Vet suite stories

A Vet Suite Interview with Rosie and Poppy

A Vet Suite Interview with Rosie and Poppy

Rosie and Poppy are Muttville alums that arrived at as a bonded pair of cuteness. Rosie is an 8 yr old Spaniel mix, and Poppy is a 10 yr old Chihuahua Mix. They were wondering what was in store for them at Muttville until they were happily adopted into a furever home.

We were lucky enough to get some insight to their story while they were at Muttville.

Here’s an interview we did with them after their Vet Suite intake exam.

Muttville: Welcome to Muttville, you two are making quite a stir with all your cuteness. You went through your Intake exam at the Muttville Vet Suite, what was that experience like?

Rosie: Well, my little sister went first and she was kind of nervous. Then she started making all this noise like she got her tail caught in something. I was like “WHOA.”

Muttville: Wow, that sounds scary! Poppy can you tell us what was going on? What made you make that sound?

Poppy: Well, first of all, yes, I was kind of nervous! I was on this big tall table and my sister was on the ground checking in on me from where she was. My sister is pretty awesome.

A nice lady, who I learned is a volunteer, was holding me and telling me how cute I was. Another nice lady was feeling my back and legs, I think she was checking out how fit I was. I was feeling pretty relaxed.

But THEN… hang on, I need a minute… Ok¦ THEN, the volunteer hugged me a little tighter and I couldn’t see the other lady anymore. (I found out later she is Dr. Rader, DVM.) Next thing I know there’s something really cold in my butt!!!! Rosie told me it was thermometer. I didn’t appreciate it. As if that wasn’t enough I felt a huge SQUEEZE back there and that’s when I started screeching. In a moment of panic, my People Talk translator switched into overdrive, I heard Dr. Rader say something like “anal glands”and “express.”

Well, I wanted to express my way right out of the Vet Suite but the volunteer held onto me and told me everything was going to be OK. Once that was over, I hate to admit, I felt better. And I got some chicken. I love chicken.

Muttville: Wow, what a story! Poppy you’re a trooper. Rosie, did Poppy’s experience get you mentally prepared when your Intake Exam came up next?

Rosie: You know, I realized that it would be better for me to go with the flow. I just went into a “zone” and decided to stay calm. Dr. Rader told me I am gorgeous, which I love to hear and that I’m in good shape. Poppy and I like to take care of ourselves and it shows.

Muttville: So, we’re curious. What brought you to Muttville in the first place?

Rosie and Poppy became quiet.

Poppy: Our mama passed away. Rosie and I are still a bit shocked.

Rosie: When our mama passed, her daughter took us but she’s homeless. Even though she wanted us to be with her, she made a decision to make sure we would get the best care possible. It made us all sad but we appreciate that she wanted the best for us.

Muttville: Poppy and Rosie, we’re so sorry for your loss. We hope you feel the love at Muttville, they’re great at finding awesome forever homes.

Rosie: The humans at Muttville are so loving. They seem to understand that we’ve been through a tough loss and change and they’re spoiling us with the attention. We’re grateful.

Poppy: Times have been tough, but we both feel that we really landed on our paws. We’re getting so much love and attention. And can’t say enough about the chicken. The meals here are great!

And there you have it. A pair of brave sisters who found an amazing furever home. There’s always a second chance for seniors, all it takes is love!

Behind the Scenes at the Muttville Vet Suite!

Senior Dogs, Medical Care and Muttville Love

The heart of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is in the rescue, care and rehoming of senior dogs. Muttville’s tagline “It’s never too late for a new beginning” says it all! What makes Muttville particularly unique as a rescue organization is that it has its own Veterinary Suite. Angela Ramiro, Veterinary Program Manager continues to grow the capabilities of the Vet Suite and manages the Vet Suite Volunteer Program. Thanks to a generous donor, the Vet Suite hit a new level of performance when Dr. Rebecca Rader, DVM joined as Muttville’s only full-time veterinarian.

Dr. Rader, DVM with Marty, a Brussel Griffon

Dr. Rader, DVM with Marty, a Brussel Griffon

The Benefits of an Internal Veterinary Program

Muttville’s internal veterinary program allows for faster processing of a senior dog once they’ve arrived. The sooner a dog can be scheduled for an initial intake exam and assessment, the quicker that dog receives the necessary medications, treatments or scheduled surgeries. Once our seniors are assessed and medically cared for, they’re ready to be seen by the public and will be fostered, then adopted or identified for Muttville’s hospice program.

The most common surgeries scheduled are spays, neuters and dentals. There’s the “Muttville Special” which is either a spay or neuter and a dental. Even as a senior dog, it’s important to get spayed or neutered; it’s not just to prevent pregnancies. Female dogs that are not spayed are at risk of mammary tumors, uterine infections and uterine cancer. For male dogs, health risks without neutering include testicular cancer and prostate disease.

Angela, Vet Suite Manager, with Hopkins a Standard Schnauzer, Emily, Vet Suite Volunteer

Angela, Vet Suite Manager, with Hopkins a Standard Schnauzer and Emily, Vet Suite Volunteer.

When it comes to a dental exam, it’s common to see seniors come in with severe gum disease. Dogs are noted with severe gingivitis, dental calculus, and sometimes fistulas, where a hole develops between a dog’s oral cavity and nasal passages because of a loss of gum tissue and bone around the teeth. Surgery is necessary to treat the dog, scale the teeth, and perform extractions and to repair fistulas.

Dr. Rader schedules more complex procedures that require sedation. Some dogs arrive in a painful state, like Buddy, a Shepherd mix. Buddy had a severe ear infection which caused an ear hematoma that over time split his ear. He had to be sedated to have the ear examined, cleaned and treated. Dr. Rader was able to take care of this procedure on site.

Buddy arrived at Muttville with a painful ear hematoma.

Buddy arrived at Muttville with a painful ear hematoma.

Some dogs are sedated so Dr. Rader can biopsy masses to examine internally and send out for further analysis. With the addition of an ultrasound machine this year, Dr. Rader performs abdominal scans on Muttville’s seniors and looks for abnormalities in the liver, spleen, kidneys, uterus and prostate. The procedure is non invasive and allows for identification of conditions like pancreatitis, Cushing’s disease, pyometra, bladder stones, and lymphomas, all detected through the image sent back by the ultrasound.

Teddy, a Poodle mix getting his blood pressure checked.

Teddy, a Poodle mix getting his blood pressure checked.

The Muttville Vet Suite Volunteer Program

Muttville’s Volunteer Program in the Vet Suite has been active since 2014. Vet Suite volunteers support Dr. Rader and Angela by making sure the Vet Suite operates efficiently. Volunteers keep the Vet Suite stocked and clean, make sure muzzles and equipment are cleaned and sterilized, and keep dogs comfortable as possible throughout their medical exams.

Volunteers also complete the initial intake forms, highlighting information and medical history, including current medications, recent surgeries, and vaccinations given prior to arrival at Muttville. New arrivals are weighed and then treated to a snack of chicken with flea and tick and heart worm treatments hidden in the mix. Dogs are scanned for microchips. Blood work is run during intake so the results are ready before the end of the exam.

Bruce, a Dachschund, is getting his flea and tick prevention in the form of Bravecto hidden away in some yummy chicken.

Bruce, a Dachschund, is getting his flea and tick prevention in the form of Bravecto hidden away in some yummy chicken.

Once Dr. Rader begins an exam, one of the most important volunteer roles is holding the dog so that everyone is safe. In order for an intake exam to run smoothly, volunteers focus on keeping a dog calm and distracted. Some dogs could care less that their ears are getting checked. Some dogs hate it. Some dogs don’t want to stand still during an exam so it’s the job of the volunteer to keep the dog in place and relaxed. Some dogs don’t like the awkward position when placed in a trough for their ultrasound exam, while others drop off and take a nap.

Pebbles, in her trough, getting an ultrasound.
Pebbles, in her trough, getting an ultrasound.

Volunteers at the Muttville Vet Suite are dedicated to the program and to supporting the Vet Suite team. The transformations everyone sees from that first medical exam and the progress throughout treatment is inspiring and sometimes amazing. Senior dogs can be incredibly resilient! They’ll steal your heart as they step into their new beginning.

Interested in volunteering with the Muttville Vet Suite? Learn more about becoming a Muttville volunteer.

Keep up with the pooches at Muttville SF Vet’s Suite’s Instagram account. We’ll share cute pictures of the newest dogs at Muttville getting their intake exams and some fun videos from our series, Tails from the Muttville Vet Suite.

Tails from the Muttville Vet Suite

Tails from the Muttville Vet Suite

The mutts are excited to share some news that’s hot off the press! Tails from the Muttville Vet Suite is a new blog series that looks at the medical care our senior dogs receive when they first arrive at Muttville. We’ll share stories and insights from behind the scenes, special vet suite cases and interviews with some of our favorite mutts!

The Muttville Vet Suite Story

Muttville is fortunate to have its own internal veterinary program, something that is not common among animal rescue organizations. Senior dogs at Muttville receive much needed medical attention as soon as they arrive, which reduces the time our seniors need to find placement with fosters or adopters.

The idea for a veterinary program formed in 2013. Katie Klattenhoff, a veterinarian from Chile was Muttville’s first Veterinary Program Manager. Katie Klattenhoff generously volunteered her time to setup a veterinary care program at Muttville. The clinic officially opened in 2014 offering basic medical services from eye and ear checks, heart worm protection and flea control, and general assessment of a patient’s condition. Veterinary costs per dog dropped 39% with the introduction of this program and more complex procedures were outsourced to neighboring veterinary hospitals. The vet suite operated Monday – Friday with the support of three volunteers providing coverage three days a week.

When Katie returned to her native Chile in March 2015, Angela Ramiro joined Muttville to take over as Veterinary Program Manager. Thanks to the support of a generous donor, Muttville was able to bring on a full time veterinarian, Dr. Rebecca Rader, DVM in May 2015. In December 2015, Lydia Hampton joined the Vet Suite as a part time veterinary technician. Muttville also became a licensed clinic in May 2015, allowing the vet team to order, prescribe and administer prescription medications on site. Thanks to generous donor support an ultrasound was brought into the vet suite in January 2016.

Today the Muttville Vet Suite Volunteer Program has 40 volunteers covering AM and PM shifts Monday through Friday. Muttville’s early partnerships with three veterinary hospitals has grown to partnerships with 27 veterinary hospitals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area!

The mutts at the Muttville Vet Suite are grateful for the care they receive. With every donation and level of support, the vet suite team is able to change the life of another dog and ultimately change the life of another foster or adopter.

We remain committed to giving our seniors the health care they need for successful adoption and continue to seek support of life-saving surgeries, dental cleanings, and prescription drugs for our rescued senior mutts. We are grateful for all the support we receive! If you’re interested in volunteering you can send your details here: Volunteer

Stay tuned for more Tails from the Muttville Vet Suite!


Want fresh mutts delivered to your inbox?