Pets 2010: Healthcare Services
In a city known for world-class hospitals, Boston also boasts excellent vets and animal medical facilities.
The Make-It-All-Better Mecca
Each year the Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain treats some 51,000 patients, including zoo animals, police K-9s, and Keith Lockhartâ€™s Labradoodle. As this nationally renowned MSPCA-run facility closes in on the century mark, we take a look at some of the people and services that make it unique.
Emergency Care: Open 24/7, Angell sees roughly 60 ER cases daily, from car accidents to â€śa swallowed rubber duckie,â€ť says Dr. Kiko Bracker, whose department also encompasses intensive care â€” a unit founded in 1959 as the first of its kind.
Surgery: Whether itâ€™s neutering or neurosurgery, Angell has five full-time surgeons on the case. Among them is Dr. Sue Casale (one of the few local vets certified in animal stem-cell therapy), whose most unusual cases to date include a fracture repair on a wolf.
General Medicine: This is the part that feels most like your vetâ€™s office â€” that is, if your vet were right down the hall from oncologists, ophthalmologists, and other specialists, and technology like one of the nationâ€™s few animal MRIs. Resources bonanza aside, section head Dr. Joel Kaye takes pride in Angellâ€™s wellness program, which he helped develop and which aims to keep pets healthy through their lifespan.
Connections: Angellâ€™s national profile stems in part from the legions of interns it trains. Longtime mentor Dr. Doug Brum, a 25-year Angell veteran, also works to strengthen the hospitalâ€™s ties to the outside world by assisting scores of local vets seeking referrals.
Mission: For every paying client, there is a homeless animal receiving the same quality of care, thanks to Angellâ€™s role in the MSPCA. â€śThe biggest misconception about us is that Angell makes a lot of money,â€ť says MSPCA-Angell president Carter Luke. â€śBut the depth of services here, the great staff â€” it takes charitable contributions to keep it all going.â€ť 350 S. Huntington Ave., Jamaica Plain, 617-522-7282, mspca.org
Local Vets Who Get Those Tails Wagging
Dr. Paul Constantino, South Bay Veterinary Groupâ€‚
A fully digital x-ray system and an in-house lab help keep this South End clinic and its Beacon Hill satellite office on the cutting edge. But whatâ€™s earned raves for co-owner Constantino is his old-fashioned knack for handling skittish animals â€” a skill he says he honed as an intern at Angell. 617-266-6619, web.mac.com/southbayveterinary.
Drs. Maija Mikkola Curtis and Emily Neenan, Harbor Vets
You can skip spelling out that trip to the â€śV-E-Tâ€ť â€” these docs bring their practice to you. Bearing a creatively packed suitcase of equipment and meds, they travel across Greater Boston to visit dogs and cats in need of anything from annual checkups to hospice care. The unrushed, low-stress house calls, Neenan says, â€śallow us to be the doctors we always wanted to be.â€ť 617-336-3232, harborvets.com.
Dr. Hugh Davis, Boston Veterinary Care
A calm vet makes for calmer patients, and the laid-back manner of this Texas native goes over big with critters and people alike. Plus, with more than 25 yearsâ€™ experience in veterinary medicine and surgery, Davis brings professional chops to this Animal Rescue Leagueâ€“associated clinic that any for-profit practice would envy. 617-226-5605, arlboston.org.
Dr. Amy Johnson, Jamaica Plain Animal Clinic
Shelter pets have a special place at Johnsonâ€™s bright, cheerful two-year-old practice, where a pair of MSPCA foster cats lounge in the window. The doc â€” who owns two dogs and two cats adopted from shelters â€” worked for animal-welfare organizations as well as private practices before opening her clinic, and she and her staff treat every patient like a VIP. 617-524-7300, jpanimalclinic.com.
Dr. Christopher Ulrich, Huron Veterinary Hospital
Itâ€™s not easy to get in to see this Inman Square vet, and not just because heâ€™s running a one-man show. He also likes to schedule longer appointments â€” 30 minutes or more, compared with the standard 15 â€” which means more time for â€śDr. Uâ€ť to get down and crawl around on the floor with your delighted pet. 617-661-9553, huronvethospital.com.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2010/03/pets-2010-healthcare-services/