This high-tech NYC pet hospital treats dogs, cats, geese — and yes, even the occasional rat!
- Last Updated: 10:17 PM, May 30, 2012
- Posted: 11:14 PM, May 29, 2012
On a rainy evening in April, Cindy and Tom Nigro pulled their brown sedan up to the front of the Animal Medical Center at 510 E. 62nd St. after a 1½-hour drive from their home in Trumbull, Conn. In the back seat, propped up on pillows and covered with a blanket, was their 3-year-old yellow Lab, Darby, who had just survived four hours of unsuccessful surgery to remove a sewing needle she had accidentally swallowed. Desperate to save their pet, the pair — who had already been to two veterinary centers in Connecticut — were bringing her in to the city’s most prestigious animal hospital.
“As soon as we pulled up, a valet jumped up and asked if we needed a gurney or any other assistance,’’ says Cindy, 43.
“When we walked in the door, one team was ready in pre-op, and the other was prepping in the operating room. At the hospital in Connecticut, it was ‘we don’t know’ and ‘we’re not sure.’ Here they were incredible, efficient, kind and confident.”
A procedure called a fluoroscopy, which not many animal hospitals in New York can perform, allowed them to see a live, moving X-ray.
“The doctor explained that without this equipment, they never could have saved Darby,” says Cindy. “When she was in recovery, they called to say she was fine and asleep, with her head in the nurse’s lap. They sent us pictures of her, and even gave us the needle to keep!’’
The entire ordeal, including the visits to the veterinary centers in Connecticut, wound up costing the Nigros nearly $5,000.
“Hey, I might not be able to send my daughter to college,’’ jokes Cindy. “But as a dog mom, you have to do the right thing.’’
Fluoroscopy is hardly the only advantage at the AMC, which has been around since 1910, and boasts some of the most state-of-the-art equipment of any animal hospital in the city.
Among the high-tech options are a 64-slice CT scan (something many human hospitals don’t yet have), an ultrasound just for abdominal scans and a gizmo that looks like a stamp machine but cuts biopsy tissue paper-thin.
There’s also a rehab department with underwater treadmills, low-level laser therapy for wound healing and acupuncture for everything from arthritis to stress reduction.
The rehab department even has its own YouTube channel so owners can watch their animals on the mend, and the walls are covered with pictures of their beloved patients.
“It’s very important to train at AMC because you see things you wouldn’t see anywhere else,” says Dr. Cindy Bressler, an NYC veterinarian.
“When I was an intern, a very large snake was brought in with pneumonia.” Bressler also recalls three duck patients — Huey, Dewey and Louie — who lived with a Labrador retriever.