December 04, 2019 Misc

#GivingTuesday 2019: AMC gives all year long

The Animal Medical Center's Dr. Heather Brausa conducts an educational seminar for NYPD K9 officers

#GivingTuesday 2019: AMC gives all year long

December 3, 2019, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving was Giving Tuesday. The movement to promote charitable giving was started in 2012 in response to the growing commercialism and consumerism of the holiday season. One pillar of the Animal Medical Center’s not-for-profit mission is education. The veterinarians at AMC give educational seminars to animal groups in our community not on #GivingTuesday, but all year long.

Opioid Crisis

One of the major public health crises in the United States today is opioid addiction. Sadly, animals too, are victims of this crisis. Dogs trained to identify contraband using their sense of smell are at risk of exposure to a commonly-abused and highly-potent opioid, fentanyl. Even small amounts of fentanyl can be lethal in dogs. To help officers in the New York Police Department’s Critical Response Command K9 Unit recognize the signs of opioid toxicity in their canine partners, Dr. Heather Brausa of AMC’s Community Practice Service partnered with The Overdose Prevention Agency Corporation to conduct an education seminar for these officers. During the seminar, officers also learned to use an autoinjector device on their dogs containing naloxone. Naloxone is the antidote to fentanyl and can rapidly revive a dog experiencing an opioid overdose.

Medical Special Operations Conference (MSOC)

For the past 7 years, AMC emergency and critical care specialists have partnered with the FDNY and the FDNY Foundation at the MSOC to provide military, federal, state and local medical responders with best practices regarding veterinary care. In 2019, AMC was represented by Dr. Ann Marie Zollo. On the Friday of the three-day conference, AMC hosted first responders in our 6th floor conference room for a full day wet lab. The presentation contained something for everyone. For dog handlers, there was a session on dog care; for first responders, first aid, bandaging and catheter placement. The FDNY supplied medical equipment typically carried on their vehicles and participants learned how to save dog lives using these pieces of equipment in the field. For our ongoing efforts as members of the MSOC team, AMC was recently honored by the FDNY with a plaque which you can see in our lobby, appropriately hung right next to our fire alarm box!

The “eyes” have it

In August, AMC’s ophthalmologist, Dr. Sandra van der Woerdt was the featured speaker at a Usdan Institute for Animal Health Education event. Her presentation “Seeing life through a new lens: diagnosis and treatment of cataracts in pets” can be viewed on AMC’s website. One of the attendees was so captivated by her presentation that he invited her to be the guest speaker at the New York Academy of Optometry. She spoke on ophthalmology in dogs and cats at the academy’s September meeting and furthered AMC’s efforts in the One Medicine arena, addressing shared health concerns of humans and animals. If you are looking to participate in #GivingTuesday on AMC’s behalf, our Patient Assistance Fund (PAF) has a critical need. This community fund was established to help qualified pet owners receive free or subsidized emergency care. Grants from the PAF enable the owners of beloved pets to get emergency, often lifesaving, treatments that allow them to have long and happy lives together. To donate, click here.