Meet the NorthStar VETS Team: Zoe Launcelott, DVM, DACVS


Zoe Launcelott, DVM, DACVS is a doctor in the Surgery service at NorthStar VETS. In this video, she talks about why she left a future in human medicine to pursue veterinary surgery, the case that meant the most to her, and the number one thing she wants you to know.

How Dr. Launcelott got into Veterinary Medicine
We caught up with Dr. Launcelott, who was checking on her patients before heading to the operating room. She told us more about herself and what she does. “I am one of the surgeons here, and what we do here in the surgery department is orthopedic surgery, soft tissue surgery, and emergency surgery.”

“I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, so I ended up going to school at the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island. After veterinary school, I did a rotating internship in Toronto, Ontario, and then I came down to the United States doing a specialty surgery internship in Connecticut followed by a three-year residency.”

“My father was an anesthesiologist so I basically grew up working in the human hospital my whole life and figured that I would end up being a human physician. In my third year of university, my cat, Snowy, ended up being diagnosed with a vaccine-related fibrosarcoma, which is a cancer. I went to the veterinary office very frequently for her care and realized that the compassion side of things in veterinary medicine was more ‘me’ than what I was seeing on the human side. I elected to then apply to veterinary school thinking that I was going to be an oncologist and cure cancer, however, during my schooling, I realized that surgery was really my passion and therefore I would be able to remove the tumors on these pets and give them a chance at a happy, healthy life.

What Dr. Launcelott Loves About Her Work
“What I like about NorthStar VETS is the camaraderie, being able to walk into various departments and collaborate on a case in order to give the best possible care to the patient. What I love about being a veterinarian is being able to help the animals that are so reliant on us.”

The Case that had the greatest impact on Dr. Launcelott
“A lot of times here in surgery we’re focused on orthopedics or a small procedure, and we see the client two or three times. You don’t get to build any sort of long-term rapport with them. But this one wound case had a terrible complication and came to me where we ended up having to do wound therapy. The wound, unfortunately due to its nature and location, was unable to close primarily, meaning we couldn’t close it first pass. We ended up having to use a wound vac, which is a device that just helps to increase the ability of a wound to heal and heal quicker. We then had to do multiple bandage changes until this wound healed by second intention.”

“No matter the issue, whether it’s big or small, we are always here to help you and your pet and make recommendations for their care.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAxIF0OM-pE

Learn more about the Surgery service at NorthStar VETS.

Zoe Launcelott, DVM, DACVS

Dr. Launcelott is originally from Nova Scotia, Canada. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2009. Following her Bachelor’s degree, she moved to Prince Edward Island where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2013 from Atlantic Veterinary College. She completed a rotating internship at the Veterinary Emergency Clinic and Referral Centre in Toronto, Ontario in 2014, followed by a one-year internship in surgery at VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, CT. Dr. Launcelott then completed a three-year residency in surgery at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, NJ in 2018. After her residency she joined the surgery department at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

She is excited to be a part of the surgery team at NorthStar VETS and make New Jersey her home. Her special surgical interests include, but are not limited to, orthopedic surgery, wound management, surgical oncology, and minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Launcelott is trained in the tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) and lateral extracapsular suture techniques for cranial cruciate ligament disease.

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Surgery Success: Alana


In spite of all she’s been through, Alana has the heart of a fighter and the guts of a survivor. Recently, she was rushed to NorthStar VETS for weakness. In the following hours, our ER team (Dr. Higgins, Dr. Jones, and Dr. Tasker), along with Cardiologist Dr. Keegan and Dr. Kerrigan of the Radiology team discovered that Alana had a mass on her heart which was bleeding into her pericardial sac. When too much blood filled the space, the pressure caused her heart to collapse. Three times a needle was inserted removing the pooling blood and stabilizing her for surgery. In addition, Alana had masses on her spleen. She went into surgery with Drs. Johnson and Zuendt along with Critical Care specialist, Dr. Berkowitz, and Veterinary Technicians Caitlin and Rachel managing anesthesia. All of Alana’s masses were successfully removed, and the next day she impressed us all by walking around and eating.

She’ll return to tackle her cancer with oncologist Dr. Barber, but for now, she goes home bright and strong.

Alana

Alana’s Care Team:

Lisa Barber, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)

Originally a native of New York City, Dr. Barber received her DVM degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. She went on to pursue a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery followed by a residency in medical oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. She then served as a staff oncologist at Penn until 2001. Dr. Barber joined the faculty of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in 2002 and became section head of oncology in 2003. During her 18 years at Tufts, she treated a variety of different types of animals for cancer, conducted clinical trials of new therapies, published many scientific articles, and trained veterinary students and residents. She is a recipient of the Artemis Award for Clinical Excellence and the Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence. She remains an adjunct professor at Tufts. Dr. Barber joined NorthStar VETS in 2020. Her interests are both innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer in companion animals and palliative care, but her primary focus is preserving and enhancing quality of life in pets with cancer.

Steven Berkowitz, DVM, DACVECC

Dr. Steven Berkowitz attended St. Georges University and did his clinical year of training at University of Illinois. Dr. Berkowitz joined NorthStar VETS after service as the Chief of Emergency and Critical Care at another specialty hospital. Prior to that, he completed a three year residency in Emergency and Critical Care medicine at Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, NJ. His residency was completed at one of the first level one veterinary trauma centers in the United States. Prior to his residency, he was a staff emergency veterinarian at Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers, New York, as well as at Animal Emergency and Referral Center in Fairfield, NJ. Dr. Berkowitz can be seen on seasons 5 and 6 of “Animal Precinct” on Animal Planet, which was filmed at the Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital of the ASPCA wherein he did his rotating internship after completing veterinary school. Dr. Berkowitz’s professional interests include management of metabolic and endocrine emergencies, as well as management of septic patients. He is published as the primary author in the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care with his article “Resolution of spontaneous hemoabdomen secondary to peliosis hepatis following surgery and azithromycin treatment in a Bartonella species infected dog.”

Dr. Berkowitz proudly serves on the Board of Trustees for “Mickey’s Kids,” which helps provide service dogs in New Jersey for children in need. He is also on the Board of Diversity and Inclusion with the College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, as well as serving as a critical care reviewer for Vet Companion, which is an online service for veterinary professionals. He is also currently involved in the reviewing process for the newest version of the RECOVER Guidelines for advancing knowledge in CPR in the veterinary field.

Lauren Higgins, DVM
Dr. Lauren Higgins is a New Jersey native who completed her undergraduate degree in Animal Bioscience at Penn State University. From there, she moved to Southern California to pursue a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences and graduated with honors in 2011. She then returned to New Jersey and completed a small animal rotating internship in medicine and surgery at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, NJ.

Dr. Higgins joined the emergency team at NorthStar VETS in August 2012. In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding, reading, and spending time outside.

Kelly Johnson, DVM, MS, DACVS

Dr. Kelly Johnson is a Vermont native who received her undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond in 2002. She earned her veterinary degree from Michigan State University in 2006. After graduation she completed a small animal rotating internship at the Hope Advanced Veterinary Center in Vienna, VA followed by her surgical residency at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. During her residency she also completed a Master?EUR(TM)s Degree in Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Dr. Johnson practiced as a small animal surgeon in northern NJ for nine years before joining NorthStar VETS in 2020.

Dr. Johnson is trained in the tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA) and lateral extracapsular suture techniques for cranial cruciate ligament disease. Outside of work she enjoys paddle boarding, yoga, downhill skiing, traveling, attending country concerts and watching the New York Rangers.

Veronica Jones, DVM

Dr. Veronica Jones received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Cook College at Rutgers University. Prior to attending veterinary school, she worked as a veterinary assistant and technician for 3 years. She moved to Alabama and completed her DVM at Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. Dr. Jones started in general practice after returning home to South Jersey, and then practiced emergency medicine. She has interests in surgery, trauma, and critical care. Dr. Jones enjoys listening to music, reading, and traveling during her free time. She also spends time with her two sweet miniature poodles, Duchess and Bella.

Ryan Keegan, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Dr. Keegan attended the University of Notre Dame and received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. He then completed a one year rotating internship at Oradell Animal Hospital. After his internship, Dr. Keegan completed a 3-year residency in cardiology at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital and received Board Certification in Cardiology in 2014. His goal is to provide the most accurate diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment for your pet’s heart condition.

Dr. Keegan’s special interests include early treatment of pre-clinical mitral valve disease and cardiomyopathy, improving quality of life for chronically coughing animals and advanced cardiac cases, accurate assessment of pulmonary hypertension (high lung pressure), and long-term management of congestive heart failure and arrhythmias. In his spare time, Dr. Keegan enjoys swimming, the beach, and participating in rescue/shelter work. He resides with his wife, their cat, and a loving pack of dogs.

Katherine Lynch Kerrigan, DVM, MS, DACVR

Dr. Kerrigan, originally from Connecticut, is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a rotating internship at the University of Pennsylvania and returned to Illinois to complete her residency in diagnostic imaging in 2014. During the course of her residency, she also completed a Master’s degree in veterinary clinical medicine.

Dr. Kerrigan joined NorthStar VETS in 2014. Her clinical interests include CT angiography, and emergency imaging.

Laura Tasker, DVM, CVMA

Dr. Tasker earned her bachelor of science degree in animal science from the University of Delaware. She continued her veterinary studies at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, with a year of clinical training at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship in emergency and critical care at the Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center in Levittown, Pennsylvania. Her professional interests include trauma stabilization, wound care, and metabolic diseases. She is certified in both large and small animal veterinary acupuncture, and has a particular interest in pain management. Outside of NorthStar VETS, Dr. Tasker enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing with her Australian Shepherd, and all things horses.

Gregory Zuendt, DVM

Dr. Zuendt graduated veterinary school from the University of Illinois in 2015. He went on to complete a small animal rotating medicine and surgery internship at Oradell Animal Hospital. Following this, he completed a surgery-specific internship in Nashville at BluePearl Veterinary Partners. Dr. Zuendt then joined NorthStar Vets in July 2017 and has a special interest in surgery, critical care medicine, neurology, and cardiology.

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Update to Our Covid-19 Hospital Protocols


On Monday, May 3, 2021, we are taking steps toward reopening our hospitals to the public. The safety of our clients and staff is our highest priority, and we will continue to follow safety protocols outlined by the state.

As you pull into our facilities, please follow the instructions below from your vehicle to announce your arrival, listen for instructions, and wait to be called in. One masked pet parent will be escorted by a staff member to a private exam room.

  • Robbinsville: Drive up to the front door. Emergencies will be triaged while scheduled appointments will be checked in and directed where to park.
  • Maple Shade: In an emergency, park and bring your pet into our building (one masked client per pet). For scheduled appointments, park and call 609-259-8300, option 2 for Maple Shade, and announce your arrival. You will be instructed on next steps.
  • Brick: In an emergency, park and bring your pet into our building (one masked client per pet). For scheduled appointments, park and call 609-259-8300, option 3 for Brick, and announce your arrival. You will be instructed on next steps.

Plexiglass shields have been installed in our lobby along with touchless payment options. We ask that everyone maintain social distancing practices and utilize the hand sanitizing dispensers located throughout the facilities. Clients that fail to comply with our COVID-19 protocols will be denied services.

Lastly, for pet parents wishing to safely remain in their vehicle, our staff will come out to receive your pet and communicate via phone to limit face-to-face contact.

We thank you for your patience and understanding, and hope that you are staying healthy and safe during this time.

The NorthStar VETS Team

Learn to expect and how to prepare for your visit.

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NorthStar VETS Earns VECCS Recertification


(Robbinsville, April 28, 2021) – NorthStar VETS veterinary emergency and specialty veterinary hospital in New Jersey earned Level 1 recertification by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. Fewer than forty hospitals in the United States operate at this highest level.

Cindy Hauser MBA, MVT, VTS (ECC), member of the VECCS Facility Certification Committee said, “The Committee was pleased to recertify NorthStar VETS as a VECCS Level I Certified Facility. Congratulations to you, your facility, and to your fine staff of doctors, technicians, reception staff, and kennel workers, on this outstanding achievement!”

Dr. Steven Berkowitz, board-certified Critical Care specialist for NorthStar VETS, summed up what this means for pet parents, “This recertification is an important distinction because it means that pet parents in New Jersey have access to a 24/7 veterinary emergency hospital meeting the industry’s highest standards of care.”

About NorthStar VETS
Located in Robbinsville, NJ, NorthStar VETS is the region’s leader in providing advanced veterinary services by board-certified, residency trained, or highly experienced veterinarians 24/7. As an American Animal Hospital-Accredited (AAHA) Referral Practice, NorthStar VETS continues to set the standard in medical excellence for dogs, cats, birds, exotics, and other family pets. www.northstarvets.com

About VECCS Level 1 Trauma Certification
A Level I emergency and critical care facility is a 24-hour acute care facility with the resources and specialty training necessary to provide sophisticated emergent and critical patient care. This facility is open to receive small animal emergency patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The level I facility must have a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care employed full time and available for consultation either on-site or by phone 24/7. https://veccs.org

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Surgery Success: Rocco


Rocco went to the back yard and came back fully impaled on a PVC pipe! In horror, his family brought him to NorthStar VETS where Dr. Joanna Lloyd of the NorthStar VETS Emergency service examined Rocco and worked with Dr. Katherine Kerrigan of the Radiology service to get a CT scan of his body. Incredibly, no major organs or vessels were damaged! The pipe entered Rocco’s chest missing his heart, lungs, and esophagus. It penetrated his diaphragm, but missed his liver, kidneys and intestines as it exited his lower back. Dr. Kelly Kraus of the Surgery team performed the hours-long operation, which confirmed the lack of damage, removed the pipe, cleaned the area, and closed the holes. Having recovered, Rocco’s medical care was transferred to Dr. Kristie Decker at Pet’s Best Friend in Levittown, PA. He walked out of the hospital with his tail wagging, completely unaware of the miracle that happened.

Learn more about the Emergency and Surgery services at NorthStar VETS.

https://youtu.be/J1RAY0MqJ_o

Joanna Lloyd, VMD
Dr. Lloyd grew up in Philadelphia before going to Williams College in Massachusetts where she majored in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. After college and a brief stint as an ER veterinary technician, Dr. Lloyd earned her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She joined NorthStar VETS in April 2018.

Dr. Lloyd’s clinical interests include veterinary neonatal and pediatric care, trauma, and urinary obstructions. In her spare time, Dr. Lloyd raises orphaned kittens and makes jewelry.

Kelly Kraus, VMD, DACVS
Dr. Kraus is originally from Connecticut. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland in 2003 before moving to Philadelphia, where she did molecular genetics research for two years at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kraus then completed veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. After graduating, she completed a rotating internship at Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, NJ. She then moved to Texas to complete a one-year internship in surgery at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists. She was fortunate to then move back to New Jersey for a three-year residency in surgery at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, which she completed in 2014.

She is excited to be part of the surgery team at NorthStar VETS. Her special surgical interests include, but are not limited to, wound management and reconstructive surgery, surgical oncology, cardiothoracic surgery, and hepatobiliary surgery. Dr. Kraus also enjoys management of orthopedic conditions. She is trained in the tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) for cranial cruciate ligament disease. Outside of work, Dr. Kraus enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, traveling, and helping her local SPCA.

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Inspiration in the 2021 Purpose in Action Book


At this important time in history, NorthStar VETS released its 2021 Purpose in Action book designed to inspire you to do great things. With 22 authors, 24 pages, and 39 unique personal stories, get wisdom and advice from our doctors on finding and fulfilling your purpose.

Download your copy of the 2021 Purpose in Action book at NorthStarVETS.com.

2021 NorthStar VETS Purpose in Action

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What to Expect During your NorthStar VETS Visit


As we all know too well, the pandemic has changed just about every aspect of daily life, and visiting the veterinary hospital is no exception. At NorthStar VETS, every member of our team has worked harder than ever for our patients, clients, referring veterinary practices, and each other as demand for veterinary services has increased tremendously. With that, we ask for your patience and understanding that wait times are longer than usual.

Recently, a client in Robbinsville gave us this feedback. “Our local vet was no longer offering service at nights or on weekends. They had staffing issues, operational issues, and scheduling issues all brought about by the pandemic. Chili’s issues seemingly compounded at the same time. That left us coming to NorthStar VETS, and I’m sure we were not alone. We could see your attentive staff doing their best to provide much needed services for your patients and their families. I’m sure at times the volume of patients was off the charts. It wasn’t lost on us that all of you have families and pets that you care about. We can’t begin to express how thankful we were that all of you came to work at great personal expense. You were our heroes! That alone doesn’t begin to express our deepest appreciation for your collective commitment to the work you do every day. Thank you!”

At our location in Brick, a lovely client visited us with her pet. Knowing how busy things were and that there would be long wait times, she came prepared. To keep herself and her pet comfortable, she had a blanket, snacks, phone charger, and entertainment.

Why are emergency visits taking so long?
Pet hospitals nationwide are overwhelmed with sick and injured pets, creating longer emergency wait times. All NorthStar VETS locations have seen patient surges due to family veterinarians being closed or not accepting new clients. As in human medicine, our facilities triage patients according to an assigned degree of urgency based on wound, illness, or trauma. The higher degree of urgency, the quicker a patient is admitted. While this can be frustrating, it helps our ER staff assist those requiring immediate treatment faster and even saves lives.

Long wait times are a result of:

  • A larger volume of cases overall.
  • Curbside check-in procedures taking more time, but keeping our clients, staff, and patients safe.
  • Critical patients taking priority and requiring immediate refocused attention of staff.
  • An influx of phone calls increasing on hold times.
  • Diagnostic work-ups and tests (i.e. blood work, X-rays, and ultrasounds) taking longer to process due to increased demand from in-hospital patients.
  • Backlogs in our Pharmacy department as a result of refill requests from clients at home.

What hasn’t changed is our absolute commitment to you and your pet. We are doing our best to serve you 24/7, but need your help! Please bring patience, kindness and good energy to your conversations with our Customer Service Representatives, technicians, and doctors. Allow ample wait times for physical exams, patient work-ups, prescriptions, discharge instructions and follow-up paperwork.

For the latest information on how to efficiently navigate our curbside protocols, read the announcement at https://www.northstarvets.com/blog/update-to-our-covid-19-hospital-protocols/.

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Case Success Mackers


After vomiting blood and collapsing at home last August, Mackers was brought to his family veterinarian where they found an abdominal mass and started treatments. Within days, he collapsed again came immediately to the emergency room.

Dr. Joanna Lloyd of the NorthStar VETS Emergency and Critical Care team performed two transfusions and other stabilizing treatments before admitting him to the hospital. Tests revealed Mackers had a large cell lymphoma, and he was referred to the Oncology service. Two days later, Dr. Lisa Barber of the Oncology service began treating Mackers’ stomach lymphoma.

MackersBy late September, our team reported that Mackers’ tumor was undetectable and his blood counts were normal. By late October, he was in complete remission. He now has four months of treatment complete and two to go. By addressing the issue quickly, directly, and with the right goals in mind, Mackers enjoys a much-improved quality of life today!

Lymphoma in Cats
Lymphoma is a cancer of white blood cells, specifically lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are found throughout the body and function as part of the immune system, but the most common site of lymphoma in cats is the gastrointestinal tract. It often spreads to lymph nodes within the abdomen, spleen, liver and bone marrow. Even when it is seen in a single location, lymphoma is considered a systemic disease because lymphocytes travel throughout the body. Chemotherapy can be helpful in managing feline lymphoma.

How Lymphoma is Treated in Cats
Many people become anxious at the mention of chemotherapy due to concern over potential side effects, however, the goal for chemotherapy in pets is to improve quality of life. This means the treatments are different from what’s performed in human patients. Chemotherapy kills cells that are actively growing and dividing. Rapid growth is one of the features of lymphoma, which is a reason why the disease is responsive to chemotherapy.
The most common symptom of chemotherapy seen at home is gastrointestinal upset, including decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Fortunately, gastrointestinal upset can either be prevented or easily managed with oral medications. Another common side effect of chemotherapy is a low white blood cell count. White blood cells are the first line of defense against infection. If the white blood cells, specifically the neutrophils, dip excessively low, cats are at increased risk of infections. The infections usually arise from bacteria normally present in the cat’s body (such as the intestines) and can be life-threatening. To help minimize the risk of this complication, the patient’s blood is checked regularly to make sure the numbers don’t go too low. Antibiotics are used as a precautionary measure if needed as well as changing future doses of chemotherapy.

Learn more about the Emergency and Oncology services at NorthStar VETS.

Joanna Lloyd, VMD
Dr. Lloyd grew up in Philadelphia before going to Williams College in Massachusetts where she majored in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. After college and a brief stint as an ER veterinary technician, Dr. Lloyd earned her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She joined NorthStar VETS in April 2018.

Dr. Lloyd’s clinical interests include veterinary neonatal and pediatric care, trauma, and urinary obstructions. In her spare time, Dr. Lloyd raises orphaned kittens and makes jewelry.

Lisa Barber, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Originally a native of New York City, Dr. Barber received her DVM degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. She went on to pursue a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery followed by a residency in medical oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. She then served as a staff oncologist at Penn until 2001. Dr. Barber joined the faculty of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in 2002 and became section head of oncology in 2003. During her 18 years at Tufts, she treated a variety of different types of animals for cancer, conducted clinical trials of new therapies, published many scientific articles, and trained veterinary students and residents. She is a recipient of the Artemis Award for Clinical Excellence and the Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence. She remains an adjunct professor at Tufts. Dr. Barber joined NorthStar VETS in 2020. Her interests are both innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer in companion animals and palliative care, but her primary focus is preserving and enhancing quality of life in pets with cancer.

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Pet Food Recall


Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc., of Evansville, IN is issuing a voluntary recall of the below listed dog and cat food products due to tests indicating levels of Aflatoxin that exceed acceptable limits. Products were distributed nationally to online distributors and retail stores.

Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxin can cause illness and death in pets.

There have been reports of illnesses and deaths in dogs associated with the below listed lots of Sportmix High Energy. No cat or human illnesses have been reported.

If your pet shows signs of aflatoxin poisoning including sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes, gums, or skin due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea, contact a veterinarian immediately. Provide a full diet history to your veterinarian. It may be helpful to take a picture of the pet food label, including the lot number.

Lot code information may be found on the back of bag and will appear in a three-line code, with the top line in format “EXP 03/03/22/05/L#/B###/HH:MM” as follows (see below in pictures section).

Retailers and distributors should immediately pull recalled lots from their inventory and shelves. Do not sell or donate the recalled products. Retailers are encouraged to contact consumers who have purchased the recalled products, if you have the means to do so (frequent buyer cards, etc.).

Pet parents: do not feed the recalled products to your pets or any other animals. Destroy the products in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them. Wash and sanitize pet food bowls, cups and storage containers.

Contact Midwestern Pet Foods Consumer Affairs at 800-474-4163, ext. 455 from 7AM to 4PM Central Time, Monday through Friday, or by email at info@midwesternpetfoods.com for additional information.

This is a voluntary recall conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Recalled lot codes are as follows:
. 50# Sportmix Energy Plus Lots Exp 03/02/22/05/L2, 03/02/22/05/L3, 03/03/22/05/L2
. 44# Sportmix Energy Plus Lots 03/02/22/05/L3
. 50# Sportmix Premium High Energy Lots 03/03/22/05/L3
. 44# Sportmix Premium High Energy Lots 03/03/22/05/L3
. 31# Sportmix Original Cat Lots 03/03/22/05/L3
. 15# Sportmix Original Cat Lots 03/03/22/05/L2, 03/03/22/05/L3

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NAVIGATE THE SEASON IN TIMES OF SADNESS


HAPPY HOLIDAYS? How to Navigate the Season in Times of Sadness

The holidays release many emotions when we are grieving. Memories of loved ones and/or cherished pets who have passed, weigh heavy on our hearts. The best coping mechanism for grief is to have a plan to help ourselves. In times of sadness, well-meaning family and friends don’t know what to say or how to act, so they may appear withdrawn, uncaring, silent, cold, awkward, or sometimes even bossy. Remember that their true hearts do love you, but they don’t exactly know how to show it.

Tips To Comfort Yourself During The Holidays

  • Understand that the holidays will be different and challenging. The pandemic and the loss of your pet will be a tough struggle. It’s important to continue to care for yourself and allow the grieving process to happen naturally.
  • Remember tears are healthy, as they connect your heart and brain. They seem to flow out of nowhere. They are a normal reaction and allow yourself to heal.
  • Decide which holiday traditions to keep or change. Many families will not be getting together this season. FaceTime or ZOOM has become the new “family dinner hour.” If you are videoing with family, ask them to share a favorite memory they had with your pet. You can put their memories on paper, keep in a memory box/ photo album, create an ornament. Hearing their memories will bring peace knowing your pet touched them as well.
  • Donate pet toys/bedding to an animal shelter in your pet’s honor. Be sure to ask first if they are taking such donations during this time of the pandemic. Unopened food is always accepted and appreciated. Consider making a monetary donation in your pet’s honor.
  • If you’re not feeling up to hosting company this year – don’t. If attending a gathering (sometimes it’s good to be with loved ones), have an exit plan. Drive yourself or signal to you partner when you want to leave if the grief becomes too strong.
  • Give yourself “alone time.” Journal feelings/memories while listening to soothing music to help you express your emotions. Writing also helps your brain and heart connect again. When you go back to read your words, you’ll see that you did all you could for your pet.

Most importantly – reach out for help. The season can be a trying time, even if with well-laid plans and strategies. Talk with a friend who can offer a listening ear or a strong shoulder to lean on. Also know that you are not alone. As NorthStar VETS certified bereavement counselor, I can ALWAYS be reached via e-mail at arooney@northstarvets.com. Through my own personal experiences and years of specialized grief training, I consider it a great privilege to be able to help others who are suffering. Please contact me so that I can provide the necessary tools to aid you in your grief recovery.

I wish you a comforting and healing holiday season!

Ann RooneyAnn Rooney, Certified Bereavement Specialist and Animal Chaplain
For over 16 years, Ann Rooney has worked in the veterinary field comforting pet parents in times of crisis. Certified by the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement in 2016, Ann has committed her career to supporting the emotional needs of clients who have lost their trusted animal companion. By working with veterinarians, connecting with various pet cemeteries, and even experiencing her own pet loss, Ann is a terrific resource for helping clients navigate the difficult part of mourning a pet.

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