dog Combo; Bear won Best Costume Large Dog; and Sassy won Best Costume Small Dog.
What a nice way to celebrate Halloween! Even if you don’t have a dog of your own, it’s fun just to come and watch the event and take a hike around the beautiful park. Hope to see you all next year!
Joe Martins, DVM, Belle Mead Animal Hospital
Animal Alliance of New Jersey kicked off their 13th annual Pet Masquerade Parade on Saturday, October 21, 2017 in Lambertville, New Jersey. Belle Mead Animal Hospital was one of the proud sponsors of the event.
As participants and spectators gathered at Mary Sheridan Park, Anne Trinkle, founder of Animal Alliance of New Jersey, publicly thanked the local business sponsors and introduced the judges: Dr. Joe Martins, owner Belle Mead Animal Hospital; Beth Caruso, owner Café Galleria; and Attorney Renee Soto, newly elected President of Animal Alliance of New Jersey.
Anne gave Dr. Martins a special thanks for being so instrumental in helping to get Animal Alliance off the ground and continuing to care for many of their rescued animals they bring into the shelter.
Anne explained that the Pet Masquerade event was first launched in August 2005 after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Monkey Hill Antiques decided to raise money for the displaced and injured dogs left behind, and the Pet Masquerade was born. Two years later Animal Alliance of New Jersey took it over, and all proceeds of the event support the shelter animals and the low cost spay/neuter clinic the organization operates.
To help get the costume parade started, members of the newly built Music Mountain Theater performed in costume some bits from 101 Dalmatians and Alice in Wonderland.
From small dogs to large dogs, the canines paraded with owners often dressed in matching outfits! The creativity was amazing, and the dogs seemed to enjoy the event as much as the spectators. From butterflies to ladybugs to Monday Night Football, the participants did not disappoint.
A highlight at the end was the Adoptable Dogs portion of the costume parade. Some very adorable canines looking for their forever homes strutted their stuff and seemed to enjoy every moment of their special time in front of the judges. After careful consideration, the judges made their picks and prize winners in all categories were announced.
Folks enjoyed the park area where they found food and baked goods, Tricky Tray raffles and commemorative T-Shirts, all sales to benefit Animal Alliance of New Jersey. The music donation was provided by Barry Middleberg.
If you missed it this year, plan to come next year. You won’t be disappointed. And take a moment to walk around town. Here’s a hint: the residents in Lambertville really know how to decorate for Halloween!
Learn more about Animal Alliance of New Jersey on their website here.
Recommended Reading: The benefits of spaying and neutering your pets
Joe Martins, DVM, Belle Mead Animal Hospital
We wish to extend our sincere thank you to all of our valued clients and supporters who voted for us in the 2017 Courier News Readers Choice contest. The Belle Mead Animal hospital team has once again been awarded “The Best in Somerset County,” and we could not have achieved this award without you.
For five years running this award has shown your continued confidence in our team to provide the best care possible for your pets. All the animals that come through our door – dogs, cats, exotic companion mammals, birds, reptiles, goats, pigs – are special to us. They are part of your family, and we consider them part of our BMAH family, too.
We continue to stand firm in our mission to make life better and healthier for pets and families in our community. That is our commitment to you. Thanks for giving us the opportunity.
Belle Mead Animal Hospital, Your Other Family Doctors
Some pet parents still become fearful when told their pet may need anesthesia or surgery. Having concerns for a beloved pet is normal, but fear of the unknown can cause people to unfortunately disregard or delay important procedures such as spays and dentals. Some pet parents may assume their pet may suffer ill effects from the anesthesia. Let us lay your fears to rest.
AAHA accredited hospitals like ours who have a proactive, highly skilled veterinary team that properly support their patients every time with an IV (intravenous) catheter, IV fluids, warmth, and continuous blood pressure (BP) monitoring will help insure that pet anesthesia can be just as safe as human anesthesia.
Following are answers to some questions you might be asking yourself right now:
Will there be complications from anesthesia?
In all surgeries there is an element of risk, but complications due to anesthesia are uncommon in our practice. In most cases, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Studies have suggested that the risk of anesthesia is about 1 in 2000 or 0.05% for normal, healthy pets. In pets that have some pre-existing disease or in situations where procedures have been delayed longer than ideal for whatever the reason, then the number can increase up to 1 in 500 or 0.2%.
Is anesthesia the same today as it was 10 years ago?
The answer is “no” in most veterinary hospitals. Most hospitals should have progressive, up-to-date protocols using small balanced doses of pre-medications tailored to an individual patient. This is usually followed by a quick induction and quick recovery anesthetic just like what is commonly used in people.
Years ago anesthesia in pets was not as safe as it can be today. Better drugs and better awareness and monitoring of patients have made a huge difference. Also having an IV catheter in place as a standard non-elective safety procedure keeps a pet more stable. This simple yet vital IV catheter provides continual surgical fluid support during the procedure and allows emergency access to the patient if ever needed. Also, it wasn’t standard practice to measure blood pressure, temperature and all vitals in pets like it is in people.
Are the same anesthesia drugs, protocols, equipment, and precautions taken by every animal hospital in your area or New Jersey?
The answer is “no.” The state does not regulate or enforce standards of care. It is important to ask your vet the right questions which we will list at the end. Today, in a modern and progressive animal hospital such as ours, anesthesia is more smoothly achieved and monitored by having an IV catheter usually in a front leg. We give intra-operative intravenous fluids to help maintain the pet’s blood pressure during anesthesia. Warm air circulating blankets keep patients warm throughout the procedure which also protects and keeps our patients more stable. We have state-of-the-art monitors that continually check BP, temperature, EKG, oxygenation, and Co2. These safeguards that are commonly used today for pets were not in place years ago.
Our doctors and technicians are highly trained in the proper way to administer anesthesia and the use of monitoring equipment and procedures to ensure your pet does well. The pet’s vital signs such as respiratory rate and heart rate are watched closely throughout the surgery to ensure the pet’s pain-free experience.
Do the benefits of surgery outweigh the risks of anesthesia?
In general, the answer in most cases is “yes.” Your veterinarian will guide you and perform a complete exam with preoperative blood work to check the functioning of internal organs to ensure your pet is ready for a surgical procedure requiring anesthesia. Surgeries and dentals that are delayed by months or years because of owners’ fears often increase the chances for problems.
The time that a pet is under anesthesia is very important. Shorter anesthetic times are much safer than longer anesthetic times. Anesthetizing a pet on a more prophylactic basis for 20-30 minutes to perform routine dentistry cleanings is much safer than waiting too long. Many times patients with dental disease whose dentals are delayed to every 2-3 years will require much more time and cost to perform major dental extractions which increases anesthetic time and potential risks.
Another good example is spaying female dogs at 6 months which is much quicker and safer than waiting until they are older. Older female dogs quickly accumulate a lot of fat around their ovaries which can make surgery much more challenging and increases the risk of intra and post-operative bleeding.
When a mass or cancerous condition has been diagnosed, the removal of a malignancy under anesthesia to prevent further growth and spread of the disease may far out-weigh the risk of not putting the pet under anesthesia to perform the procedure.
A final example may be the quality-of-life enhancing procedures such as many commonly needed orthopedic surgeries pets require to live comfortably without constant pain.
What standards should you look for when surgery has been advised?
Ask questions, because not every hospital may use the same procedures or practice the same highest standards of care.
Find out if the veterinary practice will use on your pet:
- Monitoring equipment that checks all vitals but specifically includes an EKG and measures Blood Pressure throughout the entire procedure
- Intravenous catheter
- Intravenous fluids
- Warm air circulating blankets
- Pain medications before and after procedures
At Belle Mead Animal Hospital, we have all of the above in place as well as procedures to respond to any type of surgical emergency. We treat your pet as if he/she was our very own.
What should I do to prepare my pet for surgery requiring anesthesia?
At Belle Mead Animal Hospital, we will explain necessary fasting requirements and advise you of any important considerations the night before the procedure. By following the instructions, you will help ensure you and your pet have a positive experience.
Dr. Joe Martins, DVM, Belle Mead Animal Hospital
Musculoskeletal disease (disease that affects your pet’s bones, muscles and joints) can affect pets of all ages. They can have aches and pains just like we do. But, because of their survival instincts, they try to hide it. In the early stages of this disease, it’s hard to spot because your pet may look and act absolutely fine “on the outside.”
What your pet looks like “on the inside” may be very different. Arthritis, toxins, hormonal abnormalities, infections, blood and blood vessel disorders or inappropriate nutrition can all affect the way your pet walks, plays and moves.
The best way to prevent disease is to schedule regular yearly exams with your family veterinarian. During your pet’s annual checkup, we can discuss all the things you can do to stop the development of or slow the progression of bone, muscle and joint disease. And we’ll examine every part of your pet “inside and out,” including:
- An orthopedic exam
- An assessment of body and muscle condition
- X-rays to see what joints and spines really look like
- Blood work to evaluate the function of internal organs
So what’s the best way to treat and slow down bone, muscle and joint disease in your pet if a condition already exists? At Belle Mead Animal Hospital, we offer a full program of physical rehabilitation and regenerative medicine. The modalities include:
- Class IV K-Laser therapy: Laser therapy speeds up the healing process and treats pain, swelling and infection.
- Massage: Just like people, pets love a massage! It decreases scar tissue formation and spasm while relieving pain.
- Therapeutic Ultrasound: The application of deep ultrasound rays will heat up the muscles and tendons to relieve spasms and pain while increasing flexibility.
- Physical manipulation, joint mobility and stretching
- Therapeutic exercises with the use of physioballs/peanuts and wobble boards
- Electric stimulation (TENS/NMES)
- Stem cells
- Platelet Rich Plasma
Don’t hesitate to ask your family veterinarian during your next wellness exam how physical rehabilitation can benefit your pet. In the meantime, visit the links below for more information about what we offer at Belle Mead Animal Hospital.
Dr. Kim Somjen, DVM
Belle Mead Animal Hospital
Another Somerset Patriots “Bark in the Park Night” has come and gone. We want to thank everyone who came out to TD Bank Ballpark on July 26, 2017 to share a fun evening with us! Let’s take a look back and share the memories, especially for those who could not make it that night.
Owners checked in with their dogs at the special registration table out front, and gates opened at 6 p.m. The event kicked off at 6:30 p.m. with the ever popular Pooch Parade around the field. A few of our BMAH team members participated this year with their own canine friends. The weather was perfect, and it was nice to see such a great turnout early on of people and their pets!
The Belle Mead Animal Hospital team did a great job in the concourse showcasing our services at the BMAH table, offering giveaways to people and pets, and demonstrating canine rehabilitation exercises offered at our new Pet Pain Clinic. Dr. Kim Somjen who manages the BMAH Pet Pain Clinic was on hand with several of her team members to offer advice and answer questions to interested pet owners. The team brought along their own dogs to demonstrate rehabilitation exercises.
Visitors to our table also participated in a raffle and this lucky dog named Buddy was the winner!
The concourse and ballpark stands were crowded with people and their pets enjoying the activities and watching the game. There was the usual break for Yappy Hour where folks could buy their dog an ice cream treat while troughs of water were made available throughout the ballpark to keep the pets hydrated. For those of you who are Somerset Patriot fans, they won that night! It was a great game with lots of excitement until the end.
Thanks again to everyone who came out that night and stopped by our table.
The Belle Mead Animal Hospital Team
It’s the final week for Voting in the annual Courier News Readers’ Choice Awards for the “Best of the Best” in Somerset County. The contest ends on Friday, August 11, 2017. It’s been our pleasure to care for your pets, and we hope we’ve met your expectations once again this past year.
Simply click on the “Vote Now!” link below and scroll to the bottom of the “People & Services” page to the “Veterinarian” subcategory and cast your vote for Belle Mead Animal Hospital (you may be required to log in). Please take a minute to write in and vote for Amwell Pet Supply under Pet Services. Your support of our local small business pet store will be very much appreciated!
Winners of the Somerset County “Best of the Best 2017” contest will be announced in the Courier News on Thursday, October 26, 2017. Thank you for your continued support!
Joe Martins, DVM, Belle Mead Animal Hospital
Join us in congratulating Dr. Kim Somjen who recently achieved her Certification as a Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM)!
She began the certification process three and one-half years ago through the University of Tennessee’s Canine Rehabilitation Program and began incorporating what she learned into all of her cases. She has completed the University of Tennessee’s Certified Companion Animal Pain Management Program and is also in the process of completing the Veterinary Medical Acupuncture Certification.
Dr. Somjen is eager to apply what she knows and learns to all of her clients in our BMAH Pet Pain Clinic. She is a member of the International Veterinary Association of Pain Management and is pursuing certification as a Veterinary Pain Practitioner. Learn more about the BMAH Pet Pain Clinic here.
Belle Mead Animal Hospital was proud to be the lead sponsor of the WOOF IT! Dog Walk and Celebration on Sunday, May 7, 2017 to benefit Animal Alliance of New Jersey. The event took place at the Sarah Dilts Farm Park in Stockton from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. with all proceeds to help the rescued dogs and cats.
The $15 pre-registration fee ($20 the day of) included a 3/4 mile dog walk on the trail around the farm park, contests for the children and dogs, face painting, and balloons. Music provided by a local DJ added to the festivities. The dog participants received souvenir bandannas and were treated to “Wag Bags” full of goodies. A caricaturist, raffle baskets, vendors, and food were also available for purchase during the event.
There were a few rules to follow for the safety of all those participating. Only well-mannered, non-aggressive pets were welcome to participate with a limit of two dogs per walker. Non-retractable, 6 ft. leashes were required as well as proof of rabies vaccination.
Dr. Kim Somjen and Technician Taylor Boylan offered pet rehabilitation and massage therapy demonstrations at the Belle Mead Animal Hospital table. Visitors were able to ask questions and had a chance to learn how the rehabilitation therapies offered at the BMAH Pet Pain Clinic might benefit their own pet.
It was a fun day for a worthwhile cause! Visit our Belle Mead Animal Hospital YouTube Channel to see some of the pet rehabilitation demonstrations in action!