emergency – College of Veterinary Medicine http://www.vetmed.ufl.edu UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:49:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 UF veterinarians save pregnant dog with pancreatitis – and her puppies http://www.vetmed.ufl.edu/2013/04/30/uf-veterinarians-save-pregnant-dog-with-pancreatitis-and-her-puppies/ Tue, 30 Apr 2013 21:18:08 +0000 http://vetmed.sites.medinfo.ufl.edu/?p=5926 Patcheswiththreepups

Patches, center, with her three puppies. (Photo courtesy of Flowerwood Dachshunds)

Dachshund breeder Dale Flowers has weathered many a journey with her dogs, shepherding them through pregnancies, even letting them sleep in her bed at night just weeks before their due date. But the medical odyssey she recently went through with Patches, named for her unique dappled marking, was unlike any other.

Thanks to recent treatment at UF’s Pet Emergency Treatment Services in Ocala and follow-up at the Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville, a very-pregnant Patches survived a near-fatal bout with pancreatitis. And not only did she survive; she gave birth within days of her discharge to three puppies, two of which survived and are healthy.

“Patches and the pups are doing fine,” Flowers said, adding that the puppies will turn 7.5 weeks old on May 2. She had reservations on both for adoption.

“I am very pleased with Patches’ progress and thank UF again for saving her and her babies,” Flowers said.

But the happy ending to Patches’ saga could have easily gone the other way. UF veterinarians came very close to spaying Patches due to the severity of her illness, which would have meant sacrificing the babies to save her life, with uncertain impact on Patches. Veterinarians wrestled with the best way to proceed, involving specialists from three different services, said Dr. Leo Londono, a resident in emergency and critical care.

Londono first saw Patches when she was admitted at the PETS after-hours emergency clinic and continued to work with the dog after her transfer to Gainesville for specialty treatment.

“We don’t see a lot of cases involving pregnant females that get sick, and we’re not always sure of the best way to proceed,” Londono said. “If the dog is painful, you can’t give too many pain medications, as this could affect the puppies. We weren’t sure if going to surgery was the right decision either, as anesthesia could have made her pancreatitis worse.”

Ultimately, veterinarians’ decision to administer aggressive therapy and give Patches more time to respond to it, resulted in Patches’ and her puppies’ survival. In addition, the relationship between the two UF veterinary clinics involved in her care allowed for a seamless transfer to Gainesville and the full house of experts available at the main Small Animal Hospital.

“This case really illustrates well how smoothly the two clinics work together,” said Dr. Carsten Bandt, chief of the hospital’s Emergency and Critical Care Service.”We were able to drive Patches to Gainesville and provide continuous care for her, as we do for the most critically ill patients who initially come to us through PETS.

Patches ordeal started on Jan. 30, when Flowers found her prized 5-year-old dog on the ground and obviously in pain. Patches was hyperventilating and would not eat, Flowers said. When her condition didn’t improve after a few days of treatment, Flowers’ local veterinarian, Dr. Ashley Boyd, referred the dog to UF.

“Dr. Boyd said she might die if she were not admitted,” said Flowers, who has had Patches since she was an 8-week-old puppy. She described Patches as being very affectionate — a cuddler who loves to sleep in the crook of her arm and snuggle. She said Patches’ most recent litter was her fourth, and that her puppies had always been sought after in the past.

Veterinary specialists from UF’s emergency and critical care, small animal surgery and theriogenology services were involved in Patches case, illustrating UF’s multidisciplinary approach to problem solving and case management, Londono said.

“We learned a lot from Patches case,” he said. “The owner was very concerned about Patches, so if we had to sacrifice the puppies to save her life, we would have, but at the same time we didn’t want to rush into a decision when we didn’t have to. But sitting and watching and waiting wasn’t going to be enough either, so we decided to be more aggressive in our therapy and in the end that was the right thing to do.”

Flowers said the ordeal was an emotional roller coaster and one she hoped to never have to go through again.

“UF’s care of Patches was very good,” she said. “Everyone from the front desk to teams in the ICU knew Patches and had nice things to say about her. I received daily reports, sometimes twice daily, from Dr. Londono and I greatly appreciated that.”

Dog survives rattlesnake bite, becomes social media celebrity http://www.vetmed.ufl.edu/2012/07/25/dog-survives-rattlesnake-bite-becomes-social-media-celebrity/ Wed, 25 Jul 2012 15:03:41 +0000 http://vetmed.sites.medinfo.ufl.edu/?p=4997 The Schmitt family with Cali

Members of the Schmitt family with their dog, Cali, after Cali’s discharge from the UF Small Animal Hospital on July 20, 2012. Cali suffered from massive envenomation from an Eastern diamondback rattlesnake and spent two weeks in our ICU receiving emergency care to save her life. From left to right are Schmitt sons Daniel, Jacob, Michael and (petting Cali) Zach; Dr. Gareth Buckley, Dr. Alessio Vigani, Dr. Michael Schaer and two UF veterinary students, Allison Vansickle and Alison Sass. (Photo by Sarah Carey)

By Sarah Carey

Twenty-four vials of antivenin, 14 days in the UF Small Animal Hospital’s intensive care unit, countless hugs, kisses and Facebook shares later, Cali, a 3-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever mix, is home with her family in Tavares, living the life of Riley.

A YouTube video and Facebook page the family created to solicit donations to help pay Cali’s medical bills went viral, resulting in more than $19,000 being raised to cover her care, and in the process turning Cali into a celebrity among dog lovers from as far away as China and the United Kingdom.

“I expect you guys to treat her like Queen Elizabeth,” Dr. Michael Schaer, an emergency and critical care specialist, told Connie Schmitt’s sons Michael,15; twins Daniel and Jacob,13; and Zach,8, when they came with their mother to visit Cali on July 17, her last week in the hospital. It was one of several visits the family made to see Cali during her recovery from a bite likely inflicted by an Eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

Schaer explained to the Schmitts that once Cali left the hospital, it would take her awhile to regain her strength and to return to life as a normal dog. However, the Schmitts will tell you the gentle brown dog they rescued two years ago has never been a normal dog at all.

Cali entered the Schmitts’ lives when she showed up in their yard, looking sad and lethargic. A family friend and neighbor, a veterinarian, came over and treated Cali minimally, then subsequently at her clinic for infections in both eyes and ears, as well as for fleas and worms. The family posted a notice on Petfinder to see if anyone would claim Cali, who was thought to be about 1 year old. No one did.

“Her condition clearly indicated that she had been neglected for awhile, but she was housebroken and very obedient,” Schmitt said. “It took her about a month to heal to the point where she would even run with the boys outside.”

Two years passed, and Cali’s life evolved to one of chasing lizards, geckos and squirrels on the family’s one-acre lot. She had an unusually gentle personality, her family said, given the neglect she had experienced in her first year of life.

“We weren’t pet people, and although the kids had wanted a dog for a long time, Mike and I didn’t,” Schmitt said. “We used the fact that Mike is allergic to say no. But Cali changed all that. We fell in love with her, and even Mike was not reacting to her like he had to other dogs. She seemed so appreciative to us for taking her in and nursing her back to health and immediately took to us as we did to her.”

Schmitt’s son, Michael, once saw Cali tear off part of a dog treat and give it to another dog.

“One time I saw her take a biscuit over to a little baby in a stroller and drop it at her feet,” he said.

But on July 5 around 6 p.m., family members found Cali collapsed in their yard, foaming at the mouth and not moving. They then saw blood on Cali’s neck and immediately suspected snake bite. The Schmitts immediately took Cali to their local emergency veterinary clinic in Leesburg. Despite two vials of antivenin, however, Cali did not improve, so the next morning the family brought Cali to UF for continued treatment.

From July 6, when Cali arrived, to her discharge on July 20, she experienced a series of medical crises that included three episodes of re-envenomation; heart arrhythmias; an allergic reaction to the antivenin; and serum sickness, not to mention infection with high levels of E-coli bacteria. She also had three surgical procedures to remove dead tissue around her bite wound.

UF’s emergency and critical care team kept the family updated at every turn. In the first five days, whenever another two-vial treatment of antivenin was needed, the family would hope it was the last one. But then Cali would regress again.

“At that point, the stress of the surmounting bill was overwhelming, but we kept thinking that we had gone so far and we couldn’t let her die now,” Schmitt said. “So, with blind faith, we continued to agree to whatever she needed, knowing that we just couldn’t give up on her and that we would find a way to come up with the money to pay for her care.”

The family got busy thinking of ways to contribute to Cali’s bill. The family’s sons decided to donate everything they made in their summer jobs of mowing lawns and weeding to Cali’s care, and Schmitt picked up extra shifts at Disney World, where she works as a seasonal cast member.

Cali Snake Bite Dog

Jacob Schmitt, 13, and his brother, Zach Schmitt, in background, pet Cali on the day of her discharge. (Photo by Maria Farias)

“By Monday (July 9), Dr. Schaer spoke to us and said Cali’s bill was quickly approaching $7,000 and that she continued to need antivenin,” Schmitt said. “He wanted to prepare us for the fact that at the end of the day, we might not have a live dog. We asked him if there would be a point where he would know that more antivenin was pointless, and it would be best to put her down. He said he wanted to try two more vials, and that we might have to have that conversation later that afternoon.”

At that point, the family was desperate and their YouTube video was born.

“The boys all got together and started pulling all the pictures they’ve taken of Cali since we got her,” Schmitt said. “We know that times are tough, and we thought that by asking people for $1 donations and asking for them to share our post, if we could spread the word far enough, we could raise enough funds to help offset the balance that we owed. We were nowhere near prepared for what happened as a result of the video.”

As the video and word of Cali’s plight spread, the family navigated through Cali’s medical rollercoaster with the support of what soon became hundreds of virtual friends and fans, some known to the family and many more, complete strangers. Their Chip-in online account for donations kept growing and growing, as more became aware of Cali’s situation and contributed to help her.

“I’ve seen a lot of snake bite victims, and some pretty bad cases, but this was the worst because of all the unexpected complications that were the result of the amount of venom Cali received and her reaction to it,” Schaer said. “Usually it takes a couple of vials of antivenin and a couple of days to turn an animal around, but in Cali’s case it was 24 vials of antivenin and two full weeks of constant care. That’s unheard of.”

UF veterinarians knew they had turned a corner in Cali’s care when, following a surgical procedure July 16 to remove additional dead tissue from the bite area, she showed no sign of re-envenomation. At that point, 22 vials of antivenin had been administered to Cali during her stay, and she had begun showing signs of an allergic reaction.

The Schmitt family with Cali.

The Schmitt family with Cali. From left to right in front are Zach Schmitt, 8; Michael Schmitt, 15; and twins Jacob and Daniel Schmitt, 13. (Photo by Sarah Carey)

The medical team knew they could not give any more antivenin due to the risk of Cali going into shock. Had Cali shown further signs of re-envenomation, there would have been no way to reverse the effects of venom in her system. Cali almost certainly would have died.

But three hours postoperatively, Schaer was grinning ear to ear.

“Judging from the way she looks now, compared to how she appeared soon after the previous surgery, when the last re-envenomation occurred, I am almost ready to pronounce her out of the woods,” Schaer said at the time.

The next day, UF veterinarians told the Schmitts that Cali just continued to improve and that they were feeling much better about her overall prognosis. At that time, one final surgery remained to close the wound, but Cali came through the procedure with flying colors.

On July 20 her family came to Gainesville to take their beloved Cali home. Her family has continued to post updates about her progress on the Facebook page they set up for Cali, www.facebook.com/pleasehelpcali.

Schmitt says Cali has received many visitors and is being pampered at home every day. She is eating well, drinking a lot and getting lots of rest. Meanwhile, donations continue to pour into the Chip-in online account the family established when they first turned to social media for help.

Schmitt said any overage would be given back to UF to support help other animals. She said she and her family were “humbled and honored” to have been able to witness “the great things that happen at the UF Small Animal Hospital.”

“From the girls at the front desk to the technicians, the doctors and even the administrative staff, each and every person we have had contact with has been amazing, Schmitt said. “The love, caring and compassion in every person there is evident in the way they treat their patients and their families.”


New emergency clinic now open in Ocala http://www.vetmed.ufl.edu/2012/07/10/new-emergency-clinic-now-open-in-ocala/ Tue, 10 Jul 2012 13:49:19 +0000 http://vetmed.sites.medinfo.ufl.edu/?p=4945 By Sarah Carey

Drs. Luiz Bolfer, Carsten Bandt and Gareth Buckley.

Drs. Luiz Bolfer, Carsten Bandt and Gareth Buckley stand at the “CPR station” near an emergency crash cart just prior to the public sneak preview of the new UF Pet Emergency Treatment Services after-hours emergency clinic.

A new after-hours University of Florida pet emergency clinic in Ocala is officially open for business, giving pet owners access to urgent care during time periods when veterinarians’ offices are typically closed.

The UF College of Veterinary Medicine teamed with a group of Ocala veterinarians to establish UF Pet Emergency Treatment Services, a 5,000-square-foot clinic located near the Paddock Mall at 3200 SW 27th Ave.

The clinic provides basic to advanced emergency care between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. during the week and is open around the clock on weekends and holidays. UF small animal emergency and critical care clinicians staff the clinic, with the help of additional support personnel. The staff will rotate shifts in Ocala while continuing to provide services at the UF Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville.

“We’re all proud of this new relationship, which represents a meaningful collaboration among Ocala-area veterinarians as well as with the University of Florida,” said Dr. Dion Osborne, an Ocala veterinarian and graduate of the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. “This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to provide even better service to our clients.”

Osborne and other veterinarians in Ocala formed the Pet Emergency Treatment Service corporation in XXXX with the goal of creating a new emergency clinic in Marion County. Soon after, the group began working with UF leaders to find a way to better serve pet owners in the Marion County region.

An official ribbon-cutting and open house was held June 30, giving the hundreds of people who attended a chance to glimpse the new clinic. During the event, Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn said he was extremely pleased to have the new “state of the art” clinic in his community.

“The location is so convenient. From town, you just turn on 31st Street to 27th Avenue and you’re there,” he said. “People will be able to easily get there from just about anyplace. And from an economic development standpoint, it’s important to have 20 new employees in the area.”

When the doors opened at noon for the public event, people poured into the doorways, touring the new facility, visiting with the UF and Marion County-area veterinarians who greeted them and enjoying refreshments on the sunny and hot last day of June.

“All of us were so grateful for the warm welcome we received from Ocala and for the huge turnout we received at this event,” said Dr. Glen Hoffsis, dean of the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. “We are looking forward to serving Ocala and Marion County by providing the very best emergency care possible to the pets in this community and by strengthening our relationships with Ocala practitioners, who have entrusted us to help them meet this need.”


Gareth J. Buckley http://www.vetmed.ufl.edu/about-the-college/faculty-directory/gareth-buckley/ Thu, 22 Sep 2011 22:46:08 +0000 http://vetmed.sites.medinfo.ufl.edu/?page_id=882 photograph of Dr. Gareth Buckley

Clinical Assistant Professor – Emergency Medicine & Critical Care

Medical Director, Small Animal Hospital

Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences
PO Box 100116
2015 SW 16th Ave
Gainesville, FL  32608-0125
FAX 352-846-2445


  • Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
  • Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
  • MA, Clare College, University of Cambridge, UK, 2006
  • VetMB, Clare College University of Cambridge, UK, 2005
  • BA, Clare College, University of Cambridge, UK, 2002

 Research Interests

Critical illness, cardiovascular disease, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics

Recent Publications

Additional publications here