Rabid Bat Alert: News Channel 8

Rabid bat discovered in Tampa, 10th person exposed to rabies in Hillsborough
By WFLA Web Staff
Published: March 9, 2018, 12:59 pm Updated: March 9, 2018, 1:47 pm

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A tenth person has been exposed to rabies in Hillsborough County following the discovery of a rabid bat in Tampa’s Westshore district

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County said the bat was discovered in the 1300 block of North Westshore Boulevard.

The bat was found in the grass on its back. The bat was then taken to a local veterinary office. DOH was notified and tested it for rabies.

Health officials say the person who was exposed to rabies is an Orange County resident who will be receiving treatment there.

Continue reading at WFLA.com

Rabid Cat Alert

Rabid Cat Alert

We were informed on February 19, 2016, that a cat had tested positive with Rabies near the intersection of Ehrlich Road and Del Valle Road. The Florida Department of Health has released a flier which can be seen below should you wish to review. If additional information becomes available, we will release it to you. For further information, please contact:

Patrick L. Rodriguez, MSPH, CPH
Environmental Specialist II
Florida Department of Health – Hillsborough County P.O. Box 5135 Tampa, Florida 33675-5135
Ph (813) 307-8015 ext. 5930

Rabid Cat Alert

From the Health Department:


February 19, 2016

This is to inform you that a gray domestic shorthair cat in the area of Citrus Park near the intersection of Ehrlich Road and Del Valle Road has tested positive for rabies. Protect your pets and family by following the suggestions listed below:

  • Make sure that your pets are properly vaccinated for rabies. Florida law requires this.
  • Stay away from all unknown animals to include domestic (dogs & cats) strays, farm livestock and free-roaming (raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats) wildlife.
  • Keep your pets on your property. Do not allow pets to roam free without supervision.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals by leaving pet food outside, or garbage cans open.
  • If you think you were bitten or scratched by the animal described above please contact the Health Department at the number listed below.
  • For additional information and to report animal bites contact:

Florida Department of Health-Hillsborough Environmental Health Services at 813-307-8059

Hillsborough County requires all domestic animals to be vaccinated for rabies and registered with current tag. For additional information contact Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center at 813-744-5660.

Hi, My name is Harley!

My name is Harley and I’m a patient of Dr. Authement, 1 year ago I was diagnosed with stage 5 lymphoma , my parents were so devastated, all my mommy did was cry, it made me very sad.

This picture of me is one year later, I’m in remission and my parents are so happy, I am too! I’m only 5 years old and I want to be in my parents life as long as I can because they need me. Thank you to everyone at vet med that supported my parents and me during this difficult period in our lives! Dr. Authement is my hero, oh and my sister Cristina too

Heatstroke Can Be Deadly

Eddie Garcia, D.V.M.

Eddie Garcia, D.V.M. - Clinic Director at Veterinary Medical Clinic

Heatstroke occurs when a dog’s body either produces through exercise or absorbs from the environment more heat than it can dissipate.  When the temperature reaches 109° degrees Fahrenheit or greater, heatstroke occurs and the cells of the body begin to die quickly.  Swelling of the brain causes seizures, lack of blood supply to digestive tract causes gastric ulcers and dehydration leads to permanent damage to the kidneys, all within a matter of minutes.

You may be surprised to learn how easily heatstroke can occur.  We usually think of heatstroke occurring when a dog exercises too much in hot weather or is left in a locked hot car, but there are reports of dogs suffering severe heatstroke while walking with their owner on a hot day or when exposed to direct sun through the window of a moving car. A dog maybe susceptible to heatstroke under conditions that might not be uncomfortable, much less life threatening for humans.

One reason dogs are more susceptible to the effects of heat than humans is their skin is different.  Human skin has many sweat glands in it, and beneath the surface of the skin is a vast network of tiny blood vessels called capillaries.  When the human body becomes overheated, the glands produce sweat and the blood in the capillaries is cooled as the sweat evaporates.  Dogs have neither the sweat glands nor the blood cooling capillaries of humans.  They cool themselves by panting, allowing cooler air to enter the lungs and dissipate their body heat.  Older dogs, puppies, sick dogs and dogs poorly acclimated to warm weather are especially at risk, but even healthy dogs who live outdoors all the time may be susceptible during severe hot weather or excessive exercise or excitement.

Dogs with small heads and short noses, such as Pekingese, Boxers, Bostons, Bulldogs, or Chinese Pugs are more susceptible to heatstroke.  They are poorly built for cooling by panting, so they can’t exchange air as easily as long nosed dogs.

Signs of heatstroke are:  loud and excessive panting, profuse salivation, restlessness and dry gums and tongue.  The gums and tongue turn bright red to purple, eyes become glazed and they have trouble walking or standing.

If you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke, take action.  First, get the dog out of heat into shade or in air conditioning as soon as possible.  Offer him small amounts of cold water.  Call a veterinarian and get him examined as soon as possible.

What is Veterinary Acupuncture?

Elsie Lacy

“Elsie” Lacy being a great acupuncture patient

Information provided by: Shelly Marquardt, D.V.M. with Veterinary Medical Clinic and After Hours Urgent Pet Care of South Tampa

Acupuncture is the treatment of conditions or symptoms by the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body, acupoints, in order to produce a response.  The ancient Chinese discovered acupuncture points for both humans and animals, and these points were found to be connected with each other and various internal organs via meridians or channels.

Modern research shows that acupoints are located in the areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels.  When stimulated, each acupuncture point has specific actions causing release of beta-endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters.  Combinations of points are often stimulated to take advantage of synergistic reactions between them, particularly healing and pain relief.

Any condition may potentially benefit from acupuncture.  In veterinary medicine, there is evidence of the success of acupuncture for treating many disorders:

  • Musculoskeletal – osteoarthritis, intervertebral disk disease, degenerative joint disease
  • Neurological – seizures, laryngeal paralysis, facial and nerve paralysis
  • Gastrointestinal – vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, impact impaction
  • Respiratory – asthma, coughing, upper respiratory
  • Dermatological – allergic dermatitis, lick granuloma

 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Qi?

A: Qi (pronounced chee) is the life force or energy that sustains the body.  There are two opposite forms of Qi: Yin and Yang. Physiologically, Qi flows throughout the body, maintaining as balance of Yin and Yang.  When the flow of Qi is interrupted, the balance is lost and disease can develop. 

Pain is defined as a blockage of Qi.  Acupuncture can resolve the blockage, allowing Qi to flow freely, and enabling the body to heal to restore balance.

 Q: What is the history of acupuncture?

A: Acupuncture was developed thousands of years ago by the ancient Chinese to treat conditions in both humans and animals.  In North America, the use of acupuncture outside of Asian-American communities was infrequent until the early 1970s.  Since then, as more clinical research has been conducted showing positive results in the treatment of both animals and humans, its use has been increasing. There are now many veterinarians adding acupuncture into their practice.

Q: What are the methods and goals of acupuncture?

A: The goal of acupuncture is to restore the flow of Qi in order to restore balance.  This can be achieved by stimulating the acupoints in a variety of ways, such as dry needling, moxibustion, aqua-acupuncture, and electro- stimulation.

 Which acupuncture points are stimulated, the depth of needle insertion, the type of stimulation applied to the needles, and the duration of each treatment session depends on the patient’s tolerance, the experience and training of the practitioner, and the condition being treated.  

 Q: How safe is acupuncture therapy?

A: it is very safe when administered by a qualified practitioner. Very few side effects have been found in clinical cases.

 Q: Does acupuncture hurt?

A: Most animals are comfortable with acupuncture treatment and some will fall asleep during the treatment.  A proper treatment may cause a mild sensation of heaviness with some muscle contraction.  It may be necessary to gently restrain the animal during the first treatment to minimize discomfort.  As a rule, animals relax and sit or lie quietly for subsequent treatments.

 Q: What species of animals can receive acupuncture?

A : Acupuncture can be used on all species of animals, and has documented efficacy on a wide range of species, including elephants, cattle, horses, dogs, cats, monkeys, and rabbits.  However, it tends to be more frequently used in companion animal species such as the horse, dog, and cat.

 Q: How much does a veterinary acupuncture treatment cost?

A: Cost can vary widely based on location, practitioner, species, and disease being treated. It is best to contact your nearest practitioner to discuss their fees.

Your Car is an Oven!


You’ve heard of it, you knew it affected people, and you were even vaguely aware that it could affect your pet. But how does it happen? And most important, how can you help your pet avoid it? Heatstroke is a deadly disease that can kill your beloved companion, even with emergency treatment. The best way to avoid this terrible situation is prevention, and it’s all up to you.

Sun + humidity = heatstroke (and other factors that kill)

Everyone knows that the inside of a car on a hot summer’s day can be lethal. But Fido needs you to know more than that to keep him safe in the deadly sun. Days above 90 degrees, especially with high humidity, are inherently dangerous for your pet. Humidity interferes with animals’ ability to rid themselves of excess body heat. When we overheat we sweat, and when the sweat dries it takes excess heat with it. Our four-legged friends only perspire around their paws, which is not enough to cool the body. To rid themselves of excess heat, animals pant. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body. As it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. Although this is a very efficient way to control body heat, it is severely limited in areas of high humidity or when the animal is in close quarters.

The shape of an animal’s nasal passages can contribute to an animal’s tendency to overheat. Brachiocephalic (pug-nosed) dogs are more prone to heatstroke because their nasal passages are smaller and it’s more difficult for them to circulate sufficient air for cooling. Overweight dogs are also more prone to overheating because their extra layers of fat act as insulation, which traps heat in their bodies and restricts their breathing capabilities. Age can also be a factor in an animal’s tendency to overheat–very young animals may not have a fully developed temperature regulating system, and older pets’ organ systems may not be functioning at 100 percent, leaving them prone to heat-related damage.

Cracking the windows doesn’t cut it

So where are the danger zones? The most obvious is your car: It can become a death trap even on a mild sunny day–and can insidiously raise the car’s temperature to well above 120 degrees! Never, ever leave your pet inside the car. If your pet can’t come with you when you get out of the car, leave him at home.

What are some other dangerous situations for your pets? Leaving animals outdoors without shelter is just as dangerous as leaving them inside a hot car. Be sure they are not left in a cage in the hot sun, on a chain in the backyard, or outdoors in a run without sufficient shade or air circulation.

To read more visit the articles source at the American Animal Hospital Association’s website.

Courtesy of the American Animal Hospital Association.

Urgent Pet Care Closure This Weekend

ATTENTION: Urgent Pet Care of South Tampa will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. We will be paving our parking lot. We will re-open Monday evening. Thank you!

Davis Island Fest

Join Veterinary Medical Clinic and After Hours Urgent Pet Care of South Tampa at the Davis Islands Fest on April 26 from 10 am – 5 pm. More details can be found at http://www.islandsfest.com/.

After Hours Urgent Pet Care of South Tampa

Veterinary Medical Clinic

Veterinary Medical Clinic

Harbour Island Art Walk

After Hours Urgent Pet Care of South Tampa

Join us from 12:00 until 5:00 pm



County Shelter Temporarily Closed Due to Respiratory Disease

Dear Volunteers, Partners, Veterinarians, and Stakeholders,

Staff from HCAS recently attended the Maddie’s Fund Shelter Medicine Conference in Jacksonville and learned about new research on upper respiratory viruses including a new PCR test from Cornell University. Upon their return, staff decided to proactively gather eleven samples from dogs with and without clinical symptoms of upper respiratory infections (URI) and submit them to Cornell University. This weekend, we received the results, which revealed the presence of coronavirus and pneumovirus in the shelter. It is not possible to say when this virus may have entered the shelter because tests for them were not available to us before.

I have attached a handout from the University of Florida Shelter Medicine program on these viruses. The pneumovirus is significant because it lasts longer, is more contagious, and can sometimes cause pneumonia or other complications. The pneumovirus was first discovered in 2010 and has been reported in only a few Florida communities, Maryland, New York, and the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, there is no vaccination for the virus.

For the shelter, this is significant because, in order to break the virus cycle, animals must be quarantined and intake limited. For these reasons, the following steps will be taken for the next two weeks or until a veterinarian determines that the shelter has broken the infection cycle:

– Dog intake at the shelter and in the field will be limited to dangerous dogs, dogs that have bitten a person, and sick or injured dogs.

– Owner surrender dogs will not be accepted – they will be asked to contact other shelters and rescue groups, rehome the dog if possible, or hang on to the dog for a few weeks.

– Dogs will not be allowed to leave the shelter until veterinarians determine that they do not present a risk; dogs with adoption and rescue applications will be sheltered and treated medically if necessary. The shelter will not euthanize to control the disease. However, some amount of euthanasia will occur due to the regular disposition process (e.g., bite releases, animals not responding to medical treatment, etc.)

– The public will be asked to help support the shelter by keeping stray animals and posting flyers and signs as well as using electronic media to search for owners (e.g., Craigslist, neighborhood association newsletters, etc.)

– The pubic will be asked to search for pets on-line first, and only come to the shelter if they think that their dog may be here. Staff will escort them around the shelter.

– We will not be walking any dogs until further notice in order to be extra cautious.

IMPORTANT: Cat intake, adoption, rescue, and returns-to-owner will continue as usual. These viruses are not contagious to cats.

Lastly, one of the dogs tested very lightly for distemper. The University of Florida says that this may just be the result of vaccinating the dog. The dog was adopted out on 11/1/13 and went home with antibiotics for a slight cough. However, the owner reports that the cough is going away and that the dog is very active and has a big appetite. A veterinary technician and an animal control officer visited the adopter today to observe the dogs condition and gather a second sample, which will confirm or deny the presence of distemper. We hope to have those results by early next week.

If you are fostering a dog from us, have recently rescued a dog from us, or have a dog at home with any upper respiratory symptoms, please let your veterinarian know about this information.

We will continue to update you on changes to our operations as well as new information about the viruses. Please keep in mind that we have seen a decrease in URI in the shelter and as reported by the veterinary community through post adoption surveys. The test results reflect what viruses are in our community and not an increase in illness.

Thank you for your support as we undertake a massive effort to rid the shelter of this virus.


Ian Hallett, MPA
Director of Animal Services
Hillsborough County BOC
office: (813) 744-5350
fax: (813) 612-914
Please note: all correspondence to or from this office is subject to Florida’s Public Records laws.

Menu Title